By John Ostapowicz
The Youngstown State University men’s basketball team continued its five-game road stretch with the first 5-2 start since the 2013-14 season.
The Penguins traveled to Annapolis, Maryland to take on the University of California, San Diego and The United States Naval Academy in the MTE Classic at Alumni Hall Nov. 19 and 20.
Youngstown State kicked off the tournament with a win against the Tritons, 73-54, and marked head coach Jared Calhoun’s 200th win of his career, moving him into fourth place in program history with 76 wins.
“You go back to year one, then six, then you see the changes not only in the win total, but in the way our community looks at our program and the rest of the league with the players we have,” Calhoun said.
Within the game, four players reached double figures, which was led by senior Dwayne Cohill and graduate student Bryce McBride. The pair went to work with Cohill putting up 18 and McBride with 16.
With the win, Youngstown State headed into Nov. 20 for the first-ever meeting against Navy, but fell short, 80-67.
Despite the loss, graduate student Malek Green scored his 1,000th career point and five players crept into double digits. Amongst the team, junior Shemar Rathan-Mayes led the way with 15 points along with graduate student Adrian Nelson recording a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
“It was good, I played a lot of basketball.” Green said. “It is a big achievement, but it is what it is.”
For the first time in 21 years, the Penguins traveled to Macomb, Illinois on Nov. 26 to take on their former Mid-Continent Conference opponent, Western Illinois University.
The 33rd meeting between the two saw Youngstown State defeating the former conference opponent, 88-64. The Penguins’ last win against Western Illinois was 59-58, Jan. 27, 2000.
Offensively, Green tied a season-high with 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the paint. Nelson also contributed by posting his fifth double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. He also recorded a personal best five steals.
To round out the Penguins long road stretch, Ethan Faulkner has been named associate head coach of the men’s basketball team in his fourth season. Faulkner has aided the Penguins in 55 victories over his tenure within the program.
The Penguins started conference play against Northern Kentucky University, Dec. 1, at BB&T Arena in Highland Heights, Kentucky. This is the 25th meeting between Youngstown State and Northern Kentucky, dating back to 1976.
Youngstown State looks to put a dent in the all-time series record, which the Norse owns, 14-10. For more information and stats on the game, check out ysusports.com.
The men’s basketball team looks to finish its five-game road stretch with a conference win against Wright State University, Dec. 4. The Raiders currently sit atop of the Horizon League standings at 5-2.