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Penguins drop Horizon opener

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — Youngstown State missed its first nine shots of the second half as Northern Kentucky extended a 34-31 halftime lead to 45-34 with 15:49 remaining, and the Norse went on to a 79-64 win over the Penguins on Saturday in the Horizon League opener for both teams.

Michael Akuchie had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Penguins (3-1). Naz Bohannon added 12 points and nine rebounds. Darius Quisenberry had 11 points.

Marques Warrick and Adham Eleeda each registered 18 points for Northern Kentucky (3-3). Bryson Langdon chipped in 12 points and Trevon Faulkner had 11.

The teams face each other again today at 3 p.m. The game will be broadcast on WKBN-570 AM and on ESPN2.

The Penguins shot just 35 percent from the floor and 16.7 perent from 3-point range in the loss. NKU shot 54.5 percent from the floor, including 63 percent in the second half, and made 11 3-pointers.

Youngstown State’s largest lead was 15-8 in a first half which featured 10 lead changes and five ties.

After the Norse built their 11-point lead early in the second half, the Penguins battled back. A basket by Kenny Ganley Jr., and a free throw by Akuchie cut the deficit to eight, 45-37, but the Penguins got no closer.

Northern Kentucky led by as many as 19, 66-47, with 7:31 left.

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