PITTSBURGH, PA – The Redhawks gave the packed Kerr Fitness Center what they came to see, cruising to a victory in the AMCC Game of the Week. La Roche climbed into first place in the conference by dominating previously undefeated Penn State Behrend 68-48. The victory is their sixth straight.
The Redhawks opened on a 14-0 run and Behrend burned a timeout at the 16:51 mark. La Roche forced four turnovers and blocked two shots in the opening five minutes. Trell Thomas was unstoppable in the early going, hitting a pair of threes and two fastbreak floaters. Dion Etheridge provided a layup and Arnes Bajgora a putback over the course off the run.
The Lions finally got on the board at the 14:18 mark. La Roche kept up the intensity on defense. They held Behrend scoreless on the next three possessions and built a 24-6 advantage. Bajgora helped control the pace burying a pair of open threes and getting touches on five straight possessions.
Behrend began to chip into the lead and they cut it to twelve on three straight three pointers. The Redhawks responded and carried a commanding 39-21 lead into intermission. Ryan Norkus provided a big three-pointer down the stretch.
The Redhawks entered the half shooting 54% and 50% from three-point range. Thomas and Bajgora each scored 14 first half points.
La Roche opened the second half on a 13-3 run. Phifer sparked the defense, forcing two turnovers and blocking a shot. Etheridge scored five points over the course of the run.
A Bajgora layup at the 15:07 mark put La Roche up a game-high 28 points. Behrend narrowed the gap to sixteen points and La Roche burned a timeout with 11:33 left.
Coach Carmichael settled things down and Thomas came out of the timeout with a three. The Redhawks held Behrend scoreless for over four minutes.
La Roche meanwhile upped their lead to twenty-three with Etheridge and Darius Lawrence threes. They went on to cruise to the twenty point victory.
Thomas and Bajgora each finished with 20 points (8 of 12 FG). Bajgora had a game-high 7 rebounds and Thomas 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Etheridge had 12 points and 4 assists.
The Redhawks shot 48% (28 of 58) and 43% from three-point range. They limited turnovers to a season-low nine.
La Roche will welcome Pitt-Bradford to campus on Saturday. Tip-off is 2pm.