MEN'S BASKETBALL Second-half scoring drought sinks YSU
The Penguins were held scoreless during the final nine minutes in a 50-37 loss to Butler.
INDIANAPOLIS -- After a lackluster first half where the teams combined for just 35 points, Butler hit nine of its first 10 shots in the second half and held Youngstown State scoreless for the last nine minutes of the game to secure a 50-37 win Wednesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Junior Brandon Polk came off the bench to score 14 points to lead the Bulldogs (7-8, 2-3 Horizon League).
Quin Humphrey, who along with Brian Radakovich played all 40 minutes of the game, led the Penguins (3-14, 1-6) with 15 points. Radakovich added 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
The point total was the lowest for a YSU team since a 47-34 defeat at Steubenville on Jan. 23, 1974.
Polk shot 6-of-11 from the field and tied for the team-high with six rebounds, but the story of the night was the Butler defense, which forced the Penguins into 41-percent shooting and 13 turnovers.
"We felt the two areas we needed to concentrate on were rebounding and guarding with a purpose," said Butler coach Todd Lickliter. "We needed all five players to be in tune with what we were doing so we could help appropriately. In the past, we've helped when we didn't need to and didn't help when we could have used it. I thought we did a good job tonight and that is encouraging."
On the glass
Butler held a 29-21 advantage on the glass, including an 11-4 edge on the offensive end. Sophomore Nick Brooks had six rebounds, and Avery Sheets added 10 points, five rebounds and four steals.
"I'm very upset that we lost; I was not disappointed in the effort," said Youngstown State coach John Robic. "It was the most fun I've had coaching in a game in a long time."
"I can't be disappointed in how hard we played; it was a terrific defensive effort," he added.
The Bulldogs shot 61 percent in the second half. A layup by Brooks with 8:41 to play gave the Bulldogs a 41-37 advantage and started an 11-0 run to finish the game, as the final score was Butler's largest margin.
Bruce Horan hit a pair of 3-pointers in the run.
"Horan made his only two shots of the night on a play they hadn't run all year to that extent," said Robic.
Robic added the Penguins, who were 4-of-13 from 3-point range, started trying to long-range shots a little too early.
"We took two bad shots at not the right time," he said. "The guys on the court panicked a little bit; they saw the score and thought '3' when we needed to get it inside."
Youngstown State returns to Beeghly Center on Saturday where the Penguins will play host to Cleveland State at 2 p.m.