PITTSBURGH, PA – The La Roche men's basketball team earned their third AMCC Regular Season title after coming back to defeat Pitt-Greensburg 70-67. La Roche clinches the outright AMCC Regular Season Title and will host the AMCC Championship Tournament on February 24-25.
Pitt-Greensburg came out inspired. They were nearly perfect early and jumped out to a 17-9 lead with fifteen minutes left in the first half.
Coach Carmichael adjusted his lineup and the Redhawks responded, cutting the deficit to a single bucket. La Roche slowed the Bobcats with zone defense and Darrell Barron sparked the offense with seven points.
La Roche switched back into a man to man defense and the Bobcats went cold. They held Pitt-Greensburg to just one field goal over a five minute stretch. The Bobcats eventually figured things out offensively, extending its lead to seven. Arnes Bajgora found his groove as the Redhawks hung within striking distance.
Bajgora drained threes on consecutive possessions around the five minute mark. On the following possession, Ryan Norkus kept the possession alive with three straight offensive rebounds and a putback layup.
Norkus found Zach Gould on a backdoor screen with just two seconds on the shot clock to get within two points.
Pitt-Greensburg closed the half with three straight points and entered the half with a 39-34 lead. Bajgora had a big first half with 15 points and 6 rebounds.
Bajgora opened the second half with a nifty up and under and a hook shot to get the Redhawks within a point.
Pitt-Greensburg used a 9-3 run for a 49-42 lead with fifteen minutes to play. La Roche got it back to three, but were held without a field goal for over four minutes. The Redhawks used what the Pitt-Greensburg defense gave them and were able to get to the foul line.
Austin Hannes broke the scoreless drought with a layup and Bajgora followed with a putback. Coach Carmichael followed with a timeout at the 7:15 mark and trailing 60-55.
Darius Lawrence came out of the timeout with a three in the corner. Etheridge hit a pair of free throws to tie it at 60-60 with 5:48 left.
Both teams went scoreless over the next three minutes until Gould nailed a contested three with 2:30 left. Bajgora scored on a pick and roll for a five point lead.
Pitt-Greensburg fought back to tie it. Gould had the answer again, hitting a contested three pointer for a three point lead with 38 seconds left. Etheridge hit a pair of free throws and the Redhawks hung on.
Bajgora need just twenty-six minutes to register a double-double. He finished with 29 points and 15 rebounds and hit 12 of 21 shots.
Etheridge was a rebound shy of a double-double with 11 boards and 9 rebounds. Gould and Barron each scored 10 points and Trell Thomas had 7 assists. La Roche held a 46-30 edge on the boards.