BRADFORD, PA – La Roche men's basketball (13-8, 11-3) clinched their third consecutive playoff appearance with a 74-66 win over Pitt-Bradford on Saturday. The win is their fifth straight and their seventh in the past eight games.
The Redhawks got in foul trouble early, but as a team shot 55% from the field and Derek Barber-Richards scored 11 first half points. Daron Tabron added 4 first half points and brought energy off the bench to help carry a 37-26 lead into halftime.
"I believe it's very important for me to provide a spark off the bench because it keeps us in control," Tabron said. "When we start off the game in control, it's important for me to keep us at that level."
La Roche maintained a large lead until a late run by Pitt-Bradford cut the deficit to just 3 points at the 3:13 mark of the second half. Andre Flanigan answered with a tip-in and a big three-pointer and Joel McIntosh and Barber-Richards combined to go 10 for 10 from the free throw line in the final minute. The host Panthers committed 14 fouls in the second half and La Roche made them pay by hitting 15 of 18 free throws.
Barber-Richards scored a season-high 21 points on 6 of 9 from the field and went 7 from 8 from the charity stripe. McIntosh notched 17 points and made all 6 of his free throws while Flanigan chipped in 11 points and a season-high 5 assists. Lionel Perkins scored 7 points and Tabron scored 10 points and gave the Redhawks quality minutes off the bench.
La Roche continued its sharpshooting hitting a season-high 52% from the field and 17 of 20 shots from the free throw line. The Redhawks and Pitt-Bradford were even in field goals and three-pointers, but La Roche held a distinct advantage at the foul line where they attempted eleven more shots.
La Roche men's basketball will host Franciscan University on Wednesday night in an AMCC Conference game. The Redhawks handed Franciscan a 59-48 loss earlier this year.