ERIE, PA -- The La Roche men's basketball team took a huge step toward clinching home court in the AMCC Tournament after picking up a huge 57-50 victory at Penn State Behrend. The Redhawks can finish no lower than fourth in the AMCC and can clinch a first round bye with a victory on Saturday.
La Roche absolutely shutdown the Behrend offense for large portions of the first half. La Roche's defense was so good that they held the Lions without a field goal for the opening fifteen minutes.
The Redhawk frontcourt of Ryan Norkus and Tyler Frederick provided the early offense, with the pair combining for 15 of the team's opening 17 points. La Roche extended their lead to as many as seventeen points in the first half. They routinely looked for the open pass, hovering over 50% shooting for a majority of the first half.
Behrend recovered slightly, scoring nine points in four minutes. Norkus grabbed a missed three-pointer and put it back at the buzzer, as the Redhawks carried a commanding 30-16 lead into the half.
The Lions shot just 17% in the first half, and missed all eleven three-point attempts. In contrast, the Redhawks shot 50% and scored twenty-two points in the paint.
Behrend's fortunes reversed in the second half. The Lions closed the gap to ten, but an Austin Hannes and-1 and three-pointer quickly got it back to sixteen.
The Redhawks went cold and Behrend began to chip away at the lead. They got within single digits at the 12 minute mark and made it a two possession game at the 7 minute mark.
La Roche remained focused and clamped down on defense. They held Behrend without a field goal for over a three minute stretch late. Darius Lawrence went a perfect 4 for 4 from the foul line down the stretch.
The Redhawks front court was phenomenal, as both Frederick and Norkus finished with double-doubles. Frederick had 16 point and 15 rebounds and Norkus 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Gould hit double digits with 10 points. However he did not finish with a three-pointer which snaps his incredible 28 game streak of hitting at least one three-pointer.