Penguins Drop Hard-Fought Decision to Wright State, 79-72

Donel Cathcart III (Photo by Robert Hayes)
Donel Cathcart III (Photo by Robert Hayes)

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Fairborn, Ohio -- The Youngstown State men's basketball team turned in a gutsy performance, but dropped a 79-72 decision to Wright State on Saturday evening at the Nutter Center.

The Penguins fall to 11-9 overall and 4-3 in the Horizon League while the Raiders improve to 17-4 overall and 7-1 in the league.

Senior Donel Cathcart III led the Penguins with a season-high 21 points while sophomore Darius Quisenberry had 19 points and six assists. Junior Naz Bohannon posted 17 points with eight rebounds.

Leading the Raiders was Loudon Love with 21 points while Bill Wampler had 16 points and Cole Gentry added 11.

Gentry's 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock with 48 seconds left extended the Raiders lead from five to 76-68 and put the game out of reach for the Penguins.

Youngstown State battled back the entire second half starting with an 11-5 run to tied the game at 45-45 with 15:38 left after trailing by six. After the team's traded baskets, Wright State used a 16-6 run to take a 10-point lead, 63-53, midway through the half. 

The Penguins trailed by as many as 11 points three times, but were able to trim the lead down to five, 73-68, after a Quisenberry jumper with 2:02 to go. The Penguins forced a miss by Gentry, but Garrett Covington's floater was blocked by Love at the 1:15 mark and set up Gentry's game-sealing 3-pointer.

In the first half, the Penguins started slow making just one of their first eight field goal attempts and falling behind by as many as eight, 18-10, with 11:49 remaining before the break. Layups by Jamir Thomas, Cathcart, Jelani Simmons and another by Cathcart knotted the game at 18-18.

The Raiders regained a five point lead, 26-21, but two jumpers by Cathcart and a layup by Bohannon gave the Penguins their first lead of the game at the 3:44 mark. Bohannon also tied the game at 31-31 and scored the Penguins final five points of the half to get the Penguins within three at the intermission, 37-34.

Youngstown State begins a five-game homestand against Milwaukee on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Beeghly Center.