Kendrick Perry scored a career-high 28 points and Youngstown State used a second-half surge to defeat Samford 76-69 Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.
The Penguins led by as many as 10 in the first half, but trailed 32-29 at the break. The Bulldogs extended the lead to five points before Youngstown State pulled even.
Tied at 49 with 8:35 to go, the Penguins went on a 12-1 run, capped by a pair of Blake Allen 3-pointers, to pull away with 3:46 left. Samford could get no closer than five the rest of the way and lost its opener to Youngstown State for the second straight year.
Damian Eargle added 17 points for the Penguins, while Allen had 12.
Freshman Raijon Kelly led the Bulldogs with 18 points, including four 3-pointers. Jeffrey Merritt had 11 points and 10 rebounds as Samford outrebounded Youngstown State 37-34.