HAMBURG, NY – La Roche men's basketball (16-9, 14-4) dropped an overtime heartbreaker to Hilbert College (20-5, 14-4) 79-75 in front of a packed crowd on Saturday afternoon in the Buffalo Area. Hilbert will host the AMCC Tournament next Friday and Saturday but La Roche clinches a share of the AMCC Regular Season Championship and a first round bye in the conference tournament.
La Roche trailed 34-27 at halftime and by as many as 10 points midway through the second half before storming back. The Redhawks tied the score at the 2:03 mark of the second half but Hilbert regained the lead with a pair of foul shots. Ryan Frantz missed a lay up with 35 seconds left but Derek Barber-Richards was there to clean up the glass and force overtime.
La Roche got their first lead of the game when Tabron split a pair of of free throws and Barber-Richards drained a three-pointer with 3:37 left in OT, but Hilbert went 6 for 6 from the foul line down the stretch to earn the win.
"I'm proud of our guys for battling to the end, but ultimately we just turned the ball over too many times and didn't get enough stops down the stretch," said Coach Carmichael. "What a classic game though for the top two teams at the end to battle into OT."
Joel McIntosh scored a team-high 13 points to inch closer to 1000 career points but foul trouble kept him on the bench for significant time in the first and second halves. Barber-Richards and David Jackson each fell into foul trouble but Barber-Richards finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds and Jackson added 6 points and 10 rebounds.
Daron Tabron contributed 12 points and quality minutes off the bench and Andre Flanigan chipped in 11 points. Ryan Frantz scored 11 points and went 3 for 4 from behind the arc in just 9 minutes of play.
La Roche outrebounded Hilbert 51-33 including 25-14 on the offensive end. They also outscored the Hawks 24-12 on second chance points, but fell in the turnover department 16-7.
Coach Carmichael highlighted the importance of putting the game behind them and moving on to the AMCC Tournament.
"We realize how important it was to win today's game but now we need to get back in between the black lines and get better in practice and to start preparing for whatever opponent we get. I want to give Hilbert a ton of credit on a great season."
The Redhawks will enjoy a first-round bye in the AMCC Tournament before traveling up to Hamburg, NY on Friday. La Roche will play the winner of the Penn State Behrend vs. Pitt-Bradford game scheduled for Tuesday.