BUFFALO, NY – With just a second left on the clock, Ray Quan Phifer sunk a pair of must-make free throws to avoid overtime and help La Roche celebrate a 67-66 victory over D'Youville College. The Redhawks clinch a playoff berth and improve to 9-4 in the AMCC.
La Roche overcame a ten point first half deficit to enter halftime deadlocked with D'Youville at 33-33. Coach Carmichael called a timeout to regroup his squad and the Redhawks responded by allowing just two field goals over the half's final eight minutes. Nine Redhawks found the scoresheet including Andy Abreu who had 8 points.
The Spartans darted out of intermission with six quick points but La Roche answered again scoring 19 of the game's next 25 points. The Redhawks held a seven point advantage but were unable to put D'Youville away and the Spartans tied it at 59-59 with 6:10 left to play. Neither team could gain a lead larger than three points over the final six minutes. La Roche looked to be in trouble when D'Youville grabbed a one point lead with six seconds remaining, but the Spartans proceeded to foul and Phifer provided the heroics in the victory.
Phifer scored 14 points to finish in double-figures. Abreu had a game-high 18 points (6 of 8 fg) and made all six of his free throws. He also pulled down six rebounds to tie Arnes Bajgora for the team-lead.
La Roche will have the opportunity to improve on their AMCC Tournament seeding next Saturday when they host Hilbert College. La Roche and Hilbert are fighting for a first round bye with the Redhawks sitting just a game behind the Hawks and half a game behind Pitt-Greensburg.