PITTSBURGH, PA – The La Roche men's basketball team picked up an important AMCC Conference win after beating Penn State Altoona 86-66 on their home court. The Redhawks climb into second place but await tonight's outcome of Penn State Behrend vs. Pitt-Bradford. Behrend currently holds the conference tie-breaker.
Junior Arnes Bajgora made history becoming just the fourteenth Redhawk to score his 1000th career point. Bajgora is just one of a handful of players to reach the mark as a junior.
La Roche shot extremely well early and forced Penn State Altoona to burn a timeout seven minutes in. The Redhawks went into the timeout with an 18-10 lead and hit 7 of 10 shots. Evan Bonnaure scored 7 of the La Roche's 18 points.
The Redhawks went cold hitting just two field goals over the next six minutes. However, they were able to maintain their eight point lead with quality defense and tough play on the boards.
Trell Thomas hit two three pointers in a row to give La Roche a 34-27 lead with three minutes left in the half. Penn State scored four straight but a tough fadeaway by Andy Abreu and a free throw by Bonnaure gave La Roche a 37-31 halftime lead.
The Redhawks opened the second half with an 8-2 run and built their lead up to fifteen with 14:31 left. During the run, Arnes Bajgora made history becoming the fourteenth player in school history to reach 1000. He also collected three boards, outrebounding the entire Altoona squad over the course of the run.
La Roche turned the ball over on consecutive possessions allowing Altoona to cut the deficit to ten with ten to play. The Redhawks did not allow a field goal over the next 4:30 and a RayQuan Phifer steal and slam dunk extending their lead to seventeen.
Altoona called a timeout with 4:43 left to play but the Redhawks made them pay when Evan Bonnaure drained a wide-open three for a 77-59 advantage. La Roche held onto the big lead and won by 20.
Bonnaure had a big senior day scoring 19 points and hitting 3 of 6 threes. Thomas finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds while Bajgora had 10 and 9. Phifer scored 16 points in the victory.
The Redhawks were terrific from the free throw line hitting 23 of 28. They also outrebounded the Lions 48-32.
The Redhawks will travel to Pitt-Greensburg on Wednesday before ending the regular season on Saturday at D'Youville.