STEUBENVILLE, OH -- The Redhawks opened AMCC Conference play with an impressive 78-49 road victory on Wednesday night. La Roche climbed ahead of Franciscan late in the first half to earn their third straight win and improve to 3-1.
Darrell Barron provided quality minutes off the bench scoring 15 points and hitting 3 of 4 threes. Ryan Norkus had 11 points and 7 rebounds and Dion Etheride pulled down 8 boards. The Redhawks were excellent from the foul line hitting 20 of 25 free throws.
Franciscan played off the home crowd early and jumped out to a 19-14 lead. The Redhawks responded with ten straight points to take the lead for good. Zach Gould got things started when he picked off a pass and found RayQuan Phifer for a fastbreak layup. Phifer highlighted the run pulling down an offensive rebound and getting fouled on the way back up. La Roche hit eight free throws over the course of the run including six by Phifer.
A Barron three pointer with 3:17 left in the first put the Redhawks ahead 30-22 and a Phifer layup brought the lead to ten points. La Roche entered intermission with a 32-25 advantage.
Franciscan cut the deficit to five with just over eighteen mintues left to play. The Barons had the score at 40-33 before another 10-0 run allowed the Redhawks to create some distance. Trell Thomas opened and closed the runswith coast-to-coast layups. Barron, Norkus, Arnes Bajgora and Tyler Frederick all provided buckets during the run.
The Redhawks were almost perfect from the free throw down the stretch. In the second half, they hit 10 of 12 free throws and shot 52% from the floor.
La Roche will look for their fourth straight victory when travel to Pitt-Bradford on Saturday. Tip is at 2pm.