The Youngstown State men’s basketball team overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half to win its Horizon League opener at Milwaukee on Thursday night, 70-68.
Tevin Olison scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds for YSU (3-3, 1-0), while Owen Long scored 17 points, grabbed four boards, recorded four steals and shot 5-of-8 from the floor.
The Panthers (1-6, 0-1) led 29-28 at halftime and began the second half on a 10-0 run, but never managed a knockout blow. After that burst, YSU answered with a 9-0 spurt to claw back into the mix.
Long sank a 3-pointer, and then Daniel Ogoro made a pair of free throws to trim the deficit to six. Long then hit a jumper, recorded a steal and then assisted on a Luke Chicone layup to close the gap to two, 39-37.
Milwaukee pushed its lead back out to seven, but YSU rallied to take a one-point lead. From there, neither team gained much separation.
UWM grabbed a 66-64 advantage after a pair of Joey St. Pierre free throws with 2:02 to play, then Long answered with a triple that gave the Penguins the lead for good.
Michael Akuchie added 10 points and nine rebounds for YSU, while Ogoro finished with eight points. The Penguins scored 18 points off Milwaukee turnovers, while the Panthers parlayed takeaways into just four points.
Milwaukee was paced by DeAndre Gholston’s 24 points. Donovan Newby scored 13, and Tafari Simms had 12.
The Penguins visit Green Bay on Saturday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.