The Penguins solved their shooting woes but couldn't translate it into a win.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Youngstown State men's basketball team hadn't won a game since before Christmas. In their last game, the Penguins didn't score in the final eight minutes. Then there was the Penguins' shooting -- which was under 40 percent from the field heading into Saturday night.
But the Penguins melted some of that cold shooting away against Cleveland State in Beeghly Center. Unofortunately for the home team, Cleveland State still prevailed, 78-77.
Cleveland State's last win came Jan. 8th -- against the Penguins.
Brian Radakovich and the Youngstown front court came alive in the second half, with Radakovich scoring a team-leading 18 points.
An onslaught of late Cleveland State 3-pointers hurt YSU. Steve Gansey hit a 3-pointer to take a 75-72 lead with less than two minutes remaining. Then Mike Redell swished a 3-pointer from the wing for a 78-73 Vikings lead with one minute remaining.
The way the second half opened, it looked as if Youngstown State was headed for another dry spell. Cleveland State opened with two three-point plays that erased a three-point Penguin halftime lead. YSU scored first on Brian Radakovich's putback, but Frashon McGee hit a shot and few Radakovich's foul. McGee calmly hit the shot to cut the Penguin lead to, 40-38.
The Vikings pushed ahead when Omari Westley was fouled on a lay-up and sank the foul shot for a 43-40 edge.
But McQueen fixed that with a 3-point play of his own. McQueen muscled himself in for a field goal and drew the foul, hitting the free throw and establishing a 50-49 lead. The teams swapped field goals on the next two possessions before a YSU steal that resulted in Radakovich's layup and a 55-51 lead.
The teams played a fast-paced, back-and-forth style most of the second half until Humphrey nailed a 3-pointer on the left wing for the 70-66 lead.
Good shooting in first half
Youngstown State was helped by four 3-pointers in the first half and 51.7 percent shooting from the field. Quin Humphrey led the Penguins with 11 points. Humphrey hit a 3-pointer from the wing to take a 11-10 lead early and later returned the favor with a pass to Zach Silverman, who hit from beyond the arc for a 23-19 edge. Khari McQueen hit 4-of-5 free throws for eight points.
Though Omari Westley scored on a hook shot to close the Youngstown lead to 20-19, the Penguins pulled away with Silverman's 3-pointer and good rebounding. The Penguins out-rebounded Cleveland State 18-14 in the first half. Silverman yanked down one of the rebounds from a Vikings miss and John Barber cashed in on the board with a jumper from the right wing for a 25-19 lead.
The Vikings shot 11-of-16 free throws in the first half, which kept them in the game in the first half. Cleveland State's Mike Redell pushed the ball downcourt on the final play before halftime, shooting and missing, but the Vikings rebounded and Justin Henderson hit a fade-away shot as time expired to shave the Youngstown lead to 38-35 at halftime.