Five Reach Double Figures in 81-70 Win Over Robert Morris

Michael Akuchie (Photo by Robert Hayes)
Michael Akuchie (Photo by Robert Hayes)

Sophomore Darius Quisenberry scored a game-high 23 points and led four other players reaching double figures in an 81-70 win over Robert Morris on Wednesday evening at Beeghly Center.

Junior Michael Akuchie scored 13 points while Jelani Simmons posted 12 points and juniors Garrett Covington and Jamir Thomas each added 10 points for the Penguins, who improve to 5-4 overall and 4-0 at Beeghly Center.

Leading the Colonials, who fall to 2-8, was Jalen Hawkins with 17 points and Sayveon McEwen with 13 points.

Youngstown State, which led for 38:48, shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and led by as many as 16 points, 69-53, with 5:42 left after a layup by Simmons. The Colonials did not back down and went on a 17-7 run to get to cut the Penguins advantage to six, 76-70, with 50 seconds left. Covington split a pair of free throws, Simmons had a breakaway dunk and junior Christian Bentley made two charity tosses to seal the victory.

Leading by six at the half, 39-33, and by five, 45-40 with 16:33 left, the Penguins used an 11-4 run to built a 12 points advantage, 56-44, at the 13:06 mark. Jamir Thomas made two layups, Tyler Foster hit a jumper and Simmons scored five points, including a 3-pointer, during the YSU run.

In the first half, the Penguins scored the first eight points of the game on a pair of 3-pointers by Akuchie and two free throws by Covington. Two more free throws by Akuchie put the Penguins up seven, 10-3 at the 14:23 mark. After the a short run by the Colonials cut the lead to 10-7, Thomas made a pair of shots to extend the Penguins lead back to seven, 14-7, with 12:16 to go.

Robert Morris went on a 13-4 run to take its only lead of the game, 20-18, on a 3-pointer by McEwen with eight minutes left before halftime.

A basket by Bohannon and a 3-pointer by Cathcart regained the lead for the Penguins, 23-20, but the Colonials would get within one on three different occasions.

YSU hit three 3-pointers, two by Quisenberry and another by Simmons, to give the Penguins the six point halftime edge.

For the game, Youngstown State shot 45.9 percent from the floor, 42.1 percent from beyond the arc and 73.9 percent from the free-throw line.

The Penguins play their final non-league road game when they visit Western Michigan, Saturday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m.