Penguins' Late Comeback Attempt Falls Short at Valparaiso, 82-72

Cameron Morse
Cameron Morse

Valparaiso, Indiana -- Junior Cameron Morse scored a game-high 25 points, but the Youngstown State men's basketball team's late comeback attempt fell short at Valparaiso, 82-72, on Saturday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

The Penguins (10-17, 4-10 Horizon League) trailed by as many 15 points early in the second half, but used a 14-2 run over a seven-minute span to cut the lead to three, 58-55, with 8:41 left after a Matt Donlan 3-pointer.  

Donlan began the run with a 3-pointer, and a 3-pointer by Morse, a dunk by Rahim Williams and a jumper by Francisco Santiago preceded Donlan's second triple during the run.

Youngstown State twice got within two over the next 1:38, and Morse's fadeaway 3-pointer from the right wing got the Penguins within one, 65-64, at the 6:20 mark.

Valparaiso (21-5, 11-2 Horizon League) scored the next nine points to boost its lead back to 10, 74-64, with 2:59 remaining and the Penguins would not get any closer than eight points.

Morse scored at least 20 points for the 31st time in his career and Santiago scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half. Freshman Braun Hartfield also reach double figures with 15 points. 

Leading Valparaiso was Shane Hammink with 23 points and Alec Peters with 22 points. Tevonn Williams and Lexus Williams also reached double figures with 14 and 11 points, respectively.

The Penguins return home to host Wright State, Thursday, Feb. 16. Tipoff is set for 7:45 p.m. at the Beeghly Center.