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Thursday Draws Standings Tighter for Closing Run Release  Bill Potter · @ · February 24, 2012

Men’s Basketball Scoreboard:
Youngstown State 61, Wright State 54
Cleveland State 77, Detroit 64
Milwaukee 72, UIC 61
Green Bay 73, Loyola 70 (ot)

About the only thing that was decided in Horizon League men’s basketball games on Thursday was that nothing was decided. After 17 games each, five teams are within one game of each other entering the last weekend of conference play.

Youngstown State 61, Wright State 54
Kendrick Perry scored a game-high 23 points and Youngstown State made a bit of history in picking up a 61-54 win over Wright State on Thursday night at the Beeghly Center and earn its 10th Horizon League win in the process.

The victory lifted Youngstown State (15-13, 10-7 Horizon) into a three-way tie for fourth place in the Horizon League, while Wright State (13-17, 7-10 Horizon) secured the No. 8 seed for the Horizon League Tournament after the loss. The Penguins also picked up their first win over the Raiders since February 2007 snapping a nine-game losing streak.

The Penguins’ eight-win turnaround from the 2010-11 season sets a new standard in the 10-team Horizon League; YSU is one win away from matching the overall League record, set by Cleveland State when it went from 3-13 to 12-6 from 2005-06 to 2006-07.

YSU opened the second half by scoring 17 of the first 20 points. En route to a 45-32 lead at the 14:50 mark, the Guins made 6-of-8 from the field including first three 3-pointers at the outset of the half.

Twice in the final seven minutes the Raiders managed to trim the deficit to four points. The first was 51-47 with 6:34 remaining. That instance, YSU answered by scoring six straight points. The second time was 57-53 with 3:34 left. YSU closed the contest by scoring seven of the contests final eight points.

For the game, YSU shot 44.9 percent (22-of-49, but connected on 57.1 percent in the second half (12-of-21). Wright State was held to 32.1 percent (18-of-56) for the night. The Raiders shot just 25 percent in the second half making seven field goals.

Blake Allen scored 17 to join Perry in double figures. Damian Eargle had 13 rebounds and scored eight points. He also finished with five blocks and now owns the Horizon League record for blocks in league-games only and for an entire season with 65 in League play and 113 on the year.

Vance Hall scored 13 points and was the only Raider to reach double figures.

In the first half, neither team led by more than four points. YSU's biggest advantage of the half was at 16-12 while Wright State's was three, the final time at 5:24 left when it led 21-18.

Wright State was able to take a 29-27 lead into halftime after Johann Mpondo converted a layup and John Balwigaire connected on a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left. In the opening half, Eargle's third block tied the Horizon League record for most swats in league-games only and cumulative for a season. Perry had nine in in the first half while Kendall Griffin had nine for the Raiders.

Cleveland State 77, Detroit 64
Led by freshman Marlin Mason’s career-high 15 points, Cleveland State used a strong second half effort, highlighted by the freshmen class, to claim a 77-64 win over Detroit in the Wolstein Center.

The win snaps a five-game losing streak for Cleveland State (21-9, 11-6 Horizon), while breaking Detroit’s (17-13, 10-7 Horizon) five-game winning streak.

CSU still has a shot for the No. 2 seed in the Horizon League Championship, needing a loss by Butler at Valparaiso on Friday night and then a CSU win over Wright State on Saturday.

Mason, who was making his second career start, hit 6-of-10 from the field and added nine rebounds. Trey Harmon led the Vikings with 16 points, while freshman Charlie Lee added 12 points and five assists.

Fellow freshman Ike Nwamu scored a career-high tying eight points to provide a spark off the bench.

The Titans jumped on the Vikings early, racing out to a 16-4 lead at the 11:50 mark of the first half. However, CSU began to chip away at the lead, cutting it to as few as three points on two occasions.

Detroit answered both times, regaining a nine point advantage (32-23) with 3:19 left in the half, but CSU was able to slice the deficit to six (38-32) at halftime.

The second half was a completely different story as CSU outscored the Titans, 45-26, over the final 20 minutes, holding Detroit to 5-of-23 (.217) shooting. The Titans did not make a field goal over the final 9:15 of the game as CSU put the game away.

The Vikings still did trail by four (48-44) with 12:42 left, but a Mason dunk and three-pointer by Nwamu gave CSU its first lead (49-48; 11:01) since 2-0.

The game went back and forth over the next four plus minutes as the Titans stayed in it at the free throw line, making six free tosses to stay within one (57-56) with 6:35 left.

However, a Nwamu layup, Mason free throw, layup in the lane by Lee and two free throws completed a 9-0 run that put CSU ahead, 66-56, with 2:51 left.

