By HAL McCOY
It was a ‘Q and A’ night Thursday for Wright State University.
The ‘Q’ was for Quisenberry and the ‘A’ was for Awesome.
Darius Quisenberry grew up so close to Wright State he could almost see the Nutter Center from his bedroom window.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore guard lived in Huber Heights and attended Wayne High School, but took his basketball talent to northeast Ohio and Youngstown State University.
Wright State was the object of his disaffection Thursday night in Youngstown. He unleashed a torrent of points, a career-high 41, to lead the Penguins to a stunning upset, 88-70.
It concluded Wright State’s four-game winning streak and dropped the Raiders to 23-and-6. And it lowered WSU’s Horizon League record to 13-3, although the Raiders still reside in first place.
The Penguins, 16-13 and 9-6 in the Horizon, were stacked with emotion, tenacity on the backboards and the sharp-shooting of Quisenberry, who buried seven three-pointers, a couple of them from the Mahoning River.
Quinsenberry scored 25 in the first half, including the last 13 points the Penguins scored in the first half, pushing YSU from a 27-27 tie to a 40-35 intermission lead.
To put an exclamation point on his first half explosion, he ripped in a long, long three at the first half buzzer.
Amazingly, Quisenberry didn’t score in the first 10 1/2 minutes of the second half and Wright State crawled back to within four, 60-56.
Quisenberry hit two free throws, igniting him in the second half to 16 second-half points. He took over the game from there.
YSU went on an 11-point spree, nine by Quisenberry and the Penguins were in command, 82-65, with 2 1/2 minutes left.
When the final horn assaulted WSU’s ears, Quisenberry had made 7 of 11 three-pointers and was 14 of 26 overall and six for six from the foul line.
YSU made half its shots, 31 of 62, and 10 of 24 from the three-point line.
While Quisenberry poured in the points, the rest of the Penguins established squatter’s rights under the backboards, outrebounding the Raiders, 43-24. And YSU had 14 offensivse rebounds, eight off the offensive boards by Naz Bohannon, who also chipped in with 16 points.
Wright State was led by Loudon Love with 17 points, but he had only four rebounds, 10 fewer than Bohannon. Bill Wampler had 16, Tanner Holden had 14 and Jordan xxx cam off the bench to score 10.
The Raiders, though made only 26 of 60 shots for 43 per cent and 5 of 18 from three, 28 per cent.
WSU coach Scott Nagy was asked after the game by radio analyst Jim Brown about Youngstown’s dominance on the backboards.
“It hasn’t just been this game,” he said. “It has been that way for about our last nine games. We’re not rebounding the ball like we were earlier in the year. And we’re not offensive rebounding like we were.
“We are not the same rebounding team and i has effected our defense,” he added. “It is hard to have a good defense and a good defensive percentage when we give up offensive rebounds and they get put-backs.”
Nagy made note of Youngstown’s aggressive hustle as the Penguins were emotionally charged for the Raiders.
“It was this way all night . . . every time there was a loose ball, they just beat us to it,” he said. “It was more important to them. They were more hungry and it meant more and thate was clear from the start. I knew they’d be ready for us and locked in.”
It obviously meant a whole, whose lot to Quisenberry.
“I’m pretty confident, though, because we have a good group of kids, that we’ll bounce back from this,” said Nagy. “They’ll take care of it themselves because they know what the deal is.”