Morse Scores 29, Penguins Comeback Fall Short, 87-81

Morse Scores 29, Penguins Comeback Fall Short, 87-81

Cameron Morse scored 29 points for his 15th 20-point game of the season, but the Youngstown State men's basketball team fell 87-81 to Wright State on Thursday evening at the Beeghly Center.

Morse scored a game-high 29 points, and he scored 15 of those points in the final 5:30 as YSU fought from a 17-point deficit. He hit a 3-pointer at the 1:35 mark that cut the difference to 80-75, and another Morse trey made the score 83-78 with 37 seconds left. The sophomore finished with a career-high six 3-pointers on the night, and he was 7-for-7 at the free-throw line.

Wright State center Michael Karena scored 26 points on 11-of-15 from the field, and he helped the Raiders to a 54-30 scoring edge in the paint. Mark Alstork joined him in the twenties with 21.

Wright State also turned YSU's 16 turnovers into a 21-11 edge in points off turnovers.

The opening half was a fast-paced affair with three ties and seven lead changes. Both teams were shooting above 60 percent at the under 12 media timeout. For the first half, the Raiders finished with at 69 percent (20-of-29) and the Penguins shot 50 percent (13-of-26).

Matt Donlan, who scored 18 points, and Morse combined for 21 of the Penguins' 31 first-half points and made eight of YSU's 13 field goals.

A 3-pointer by Morse tied the game at 22-22, and a jumper by Kaufman knotted the game at 24-24 with 8:22 left.

The Raiders extended their lead to seven, 33-26, before Donlan nailed a 3-pointer to get back within four, 33-29, with 3:51 left.

Five straight turnovers and a missed layup by the Penguins aided the Raiders in an 11-2 run to close out the half with a 13-point lead, 44-31.

The Penguins got within nine twice in the first five minutes of the second half, the second time coming at 51-42 on a Francisco Santiago bucket with 15:09 left. Wright State built its lead up to 17 on two occasions, and it led by double digits until Morse's two free throws made the score 78-69 with 2:59 left.

YSU trailed just 81-75 and had possession with 1:12 left, but its 16th turnover of the night led to two Raiders free throws. Wright State made six of its eight attempts from the line in the final 45 seconds to keep Morse and the Penguins from rallying.

Wright State shot 61.1 percent overall despite going 3-for-12 from the free-throw line. The Raiders went 18-of-29 at the free-throw line with 16 more attempts than YSU. The Penguins shot 50.8 percent overall and went 9-of-18 from the 3-point line and 12-of-13 from the free-throw line.

The Penguins close out the regular season and celebrate Senior Night against Northern Kentucky, Saturday, at 7:05 p.m.