Penguins Drop Hard-Fought 81-74 Decision to Robert Morris

Jaylen Benton
Jaylen Benton

The Youngstown State men's basketball team had three players score in double figures, but Robert Morris outscored the Penguins by seven in the second half to earn an 81-74 victory on Wednesday nigh at the Beeghly Center.

Devin Haygood had 15 points off the bench and Garrett Covington and Braun Hartfield added 12 each in a losing effort. With the defeat YSU drops to 2-6 on the season while Robert Morris improves to 4-3.

The first half featured eight ties and eight lead changes as the contest was tied 34-34 at the break. 

RMU came out fast to start the second half building a 43-36 lead but the Guins crept within 46-44 on a Naz Bohannon layup with 14:46 left in the game. The Colonials forged ahead 52-44 in the next minute and a half.

However, YSU turned up the defensive pressure and quickly turned it into offense by scoring eight unanswered points to tie the game at 52. Jeremiah Ferguson started the 8-0 run with a 3-pointer and Haygood followed with a layup. A steal by Hartfield led to a layup and free-throw by Covington for a three-point play at the 12:14 mark.

The Penguins grabbed their only lead of the second half at 60-59 on a fast-break layup by Hartfield but the Colonials responded by scoring the next eight points to grab a 67-60 lead with 6:22 remaining. YSU again battled back ultimately closing within 71-69 following a 3-pointer by Covington and free throws by Bohannon. Neither team was able to score for the next 2:37 before RMU's Matty McConnell knocked down a 3-pointer with 1:23 left in the game.

YSU pulled within three points twice in the final minute, the last time when Haygood made one of two free throws with 32.7 seconds left. RMU scored the next four points extending a 75-72 lead to 79-72 to seal the victory.

For the game, YSU shot 43.9 percent making 29-of-66 shots while grabbing 33 rebounds. RMU shot 53.1 percent for the game making 26-of-49 attempts. The Colonials attempted 13 more free throws then the Guins.

The Penguins return to action on Saturday when they travel to DePaul. Tipoff for the contest against the Blue Demons is set for 2 p.m.