Youngstown State University guard Kendrick Perry summed up the Penguins 88-83 triple overtime loss to the University of Illinois at Chicago with one word.
“Tough,” Perry said. “We did a bunch of good things to put us in a position to win, but at the end of the day, they just had a couple better plays than us.”
As the final seconds ticked away, YSU led the Flames 57-55, until a floater by UIC’s Gary Talton sent the game into overtime.
With 5.9 seconds remaining in the first overtime, the Penguins held possession but trailed, 66-63.
The junior guard knocked down a fading 3-pointer with a hand in view, erupting the Beeghly Center crowd of more than 2,000 fans and sending the game to double overtime.
“I just tried to see my opportunity and take it,” Perry said. “Marc Brown is an excellent defender. He got a hand up on me and I was just blessed that the shot went in.”
However, YSU couldn’t carry that momentum into the second overtime period. With 29 seconds left and the game tied at 72, Perry missed a shot that would have put YSU ahead.
UIC received the final possession of the second OT but failed to get a shot off.
Still, it was all Flames in the third overtime. UIC built a 78-74 advantage that YSU could never recover.
A layup by Perry – who led the Penguins with 29 points – briefly cut the deficit to 78-77 with 1:05 remaining. But a 3-point shot by Daniel Barnes on the next Flames possession diffused any hopes of a YSU comeback.
“I thought we played well enough to win, and we also played poor enough to give it away,” Jerry Slocum said. “I thought we battled, but we met the enemy tonight, and that enemy was us.”
Blake Allen scored 16 points for the Penguins, breaking YSU’s all-time record of 3-pointers made, which was 198. Knocking down 5 of 14 attempts, Allen is at 202.
Kamren Belin added 14 points for the Penguins before fouling out.
“I don’t think we executed very well,” Slocum said. “We had a foul to give at the end of regulation. We’re talking, telling everybody underneath to foul. They take four dribbles backward with five seconds left. It’s just stuff like that where we didn’t execute.”
YSU is now 15-10 on the season, including 6-6 in the Horizon League. The Penguins are off until Friday, when they host the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at 7:05 p.m.