Penguins Close Out Home Season With 94-75 Win Over Northern Kentucky

Jordan Andrews
Jordan Andrews

The Youngstown State men's basketball team closed out the regular season with an impressive 94-75 win over Northern Kentucky on Saturday night at the Beeghly Center. Cameron Morse scored 25 for the Penguins while Francisco Santiago had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

With the win, YSU finishes the regular-season with an 11-20 overall mark and was 6-12 in the Horizon League. The Penguins will be the seventh seed in the Horizon League Tournament which starts on Saturday in Detroit. The Guins will face Detroit in the final game of the night set to start at 7:30 p.m. NKU falls to 5-13 and 9-20.

YSU had a rip-roaring first-half building a 46-27 halftime lead. In the second half, Northern Kentucky pulled within five points on three occasions, the last of which came at the 10:18 mark.

The Guins led 60-55 with 10:18 remaining before scoring nine of the next 11 points extending the lead back to 69-57 on a pair of Sidney Umude free throws. With 6:32 left NKU cut the deficit to nine, but a 3-pointer by Morse pushed the lead back up to 75-63 and the lead never got below double figures.

YSU made sure it kept the game out of reach making its final 16 free throws, including its final 13 in the final 5:18. For the game the Penguins were 25-of-33 from the line.

Morse was 8-of-16 from the field and 6-of-7 from free-throw line. Santiago flirted with a triple-double dishing out eight assists to give with his 15 points and 10 boards. Jordan Andrews had 17 points, Sidney Umude had 16 off the bench and Jordan Andrews added 15 as the Guins had five players score in double figures. Andrews also broke the YSU freshman single-season 3-point record and has 49.

For the game, YSU shot 52.6 percent (30-of-57) and was 9-of-19 from beyond the 3-point arc. NKU was 29-of-77 (37.7 percent) and converted just 8-of-34 3-point tries.

In the first half, YSU was 16-of-31 from the field, made 5-of-10 3-point attempts and went 9-of-13 from the 3-point line. The Penguins also committed just two turnovers.

The Guins limited Northern Kentucky to just 29.7 percent shooting as the Norse made 11-of-37 attempts and missed 14 3-point attempts. 

Morse scored 13 while Matt Donlan and Umude each added 10. Combined the three players were 12-of-18 from the field. 

A pair of 13-0 runs helped the Guins break the game open in the first half.

YSU trailed 14-13 at the 11:31 mark, but went on a 13-0 that was capped by an empathic dunk by Umude in a span of just over three minutes. Morse started the run with a 3-pointer, Santiago followed with a layup, Andrews knocked down a jumper and made a pair of free throws before Morse converted another 3-pointer.

NKU scored the next five points to get within 27-19 but another 13-0 run pushed the advantage to 40-19. Umude helped spur the run with eight points while Bryce Nickels capped it with a free throw.