PITTSBURGH, PA – The Redhawks survived a scare on Wednesday night, holding on to beat Franciscan 60-54. La Roche hangs onto third place in the AMCC and gets back to .500 on the season at 9-9.
The Redhawks struggled in the early minutes and Raegan Stead carried Franciscan to a 10-9 lead. Darrian Johnson sparked the La Roche offense with straight threes and the Redhawks entered the first intermission with a 15-10 lead.
La Roche extended their lead to eight early in the second quarter. The Redhawks turned into a brick wall with four blocks over a three minute stretch.
La Roche tried to create separation. Franciscan climbed their way back and grabbed a 28-26 lead with just sixteen seconds left in the half. Shaundrea Butler drained a three-pointer at the buzzer and the Redhawks entered the lockerroom with a 29-28 advantage.
Franciscan held a 21-16 rebounding advantage and shot 71% from beyond the arc.
The Barons scored eleven straight third quarter points to take a 39-32 lead with 4:30 left. Coach Salih used a timeout in an attempt to change momentum.
La Roche responded with a 10-2 run to get within a point. Shawn Kirby-Brown picked up two steals and four different Redhawks scored points.
Franciscan opened the fourth with four straight points but a wide open Sidney Farmer three-pointer tied it at 45-45. Dalesza Regan hit a hook shot two possessions later to give the Redhawks the lead.
The Barons cut back to two but Johnson hit a pair of free throws for a 58-54 game. Boyd stole the inbounds pass and the Redhawks held on.
Stephanie Thomas came up big in the victory. She finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds and hit 7 of 8 free throws. Johnson had 15 points and Regan 8 rebounds. Nia Thomas rejected 4 shots and picked up 4 steals.
La Roche will travel to Buffalo, NY on Saturday to play top-ranked Hilbert. The Redhawks held on for a 58-56 victory on December 9.