The Youngstown State men's basketball team outscored Thiel 24-10 over the final 11 minutes to pull away for a 69-55 victory on Wednesday evening at Beeghly Center.
With the score tied at 45 with 11:01 remaining, YSU's Jordan Andrews scored the first six points of what extended to a 24-4 run for the Penguins to fight off the pesky Tomcats.
Youngstown State improved to 2-4 with the victory, and Thiel dropped to 2-4. The Penguins have won two straight contests and were playing for the fourth time in five days.
Andrews started the run with a pair of free throws, and he followed it with a four-point play to put YSU ahead 51-45. He added four more points during the run, which saw the Penguins score 15 straight at one point. Bobby Hain scored eight straight points at the tail end of the run, which concluded on a Jorden Kaufmen free throw with 2:31 remaining. That put Youngstown State ahead 69-49, and Thiel scored the final six points for the final tally.
Hain and Kaufmen finished with 13 points apiece, and Cameron Morse had 12 points and Andrews finished with 10 for the Penguins.
Luke Kochka scored a game-high 19 points in 40 minutes, and Khari Bess scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half.
Youngstown State trailed for less than a minute in the first half, but Thiel hung around and kept the game within eight points. The Tomcats forced YSU into 12 first-half turnovers, and they turned that into a 14-4 advantage in points off turnovers in the first half.
After Bess put Thiel ahead 2-0 90 seconds into the game, back-to-back 3-pointers by Matt Donlan and Morse capped an eight-point run that put the Penguins ahead 8-2 with 17:10 left.
YSU's lead stretched to eight, 19-11, after a Kaufman basket with 8:58 remaining in the opening half, but Thiel scored 12 of the next 14 points and took a 23-21 lead at the 5:05 mark on a Leandra Jackson 3-pointer.
Youngstown State responded with a seven-point run, which was capped by a Kaufman basket, to go up 28-23, and the Penguins maintained a 30-27 lead at the break.
Youngstown State will play at Niagara on Saturday at 3 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on 570 WKBN.