Down four in the final minute, the Wright State men's basketball team rallied and had a chance to win at the end, but came up short as Youngstown State held on for a 68-67 Horizon League win Saturday night at the Beeghly Center.
YSU scored the first eight points of the contest before Tavares Sledge got the Raiders on the board with a layup at the 13:20 mark of the first half. The Penguins extended their lead to 27-16 on a Ryan Weber basket with 4:44 remaining, only to see WSU close out the period with an 11-6 run, five of those coming from Reggie Arceneaux, to trail just 33-27 at the break.
Youngstown State shot 50 percent in the first half while the Raiders shot 46 percent.
A Kendall Griffin three gave WSU its first lead of the day at 36-35 with 15:17 to play in the second half and neither team had more than a three-point advantage until back-to-back Weber triples helped give the Penguins a 49-44 edge with 10:30 to go.
Kamren Belin's three at the 3:45 mark made it 60-54, but back came Wright State with a JT Yoho three and a Matt Vest jumper to close to within one. AJ Pacher then tied at 62 on a three-point play with 1:54 left.
The Penguins looked to be in control as back-to-back AJ Cole layup made it a four-point game with 37 seconds left, but Chrishawn Hopkins hit two foul shots at the 29.3-second mark and, following two Weber free throws at 19.5 seconds, a Vest three from the right corner drew the Raiders to within one.
A turnover gave WSU one final shot with 5.8 seconds left, but the Raiders came away empty on two attempts as time expired.
Wright State shot 59 percent from the field the final 20 minutes to end up at 52 percent overall while the Penguins ended up at 50 percent. YSU, though, was 17 of 22 at the foul line compared to 11 of 16 for WSU.
Pacher led the Raiders with 15 points, all but two coming in the second half, while Vest had a near double-double of 10 points and nine rebounds. Yoho added 10 off the bench.
Kendrick Perry and Weber each had 18 for Youngstown State (13-9, 4-3 Horizon) while Belin had 15.
Wright State (13-10, 5-3 Horizon) opens the second round of league play with the Wisconsin trip next week, starting with Milwaukee on Thursday, January 30, at 8:00 Eastern.