With four games in the books, it seems we know almost nothing about the Youngstown State men’s basketball team. It’s not the Penguins’ (2-2) fault honestly. They’ve played almost four different types of games. Still, there is no problem with being a total unknown to start the year.
In the Penguins home opener, it hosted Division III Thiel College. With a 101-53 win over Thiel, the Penguins were able to get every active player on the roster some sort of playing time. That’s exactly why YSU schedules games like that. Darius Quisenberry finished the night with 16 points and six assists. Transfer Jamir Thomas finished with 13 points and eight rebounds in his first DI action.
PLAYING A POWER 5 SCHOOL
As a mid-major school, playing a power-5 school will always happen a few times. That was no different when YSU traveled to No. 5 Louisville (4-0) to take on the Cardinals. Louisville is now ranked No. 2 in the country but were fifth at the time of the match-up.
Surprisingly, the Penguins held its own for a good portion of the first half. Despite trailing 24-8 and 38-21, the Penguins only trailed by seven at halftime. Unfortunately, the talent gap was just a bit much as YSU lost 78-55. It was a good showing for a team that doesn’t have a complete identity. Naz Bohannon finished with 14 points and eight boards. Devin Morgan finished with 10 points and Thomas had 11 rebounds.
QUALITY ROAD OPPONENT
After it’s games on Nov. 5 and 10, the Penguins went back on the road to Lafayette, La. to take on the Ragin’ Cajuns (3-1).
Despite the 73-61 loss, the Penguins yet again showed a gritty attitude that allowed it to stay in the game for a long time. YSU led 29-26 at halftime and stayed close until the end of the game. Neither team had more than a six-point lead until after the under-4 timeout.
Yet again, Quisenberry led the Penguins with 18 points, four rebounds and four assists. He yet again is proving his candidacy for Horizon League first team.
GETTING A HOME WIN
The Penguins ended its first four games with two wins after it defeated North Carolina Central University (1-4). Despite the Eagles’ record, NCCU played a tough game. The Penguins led by as much as 16 in the first half but blew that lead late in the second half.
With a 66-60 win, YSU showed that they are sort of built to withstand tough matchups. Tied at 60 with 2:55 left, the Penguins used a mix of great defense and timely buckets to get the win.
Quisenberry again proved himself with 17 points and three assists. Bohannon was the star with 19 points and 11 rebounds. In his first career start, Geoff Hamperian came through with 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting and three made 3-pointers. It was an all-around effort that propelled it to victory.
The Penguins will end the week with a 7 p.m. tilt in Akron against the Zips on Nov. 21. It finishes the week with a road game at the University of South Carolina-Upstate at 2 p.m. on Nov. 23.