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Hot-shooting Penguins overwhelm NKU

Cole+Murray+%2825%29+had+13+points+Saturday+in+NKU%27s+loss+to+Youngstown+State.
Cole Murray (25) had 13 points Saturday in NKU's loss to Youngstown State.

Cole Murray (25) had 13 points Saturday in NKU's loss to Youngstown State.

Matt Sexton

Matt Sexton

Cole Murray (25) had 13 points Saturday in NKU's loss to Youngstown State.

Matt Sexton, Sports Editor

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Five different Youngstown State men’s basketball players scored in double figures Saturday as the Penguins defeated Northern Kentucky 94-75 in the regular season finale for both teams.

With the win, Youngstown State (11-20 overall, 6-12 in Horizon League) vaults NKU for the seventh seed in the upcoming Horizon League tournament. NKU (9-20, 5-13) will be the 8-seed.

Todd Johnson gave the Norse a 14-13 lead with 11:31 left in the first half. Youngstown State’s offense exploded from there as the Penguins went on a 27-5 run over the next 8:38. YSU led 40-19 with 2:53 left in the first half.

NKU refused to go away. When Dean Danos hit a three with 14:18 left in the second half, the Norse had rallied to within five, 53-48.

Jake Geisler scored with 10:18 remaining to once again pull NKU within five, 60-55. From that point on, the Penguins stretched the lead back to double figures and were not threatened again.

Cole Murray led NKU with 13 points. Drew McDonald added 12 points and 8 rebounds, while Jalen Billups had 10 points.

Cameron Morse led YSU with 25 points. Francisco Santiago just missed a triple-double. He finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.

As the eighth seed, NKU will open the Horizon League tournament 2:30 p.m. Saturday against Milwaukee at Detroit’s historic Joe Louis Arena. Each team won on its home floor during the two regular season meetings. The most recent was Feb. 6, with NKU winning 75-71 at BB&T Arena.

Summary

Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016

@ Beeghly Center, Youngstown, Ohio

Youngstown State 94, Northern Kentucky 75

N — 27 – 48 — 75
Y — 46 – 48 — 94

(75) NORTHERN KENTUCKY (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Garnett 2-0-0-4, Billups 5-0-0-10, White 3-0-3-9, Holland II 4-0-0-8, Murray 5-3-0-13, Cole 1-1-0-3, Gillis 1-0-0-2, Giesler 1-0-0-2, Johnson 3-3-0-9, McDonald 3-0-6-12, Danos 1-1-0-3. TOTALS 29-8-9-75.

(94) YOUNGSTOWN STATE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Donlan 5-3-2-15, Kaufman 1-0-2-4, Santiago 5-0-5-15, Morse 8-3-6-25, Andrews 5-3-4-17, Umude 6-0-4-16, Nickels 0-0-2-2. TOTALS 30-9-25-94.

FIELD GOALS: N 29/77 (Murray 5/16, Billups 5/6, Holland II 4/12); Y 30/57 (Morse 8/16, Donlan 5/7, Santiago 5/10, Andrews 5/10)

3 POINT FIELD GOALS: N 8/34 (Murray 3/14, Johnson 3/5); Y 9/19 (Donlan 3/3, Morse 3/6, Andrews 3/8)

FREE THROWS: N 9/13 (McDonald 6/8, White 3/4); Y 25/33 (Morse 6/7, Santiago 5/5)

REBOUNDS: N 36 (McDonald 8, Murray 7, Billups 5, Garnett 4, Holland II 4); Y 38 (Santiago 10, Donlan 7)

ASSISTS: N 17 (Holland 7); Y 17 (Santiago 8, Morse 5)

STEALS: N 4; Y 5

BLOCKED SHOTS: N 3 (Billups 2); Y 2

TURNOVERS: N 9; Y 10

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Hot-shooting Penguins overwhelm NKU