PITTSBURGH, PA -- The La Roche men's basketball team picked up a big non-conference win beating Carnegie Mellon 66-61 in Thursday road action. La Roche and Carnegie Mellon are now both 1-1 on the season.
The Redhawks opened strong and rarely allowed Carnegie Mellon to get a clean look at the basket. Arnes Bajgora and Andy Abreu did a great job limiting the Tartan height advantage and three times the Redhawks intercepted passes at the top of the key for easy buckets.
Carnegie Mellon never led outside of the first four minutes and the Redhawks carried a 33-25 advantage into intermission.
RayQuan Phifer led the Redhawks on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. He had 9 first half points and 3 steals. Zach Gould set the tempo with 8 points, 2 steals and 2 assists.
Carnegie Mellon scored six straight points out of the locker room and chipped away at the lead until tying it with ten minutes left. La Roche responded with an 8-0 run to take a 53-44 lead. Gould and Darius Lawrence provided threes and Phifer scored on a tough up-and-under move.
The Tartans hung around for the final six plus minutes of the game but could never get closer than five points.
Phifer scored a game-high 17 points while Gould had 15 points and 3 threes.
The difference in the game came on turnovers where La Roche converted 22 Tartan turnovers into 30 points.
The Redhawks shot 45% (27 of 60) on the game and 35% (6 of 17) from beyond the arc.
La Roche returns to the Fitness Center for their home opener on Saturday. They will host Capital at 3pm.