PITTSBURGH, PA – La Roche extended their win-streak to eight games after defeating Franciscan 80-52 on Wednesday evening. The Redhawks improve to 13-5 overall and 10-1 against conference competition.
Trell Thomas outscored Franciscan 7-0 in the first two minutes of Wednesday night's game. Thomas forced two steals and capped his start with a three-pointer.
La Roche's offense slowed as both teams alternated baskets. The Redhawks continued to play tough defense and limited Franciscan to just six points over the first ten minutes. The Barons shot just 21% over that span.
La Roche stretched a seven point lead to a twelve point lead with 9:24 left in the half. Arnes Bajgora hit a layup and the Redhawks went 4 for 4 from the free throw line.
The Redhawks went cold and were held without a field goal for a seven minute stretch. Franciscan called a timeout but momentum swung in La Roche's favor with a 9-2 run.
The Redhawks came out of the timeout in a press and created havoc in the half court. La Roche forced five turnovers and closed the half on a 10-0 run. Zach Gould and RayQuan Phifer provided threes in the closing seconds.
La Roche entered the lockerroom with a 33-16 lead. Thomas scored 11 first half points and Phifer 9 points. Bajgora pulled down 6 rebounds.
Franciscan opened the second half on a 4-0 run. The Redhawks forced five straight turnovers, including two clock violations, running off eight straight points.
The Barons could not solve the 1-2-2 press as La Roche built a 60-27 lead halfway through the second half. The Redhawks missed just three shots in ten minutes and were 4 for 5 from three-point range.
La Roche maintained a nearly thirty point lead throughout the second half and cruised to the 80-52 victory.
Thomas finished with 20 points and hit 9 of 11 shots. Phifer scored 17 points and Gould dished out 5 assists. Bajgora and Etheridge each had 6 rebounds and Thomas 5 steals. Darius Lawrence went a perfect 7 for 7 from the free throw line.
The Redhawks will travel to Hilbert on Saturday for an important conference game. La Roche beat Hilbert 68-66 on a last second stop on December 9.