Offense hits its stride in win
The Penguins had five players in double figures against Detroit.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- What a difference two days makes.
Two days ago the Youngstown State men's basketball team couldn't buy a basket in a 66-51 loss to Detroit, but Saturday night the Penguins couldn't miss as they rolled past UW-Milwaukee 81-63 before 3,982 fans at Beeghly Center.
Led by their shooting trio of seniors Quin Humphrey and Keston Roberts and junior Byron Davis the Penguins (8-10, 3-3 Horizon League) could do no wrong against the Panthers (5-14, 2-4).
Humphrey led the way with 22 points, while Davis added 17 and Roberts 14. Junior John Barber chipped in with 12 points and sophomore Jack Liles added 10 as YSU had five players in double figures.
"The kids played hard tonight and they shot the ball with a lot of confidence," said YSU head coach Jerry Slocum.
"Byron Davis set the tone for us tonight, he played a great game," Slocum said. "He was patient and took good shots."
"We only have to give ourselves a chance offensively, because we know we'll be in the game defensively," he added.
"It feels good to be 3-3 in the conference and know that we are still fighting for one of those home playoff spots in the tournament," he added.
The Penguins, who shot 46.2 percent in the first half, were even better in the second half hitting 52.9 percent and they also outrebounded the Panthers 43-36.
Humphrey, who also pulled down 11 rebounds, had his 13th career double-double for the Penguins.
The Penguins never trailed after the 5:45 mark of the first half and its biggest lead was 19 points with 3:43 remaining in the contest.
Davis, Humphrey and Roberts all took turns leading the Penguins on second half runs, but it was Liles, who scored the bucket that put the Penguins to their biggest margin 71-52.
"It was a very good win," said Slocum, who a day earlier celebrated his 54th birthday.
"We been very successful in the second half this season which causes me to be very nervous during the first half of most games, because I know if we can stay close we have a chance the way we've been playing in the second half.
Davis and Humphrey ignited the Penguins in the first half, scoring 10 and nine points respectively.
Ahead for keeps
It was Davis who stole the ball and drove the length of the court for a dunk that put the Penguins ahead for keeps in the first half at 20-18.
Roberts, who missed his first five shots from the field and even a free throw, finally found the range late in the first half hitting a basket and then a 3-point shot right before the buzzer.
The Penguins will take to the road for their next contest on Wednesday night against nationally-ranked Butler. The Bulldogs were ranked 12th in the country this past week, but a loss to UIC last week will probably drop them in this week's listings. Tip-off for the Butler game is 7 p.m.
The Penguins will return home next Saturday for a 7:05 contest against Cleveland State at Beeghly.