Detroit, Mich. -- Senior Matt Donlan had a team-high 24 points and freshman Braun Hartfield scored a career-high 22 points to lead the No. 9 Youngstown State men's basketball team to an 84-69 win over No. 8 Cleveland State in the First Round of the 2017 Little Caesar's Horizon League Championships.
The Penguins advance to play No. 1 seed Oakland tomorrow. Tipoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena.
Five players in total reached double figures for the Penguins (12-20) as senior Jorden Kaufman, who posted a double-double, had 15 points and 11 rebounds, junior Cameron Morse had 12 points and junior Francisco Santiago added 10 points.
Rob Edwards led the Vikings with 27 points and scored Cleveland State's final 16 points of the game. Bobby Word and Kenny Carpenter each had 10 points for Cleveland State, who ended the season with an overall record of 9-22.
The Penguins and Vikings fought through 12 ties and 16 lead changes through the first 28 minutes of the game. With the game tied at 53-53, the Penguins used a quick 7-0 run to take a 60-53 lead after a layup by Santiago, a free throw from junior Rahim Williams and jumpers by Morse and Kaufman.
YSU extended its lead to nine, 64-55, after a jumper by Santiago, but the Vikings rallied back to cut the lead to two, 64-62, and 67-65, with 4:09 remaining.
Hartfield scored five straight points, including a three-point play, and Morse followed with a three-point play at the 2:31 mark to take a 75-65 lead.
Donlan made four free throws down the stretch and Santiago hit a 3-pointer to put an exclamation point on the victory.
After trailing by as many as six, four at halftime and shooting just 38.7 percent from the field in the first half, Youngstown State shot 65.4 percent from the floor after halftime and outscored the Vikings, 51-32.
For the game, Youngstown State connected on 50.9 percent from the field, 45.5 percent (10-of-22) and 80 percent from the free-throw line.