In everything that senior Kendrick Perry has accomplished in his four-year career at Youngstown State University, he’s done it all.
Well, one would think so. Perry set a new career-high with 35 points Thursday night at Beeghly Center, propelling YSU to an 88-83 overtime victory against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
It wasn’t just Perry that put the Penguins (15-13, 6-7 Horizon League) over the edge. Ryan Weber’s 3-pointer and layup in 48 seconds in overtime gave YSU an 84-83 advantage with 1:05 remaining.
After Perry hit two free throws with 27.3 seconds remaining, DJ Cole nailed two free throws on four attempts to seal the victory.
The win puts YSU in a virtual three-way tie for fifth place in the conference along with the Panthers (16-11, 6-7). The University of Detroit Mercy is the third team tied for fifth.
Along with his 35 points, Perry also tallied five assists, nine rebounds, four steals and five 3-pointers. Kamren Belin and Bobby Hain each scored 14 points. Hain also collected nine rebounds.
For UWM, Austin Arians led with 28 points. JeVon Lyle scored 15 points while J.J. Panoske had 11. Both players came off the bench. UWM was without leading scorer Jordan Aaron due to a suspension. He scored 27 points in the Panthers’ 82-76 victory over YSU on Jan. 2.
The Penguins entered the game averaging 21 points in their last two first halves against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and the University of Illinois at Chicago. YSU greatly improved that mark but still trailed, 36-34, at halftime.
The Penguins’ 7-0 scoring run up until the 4:04 mark gave them a 30-25 lead before UWM ended on an 11-4 run. The Panthers collected two steals with less than a minute remaining in the half.
The Panthers built a huge 10-point lead with 10:29 remaining in the second half despite a 7-0 scoring run by the Penguins. UWM countered with a 9-0 run.
Then, out of nowhere, something clicked for YSU as it sprinted to a 15-2 scoring run and gained its first lead of the second half, 62-59, at the 6:33 mark. Perry scored 10 points during the stretch.
YSU had its chances before overtime hit. With 1:11 remaining, the Penguins didn’t hit the rim in time. YSU led, 74-71, before Steve McWhorter nailed the game-tying 3-pointer with less than a minute remaining. He later fouled out early in overtime.
The Penguins also turned it over with 32.4 seconds left and burning their final two timeouts in the process. UWM turned it over with 1.9 seconds remaining that ultimately sent the game into overtime.
In overtime, Perry collected his fourth foul with 3:36 remaining, but Lyle missed both free throws. Weber then picked up his fourth foul with 2:05 left. Arians made all three free throw attempts.
Shortly after, Weber nailed a 3-pointer that gave YSU a one-point advantage with 1:53 remaining. He later made a layup that put YSU up for good with 1:05 remaining.
The Penguins’ next game is at Valparaiso University on Saturday as the season winds down.