By Cameron Stubbs
The Youngstown State University men’s basketball team was back in action to finish its last two home games of the season this past weekend.
The end of the homestand was a thriller against the University of Illinois Chicago. Down 6 points at halftime, the Penguins battled back to score 49 points in the second half to secure the win.
The 88-79 win was led by junior Dwayne Cohill, who recorded a near triple-double as he set a career high with 31 points. Contributing eight rebounds and seven assists, Cohill felt he was in a groove the whole game, as he stated in his postgame press conference.
“I was just finding my spots,” Cohill said, “I wasn’t really trying to force anything, I just let the game come to me and it just happened to be a career night for me.”
Senior Michael Akuchie was also a force against the Flames as he posted his seventh double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Akuchie is seen as the leader of the team and his role is magnified after every win and every loss. He spoke on this and his teammates’ roles as well after the game.
“Everybody plays a role, I just understand that me being a fifth-year senior, I’ve been through a lot of things. So obviously my role is different than others. We all know everyone has a role to play. We’re locked in. We’re ready to go.” Akuchie said.
Big roles were played by sophomores Shemar Rathan-Mayes and Myles Hunter, who scored in double figures with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The last home game for the Penguins’ regular season was a historic one as this men’s team accomplished what no other Youngstown State team had ever done.
The 74-61 win versus Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis brought the total number of conference wins for the Penguins to a school-record 12 wins. The icing on top was that this feat was completed on Senior Day.
The game was against the six-man team of IUPUI. Hindered by injuries and several cases of COVID-19 within the team, the Jaguars still put up a fight.
The Penguins were led by Akuchie with a 21-point, 13-rebound double-double. Cohill and senior Tevin Olison followed behind with 19 and 15 points, respectively.
Head coach Jerrod Calhoun feels the team is on the brink of something special, as he stated his thoughts in his post game press conference.
“You only get so many times when you have really good teams to do something special. We want to capitalize on the momentum we have of our program, and continue to build this thing.” Calhoun stated.
The men’s basketball team hits the road for its final two regular season games. First, against Wright State University tonight, Feb. 24, and Northern Kentucky University on Saturday Feb. 26.
The previous matchup versus Wright State this season resulted in a three-point win that saw the Penguins score 90 for the third time this season.
The last game versus Northern Kentucky was a 1-point loss in a game that came down to the very last second.
Follow along on YSUsports.com to stay updated on the Penguins seeding position for the upcoming tournament.