BRADFORD, PA -- La Roche's incredible championship run finally came to an end on Wednesday night. The Redhawks tried to battle back from a sluggish start. They cut a twenty-two point deficit to single digits, but time became the enemy and Pitt-Bradford held on for the 78-69 quarterfinal victory.
La Roche's milestone seven straight AMCC Championships comes to an end, but their eleven straight tournament appearances is the league's longest active streak.
Stephanie Thomas scored the game's opening basket, but it was all Pitt-Bradford in the first quarter. La Roche did not register another field goal until the 2:17 mark and the Panthers entered the first intermission ahead 25-9.
The Redhawks recovered with a solid second quarter. Pitt-Bradford held a slight scoring edge, but La Roche slowed the Panthers' attack enough to remain within striking distance. Pitt-Bradford caught momentum towards the end of the first half and entered the lockerroom with a 41-21 lead.
Pitt-Bradford doubled up the Redhawks in first half field goals (18 to 9) and La Roche shot just 33%.
The Panthers stretched their lead to as many as twenty-two in the second half. The lead looked insurmountable, but the Redhawks never gave up and fought their way back.
Darrian Johnson hit a pair of three-pointers and then added another with 2:39 left to get La Roche within fourteen. The Redhawks continued to battle and a Jenna Cole three got them within seven with 23 seconds to play.
La Roche put Pitt-Bradford on the foul line, needing misses to stay alive. Pitt-Bradford hit their free throws when it counted and were able to hold on for the victory.
Johnson was excellent in her final collegiate game. She scored a game-high 24 points and played 35 minutes.
Cole reached double-figures with 15 points and hit 4 of 5 free throws. She finishes the season with an 88.3 free throw percentage, the second best in AMCC history.