Too hot to handle
Flames winning streak ends at 4 vs. surging YSU
February 18, 2019
That buzz saw was Youngstown State freshman point guard Darius Quisenberry, who scored a career-high 37 points, in the Penguins' 81-73 victory over the Flames at the Beeghly Center in Youngstown, Ohio.
When Quisenberry wasn't making clutch baskets, he was living at the free-throw line. He was 10-for-19 from the field and 14-for-16 from the charity stripe for the Penguins (12-16, 8-7 Horizon League), who won their sixth straight.
The Flames (14-13, 8-6) led for nearly three-quarters of the game and held a double-digit in the first half for the third straight contest.
Godwin Boahen scored 20 points, Marcus Ottey contributed 18 points, Tarkus Ferguson had 14 points and eight rebounds while Jordan Blount added 10 points for UIC, which led by as many as 12 points in the opening half.
Ottey scored seven points and Boahen had six during UIC's 19-7 run to start the game.
Even after Penguins rallied back, the Flames still led 34-30 after Ferguson's 3-pointer with 3:25 left in the first half.
Quisenberry hit a layup off a steal as YSU took its first lead of the game at 37-36 with 1:58 before half. The Penguins surged to a 43-38 halftime lead.
To start the second half, the Flames were able to collect themselves, thanks to their defense. UIC didn't allow a field goal for 11½ minutes as the Flames regained the lead.
Boahen hit a layup to give the Flames a 48-46 edge with 16:22 remaining.
UIC extended its lead to as much as six and missed several shots to push it to eight or nine before the Penguins finally made their final surge.
After missing their first 13 shots of the second half, YSU made 8 of its final 12 shots. Quisenberry's layup with 4:33 put the Penguins ahead 66-65. After Blount missed a 3-pointer, Quisenberry countered with a three-point play as YSU stole momentum.
Despite its drought from the field, the Penguins went 21-for-31 from the free-throw line in the second half as UIC was called for 20 fouls compared to 10 for YSU in the final 20 minutes.
UIC still had a shot in the final minute. Trailing 76-73, Boahen missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 56 seconds left, and the Flames would get no closer.
The loss put the Flames' chances of attaining the No. 1 seed in the Horizon League tournament in serious peril. UIC probably needs to win out and have Wright State and Northern Kentucky to lose at least twice.
The primary focus for the Flames will be to prepare for Green Bay on Friday night in a must-win game to regain at the least No. 3 seed and a home game in the Horizon quarterfinals.
FLAMES FLICKERS: Ottey was called for a technical foul after reacting to a non-call on a drive to the basket early in the second half. Ottey and Boahen both showed displeasure at times with the contact while driving. ... UIC's six 3-pointers were the fewest since it went 2-for-18 in a home loss to Oakland on Jan. 26. ... The Flames fell to 1-10 in a games where they trailed at the half. ... UIC's two-game road winning streak was also snapped. Despite that, the Flames still are 10-6 in their last 16 Horizon League road contests.
POSTGAME VIDEO (courtesy UIC Flames on YouTube):