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Youngstown State silences Georgia on the road

Nov 12, 2012, 9:25 PM EST

Younstown St Georgia basketball AP

In the early going of a long night of college basketball, Youngstown State delivers the first surprise of the night.

The Penguins (I still love the mascot) beat Georgia in Athens in the Progressive Legends Classic, 68-56. The loss is the first for the Bulldogs this season.

While Youngstown State was billed as a much-improved team in the Horizon League, I don’t think anyone thought this would be the case. Georgia never led and only scored 14 points in the first half (YSU led 25-14 at halftime).

While every team has their struggles in the early season, the biggest problem was probably that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was the lone Bulldog in double-figures in points — and it wasn’t even close — with 27, making 10 of the team’s 17 field goals, including five of their six threes. Tim Dixon and Marcus Thornton had eight each for Georgia.

Kendrick Perry, a front-runner for Horizon League Player of the Year, led the Penguins (seriously though, isn’t that animal just awesome for a mascot?) with 23 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals. He was also 10-for-11 from the free throw line as well.

In yet another stupid rule that needs to be changed, however, Youngstown State won’t get a berth in the tournament semifinals in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, because the last four teams that make it are predetermined. What a waste, because I think Perry could hang with the big boys.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.