Morse Leads Men's Basketball Past Milwaukee, 72-63

Cameron Morse (Photo by David Dermer)
Cameron Morse (Photo by David Dermer)

Senior Cameron Morse scored a season-high 25 points and made five 3-pointers to lead the Youngstown State men's basketball team to a 72-63 win over Milwaukee on Thursday night at the Beeghly Center.

With the win, the Penguins improve to 4-11 overall and 2-0 in the Horizon League. It marks Youngstown State first 2-0 start since joining the league in 2001-02. Milwaukee falls to 8-8 overall and 1-2 in the league.

Sophomore Braun Hartfield scored 17 points and drilled a late 3-pointer that boosted the Penguins lead to an insurmountable nine points, 65-56, with 1:27 left in the game. Morse connected on 9-of-16 shooting from the floor, including five 3-pointers, and had five rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Freshman Garrett Covington was the Penguins defensive stalwart limiting Milwaukee's top scorer, Brock Stull to seven points on just 1-of-14 shooting from the field.  Junior Tyree Robinson also turned another solid night with nine points on 4-of-6 six shooting from the floor.

Owning a two point lead at the intermission, the Penguins opened the second half on a 14-6 run to expand their lead to 10, 44-34, with 15:02 left. Morse hit back-to-back 3-pointers in a matter of 24 seconds to push the YSU edge from four to 10.

A basket by Robinson gave the Penguins a game-high 11-point lead, 46-35, with 14:19 to go.

Milwaukee, down nine with 6:07 left, went on a 7-0 run to get within two, 56-54, after a jumper by Bryce Nze.

A layup by Hartfield and a three-point play by Robinson pushed the Penguins lead back to seven with three minutes left.

After a bucket by Jeremiah Bell, Devin Haygood split a pair of free throws before Hartfield's 3-point dagger at the 1:27 mark put the game out of reach.

The Penguins made six of their first nine field-goal attempts, including their first three 3s, to take a 15-4 early lead. Morse had 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor.

UWM went on a 10-2 run to get within three, 17-14, but freshman Michael Akuchie hit a 3 put YSU up 20-14 at the 12:49 mark.

The Panthers took their first lead of the game, 21-20, after a 7-0 run on a 3-pointer and jumper by Jeremiah Bell and a tip-in by Brett Prahl.

A basket by Covington gave the Penguins a 22-21 lead with 9:14 to go but the Panthers pushed their lead to five after a 6-0 run.

After a 5:18 scoring drought, a jumper by Morse, layup by Robinson and two free throws by Hartfield regained the lead for the Penguins 28-27 and YSU took a 30-28 lead into the lockerroom at halftime.

Youngstown State concludes its short two-game homestand against Green Bay, Saturday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m.