PITTSBURGH, PA -- The young La Roche women's basketball team opened the 2017-18 team falling to John Carroll 68-59 on Wednesday evening. Seven Redhawks made their debuts including three who reached double-figures.
The Redhawks struggled to find their rhythm early and trailed 19-9 after the first quarter. La Roche committed four turnovers over the first four minutes as John Carroll ran out to a 11-2 lead. Shawn Kirby-Brown drained a three-pointer to cut the deficit to five but the first quarter mostly belonged to John Carroll.
The Blue Streak ran their lead to as many as thirteen just two minutes into the second quarter but the Redhawks made their move from there. La Roche absolutely dominated the rebounding department and picked up 13 offensive rebounds over the first twenty minutes. Rebounding and tough defense sparked the Redhawks second half run and La Roche converted 6 of 8 free throws down the stretch. Darrian Johnson scored all 8 of her first half points in the final two minutes, including a pair of three pointers.
The Redhawks took their first lead of the game on a Jenna Cole layup at the 6:54 mark of the third quarter and thirty seconds later gave La Roche a 35-32 advantage. John Carroll responded with 15 of the next 17 points and ended the quarter with a 47-37 lead. La Roche cut the deficit to just six points with 1:59 left but John Carroll hung on for the 68-59 win.
Johnson led the Redhawks with 12 points and 4 assists. Nia Thomas finished her collegiate debut with 11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals. Jenna Cole scored 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting and brought down 6 rebounds. Jazmyne Boyd had 10 points and Dalesza Regan 5 rebounds in the loss.
The Redhawks finished with 33 rebounds including 18 on the offensive end. They struggled from beyond the arc hitting just 5 of 19 shots and hitting 21 of 56 from the field.
La Roche will travel to Guilford College this weekend for a two day tournament. The Redhawks will play Meredith on Saturday and Guilford on Sunday.