ERIE, PA -- The men's basketball team picked up a huge victory when they went on the road and upset the league's preseason pick to win the AMCC Championship. La Roche hung on to beat Penn State Behrend 59-57 to improve to 2-0 in the conference.
The Redhawks held a six point lead with slightly under a minute to play but a Behrend free throw and three-pointer cut it to just two. The Lions had one last chance but Mallquan Pulliam's jump shot came up short as time expired.
The key to the Redhawks success was on the boards. It was just the second time in the past two seasons that Behrend was outrebounded with La Roche edging them by three.
La Roche shot 53% and held the Lions to just 32% in the first half to enter intermission with a 31-21 lead. The Redhawks built the lead off a 7-0 run midway through the first half and ended it with a 5-0 run. The Redhawks extended their lead to as many as 15 points early in the second half but Behrend continued to chip away at their lead until the buzzer went off.
The Redhawks depth played a big role as they got contributions from their entire lineup. Ray Quan Phifer led the squad with 15 points (7 of 11) and Evan Bonnaure had 10 points to make it seven straight games in double-figures. Dion Etheridge and Arnes Bajgora each had 9 points while Ryan Norkus and Zach Gould contributed 7 apiece.
La Roche is now tied with Hilbert atop the AMCC standings. They will look to remain undefeated in the conference when they host Mt. Aloysius on Wednesday night.