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Redhawks' Improbable Comeback Comes Up Just Short, Can Clinch AMCC Regular Season Title With Win on Wednesday

Redhawks' Improbable Comeback Comes Up Just Short, Can Clinch AMCC Regular Season Title With Win on Wednesday

ALTOONA, PA - The Redhawks fought their way back from an eleven point deficit with just two minutes remaining. They nearly completed the improbable comeback, getting within a point and holding the final possession. La Roche had two cracks at the game-winner, but both came up just short as Penn State Altoona held on for the 85-84 victory.

The Redhawks' twelve game win-streak came to an end on Saturday. It was their second longest win-streak in program history after their sixteen game win-streak in 2010-2011.

La Roche's "magic number" is down to just one with Penn State Behrend's loss today at Pitt-Bradford. Any combination of a Redhawks' win or Penn State Behrend loss will clinch at least a share of the AMCC Regular Season title.

The Redhawks had an uncharacteristically slow start as Penn State Altoona built an early double-digit lead. La Roche trailed by as many as sixteen points in the first half and entered the half down 45-32.

La Roche was excellent on the boards but they shot just 34% the Lions' 53%. Zach Gould had a team-high 9 first half points.

Penn State Altoona stretched their lead to eighteen points at the 12:50 mark. The Redhawks responded with a 15-2 run to make it 61-56 with 9:13 left to play.

Austin Hannes provided the spark, scoring 7 points over the course of the run. La Roche went 3 for 4 from distance and the lone miss was tipped in by RayQuan Phifer.

The Redhawks had the momentum and trailed by just four with 6:28 left. Penn State Altoona refused to quit and upped the lead to 78-66 over the next four minutes.

La Roche went back to what got them into the game earlier and started draining threes. Hannes, Phifer and Trell Thomas hit three-pointers to get the Redhawks within three with thirty-eight seconds left.

The Redhawks forced a turnover on the ensuing possession and Phifer scored for an 83-82 game with twenty-seconds left. La Roche put Penn State Altoona on the foul line and the Lions brought the lead back to three.

Phifer quickly drove the length of the floor for a layup. La Roche's tough team defense forced a Lions' turnover with nine seconds left.

The Redhawks had two looks at the basket on the final possession, but neither was able to become the game-winner.

Hannes was excellent off the bench. He finished with 20 points, 6 rebounds, and hit 8 of 11 shots. Phifer had 19 points and 7 rebounds and Thomas 14 points and 7 rebounds. Gould reached double-figures with 11 points and Darius Lawrence had 6 boards.

La Roche was excellent in the second half, shooting 50% and hitting 8 of 19 three-pointers. They shot 43% (32 of 74 FG) for the game and outrebounded the Lions by ten. Penn State Altoona shot 51% and hit 19 of 27 free throws.

The Redhawks return to the Kerr Fitness Center and will host Pitt-Greensburg on Wednesday.