Strong Second Half Leads Men's Basketball to 75-74 Win at Oakland

Darius Quisenberry (Photo by Jose Juarez)
Darius Quisenberry (Photo by Jose Juarez)

Rochester, Mich. -- Four players scored in double figures and the Youngstown State men's basketball team used a strong second half en route to a 75-74 road win at Oakland on Thursday night at the O'Rena.

The Penguins improve to 7-16 overall and 3-7 in the Horizon League while the Golden Grizzlies fall to 10-13 overall and 6-4 in the league.

Freshman Darius Quisenberry scored a game-high 23 points while sophomores Garrett Covington and Michael Akuchie each had 11 points and freshman John Sally, Jr., scored a career-high 10 points. Akuchie just missed a double-double with a career-high nine rebounds.

Leading Oakland was Brad Brechting with 21 points and 18 rebounds and Jaevin Cumberland with 19 points. Xavier Hill-Mais also posted 14 points.

In a game featured seven ties and 10 lead changes, including nine in the second half, Quisenberry's driving layup and steal and Covington's third 3-pointer of the game gave the Penguins a 69-66 lead with just 1:40 to go.

After a pair of free throws by Brechting cut the lead to one, Quisenberry's layup gave the Penguins a three-point edge, 71-68, but he did not convert the three-point play at the 1:09 mark. Oakland made two more charity tosses but Quisenberry answered with another layup to take a 73-70 lead with 25 seconds left.

The Penguins fouled Oakland's Braden Norris with four seconds left and he split two free throws, but Quisenberry sealed the game with two free throws with four seconds left. Oakland hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the game's final score.

The Penguins, who trailed by as many as 10 in the first half and by seven at the half, fell behind by eight, 46-38, early in the second half. A 7-1 run over a span of two minutes and 21 seconds got the Penguins within two, 47-45 at the 14:45 mark. 

Oakland Karmari Newman hit a 3-pointer put the Golden Grizzlies back up five, but a pair of free throws by Kendale Hampton and a 3-pointer by Devin Morgan knotted the game for just the second time at 50-50. A layup by Morgan at the 9:40 mark gave the Penguins their first lead since 2-0 at the 19:01 mark of the first half.

Youngstown State limited the Golden Grizzlies to just 10.7 percent shooting from behind the arc (3-of-28) while the Penguins made 11 3-pointers.

The Penguins visit Detroit Mercy, Saturday at 1 p.m.