Penguins Make Late Push But Fall to Green Bay 90-77

Cameron Morse

The Youngstown State men's basketball team dropped a 90-77 decision to Green Bay on New Year's Eve afternoon at the Beeghly Center.

The Penguins drop to 7-8 overall and 1-1 in the Horizon League while the Phoenix improve to 8-7 and 2-0 in league play.

YSU made a final push to make things interesting late in the second half. YSU trailed 70-50 at the 8:18 mark before catching fire and outscoring the Phoenix 23-11 over the next 5:24 to get within 81-73 on a back-door layup by Francisco Santiago

However Green Bay scored the next five points to regain control while ending the game on a 9-4 run.

Cameron Morse scored a game-high 24 points while Santiago finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Devin Haygood finished with 11 points.

The Penguins outscored the Phoenix 47-46 in the second half and connected on 8-of-17 (47.1 percent) from behind the 3-point arc. For the game, the Guins shot 43.7 percent (31-of-71). 

Green Bay was 33-of-63 from the field (52.4 percent) and was 7-of-15 from beyond the 3-point arc. UWGB had 25 assists on 33 baskets. 

YSU held a 13-12 lead in the first half before UWGB went on a 10-0 and never trailed again. The Penguins cut the deficit to 22-19 before Green Bay closed the first half on a 22-11 run to lead 44-30.

The Penguins made 13-of-20 field goals from inside the 3-point arc (65 percent) in the first half, but failed to connect on 10 3-point tries.

Green Bay shot 50 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes making 15 of 30 shots. The Phoenix also held an edge at the free-throw line making 11-of-12 shots while YSU was 4-of-9 from the charity stripe.

At the buzzer of the first half, Santiago made in a half-court shot that officials ruled came after time had expired. They reviewed the play and the ball was still in Santiago's hand as the clock hit 0:00.

The Penguins return to action on Thursday when they visit Northern Kentucky. The contest with the Norse is set to tip off a 7:30 p.m.