PITTSBURGH, PA – The Men's Basketball team lost a thriller on Wednesday night, falling to Penn State Behrend 63-59. The Redhawks are now in a three-way tie for third place with Behrend and Penn State Altoona.
The first ten minutes were extremely fast and extremely even. La Roche received contributions from all over the floor as six Redhawks combined for their first 19 points. The lead changed five times in that time span (22-19 Behrend) and both teams shot over 50%.
The game quickly changed into a defensive battle as neither team could find a basket over the next three minutes. Evan Bonnaure broke the scoreless drought with a dribble drive at the 7 minute mark. Darius Lawrence followed with a floater to give the Redhawks a 23-22 lead. Behrend answered with a 12-0 and entered halftime ahead 38-26.
The Redhawks forced two turnovers to score the first four points of the second half and 10 of the first 13. Arnes Bajgora cut the deficit to four with a layup six minutes into the half. A pair of Evan Bonnaure free throws cut it to three and a Bajgora hook shot got La Roche within a point.
Behrend extended the lead to as many as seven but the Redhawks cut it back to two with two minutes left. Zach Gould hit a step back two and Trell Thomas got La Roche within two with a pair of free throws.
Both teams traded baskets over the next minute with Bonnaure and Gould hit runners for the home squad. Andy Nilad put Behrend back up four but Thomas drove the entire length of the floor and converted an and-1 with 19 seconds left.
The Redhawks immediately fouled. Behrend hit one of two free throws and La Roche got the ball back down two with 7 seconds left. La Roche tried a three-pointer to win but came up short and Behrend held on.
Bonnaure (15 points), Bajgora (13 points) and Thomas (10 points) all scored in double figures.
The Redhawks will host Penn State Altoona on Saturday in an important conference game. The Redhawks need to win two of the next three to guarantee a home playoff game.