PITTSBURGH, PA – The Redhawks' season came to an end falling in a hard fought AMCC Tournament Quarterfinal game to Pitt-Bradford 67-61. La Roche concludes what was supposed to be a transitional season and an eighth place finish with a fourth place finish and a playoff berth.
La Roche controlled the boards early and used it to run out to a 10-3 lead. Pitt-Bradford was forced to burn a pair of timeouts but followed the second one by grabbing the momentum. They tied it up and took their first lead of the game at the 4:21 mark. The Redhawks refused to let Bradford pull away and entered the half traveling by just four points. Ryan Norkus drew a big charge right before the half to negate a Panther's basket. La Roche outrebounded Bradford 22-16 and Phifer lead the team with 9 points.
Pitt-Bradford came out of the half on fire. They jumped out to a 52-41 lead and it looked like they were about to run away before the Redhawks put together a furious comeback. Evan Bonnaure and Dion Etheridge drained three-pointers while Torin Smith and Andy Abreu hit layups on the fastbreak to get within two points.
Pitt-Bradford opened the gap slightly and grabbed a 64-57 lead but La Roche responded again to cut the deficit to three with 1:18 left. Abreu slammed a fastbreak dunk and Arnes Bajogora made a pair of free throws. The Redhawks however missed a pair of free throws and two layups on the ensuing possessions as the Panthers held on to advance to the championship round.
Abreu led the Redhawks with 15 points (7 of 11 fg) and Bajgora reached double-figures tallying 11. Phifer was terrific on defense picking up 4 blocks while Evan Bonnaure contributed 3 steals and 3 assists.
Smith concludes a spectacular career with seven points and in ninth place on the Redhawks' all-time three-pointer list.
La Roche outrebounded and outshot Pitt-Bradford but their seventeen turnovers ended up defining the game.