PITTSBURGH, PA -- La Roche men's hoops used a big second half to get past arch-rival Penn State Behrend in their conference opener on Wednesday evening. La Roche downed the Lions 74-64 to improve to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the AMCC.
Tyler Frederick finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double in three games. Zach Gould hit three 3-pointers on his way to 17 points. RayQuan Phifer had 13 points and 5 steals while Austin Hannes scored 12 points.
The Redhawks outrebound Behrend 30-20 including 15-4 on the offensive glass. La Roche won the turnover battle 17-8.
Austin Hannes cut the deficit with a reverse layup and Frederick tied it at 8-8 with a three pointer. Both teams battled for momentum with Behrend relying on long range shots and La Roche working it down low.
The Lions did not attempt many shots in the first half, but they made it count when they did. They stretched a 20-18 lead to 29-21 with three pointers and free throws.
Frederick limited the damage with a spot up three. Hannes cut the deficit to five with a jumper at the 2:07 mark of the first half, and Behrend entered the lockeroom with a 39-34 advantage.
Zach Gould opened the second half with a three to cut the deficit to just two. The Redhawks made a defensive stop and Gould tied it with a short jumper.
Frederick pulled down a missed shot and put it back in for the Redhawks first lead since the opening bucket. Phifer forced a turnover and drove the length of the floor for a 46-42 lead with fifteen minutes to play.
La Roche upped the intensity on defense with six straight stops including a shot clock violation. Gould helped the Redhawks extend their lead to six, grabbing an offensive rebound and then finding Frederick underneath. Hannes drove past the Lions for an eight point advantage.
The Redhawks started to pull away midway through the second half. Darius Lawrence found Gould for two straight three pointers and a 58-45 lead.
Behrend refused to quit and got back within five at the 7:30 mark. Phifer stopped the run with a pull up jumper.
The Lions continued to attack to get within two with six minutes left. Gould drove through the lane to make it a 64-60 game with 4:37 left to play.
The Redhawks made a defensive stop at the three minute mark and Norkus found Frederick underneath for a six point lead. Phifer hit a turn around jumper with 1:53 left. La Roche forced a turnover on the ensuing possession and Behrend strung it out with fouls. Hannes and Gould were perfect from the line down the stretch.
La Roche hosts Penn State Altoona on Saturday at 4pm. Altoona fell to Mt. Aloyius tonight in their AMCC opener.