PITTSBURGH, PA – Senior Darrian Johnson hit a pair of free throws with three seconds left to lift the Redhawks past Penn State Behrend 62-60. La Roche improves to 8-8 overall and 6-3 in the AMCC Conference.
Behrend took advantage of early Redhawk mistakes. The Lions turned three straight La Roche turnovers into points, building a 6-0 lead and forcing Coach Salih to burn a timeout.
Behrend recovered but the Redhawks closed the quarter on a 14-0 run and a 27-17 lead. La Roche caught fire from distance with Farmer, Johnson and Nia Thomas draining threes. Farmer scored 11 first quarter points and was perfect from the field.
Jenna Cole converted a three-point play early in the second quarter. The Redhawks cooled off and Behrend cut the ten point deficit in half by the midway part of the quarter.
La Roche was held scoreless for over a five minute stretch as the Lions took a 33-32 lead with 1:19 left in the half. Johnson ended the drought with a free throw but Behrend carried a 36-35 lead into halftime.
The Redhawks shot 44% in the first half and hit 5 of 14 three-pointers.
Neither team could find their rhythm in the third quarter. Behrend held a slim lead but two straight Jazmyn Boyd jumpers put the Redhawks ahead 40-39. Butler and Stephanie Thomas added buckets and Behrend's Woll a three-point play as La Roche ended the third with a 44-42 lead.
Behrend tied it at 46-46 forcing La Roche to burn a timeout. The Redhawks came out of the stoppage inspired. Cole scored on a pick and roll and Johnson followed netting a three-point play.
La Roche continued to fight with Cole scoring on a putback and Butler drawing a charge on the opposite end.
The Lions hung around and got within three with 34 seconds left. Butler made it a two possession game but Behrend hit a pair of free throws to get within two.
Cole was immediately fouled, hitting 1 of 2 at the opposite end. Behrend needed a three to tie and they buried one in the corner with 13 seconds left.
Coach Salih called a timeout to advance the ball to half court. They were unable to score on a back door screen but battled on the boards and came down with the rebound and foul.
Johnson went to the line and the senior came up big with a pair of free throws. Behrend's last second three came up short and the Redhawks hung on.
Johnson (14 points), Cole (12 points) and Farmer (11 points) all scored in double figures. Dalesza Regan brought down a game-high 10 rebounds while Johnson had 7 and Stephanie Thomas 6.
The Redhawks struggled with 32 turnovers but they made up for it battling on the boards.
La Roche will host Pitt Bradford on Saturday in the AMCC Game of the Week. Tip is 4pm.