Belin scores 32 points, but YSU falls
By JOE CATULLO
Trailing by three points with 13 seconds remaining at Kent State on Wednesday night, Youngstown State had an opportunity to tie the game.
Kris Brewer attempted a 3-pointer and missed. The ball bounced off the front of the rim and to the right. Hands flew for the ball, and it deflected off Ryan Weber, giving KSU another possession.
Kendrick Perry fouled Derek Jackson with 10 seconds remaining. Jackson missed his first free-throw attempt but nailed the second, sealing the game with YSU out of timeouts. Weber attempted a corner 3-point shot and missed with four seconds left. YSU fell, 83-79.
The Penguins’ best player on the floor was Kamren Belin. He led all scorers with a career-high 32 points. He also tallied seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks. His previous high was 24 points against Cleveland State on Jan. 26.
Perry finished with 15 point for YSU (6-2). He was named 19th out of 50 top NBA prospects based on early season games by breitbart.com on Monday. Weber also finished with a double-digit figure (10 points).
For the Golden Flashes (7-1), Jackson finished with a team-high 15 points. He was one of five players to finish with double-digit points (four starters). Brewer scored 14 points while K.K. Simmons collected 12 (nine in the second half) off the bench.
YSU led, 27-24, with 3:14 remaining in the first half before KSU surged. The Flashes ended the first half on a 15-6 scoring run and led by 12.
The Penguins retaliated with a 14-4 run of their own to begin the second half, tying the game at 44 with 15:30 to play. During this stretch, starter D.J. Cole injured his left ankle and did not return. Marcus Keene took over the role.
KSU slowly gained a slight four-point advantage before bolting to a 10-3 scoring run. The Flashes took a 78-69 lead at the 2:52 mark before Keene made two free throws.
YSU then went on a 7-2 run, capped off with a Perry steal and dunk. The Penguins trailed, 80-76, with 1:26 remaining in the game.
Brewer hit two free throws with 55 seconds left before Belin made a 3-pointer, YSU’s final three points of the game. YSU trailed, 82-79, before Jackson hit the game-clinching free throw.
Next for the Penguins is a home game against Austin Peay at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday. It will be the second game of a doubleheader as the women’s basketball team hosts West Virginia at 4:35.