Covington’s buzzer-beater lifts YSU vs. Milwaukee


Covington’s shot helps YSU win 3 straight

By Brian Dzenis

bdzenis@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Garrett Covington refused to let another close game slip away at Beeghly Center.

Covington had made just two shots Thursday night entering the final five seconds of Youngstown State’s contest against Milwaukee, but Darius Quisenberry kicked out one final pass to the sophomore, who nailed the corner 3-pointer at the buzzer for 72-71 win.

“This whole season, we’ve been battle tested. I think we’re finally stepping up,” Covington said. “This is perfect for us right now. We’ve been in a lot of games and lost them in the last couple of minutes. I think we’ve learned from that experience and are starting to grow.”

Covington’s shot capped off a stretch in which the Penguins fell behind by two with 26 seconds left and saw the deficit grow to four with 12 seconds left after Devin Morgan missed a 3-pointer and Milwaukee’s Darius Roy made two foul shots. Quisenberry blasted down the court for a layup and an and-one bucket to make it 70-69 Milwaukee with seven seconds left.

The Penguins then fouled Roy again and he missed the first free throw and hit the second, opening the door for Covington’s shot.

“I knew they were going to collapse. They had been collapsing on drives all game,” Covington said. “[Naz Bohannon] made a great cut and it left me wide open.”

The shot was subject to video review, but was quickly signalled good.

“Between the heat — I thought it was really hot [in the Beeghly Center] and the 10 seconds of looking at the monitor to see if the shot was good or not, I was ready to find the nearest trash can to vomit,” YSU coach Jerrod Calhoun said.

YSU (9-16, 5-7 Horizon League) has won three straight and its first Division I contest in Beeghly Center this season. The win also lifts the Penguins into eighth place in the Horizon League, which puts them in line for a conference tournament bid. Milwaukee (9-15, 4-7) now sits in ninth place, just ahead of last-place Cleveland State.

“This is a boost of confidence for us. We’re trying to keep the city involved and our fans coming out,” Morgan said. “We finally got over the hump. I think as a group we’re maturing. Early in the season, we would have lost games like this.

“It’s great that we’re actually winning these games in the conference. It shows that we’re paying attention to detail in practice.”

Morgan led the Penguins with 21 points of the bench, including five 3-pointers. Naz Bohannon turned in a double double of 15 points and 11 rebounds — including seven offensive boards — which had Calhoun calling him the MVP of the game.

“Naz Bohannon was a monster and forget the stats. This program needs leadership,” Calhoun said. “Last year we had Francisco Santiago and Cameron Morse — seniors — and we’ve got sophomores and freshmen and I heard him through out the whole game.”

Bohannon has scored at least 15 points in three of his past four games.

Roy scored 20 points to lead Milwaukee and DeAndre Abram and Amir Allen each added 13.

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