PITTSBURGH, PA – Torin Smith hit eight three-pointers including seven in the first half as the Redhawks downed Franciscan 82-77 to pick up an important conference win. La Roche can clinch an AMCC Quarterfinal home game with a victory on Saturday.
La Roche opened the game on a 10-2 run but Franciscan came alive to tie it up at 18-18. Darrell Barron woke up the Redhawks with towering block off the backboard and they responded with a 17-6 run. Smith took the momentum and put together one of the best first half performances in school history. He hit seven three-pointers and helped the Redhawks carry a 41-35 lead into the locker room.
Franciscan battled back in the second half and took their first lead of the game at 75-74 with 1:34 left in regulation. Ray Quan Phifer was fouled on the other end of the floor and put the Redhawks back ahead by draining both free throws. La Roche and Franciscan traded free throws over the next two possessions. The Redhawks needed a defensive stop with a 79-77 lead and Smith came down with the big board. Smith converted both foul shots and La Roche hung on for the conference win.
Smith finished just a three-pointer shy of the school record and scored a career-high 29 points. His eight three-pointers also moved him into ninth place on the school's all-time list.
Andy Abreu had 13 points and 14 points to record the double-double. Zach Gould finished with 10 points and 5 assists while Phifer added 10 points.
The Redhawks will look to clinch an AMCC Quarterfinal home game when they play Medaille College on Wednesday. Saturday is Senior Day.