Morse, Hartfield lead YSU men over Milwaukee
By Brian Dzenis
Youngstown State didn’t need a buzzer beater from Cam Morse this time, but there’s no doubt he played a huge role Thursday night. The Penguins remain undefeated in 2018 and in the Horizon League after holding off Milwaukee 72-63. It’s the first time the Penguins have gone 2-0 in Horizon League play.
“I don’t think anybody thought we would win these games and that’s OK. You have to earn respect,” Calhoun said.
Morse led the Penguins (4-11, 2-0) with 25 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals. He previously provided a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat Cleveland State, 80-79, on Monday, but thought someone else had a bigger night.
“I gotta say, Garrett Covington is the real reason we won this game,” Morse said. “He might have scored [eight] points, but held Brock Stull to 1-for-14 shooting. That right there took care of the game.”
Stull is the leading scorer for Milwaukee (8-8, 1-2), averaging 14.8 points. He finished the game with seven points.
Braun Hartfield reached double figures with 17 points to go with four rebounds and three assists.
The Penguins seemed poised to blow out the Panthers judging by the game’s opening minutes.
Cameron Morse ignited a 15-4 run by shooting four for five for 10 points. As he cooled, so did the Penguins. He scored two points the rest of the half as the Panthers had an opening to crawl back in the game. An 11-5 Milwaukee run helped put the road side down by just two points at the half.
“They were just chipping away. This is a game of runs,” Morse said. “We made our run and they made their run and at the end of the day, we came out with the win because we outlasted their momentum.”
Early in the second half, Morse once again sparked a double digit lead. Back-to-back steals lead to back to back threes and a 44-34 leads. The Penguins collectively shot 52 percent in the second half, but the Panthers refused to go away.
The Panthers were able to get as close as 56-54 with 4:25 left. Despite giving up a five-point play with Naz Bohannon fouling a 3-point shooter and Garrett Covington turning the ball over after the ensuing three free throws, the Penguins were made five of six from the line to close out the contest
Calhoun confirmed that center Alex Wilburn has left the team and is transferring. The junior big left the team at the end of the fall semester and while Calhoun wouldn’t elaborate on why he was leaving, he said he and YSU support his decision. Wilburn appeared in four games for a combined 14 minutes.
Morse is one of 60 men’s and women’s basketball players nominated for the NCAA’s Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible, the athlete must show excellence in the community, classroom, character and competition. Morse, who is the only player from the Horizon League or a school from the state of Ohio selected, posted a 3.47 GPA in his most recent semester and is on track to graduate in May of 2018. His community service efforts involved in the Panerathon (a community walk/run event that raises money for breast cancer) several times. He also spearheaded an effort to deliver 60 cases of bottled water to his hometown of Flint, Mich.