Youngstown State holds off Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE – Junior Kamren Belin scored a career-high 21 points and led three players scoring in double figures as the Youngstown State men’s basketball team defeated Milwaukee, 75-72, at the Klotsche Center.

The Penguins improve to 10-8 overall and 2-3 in the Horizon League while the Panthers fall to 5-14 overall and 1-4 in the league.

Seniors Damian Eargle and Blake Allen also reached double figures with 17 and 16 points, respectively. Allen connected on 4-of-7 from 3-point range while Eargle has seven boards and three blocks.

Allen made two free throws with just 21 seconds left to put the Penguins ahead 75-72 and, after a UWM timeout, the defense did not allow the Panthers a chance to get a game-tying 3-point attempt off.

In a game that featured 12 lead changes and seven ties, sophomore DJ Cole’s 3-pointer with 6:37 left snapped a 63-63 tie and gave the Penguins a 66-63 advantage, a lead they would not surrender.

Neither team would lead by more than four points in the second half, which had eight lead changes and four ties.

The final time Milwaukee tied the game was at 63-63 on a 3-pointer by J.J. Panoske with 8:02 left.

After Cole’s go-ahead triple, Belin hit a free throw to go up four, 67-63, with 5:35 to go.

The Panthers got within two twice, but each time Belin answered with jumper to push the advantage back to four, the last at 71-67 with 1:48 to go.

The Penguins return home to host Wright State Wednesday at the Beeghly Center. Tipoff is slated for 7:05 p.m.