YSU starts off season with victory

KENNESAW, Ga. – Senior Kendrick Perry scored a game-high 20 points and sophomore Ryan Weber scored a career-high 18 to lead the Youngstown State men’s basketball team to a 73-57 season-opening win over Kennesaw State on Friday evening at the Convocation Center.

The Penguins improve to 1-0 and have now won four straight season openers while the Owls fall to 0-1.

Perry connected on 7-of-13 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds with five assists and three steals.

Weber nailed 7 of 12 field-goal attempts, including four 3-pointers, and netted a career-best five steals.

Freshman Marcus Keene reached double figures in his college debut with 10 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Midway through the first half the Penguins used a 16-1 run over a 6-minute span to turn a one-point edge into a 16-point lead, 28-12, with 4:18 to go.

After owning a 10-2 lead early in the game, Owls used a 9-2 run to get within one, 12-11, before the Penguins transition offense began to click. A dunk and jumper by Perry and consecutive 3-pointers by Weber boosted the Penguins lead back to 10 with 7:46 left.

Another 3 by Weber, his third of the half, a layup by DJ Cole and two free throws from Perry extended the YSU lead to 16, 28-12.

The Owls chipped the lead down to nine, 28-19 with two minutes left, but a jumper by Keene, a layup by junior Shawn Amiker, and a dunk by Perry pushed the lead back to 15, 34-19, with just over a minute left in the half.

In the second half, the Penguins shot 44.8 percent from the field and ran their lead to 18 points, 45-27, after a 3-pointer by Keene just six-and-a-half minutes into the frame.

YSU twice led by as many as 20 points, 56-36, and 63-43, and the Owls never came with 14 the rest of the way.

The Penguins face Florida International, today at 3 p.m. at the Convention Center.