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YSU MEN Red-hot Butler topples Penguins



Published: Thu, February 24, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Bulldogs shot nearly 60 percent from the field in a 79-59 victory.

YOUNGSTOWN -- The Youngstown State men's basketball team ran into a red-hot shooting Butler team Wednesday night and the Bulldogs spoiled Senior Night for the Penguins, 79-59, before 2,047 fans at Beeghly Center.

Butler (12-14, 6-9 Horizon League) shot nearly 60 percent from the floor and almost 70 percent from 3-point range against the Penguins (5-21, 2-13).

The Bulldogs were even better in the first half when they shot 64 percent from the field and 85.6 percent from 3-point range in jumping out to a 44-32 advantage.

"A lot of it was them [Butler], but some of it was us," said YSU coach John Robic. "We had a couple of mental lapses out there and they made us pay big time for them. When you shoot 11-of-16 from 3-point range it's tough to make up for that."

Couldn't win for seniors

Robic said he was disappointed that the Penguins couldn't come up with a victory for the three departing seniors who were playing their final home game.

"It's always disappointing when you can't get your seniors a win in their final home game," he said.

"We turned the ball over too many times tonight," he added. "When this team gets down we have the tendency to press the issue and it causes more mistakes."

The Bulldogs just couldn't miss in the game, led by Brandon Polk (10-of-17) with 24 points, Bruce Horan (4-of-6 all 3-pointers) with 14, Avery Sheets (4-7) with 12 and 7-footer Jamie Smalligan (4-5, 2-3 from 3-point range) with 12.

Four in double figures

The Penguins put four players in double figures also led by senior Brian Radakovich with 14, while sophomore Quin Humphrey added 11 and senior Khari McQueen and junior Derrick Harris each added 10.

The Penguins didn't shoot poorly, hitting 22-of-47 field goals for 46.8 percent, and they outrebounded the Bulldogs, 25-22.

McQueen said it's been a long five years.

"I've had a fun experience, but it hasn't sunk in yet that I've played my last game here," he added. "Tonight, physically we played hard, but we had some mental lapses out there."

Radakovich also said that he'll carry a lot of memories from his career here.

"I'm disappointed tonight because we had a lot of confidence going into the game," he said.

Billy Clapper, the third senior who had played in only four games this year, got the starting nod from Robic.

"It was a great opportunity, something that I've worked hard for a long time and something that I'll never forget," said Clapper, who joined the team this year after two seasons as the team manager.

Butler jumps out early

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 12-2 advantage, but YSU used a 12-2 run midway in the half to deadlock the score at 18 before Butler hit back-to-back 3-pointers and regained the lead for good.

The Bulldogs hit 6-of-7 3-pointers in the half and were 16-of-25 from the field as they took a 44-32 lead at the intermission.

The Penguins got the lead down to nine points, 46-37, early in the second half before Butler went on a 9-0 run and took control.

The Bulldogs took a 21-point margin on a 3-pointer by Sheets with 12:55 remaining and never led by less than 19 the rest of the way. Their biggest margin was 25 points (77-52) following back-to-back 3-pointers by Sheets and Smalligan.

YSU will close out the regular season Saturday afternoon with a 4 p.m. contest at Detroit.




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