PITTSBURGH, PA – The men's basketball team came away with a thrilling 58-57 overtime victory in their AMCC Conference opener against Penn State Altoona.
The first half stat sheet between the two team's was nearly identical with the Redhawks holding a 20-19 halftime advantage. Zaire Redding entered intermission with 6 points and provided two key blocks for La Roche.
The second half remained close throughout but La Roche found themselves down 48-46 with less than a minute left. Andy Abreu tied it with forty seconds left on a strong drive through the lane but Penn State Altoona answered to go back on top. Arnez Bajgora then converted a layup and was fouled to put him at the line with six seconds left. Bajgora missed the free throw but Abreu found the rebound and put the Redhawks ahead with just three seconds left. On the final possession, the Lions were fouled and made both free throws to send it to overtime.
Altoona struck first in OT but Ryan Frantz answered with a short jumper and two free throws to go up 56-54. The Lions made 1 of 2 free throws to cut the deficit to one and followed with a tough drive to take a one point lead at the 1:08 mark. The Redhawks responded again with Evan Bonnaure making two huge free throws to take a one point lead with twenty-four seconds left. Altoona had an open look for the win but it found the front rim and Bonnaure came down with the board as time expired.
La Roche welcomes rival Penn State Behrend to campus on Saturday for a 4PM tip. The men's basketball alumni game will follow immediately after it's completion.