Youngstown State University came out like a ball of fire against league-leading Valparaiso. After leading by as many as 13 and by seven at the half, YSU was outscored 40-24 in the second half. Blake Allen knocked down 22, but the Penguins fell 73-64.
With the loss, YSU falls to 16-13 on the season with one game left to play at Wright State on Saturday. The last regular season game could be played without Kendrick Perry who is still out with a knee injury he suffered at practice last Wednesday. Perry will be evaluated again before a decision on his status is made.
Valpo got 21 points out of Ryan Broekhoff (below) and 14 more from Kevin Van Wijk on Senior Night. The Crusaders improved to 23-7 on the season and avenged a loss to the Penguins in Youngstown earlier in the campaign.
Allen’s 22 points came on 8-16 shooting, including a 4-4 performance from the free throw line. D. J. Cole poured in 15 points, and Damian Eargle had 12 points to go along with his three blocked shots.
YSU Coach Jerry Slocum knew the visit to Indiana would be a tough one.
“I am sure they [Valparaiso] will be ready for us”, said Slocum after Saturday’s Bracketbuster win. “It is Senior Night there and they will be reminded that we beat them here. They are a great team and it will be a very tough challenge.”
Give the Penguins credit for playing with a lot of heart without one of their most essential ingredients, in Perry, against the Crusaders.
Season finale happens at the Nutter Center on Saturday as the Penguins face Wright State, who also lost on Tuesday night, 60-55, at UIC. I will be at the game and covering away, check here for results and photos. Tip off for the final regular season game for 2012-13 is 2 p.m.