PITTSBURGH, PA -- The La Roche men's basketball team dropped their first game of the new year falling to city-rival Carnegie Mellon on Monday 81-54.
The Redhawks kept it close for a majority of the first half. They trailed by just three points after a Darrell Barron jumper got it to 23-20 with 6:14 left. Carnegie Mellon closed the half with 14 of the next 21 points to enter intermission with a 37-27 lead. The Tartans height advantage played a major role in the first with 11 blocks and 10 offensive rebounds. Seven Redhawks got on the board including Arnes Bagjora who had 6 points and Ryan Norkus and Jared Richardson who had 5 each.
The Tartans heated up in the second half hitting 50% of their shots including 6 of 13 from downtown. La Roche on the other hand struggled from the floor. They made just 29% of their field goals and just 3 of 14 three-pointers. Carnegie Mellon also outrebounded the Redhawks by sixteen in the second half.
Carnegie Mellon used their height to dominate in the paint. They outrebounded the Redhawks 49-28 and scored twenty-five second chance points. La Roche hit just 6 of 17 free throws but the bright spot came from the bench where they contributed 33 points.
Norkus finished with a career-high 11 points to lead the Redhawks. Bajgora had 10 points while Barron contributed 9 points and Richardson eight.
The men's basketball team returns to AMCC Conference play this weekend when they travel to Buffalo for a pair of games. The Redhawks take on Hilbert this Saturday before traveling across town to Medaille on Sunday.