The trip east on the Ohio Turnpike for the Cleveland State men's basketball team ended like most every other road trip this season for the Vikings, who fell to 10-12 on the year and 2-6 in Horizon League play after a 73-59 setback to host Youngstown State on Saturday afternoon at the Beeghley Center.
The Vikings, who once again had trouble with their offense, did get team highs with 19 points and nine rebounds from freshman guard Bryn Forbes, but saw an 18-0 run by the Penguins near end of the first half just too much to overcome.
After spending much of the opening half fighting back from an early deficit to take a 25-24 lead on a 3-pointer by Charlie Lee with 6:44 left, it was there that the Penguins ran away with only their third win in the last 12 meetings with Cleveland State.
The Penguin run included a pair of 3-pointers from Kamren Belin, who also had a traditional 3-point play along the way to push YSU out to a 42-25 lead. Belin had 15 of his game-high 24 points before the intermission while Damian Eargle had nine of his 14 points for the Penguins in the opening 20 minutes. Cleveland State stopped the bleeding with a basket by Forbes to leave the floor trailing 42-27.
The teams exchanged runs in the second half as Cleveland State moved from 17 down at 54-37 with a 13-2 run that included 3-pointers from Marlin Mason and Tim Kamczyc before Forbes cut the YSU lead to 56-50 with a 3-point play which were his final points of the afternoon.
The Penguins, 12-8 overall and 4-3 in the league with the win, then countered with their own 16-4 push that saw the Vikings limited to a 3-pointer from Kamczyc and a free throw from Devon Long.
Cleveland State, which failed to score 60 points for the fourth consecutive game and eighth time in the last 12 games, got 12 points from Lee, with 10 before the half and 10 points from Kamczyc, with all 10 in the second half.
Youngstown State had 17 from Kendrick Perry along with nine points and nine rebounds from D.J. Cole on the way to the Penguins' snapping a 3-game losing streak at home to the Vikings.
The Vikings are 10-2 when scoring 60 are more points but are 0-10 when held to less than 60 points. CSU's road record fell to 1-10 with the lone win coming Nov. 28 at Ball State.
Cleveland State has no mid-week game and returns to the road this Saturday, playing at Illinois-Chicago, which lost a 60-50 decision to the Vikings at the Wolstein Center back on Jan. 7.