Penguins Start Fast Before Dropping Contest to Northern Kentucky

Braun Hartfield (Photo by Mike Yourstowsky)
Braun Hartfield (Photo by Mike Yourstowsky)

A hot-shooting night by Northern Kentucky was too much to overcome for the Youngstown State men's basketball team as the Penguins dropped a 95-85 decision to the Norse on Thursday at the Beeghly Center.

The Penguins had four players score in doubles figures and made 11 threes in the contest. However, NKU shot 59.6 percent for the game making 34-of-57 attempts. In the second half, the Norse shot 64.3 percent making 18-of-28 attempts.

YSU (6-18 overall and 4-7 in the Horizon League) came out fast and built an eight-point first half lead on six occasions, the last of which was 37-29 with 5:55 left in the half. At halftime, the Guins led 43-40 and did not trail after going ahead 7-6 at the 16:21 mark.

On the night, Braun Hartfield finished with 23 points, 20 of which came in the second half. Tyree Robinson scored a career-high 19 points in 19 minutes to spur the offensive effort. Cameron Morse had 13 points and Devin Haygood finished with 11 for the Penguins.

In the second half, NKU took a lead in the first minute before the Penguins forged ahead 51-48 on a deep 3-pointer by Jaylen Benton at the 16:20 mark. Four straight NKU points gave the Norse a 52-51 lead before the Guins went back in front 53-52 on a Robinson layup.

With the Penguins trailing 63-61, NKU went on an 11-1 run to push its advantage up to 74-62 with 10:17 left. After falling behind by 82-68, the Guins outscored the Norse 13-4 over the next 4:17 to pull within 86-81 on a dunk by Robinson. However the Norse scored the next six points to push the lead back to 92-81 with 1:44 remaining.

The Penguins return to action on Saturday when they play host to Wright State. Tipoff at the Beeghly Center is set for 7 p.m.