Cameron Morse scored 30 points in a back-and-forth battle with Detroit, but the Titans prevailed 94-92 over the Youngstown State men's basketball team on Saturday evening at the Beeghly Center.
There were 24 lead changes and 12 ties in the contest, and Detroit needed just a three-point edge over the final four minutes to narrowly defeat the Penguins.
Morse scored at least 30 points for the second time this season, becoming the first Penguin to do it in the last two seasons, in 39 minutes. Matt Donlan scored 14 points, and Brett Frantz scored a career-best 13 in 14 minutes off the bench for the Penguins.
Detroit countered Morse with six players in double figures, and Paris Bass led the way with 20 points in 20 minutes.
Both teams shot better than 50 percent in both halves, and YSU held a slight 55.6 percent to 53.8 percent edge from the field. The Penguins also made five more 3s than the Titans, but YSU was outscored by seven at the free-throw line. YSU shot 52.9 percent at the line for the game, going 9-of-17.
Detroit improved to 12-11 overall and evened its Horizon League record at 6-6, and YSU fell to 9-16 overall and 4-8 in the conference.
The lead changed hands 14 times in the second half alone, and the largest lead for either team over the final 20 minutes was five, and that came with 10 seconds remaining.
YSU scored the first five points of the second half on a 3 by Donlan and a bucket by Morse to go up 49-45, and the Penguins led by four again on a Jordan Andrews 3-pointer at the 17:33 mark. Bass's three-point play on Detroit's next possession shrunk the margin to one, and the score was within one possession for the next 16 minutes.
YSU's final lead came at 81-80 when Frantz hit a 3-pointer with 4:15 remaining. Bass scored the next four points to put the Titans up 84-81, and YSU tied the score for the final time on another Frantz triple with 1:46 remaining. McFolley answered with a jumper to put Detroit back ahead, and Bass had a dunk in transition after a long rebound that pushed the lead to 91-87.
Latin Davis scored to get YSU within a pair with 36 seconds left, but Detroit made three free throws on its next trip down the floor to go up 94-89. The Titans were awarded two free throws plus the ball after a flagrant foul call, and YSU had to foul to extend the game to result in the other two attempts. Frantz hit a 3 with five seconds remaining to give the Penguins a chance at 94-92, and McFolley missed both free throws to set up a long desperation attempt by Andrews that was wide left.
After Detroit scored the first four points of the game, YSU went on an 8-0 run to go up 8-4 on a Jorden Kaufman bucket with 16:19 left in the half. The lead changed hands three times over the next 90 seconds, and Detroit led by four three times before Youngstown State tied the score at 24 on a Morse bucket.
The Titans held the Penguins scoreless for more than three-and-a-half minutes as they built a 31-24 lead with 6:57 remaining. YSU rallied to take one-point leads at 38-37 and 44-43 on a dunk by Bryce Nickels, and Wilson's field goal on Detroit's final possession of the half put the Titans up 45-44 at halftime.
Youngstown State will continue its four-game home stand next Saturday when it hosts Cleveland State at 7 p.m.