PITTSBURGH, PA -- La Roche women's basketball used a late burst to pull away from D'Youville and pick up a 78-67 victory on Saturday. The Redhawks improve to 11-7 overall, 10-2 in conference, and keep pace atop the AMCC.
The Redhawks played off the home crowd early, storming out to an 8-0 lead. Jenna Cole won the tip and netted a three on the opening possession for the first lead. Nia Thomas forced a steal on the ensuing possession and scored, before Cole closed the run with a three-pointer.
La Roche ran their first-quarter lead all the way to thirteen, and entered the first break with a 23-13 advantage.
The Redhawks held a double-digit lead late in the first half. D'Youville closed the gap with a pair of three-pointers and 35-30 halftime score.
Team were nearly identical on the stat sheet in the first half. Each team grabbed 17 rebounds and each team attempted 29 field goals. The difference on the scoreboard were a pair of Redhawk three-point makes.
Jenna Cole led all players at half with 11 points and 5 rebounds. She hit 3 of 6 three-pointers.
La Roche quickly stretched the lead back to double-figures, coming out of the lockerroom with nine straight points. Cole scored on the opening possession, while Redhawk stops turned into Thomas, Dasja Anderson, and Danajah Sander buckets.
Despite the large lead, the Spartans refused to quit. They outscored La Roche 19-8 over the final seven minutes of the quarter to cut it to a 54-51 game.
D'Youville carried the momentum into the fourth quarter and tied it at 55-55 with 8:15 left. Cole made an and-1 to go up three, but the Spartans answered on the opposite end.
La Roche then took over. The Redhawks made stops on the next four possessions while making their offensive possessions count.
Cole and Dalesza Regan layups put the home squad up 62-57. A Cole put-back and-1 and a Thomas three-pointer stretched the lead to eleven with 4:24 left to play.
D'Youville cut it back to six, but they would get no closer as La Roche earned the eleven point victory.
Cole had 25 points and 11 rebounds to pick up a double-double. Thomas scored 19 points on 7 of 10 shooting. Anderson had 13 points and 6 assists. Sanders finished with 11 points, 6 assists, and 5 steals.
The Redhawks begin a three-game road trip next Wednesday at Penn State Behrend.