Men’s basketball tournament hopes cut short

By Cameron Stubbs

The Youngstown State University men’s basketball team had its historic season cut short as it took a loss in the first round of the Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship.

This loss to Robert Morris University was the third straight for the Penguins. The last two came while on the road during the regular season.

Finishing off the regular season, the Penguins matched up with Wright State University.

The Raiders took down the Penguins 84-71 despite four Penguins scoring in double figures.

Leading the way was sophomore Shemar Rathan-Mayes with 20 points and senior Tevin Olison with 19, while also knocking down four 3-pointers.

Senior Michael Akuchie and junior Dwayne Cohill both scored 12 points each.

Wright State had two players score 27 or more points, overwhelming the Penguins’ defense. 

Of the 84 points scored by the Raiders, 54 of them came down inside the paint. Many of these points came off good passes, which is why Wright State beat out Youngstown State in the passing game with 13 more assists.

The 13-point loss was followed by a 14-point loss to Northern Kentucky University in the next game. The 75-62 loss caused more problems for Youngstown State.

Olison led the scoring with 15 points followed by sophomore William Dunn with 14 points. Sophomore Myles Hunter also contributed off the bench with 13 points.

The Norse won the game by outshooting the Penguins. 48% from 3-point led the way for them as the Penguins’ last lead was at the 3:51 mark in the first half.

The losing streak continued into the round one matchup versus Robert Morris.

The 77-73 loss came down to an action-packed final minute where Cohill scored 11 points to try to lead a comeback.

Being down by as many as 20 points, the Penguins fought to get back in the game and continue their tournament play, but a well rounded game by all of the Robert Morris starters stalled the comeback.

Going 1-for-18 in a 12-minute stretch was the main culprit of the loss. Shots not falling contributed to spirited defense as well.

Head coach Jerrod Calhoun saw this firsthand and commented on it in his post game interview.

“I just think the ball didn’t go down,” Calhoun said. “When we didn’t score I think we let that affect our defense.”

Three straight losses have the rest of the season up in the air for the Penguins. Now, it’s a waiting game as there is still hope to be invited to a postseason tournament.

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