PITTSBURGH, PA – Pitt-Bradford's last gasp three-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out as La Roche pulled a game ahead of the Panthers with a big 73-70 victory on Saturday. The Redhawks now sit alone in fourth place in the AMCC Conference standings.
A Ryan Norkus three-pointer just before halftime helped La Roche overcome an eight point first half deficit and enter halftime deadlocked with Pitt-Bradford at 27-27. Norkus was a vital part of the Redhawks' first half attack finishing with 7 points and 7 rebounds. Ray Quan Phifer also contributed 7 first half points and stole two balls in the open court that led to layups.
La Roche held Pitt-Bradford without a field goal between the 17:03 and 9:34 mark of the second half and used it to build a 53-41 lead. It looked like the Redhawks were going to roll to the big conference victory but Pitt-Bradford began to chip away at the lead. A La Roche turnover underneath the basket got the Panthers within two with 21 seconds left, but Torin Smith converted 1 of 2 free throws and the Redhawks held on.
Arnes Bajgora scored a team-high 22 points to go along with 7 rebounds. Phifer had a quality all-around game finishing with 14 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Norkus nearly had a double-double with 9 points and 9 rebounds while Dion Etheridge had 8 points and 6 rebounds. Torin Smith dished out 3 assists in the win.
The Redhawks conclude the first half of conference play on Monday when they travel to Franciscan University. The Barons are coming of a 95-72 loss at Medaille.