MCCANDLESS, Pa. - The La Roche men's basketball team dominated Penn St. Altoona in the home opener to capture their first victory of the season, 113-84. The Redhawks triple-digit scoring figure is their most points in a single game since November 30th, 2011 when they defeated Mt.Aloysius 117-87. Tonight, however, they attempted 15 less shots than they did eight years ago. LRU was lights out from nearly everywhere on the floor. As a team, La Roche was 41-72 (57%) from the field, 12-23 (52%) beyond the arc, and 19-26 (73%) at the free-throw line; all are season bests. A whopping seven Redhawks scored in double-digit figures, shooting a ridiculous 39-68 (57%) combined.
Final: La Roche: 113, Penn St. Altoona: 84
Records: La Roche (1-4), Penn St. Altoona (2-1)
How it Happened
The conference foes played a close game in the first half. Altoona started the game by jumping out to a 4-0 lead on two easy layups. Midway through the first, Altoona took it's largest lead of the game after the Lions leading scorer, Sophomore Andruw Harman, knocked down a mid-range jumper. LRU would battle back to even the game at 21 points a piece.
The Redhawk fell behind once again and were down 35-29 with only three minutes remaining in the first, but once again, battled back to close out the half up 42-39. The Redhawks knocked down five of their last six shots in the half including back-to-back 3-PT from Junior guard Austin Hannes (Saxonburg, PA/Knoch). Hannes had a game-high 14 points at the half on 6-8 FG.
LRU carried that momentum into the second half. The Redhawks started the second half on a 23-11 run and never looked back. In those six minutes, Senior guard Kennedy Smith knocked down three, 3-PT. He finished a perfect 4-4 from beyond the arc.
The Redhawks bench contributed heavily in the second, providing 34 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals in the final 20 minutes. Sophomore guard Desmond Ross (Coraopolis,PA/Cornell) scored all 12 of his points in the second half, a career-high. Freshman Jioni Smith (Coraopolis, PA/Moon) scored 9 points in the second half and 13 total, a season-high for the contributing newcomer.
La Roche led by as many 33 points late into the second half.
Inside the Box Score
In his first game back from injury, Junior forward Tyler Frederick (Butler, PA/Butler) scored a game-high 22 points and reeled in a team-high 8 rebounds.
Kennedy Smith, Darius Lawrence, Austin Hannes, Jioni Smith, Desmond Ross & Shawn Dunnings all finished in double-digit scoring figures. (Smith: 20, Lawrence: 14, Hannes: 16, Smith: 13, Ross: 12, Dunnings: 10).
LRU recorded a season-high 11 steals and 28 points off turnovers.
Over their last two games, the Redhawks have shot 25-50 (50%) from 3-PT range. In their first three games, they shot 19-64 (30%).
Tonight's win is La Roche's third straight over the Lions and eighth in their last nine matchups. Head Coach Hermie Carmichael is now 13-2 all-time against PSA.
NEXT UP: La Roche returns to action on December 4th at nearby Carnegie Mellon University starting at 7:00 p.m.