The Battle for First in the Horizon League
By Steve Porter
The Detroit Titans, a team tied with Youngstown State and Oakland for 1st place in the Horizon League visited Beeghly Center last night. When the two teams met earlier this season in Detroit, the Titans defeated the Penguins by a score of 77-71.
Detroit took an early 6-2 lead but Youngstown State then scored 14 unanswered points to take a 10 point lead after 8 minutes of play. The Penguins continued to deploy a stout defense throughout the half and more importantly dominated the boards 25-13. The result was a commanding 40-22 halftime advantage. YSU’s offense was led by C Will O’Neil who scored 11 points.
Detroit cut the Penguins lead to just 6 points with 14 minutes to play. YSU regained a double-digit lead a few minutes later and was never seriously threatened thereafter. Youngstown State went on to down the Titans 72-59. The Penguins outshot Detroit 43% to 34% and completely owned the boards 52-31. YSU hit just 3 of 20 from beyond the arc, though.
C Will O’Neil scored 16 and hauled in 10 rebounds plus had 3 steals and 2 blocks. PF/C Andre Lilly scored 14. SG Matt Angner came off the bench to add 10 points. Oakland, which defeated UIC 60-50, remained tied for first place with the Penguins. YSU held Detroit’s top scorer, SG Copley Scott, to just 4 points.
“We usually do well on the boards, but this was by far our strongest rebounding game of the season,” said Coach KD Durst.
Nationally three teams have just one loss apiece this season. North Carolina (23-1) is ranked #1 in the polls with #2 UNLV sporting a 22-1 record, and #4 Gonzaga sitting at 20-1. Even though Maryland has 4 losses, they are ranked #3.
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