PITTSBURGH, PA -- The La Roche men's basketball team were dominant on the glass and outrebounded #6 Marietta by twenty before falling in the closing seconds 81-75.
The Redhawks trailed by fifteen with just 2:12 left before a 17-5 run brought them within three with 22 seconds remaining. Marietta was nearly perfect from the free throw line and hung on for the six point win.
The Redhawks were about as good as it gets on the glass. They outrebounded Marietta 54-34 including 25-8 on the offensive end. Tyler Frederick had a game-high 12 rebounds and pulled down 5 on the offensive glass. RayQuan Phifer finished with 10 rebounds and Ryan Norkus had 9 rebounds and 6 offensive rebounds.
Phifer scored 17 points and finished with a double-double while Trell Thomas had a game-high 19 points. Norkus had 16 points and finished just a rebound shy of a double-double.
Marietta had the hot hand in the first half and jumped out to an early 15-7 lead. The Redhawks scored six straight including a Darius Lawrence three-pointer which cut it to two. The Pioneers responded scoring 11 of the next 13 and entered halftime with a 45-29 lead.
Marietta hit 16 of 25 first half shots and connected on 7 of 11 three-pointers. The Redhawks struggled hitting just 11 of 34 of their first half shots.
Phifer drained a three to open the second half. Marietta scored the next four points and built their lead to nineteen with 12:19 left. The Redhawks began to chip away at the lead and brought it down to ten on a Thomas three-pointer with 6:09 remaining. The Pioneers again responded with six straight points and held a fifteen point lead with 2:12 left.
Thomas drained a three to get within twelve and a Phifer three-pointer brought it down to single digits. A pair of free throws brought the margin back to eleven but Norkus nailed a three with 32 seconds left. La Roche stole the ensuing inbounds pass and Thomas converted the floater "and-1" for a 76-71 game. Thomas followed with a pair of free throws and a one possession game, however Marietta hit their free throws and hung on.
The Pioneers shot just 21% in the second half and missed all eight three-point attempts.
The Redhawks will welcome Westminster to campus on Wednesday. It is a 7pm tip.