YSU gets handled by Detroit
YOUNGSTOWN – Detroit had the perfect storm of a collegiate basketball team.
For YSU, it was swept in the undertow of the Titans’ defensive prowess.
Detroit had a groundswell of pressure and a domination around the basket to beat down Youngstown State on Thursday at the Beeghly Center, 101-60.
“This is probably the best we’ve played since I’ve been here,” Detroit coach Ray McCallum said.
The last time a team scored 100 points or more on YSU was Dec. 21, 2008 when Charlotte scored 100.
“It was a horrible effort by us,” YSU coach Jerry Slocum said. “We played very, very poorly. That might be the understatement of the year.”
In the final seconds, Slocum was called for a technical foul. Slocum was yelling and gesturing toward McCallum about the last-minute 3-point attempts and dunks by the Titans.
“I’ll hold on that answer,” Slocum said. “You can figure it out. It doesn’t do me any good to say what you saw during the course of that ballgame in the last 5 to 7 minutes. I’m going to fight, that’s who I am.
“I take responsibility for tonight.”
Detroit’s backcourt starters led the Titans as McCallum’s son, Ray, the Horizon League leader in scoring, finished with 19 points, and Jason Calliste paced all scorers with 27 points. Evan Bruinsma added 17 for the Titans, whose bench scored 31 points.
“I thought our starters gave great energy and effort,” McCallum said. “I thought we got great production from our bench.”
YSU (9-7, 1-2 Horizon League) kept pace with the Titans (11-5, 3-0), who couldn’t find their sharp-shooting mark early.
The Penguins held a 14-13 lead with 10:31 remaining in the first half. That was the final time YSU saw anything close to a lead. A much more athletic and physical Detroit team ran roughshod over a seemingly undersized Penguins team with a 23-2 run to put the game way out of reach.
YSU also had two of its starters with two fouls with 9 minutes left in the half – Damian Eargle and Kendrick Perry, the Penguins’ leading scorer. Eargle finished with 14 points.
Perry, who finished with nine points, drew his fourth foul in the first few seconds of the second half, playing with that for the final 20 minutes.
Nothing went right for YSU. The Penguins shot 37 percent from the floor, 14.3 percent from 3-point range and 62.1 percent from the foul line. And, include 20 turnovers.
“We had too many turnovers,” Slocum said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well from the foul line.”
On the other hand, Detroit had a textbook night, shooting 53.9 percent from the floor, 55 percent from 3-point range and 80 percent from the charity stripe.
“They played very good,” Slocum said. “They’re very talented. They’ve probably shot the ball tonight, especially from the 3 line, better than I’ve seen them on any of their film.”
It was so good that the Titans’ miscues even turned out OK.
Doug Anderson went up to finish an alley-oop in the second half, missed slamming it home, but the ball stayed on the rim and fell in. Anderson got up after falling on his rear end and shrugged his shoulders. It was that kind of night for the Titans.
The only thing seemingly going right for YSU Thursday was the play of D.J. Cole, who had a team-high 16 points. Cole was on the floor the majority of the second half, in place of Blake Allen.
“I think D.J showed his mettle tonight,” Slocum said. “He was playing pretty well. I thought Damian did, also.”
YSU begins a two-game road trip to Wisconsin Thursday at Green Bay and Jan. 19 at Milwaukee. Both games start at 8 p.m.
“This doesn’t make your year, this doesn’t end your year,” Slocum said. “You lose by three or you lose by whatever the number was. It is what it is. It is a bad basketball performance by us all the way around.”