Penguins Second-Half Rally Falls Short Against Detroit Mercy, 78-66

Donel Cathcart III (Photo by Robert Hayes)
Donel Cathcart III (Photo by Robert Hayes)

The Youngtown State men's basketball team erased a 15-point, second-half deficit but eventually dropped a 78-66 decision to Detroit Mercy on Friday afternoon at the Beeghly Center.

The Penguins fall to 4-10 overall and 0-1 in Horizon League play while the Titans improve to 4-9 overall and 1-0 in the league.

Junior Donel Cathcart III led the Penguins with 17 points while sophomore Garrett Covington scored 15 points and freshman Darius Quisenberry added 12 points with six rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Leading the Titans was freshman Antoine Davis with 27 points. Four others reached double figures for the Titans, including Josh McFolley with 14, Derrien King with 13, Harrison Curry with 12 and Lamar Hamrick with 10.

The Penguins, who trailed 46-35 at halftime, fell behind by 52-37 just more than two minutes into the second half after a pair of 3-pointers by Davis.

Youngstown State scored the next 10 to the lead down to five, 52-47, with 15:22 left. Quisenberry hit a 3-pointer followed by baskets by Covington and senior Noe Anabir and an old-fashioned three-point play by Quisenberry.

After a basket and a free throw pushed the Titans lead back to eight, 55-47, the Penguins went on a 9-0 run to take a 56-55 lead, their first it was 9-7 at the 14:21 mark of the first half. Cathcart sparked the run with a pair of free throws after a technical foul on Detroit Mercy's Curry and a 3-pointer that cut the deficit to one, 55-54, with 12:03 left. Covington's layup at the 10:23 gave the Penguins the one-point advantage.

Olamide Pedersen's tip-in tied the game at 60-60 with 7:42 remaining but the Titans outscored the Penguins 13-4 over the next five minutes to take a 73-64 lead with 2:19 left.

Youngstown State hosts Oakland, Sunday, Dec. 30, at the Beeghly Center. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m.