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Golden Tornadoes Top Redhawks Despite Smith's Late Surge

Golden Tornadoes Top Redhawks Despite Smith's Late Surge

BEAVER FALLS, Pa. - The La Roche men's basketball team lost their fourth game of the season today in Game Two of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament against the hosts, Geneva. After posting career-high's in points (20) and rebounds (16) on Friday against Grove City, Senior guard Kennedy Smith (Homestead, PA/Steel Valley) went off for 32 points on 12-24 shooting, the most points by a Redhawk in a single game since Arnes Bajgora (1,419 career points, 2nd in program history) scored 35 points against Franciscan on January 18th, 2016. Smith knocked down an insane 6-7 3-PT in the second half alone. In his first two years as a Redhawk, he knocked down three total 3-PT. He is currently ranked 4th in the AMCC with 19.5 PPG. 

The injury bug has caught LRU early on this season. A total of only eight Redhawks played in today's game.

Final: La Roche: 79, Geneva: 85

Records: La Roche (0-4), Geneva (2-2)

How it Happened

LRU jumped out to a 6-2 lead behind two 3-PT from Sophomore guard Desmond Ross (Coraopolis, PA/Cornell) and Junior guard Austin Hannes (Saxonburg, PA/Knoch). Then, the Golden Tornadoes shifted the momentum by going on a 12-4 run to take a 14-10 lead; they never looked back. At one point in the first half, Geneva led by as many as 13 points. The Golden Tornadoes would finish the first up 41-30. The 11 point half-time deficit was La Roche's largest after 20 minutes of play this season.

In the second half, Smith kept the Redhawks in the game by knocking down 6-7 3-PT attempts, four of which came in the last ten minutes of the contest.

Kennedy knocked down a clutch 3-PT to bring the game within two points with 30 seconds left on the clock. After a necessary foul by Freshman guard Jioni Smith, Geneva knocked down two free-throws to go up 81-77. Smith answered with a quicker jumper to bring the game within two points again, this time with 18 seconds left on the clock. Ultimately, the Golden Tornadoes proved to be too solid at the free-throw line. The opponents shot 8-8 FT in the final minute and a half of the game.

Inside the Box Score

Despite not having their leading scorer, Junior forward Tyler Frederick (Butler, PA/Butler)the Redhawks had season-high's in points (79), FG% (44%) and 3-PT (13). 

LRU shot a season-low 50% from the free-throw line on 8-16 shots. Geneva, on the other hand, knocked down a season-high 18 free-throws on 23 attempts (78%).  

On the glass, La Roche was out rebounded for the second straight contest, 35-49. Without Frederick, who averaged an AMCC best 14.5 rebounds per game in the first two games this season, the Redhawks have struggled to corral the ball. 

La Roche scored a season-low 24 points in the paint; Geneva scored 36. 

The Golden Tornadoes bench scored 22 points while LRU's bench put up 12. This season, the Redhawks bench has averaged only 7.5 points per game. 

NEXT UP: Men's basketball opens their home season on the newly re-finished gym floor at the Kerr Sport and Fitness Center on Tuesday, November 26th at 6:00 p.m. The La Roche Student Advisory Committee and the Cheer & Dance team will host a pep-rally Monday night at the Kerr starting at 10:00 p.m.