Defense, Second-Half Shooting Lead Men's Basketball to 76-51 Win at Milwaukee

Garrett Covington (Photo by David Dermer)
Garrett Covington (Photo by David Dermer)

Milwaukee, Wis. -- Sophomore Garrett Covington scored 13 of his game-high 15 points in the second half to lead the Youngstown State men's basketball team to a decisive 76-51 win over Milwaukee on Saturday afternoon at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.

The Penguins improve to 5-12 overall and 1-3 in the Horizon League while the Panthers fall to 6-10 overall and 1-2 in league play.

Freshmen Darius Quisenberry and Jelani Simmons each scored 12 points while Noe Anabir had eight points and five rebounds off the bench. Quisenberry also dished out six assists and had three steals.

Milwaukee's Darius Roy led the Panthers with 11 points.

The Penguins held a slim 18-14 lead after a basket by Milwaukee's Vance Johnson with 7:06 left in the first half, but Youngstown State held the Panthers scoreless for the next 9:38. During that stretch, the Guins scored the final six points of the first half and the first seven of the second half to boost their lead to 31-14 with 17:41 left in the game.

A pair of layups by Covington and another by Simmons extended the lead to 36-15 before Milwaukee's Jamar Madge made three straight 3-pointers to cut the YSU lead down to 36-24 at the 13:29 mark.

The Penguins, who shot 57.6 percent from the field in the second half with eight 3s, pushed their lead back to 52-31 following a 16-7 run over the next five minutes. Michael Akuchie hit back-to-back 3-pointers to boost the YSU to game-high 27, 61-34, with 5:53 remaining.

Milwaukee struggled from the field the entire game shooting just 34.5 percent from the floor (19-of-55), 29.2 percent from 3-point range (7-of-24) and 50 percent from the free-throw line (6-of-12). The Penguins also outrebounded the Panthers 46-31 and had 19 second-chance points. 

For the game, YSU made 29-of-66 shots (43.9 percent) and knocked down 12 3-pointers. YSU led 24-14 at halftime before erupting for 52 points in the final half.

Youngstown State visits UIC, Thursday, Jan. 10. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.