YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Holding Youngstown State (9-19, 2-15 HL) to 36.7 percent, visiting Green Bay (14-16, 8-9 HL) built a 15-point second half lead and finished off a 71-60 road victory Thursday night at the Beeghly Center.
Youngstown State entered having scored 70 or more points in five-straight games, including 83 in a win last Saturday, but the Phoenix held the Penguins to just 23 first half points and only 6-for-20 from long range in the contest.
Senior Rahmon Fletcher (Kansas City, Mo.) and freshman Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) had eight points apiece at halftime as Green Bay led 30-23. The Penguins, averaging eight made threes per game, were just 2-of-12 from long range in the first 20 minutes.
Fletcher hit six of his 11 shots from the field and finished the contest with 18 points and a season-high seven rebounds. Brown finished with 12 points and blocked a pair of shots.
Green Bay opened the second half on a 12-4 run to build its lead to 15 points (42-27) on a Bryquis Perine (Milwaukee, Wis.) jumper with 15:01 to play. After Youngstown State cut the deficit into single digits, Perine drilled a jump shot with the shot clock winding down and a three-pointer on the next possession to put the Phoenix back up by 14 points (60-46).
Perine, one game after scoring 18 after halftime in a win over Valparaiso, tallied 14 of his team-high 19 points in the second half on Thursday. The senior hit 6-of-10 from the field and knocked down a pair of three-pointers.
"I do not want to be overly aggressive and do too much so I try to let the game come to me, but whenever we need a big play I try to step up for the team," said Perine.
The Green Bay bench contributed to the win by outscoring its Penguin counterparts 16-3. Sophomore Seth Evans (Seneca, Ill.) scored nine points off the bench while senior Greg LeSage (Radcliff, Ky.) added five points, nine rebounds and three assists.
"The bench came in and played aggressive, and we made sure we let our defense dictate our offense," said LeSage. "Even when we went through stretches where we did not score a lot, we held them on the other end. We just tried to rebound and play good transition defense."
LeSage's effort on the glass helped the Phoenix have a 39-31 rebounding advantage. Freshman Daniel Turner (McCordsville, Ind.) grabbed eight rebounds, and the two players combined for eight of the team's offensive boards.
"We got away from our rebounding a little bit, and I took some blame for that for not going to the offensive glass enough," LeSage added. "The last few games we have emphasized going to the glass, blocking out our guys and going to get it off the rim and not letting it come to us."
With two-straight wins, Green Bay stayed alive to host a Horizon League Tournament game with one regular season contest remaining. The Phoenix will play at Cleveland State Saturday at 1 p.m., and a win coupled with a Detroit loss Friday night could put Green Bay in position to host a first-round game on Tuesday night.
"We are trying to get some momentum heading into the conference tournament next week," said Perine. "Every win is critical as we are trying to get a home game. That win against Valpo gave us momentum and we carried it over to tonight."
GREEN BAY 71, YOUNGSTOWN STATE 60
GREEN BAY (14-16, 8-9 HL)
PERINE, Bryquis 6-10 5-7 19; FLETCHER, Rahmon 6-11 4-7 18; BROWN, Alec 4-9 4-6 12; EVANS, Seth 3-6 2-2 9; LESAGE, Greg 2-4 1-2 5; TURNER, Daniel 2-7 0-0 4; WILLIAMS, Jarvis 1-3 0-0 2; CERRONI, Kam 1-2 0-0 2; HEUER, Clayton 0-2 0-0 0; BAKER, Steve 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-55 16-24 71.
YOUNGSTOWN STATE (9-19, 2-15 HL)
PERRY, Kendrick 6-13 2-4 19; EARGLE, Damian 8-15 3-5 19; WARD, Ashen 3-11 4-4 10; ALLEN, Blake 3-6 0-0 7; BREWER, Tre 1-4 0-0 2; SULSKIS, Vytas 1-5 0-0 2; BROOKS, DuShawn 0-6 1-2 1; BOUDLER, Dan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-60 10-15 60.
Green Bay......................... 30
41 - 71
Youngstown State.............. 23 37 - 60