YOUNGSTOWN - Resiliency.
Youngstown State's basketball team has displayed plenty of it this year.
Saturday, the Penguins were close, but not close enough to pull past Detroit in a 76-74 setback Saturday at Beeghly Center in YSU's regular-season finale.
Game action; Jerry Slocum press conference
"Coach (Jerry Slocum) said we can't dwell on the loss," said YSU's Kendrick Perry, who had a game-high 22 points.
"We played hard, probably played the best, talented team in our league.
"Of course it stings, but we have to have a short-term memory and ready for whoever we play on Tuesday."
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael?Semple
Youngstown?State forward Damian Eargle (21) is fouled by?Detroit’s Doug Anderson on a move to the basket in the first half Saturday at Beeghly Center. Eargle scored 11 points and had seven rebounds in the Penguins’ 76-74 loss to the Titans.
No. 6-seed Penguins (15-14, 10-8) host No. 7 Green Bay (15-14, 10-8) on Tuesday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. at Beeghly Center in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament.
As for Saturday's game, Eli Holman's slam with 9.4 seconds remaining lifted the Titans (18-13, 11-7) to the win. Holman, who gave Detroit a 76-72 lead, had 10 points off the bench.
Perry made two free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining to make it a 76-74 game.
Detroit point guard Ray McCallum, who had 15 points, was quickly fouled by Blake Allen, who had 13 points - along with senior DuShawn Brooks.
McCallum went to the line for a one-and-one, but missed the front end. The ball deflected off to the right, off a YSU player and into the Detroit bench.
The objective, if YSU rebounded the ball, was to give it to Perry.
"We got exactly what we wanted," Slocum said. "It was 3.3 and we were going to foul before the ball came in - 3.3 seconds is enough time. It would've been. ...
"KP can get from baseline to baseline in 3 seconds."
It wasn't this close earlier in the second half.
Chase Simon, who had a team-high 18 points, gave Detroit its first lead with a 3 with 15 minutes remaining, 47-45.
YSU quickly got down 59-49 with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Enter Perry with 9:14 left.
He was fouled by Detroit's Jason Calliste on a 3-pointer that hit nothing but the bottom of the net. Perry's ensuing foul shot on the four-point play drew YSU to 59-53.
Calliste then countered with a 3 about 10 seconds later, quickly followed by Allen's 3.
Then, a driving Allen found a slashing and elevating Perry for a quick layup, cutting the Titans' advantage to 62-58 with 8 minutes remaining.
Allen, who had five assists, found Brooks on an inbounds backdoor feed under the YSU basket with 7:20 left, 62-60.
Things kept going YSU's way as Detroit's Doug Anderson picked up his fourth foul on Brooks shooting 3. Anderson had 10 points with 6:08 left. Brooks made two of three from the line to cut the Detroit lead to 64-62 with 6 minutes left. Anderson and LaMarcus Lowe each finished with 10 points.
However, things began to slip away for the Penguins once again as Detroit took a 70-62 lead with just less than 4 minutes remaining.
After a media timeout, YSU began to rally.
Perry made a couple of free throws and then a 3 with 3 minutes left for a 70-67 deficit.
"We really did a good job. Didn't we?" Slocum said. "Those kids really believe. There was 3:32 left to go in that media timeout. I told our guys, 'Listen, we've had a bunch of open looks and didn't cash them in. We're going to get a couple, make three stops and we'll be right there.' "
YSU junior and former Warren G. Harding standout Damian Eargle, who had 11 points, made an offensive rebound off a missed 3 by Allen with 2:24 left. His two ensuing free throws pulled YSU the closest to Detroit at 70-69.
Senior Ashen Ward, who had nine points on YSU's senior day, even made one of two free throws with 43.4 seconds left to pull YSU within 74-72.
However, it wasn't enough as Detroit shot 57 percent from the floor. YSU's offense wasn't too far behind at 46 percent.
"We just kept executing and getting some good stops," Perry said. "It seems like that one stop that we needed to put us over the top we couldn't get. We're going to come back (today) more hungry - more focused on our defense.
"When a team shoots 57, they're going to be really good. We have to focus on more stops."