By Dan Hiner
The Youngstown State University men’s basketball team entered their Horizon League first round matchup with the University of Detroit Mercy with some confidence that it could turn its season around and make a run at the conference championship.
Despite Detroit star Paris Bass’ suspension for the first half of the game, the Penguins lost their game with the Titans.
YSU (11-21, 6-13 in the Horizon League) couldn’t find an answer for Bass’ replacement, guard Carlton Brundidge.
Brundidge dominated YSU by using his size to create mismatches with Penguin defenders. He finished the game with a career-high 28 points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists.
Bass didn’t enter the game until 14:02 left in the game. Bass contributed seven points, eight rounds, an assist and a blocked shot.
While Brundidge was doing his damage in the post, his teammate Anton Wilson scored 23 points — 7-13 from the field, including 4-9 from behind the 3-point line.
Detroit (16-14, 10-9 in the Horizon League) did the most damage on the backboards. The Titans outrebounded the Penguins 42-27 and came away with 27 offensive rebounds, which led to Detroit scoring 22 second-chance points.
The Penguins were competitive until the 8:54 mark in the first half. At that point the YSU offense started to struggle due to turnovers and missed shots, and Brundidge and Wilson started to hit their shots — leading the Titans on a 18-2 run.
But YSU outscored Detroit 13-9 in the final 3:48 of the first half to cut the lead down to 47-36. YSU guard Cameron Morse had trouble finding an open shot against Brundidge. Morse scored 11 points in the first have, but was able to find more of a rhythm in the second half—finishing the game with 26 points and seven assists.
The YSU offense looked as if it turned things around early in the second half, but similar to the first half, the offense started to sputter and the defense couldn’t stop the Titans’ offense.
With 5:38 left in the game, YSU had a chance to cut the Detroit lead to within five. Forward Matt Donlan converted two out of his three free throw attempts after being fouled on a 3-point shot, but YSU allowed Wilson to answer with a 3-pointer and Detroit’s Jaleel Hogan scored on a layup the next possession.
YSU traded baskets with the Titans for the rest of the game, and despite trimming the lead down to single digits a few more times, the Penguins were never able to climb back into the game.
YSU 79, Detroit Mercy 92
YSU (11-21, 6-13) — Cameron Morse 7-10-26, Francisco Santiago 6-2-16, Matt Donlan 3-5-12, Jorden Kaufman 4-0-8, Brett Frantz 2-0-6, Bryce Nickels 2-1-5, Jordan Andrews 1-0-3, Sidney Umude 1-0-2, Latin Davis 0-1-1. Totals: 26-19-79.
Detroit (16-14, 10-9) — Carlton Brundidge 12-3-28, Anton Wilson 7-5-23, Jaleel Hogan 6-3-15, Josh McFolley 3-6-13, Paris Bass 2-2-7, Aaron Foster-Smith 2-0-4, Jarod Williams 1-0-2. Totals: 33-19-92.
YSU 36 43 — 79
Detroit 47 45 — 92
3-point field goals: YSU 8 (Morse 2, Santiago 2, Frantz 2, Donlan, Andrews); Detroit 7 (Wilson 4, Brundidge, McFolley, Bass).
Rebounds: YSU 27 (Kaufman 6, Santiago 5, Nickels 4, Donlan 4, Umude 3, Morse 3, Andrews, Team 1); Detroit 42 (Brundidge 9, Wilson 8, Bass 8, Hogan 7, Chris Jenkins 3, McFolley, Matthew Grant, Williams, Gerald Blackshear, Team 3).
Points in the Paint: YSU 26; Detroit 52.