The run was put together with four freshmen - Lee, Nwamu, Mason, Anton Grady – and junior Tim Kamczyc on the floor.

Detroit closed within six thanks to four free throws, but CSU's defense once again took over a Harmon sealed it with a steal and three-point play to put the Vikings up 12 points (72-60) with one minute left.

Milwaukee 72, UIC 61
Kaylon Williams scored 19 points and added 10 assists as Milwaukee pulled away late to claim a 72-61 win over UIC Thursday night at the UIC Pavilion.

Tony Meier pitched-in with 17 points for the Panthers (18-12, 10-7 Horizon), who outscored UIC (8-20, 3-14 Horizon), 43-29, in the second half.

The win moved Milwaukee into a three-way tie for fourth place in the league standings and secured a home game in the first round of the league tournament next week.

The Panthers made 14 three-pointers in winning for the third-straight time. UWM also won at UIC for the fourth-straight year.

UWM bolted to an 11-point first-half lead before trailing by three at the half. But, the Panthers took the lead for good on a three-point play by Williams with 11:40 remaining and then hung on thanks to strong defense, two key three-pointers by Meier and solid free throw shooting.

The Panthers rode red-hot shooting to a double-digit lead early in the first half. In fact, after UIC scored the first five points of the game, Milwaukee scored 18 of the next 21 points in the contest to lead 18-8 just five minutes into the contest. UIC did close back to within 18-14 on a three-pointer by Daniel Barnes but Milwaukee struck back with another run of its own, going on an 11-4 burst to build a 29-18 advantage with 8:15 remaining.

UWM fell quiet from there, going without a basket for the final eight-plus minutes of the half. In that time, UIC scored 14 points, carrying a 32-29 lead into the locker room.

The Panthers did break their offensive slide right out of the gates in the second half and led 44-40 when Ryan Haggerty knocked in a three with 13:45 remaining. After UIC fought back to go ahead 45-44, five-straight from Williams restored a 50-45 advantage and UWM was up 56-51 on a Meier three with 5:20 left. Another three from Meier pushed the lead to 65-56 with 1:25 left and the Panthers hit seven free throws from there to secure the victory.

Ryan Allen added 11 points for the Panthers, while Marc Brown led a quartet of Flames with 17. Hayden Humes finished with 13, while Darrin Williams and Gary Talton each posted 11.

Green Bay 73, Loyola 70 (ot)
In one of the most exciting games of the Horizon League season, Kam Cerroni hit a 3-pointer with 0.4 second left in overtime, giving Green Bay a 73-70 victory over Loyola on Thursday night.

The last-second win kept Green Bay (14-14, 9-8 Horizon) within striking distance of a home game in the Horizon League Tournament; Loyola (8-21, 1-16 Horizon) narrowly missed out on closing within a game of UIC for the ninth seed in the tournament.

Cerroni’s triple followed a miss by Ben Averkamp on a go-ahead free throw with the score knotted at 70 and 8.4 showing on the clock. Off the miss, Green Bay threw a quick outlet pass to Steve Baker, whose drive to the rim was cut off. Running out of room under the basket, Baker kicked out to a wide open Cerroni, who rattled home the game-winner.

With 18 lead changes and 11 ties, neither team led by more than seven points. Green Bay staked claim to an early 12-5 lead before Loyola reeled off 10 straight points to take a 15-12 advantage. That set the stage for what turned out to be a see-saw affair the rest of the way.

Green Bay extended its 31-26 halftime lead to 44-37, but a three-pointer by Joe Crisman ignited a 12-4 Loyola run that put the hosts back on top, 49-48, with 10:41 remaining in regulation.

Cerroni nailed a three-pointer with 24 seconds left to give the Phoenix a 63-59 lead, but the resilient Ramblers refused to go away quietly. A basket by Averkampwith 10 seconds left brought Loyola within two points and after Alec Brown missed the front end of a one-and-one, Denzel Brito quickly pushed the ball up the floor to drive for a game-tying lay-up. Brito's shot glanced off the rim, but Averkamp was there to tip in the misfire just before the final horn sounded to send the game into an extra session.

The tip gave Averkamp his fourth double-double of the season, as the junior posted 26 points and 10 boards in defeat. Brennan Cougill led the Phoenix with 19 points. Alec Brown had a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while in his homecoming, Keifer Sykes scored 13 and Baker added 10.

Crisman added 12 for the Ramblers, while Jordan Hicks and Brito each chipped in 10.

Tags: Cleveland State - Men's Basketball · Detroit - Men's Basketball · Green Bay - Men's Basketball · Horizon League - Men's Basketball · Loyola - Men's Basketball · Milwaukee - Men's Basketball · UIC - Men's Basketball · Wright State - Men's Basketball · Youngstown State - Men's Basketball

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