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La Roche's Improbable Rally Comes Up Just Short in First Conference Loss

La Roche's Improbable Rally Comes Up Just Short in First Conference Loss

ERIE, PA -- La Roche's improbable rally came up just short as they fell to Penn State Behrend 86-84 on Wednesday night. The Redhawks trailed by double digits with less than two minutes left but Behrend survived when the Redhawks' buzzer beater missed by inches.

The loss snaps La Roche's ten game win-streak and their perfect conference record. Even with the loss, the Redhawks are well positioned as they begin the second half of their conference schedule.

The Redhawks trailed by ten points with less than two minutes to play. Zach Gould sparked the rally taking advantage of a Behrend mistake and hitting three free throws, cutting the deficit to a two possession game. Behrend answered with a pair of free throws but on the ensuing possession, excellent ball movement found a wide open Gould who buried a three.

The Redhawks were again forced to foul and Behrend's Andy Niland made both. RayQuan Phifer quickly responded driving the length of the floor and drawing contact to convert a big three-point play. 

The Redhawks fouled, trailing by two with fourteen seconds left. Penn State Behrend made its free throws and the Redhawks elected to go for two to cut the lead to just one with four seconds left.

The Lions hit the first free throw but missed the second, leaving just seconds left for the Redhawks. Phifer let a shot go at the buzzer but it missed by just inches, hitting off the front of the rim.

Phifer scored a game-high 26 points and hit 10 of 15 shots. Zach Gould scored 20, including 18 points and 4 three-pointers in the second half. Dion Etheridge had 11 points and 7 rebounds.

The Redhawks will head to Pitt-Bradford on Saturday for an AMCC Conference game. La Roche defeated Pitt-Bradford 80-70 earliest this season.