Buffalo, NY -- The Redhawks clinched their third straight AMCC Tournament berth after defeating Hilbert on Saturday afternoon. The 78-65 road victory is La Roche's ninth straight win and sweeps the season series.
Bajgora, Trell Thomas and Rayquan Phifer followed with field goals and a 21-15 La Roche lead at 12:15 mark of the first half. The Redhawks cooled and Hilbert tied it at 21-21 as La Roche was held scoreless for over a five minute stretch.
The Redhawks answered with two buckets in just two seconds and maintained a lead into halftime. La Roche allowed just one Hilbert field goal over the final five minutes for a 38-31 lead.
Bajgora did not hesitate to shoot from distance, hitting 3 for 4 three-pointers in the first half.
Hilbert cut the deficit to three at 44-41 with 17:07 left to play. Hilbert would get no closer as the Redhawks ability on the boards became the difference. La Roche used a 20-8 run to break things open and Darius Lawrence drained a three with 8:55 left and a commanding 64-49 lead.
Hilbert was unable to bring the deficit down to single digits and La Roche cruised to the thirteen point victory. Thomas had 9 second half rebounds and the Redhawks held a 27-15 advantage on the boards.
Hilbert had no answer for Bajgora who dominated in the paint. He registered his second double-double of the season with 28 points (11 for 15 FG) and 11 rebounds. Bajgora became just the fourth player in program history to record 600 career rebounds.
Thomas fought through illness to pick up 15 points and 9 rebounds. Phifer had 14 points and 7 rebounds and Norkus 10 rebounds.
The Redhawks showed why they are the best rebounding team in the AMCC, holding a 55-38 edge on the boards. They shot 45% (33 of 74) and held Hilbert to 39% (28 of 71).
La Roche will play for their tenth straight win on Wednesday at Mt. Aloysius. On January 3, La Roche beat Mt. Aloysius 69-57.