ALTOONA, PA -- Andy Abreu hit two free throws with eleven seconds left and Penn State Altoona missed a three-pointer at the buzzer as La Roche earned a 72-69 win on Wednesday night. The Redhawks now sit atop the AMCC standings with a 1-0 conference record.
A pair of upperclassmen guided the Redhawks in the win. Torin Smith led all scorers with 20 points (6 three-pointers) while Abreu dominated on the glass with 17 rebounds.
The Redhawks entered the half down a point but stormed out of the locker room to take a double-digit lead. Smith sparked the run with a three-pointer and consecutive threes by Evan Bonnaure put La Roche up a game-high 12 points with 7:52 left to play.
Penn State Altoona chipped away at the lead over the final seven minutes of regulation until they got within two with 2:09 left to play. Abreu responded with two free throws but the Lions cut it to one with twenty-three seconds left. Altoona quickly fouled and Abreu again came up big hitting both free throws. The Lions three attempt at the buzzer fell short and La Roche held on for the victory.
Penn State Altoona hit more shots but La Roche thrived on the boards (49-37) and they attempted fifteen more free throws than the Lions.
In addition to his 17 boards, Abreu had 12 points to record his first double-double of the season. Bonnaure tallied 11 points for his sixth double-figure outcome in six games while Zach Gould dished out 5 assists. Ray Quan Phifer had 8 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals in the win.
The Redhawks head off to Penn State Behrend on Saturday to take on the rival Lions.