Men's Basketball Drops Heartbreaker to Oakland, 76-74

Darius Quisenberry (Photo by Robert Hayes)
Darius Quisenberry (Photo by Robert Hayes)

For the second straight game, the Youngstown State men's basketball team overcame a double-digit, second-half deficit but suffered a disappointing 76-74 setback to Oakland on Sunday afternoon at the Beeghly Center.

Freshman Darius Quisenberry tied a career high with 21 points while junior Devin Morgan had 15 points, seven assists and three steals and sophomore Michael Akuchie added a season-high 11 points with five rebounds.

Five players scored in double figures for Oakland led by Brad Brechting's 19 points.

The Penguins (4-11, 0-2 Horizon League) trailed 57-45 at the 11:58 marks but used a 13-0 run over the next 2:08 to take a 58-57 lead. Akuchie began and ended the run with a pair of 3-pointers while Morgan made a two free throws and Quisenberry added an old-fashioned three-point play and two charity tosses between Akuchie's threes.

Oakland used an 12-2 run to retake a nine-point lead 69-60 with 6:13 to go but the Penguins continued to chip away.

Akuchie nailed his third 3-pointer of the game and Morgan hit a jumper to get back within four, 69-65, at the 5:38 mark.

After an Oakland basket, Quisenberry made two straight layups and Morgan tied the game at 71-71 with a jumper at the 3:09 mark.

A free throw and layup by Quisenberry gave the Penguins a 74-71 lead with 2:10 left.

Oakland scored the final five points of the game capped by a 3-pointer by Karmari Newman with 22 seconds left to give the Golden Grizzlies the two-point edge.

Morgan's game-tying attempt from 13 feet was short.

The Penguins shot 63 percent from the field in the second half and 50.9 percent for the game while the Golden Grizzlies connected on 55.8 percent from the field and 90.9 percent from the free-throw line. Oakland made 20-of-22 from the line, including 16-of-17 in the first half while YSU was just 9-of-18 from the free-throw line.

Youngstown State opens a four-game road swing against Green Bay, Thursday, Jan. 3. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.