Jan. 5, 2013
CHICAGO - Kendrick Perry's basket with five seconds remaining capped a 14-point comeback as Youngstown State (9-6, 1-1 Horizon) stunned Loyola University Chicago (10-4, 1-1 Horizon), 68-66 at Gentile Arena this afternoon, snapping the Ramblers' four-game winning streak. Ben Averkamp recorded 18 points, eight rebounds, and a pair of blocks in defeat.
"We have been playing really good defense this year, but you cannot allow a team to shoot 67 percent in the second half and expect to win," Loyola head coach Porter Moser said. "Give Youngstown State credit for hitting some tough shots. This is a wakeup call for us and we need to learn from this and remember who we are."
Youngstown State built a 25-16 lead in the first half before Loyola got into a rhythm on offense. A three-pointer by Devon Turk at the 5:04 mark ignited a 19-5 Rambler run to close the period, and when Averkamp converted a conventional three-point play with 1:22 remaining, it gave Loyola its first lead since a 6-5 edge nearly four minutes into the game.
Loyola guard Joe Crisman did an admirable job on Perry, the Penguins' leading scorer who came into the game ranked second in the Horizon League with 16.4 points per game, holding him without a field goal in the opening 20 minutes, while Averkamp tallied 13 points.
Crisman's three-point field goal with 14:10 left in the game capped a 9-0 run as Loyola stretched its lead to 50-36, its largest of the day, but Youngstown State refused to go quietly, and when Averkamp was whistled for his fourth foul with 7:59 remaining, the Penguins gained momentum.
Youngstown State slowly chipped away at the Loyola lead and DJ Cole's basket with 58 seconds left to play put YSU on top, 66-65. On Loyola's next possession, Averkamp drew a foul and connected on one of two tries from the foul line to tie the game.
After Perry hit the go-ahead basket, Averkamp was fouled yet again, this time before Crisman could in-bound the ball following a timeout, sending the senior captain to the line to try to send the game to overtime, but the attempt was unsuccessful and a tip-in try off an ensuing in-bound pass also fell short.
In addition to Averkamp's production (18 points, 8 rebounds), the Ramblers saw three other players score in double figures - Christian Thomas (11 points, 7 boards, 5 assists), Cully Payne (11 points, 4 assists), and Turk (10 points, 5 rebounds). Crisman and Jeff White also added eight points each for Loyola, which turned the ball over a season-low seven times.
Damian Eargle led Youngstown State with 20 points, four rebounds and six blocks.
Loyola returns to action Jan. 9 when it heads north to face Green Bay.