YSU won its fourth league game to double last year's total.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- With sophomore Doug Underwood and junior Adam Baumann leading the way, the Youngstown State men's basketball team posted its fourth Horizon League victory of the season Thursday, 65-63 over Loyola of Chicago, at Beeghly Center.
Underwood scored a team-high 19 points and Baumann added 17, including the go-ahead basket with 46 seconds remaining. He also had a game-high 14 rebounds.
"It was an important win," said YSU coach John Robic. "It was a home game and our fans were just great tonight. The win doubled our league win total from a year ago and it tied us for fifth place."
Both YSU (8-12, 4-6 Horizon League) and Loyola (9-14, 4-6) are in fifth place. The top six teams in the league will earn a home game in the first round of the postseason tournament.
"Give our kids credit, they played hard and well," said Robic. "I really liked the first half when we took 38 shots and dominated the boards. The second half was a little different and we allowed them 18 offensive rebounds.
"The team responded to my challenge this week. We had two great practices on Tuesday and Wednesday and that was the key to this victory."
Back and forth
The Penguins led 59-51 with 7 minutes, 48 seconds remaining, then didn't score a point for over five minutes, missing six straight free throws during that span.
Loyola ran off nine straight points, meanwhile, taking a 60-59 advantage with 2:38 remaining. Baumann and Loyola's Paul McMillan each sank one free throw, then with 1:23 remaining, YSU's TeJay Anderson sank two foul shots to put the Penguins ahead 62-61.
Terrance Whiters put the Ramblers ahead 63-62 with a jump shot at the 1:08 mark, but with 46 seconds remaining Baumann converted an offensive rebound to put YSU ahead for good, 64-63.
Baumann blocked a shot by Loyola's David Bailey with 40 seconds remaining, but Loyola retained possession and Bailey was fouled by Underwood with 32.7 seconds remaining. Bailey missed the front end of the one-and-one and the Penguins rebounded. Baumann was fouled with 5.4 seconds remaining; he made the first free throw, missed the second one and Loyola grabbed the rebound and called timeout with 2.9 seconds remaining.
Corey Minnifield got off the final shot from near midcourt, but it missed the mark as the final buzzer sounded.
Anderson finished with 11 points, while senior Marlon Williamson dished out nine assists. Khari McQueen added five points and five rebounds in just 10 minutes off the bench.
The Penguins shot 45 percent from the field (27-of-60), including 59.1 percent (13-for-22) in the second half. They were outrebounded 46-44.
"We might not be winning on the road, but we are having a good year," said Robic. "We are 8-12, but making progress. The team can hold their heads high."
The Penguins travel to Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne Saturday at 3 p.m.