YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Wright State men’s basketball team led by nine at the half and by 10 with 7:18 to play, but had to hold off a late Youngstown State rally before defeating the Penguins 84-81 in Horizon League action Thursday night at the Beeghly Center.
Seven straight points, including a Grant Benzinger three, put WSU in front to stay at 13-6 with 15:41 remaining in the first half and the Raiders extended the margin to 32-21 following a Mark Alstork three at the 6:08 mark.
Wright State led 43-34 at the half thanks to 56 percent field goal shooting, including five of 11 from three-point range. YSU, meanwhile, shot 48 percent from the field, but made just three of 11 from behind the arc.
The Penguins closed to within four early in the second half, but the Raiders were able to push the lead back into double figures and were up 72-62 after a Benzinger layup with 7:18 to play.
A 13-4 run, however, over the next four minutes drew Youngstown State to within one before Alstork answered with a three and two free throws.
YSU again cut the deficit to one at 82-81 on a Jorden Kaufman putback with 24.7 seconds left, but Alstork connected on a pair of foul shots at the 20.5-second mark to round out the scoring.
Both teams shot 54 percent for the game, but WSU was eight of 21 from three and 14 of 19 at the foul line compared to six of 22 from three and 11 of 16 foul shooting for the Penguins.
The Raiders also led 38-30 in points in the paint and 13-4 in second-chance points.
Alstork led Wright State with 33 points, 21 of those coming in the second half, while Justin Mitchell had a near double-double of 13 points and nine rebounds. Benzinger added 12 points and Steven Davis had 11.
Wright State (18-9, 9-5 Horizon) wraps up the Northeast Ohio swing on Saturday, February 18, with a 3:30 game at Cleveland State.