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Redhawks Bring Tough Defense in Win Over Altoona

Redhawks Bring Tough Defense in Win Over Altoona

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The La Roche College men's basketball team (12-6, 8-3) overcame a sluggish start to defeat visiting Penn State Altoona (4-15, 2-10) 67-54 Wednesday night in the Kerr Fitness Center.

The Lions stepped on the gas early to lead 26-17 midway through the first half. Torin Smith kept the Redhawks within striking distance, connecting on four long-distance three pointers.

La Roche cranked up their defense and held the visiting Lions scoreless for over seven minutes during a 12-0 run. After surging into the lead, the teams exchanged baskets as the Redhawks clung to a 36-34 lead at the break.

After allowing 14 offensive rebounds in the opening frame, the Redhawks hit the boards and pushed the ball in transition as they ramped the lead to double-digits early in the second half.

Altoona fought back into the game and trailed 56-47 with 4:42 to play, before Lionel Perkins stopped the run with a pair of free throws. Andre Flanigan followed with a tomahawk dunk from the left baseline and a spot-up three from the right wing. Jean Freeman capped the run with a spinning-post move to push the lead to 65-47.
La Roche outscored Altoona 31-20 in the second half and dribbled out the clock to record the win, 67-54.
Flanigan finished with a team-high 16 points, chipping in three assists and three rebounds. Smith finished with 14 points, while Perkins added 11 points and four assists. Freeman was a force on the glass, tallying 12 second half boards on his way to a career-high 14 rebounds.

The Redhawks shot 46% from the field, 36% from deep and out-rebounded the visitors 26-13 in the second half.  The La Roche defense held the Lions to an icy 28% from the field.

With the win, La Roche improved to 8-3 in the AMCC and remains one game back of conference-leading Penn State Behrend and Hilbert.

The Redhawks return to AMCC action Saturday, February 1 at Medaille. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. 

Photo courtesy of Rachel Bachri.