PITTSBURGH, PA – The La Roche women's basketball team climbed into sole possession of fourth place in the AMCC after defeating Penn State Altoona 87-72. The Redhawks are now 6-7 overall and 4-2 conference.
Jazmyne Boyd opened with a pair of transition baskets but turnovers and defensive breakdowns allowed Penn State Altoona to keep it close early.
Both teams settled in and were able to efficiently run their offenses. Jenna Cole cut through the lane for a layup and Shawn Kirby-Brown hit a runner on the next Redhawk possession. Darrian Johnson hit a short range jumper and Boyd hit one just before the buzzer for a 14-12 lead at the end of one.
Neither team led by more than a basket in the first. Cole and Boyd each scored four first quarter points and the Redhawks shot 41%.
La Roche picked up the pace to start the second quarter. Penn State Altoona scored the quarter's opening three points but the Redhawks responded with six straight and the Lions burned a timeout.
Nicole Boda got things going, forcing a steal and going coast to coast with a eurostep. Dalesza Regan followed with a layup and then Johnson went coast to coast for a score.
The Redhawks defense clamped down and they forced three straight turnovers. They used their transition game to stretch a six point lead to nineteen in just under five minutes. A Stephanie Thomas three-point play highlighted the run.
La Roche shot over 60% in the quarter and Johnson scored thirteen points.
The Redhawks extended their lead in the third quarter. Sidney Farmer opened the quarter with a midrange jumper and Cole forced a turnover and scored on the other end for a twenty-three point lead.
La Roche continued to push the pace but the Lions cut the deficit to fifteen at the end of the third.
The Redhawks righted the ship early in the fourth. Johnson stole the opening possession threw a deep pass to Regan for 67-50 lead. Cole added to the lead with a three in the corner.
Johnson converted a three-point play with seven minutes. La Roche forced a turnover for points on the next possession for their largest lead of the game.
La Roche went on to earn the fifteen point victory.
Johnson had a team-high 20 points while Cole added 19 on 7 of 11 shots. Regan scored 16 points and picked off 4 steals.
The Redhawks forced thirty Lion turnovers and picked up twenty steals.
La Roche beings a two game road trip on Wednesday at Pitt-Greensburg. Pitt-Greensburg is 2-11 overall and 2-5 in the AMCC.