La Roche withstood several late charges by the Pitt-Bradford men's basketball team to defeat the Panthers 66-62 Saturday in AMCC action.
Pitt-Bradford never led by more than two in the contest and spent much of the second half playing catch-up. The Redhawks allowed the Panthers to remain close by going 5-18 from the free throw line, including 4-13 in the second half.
The Redhawks led 14-7 after the first seven minutes yet the Panthers quickly surged ahead. Keith Burgess' layup at the 8:31 mark capped a 10-2 Pitt-Bradford run and gave the Panthers their first lead at 17-16 since the game's opening basket.
Moments later, tied at 22, La Roche scored five straight points to go ahead 27-22 and it would never relinquish the lead. The Redhawks led 31-29 at the break.
La Roche stretched its lead to double-digits early in the second half using a 7-2 spurt. The Redhawks would lead by more than 10 on three separate occasions in the final frame only to see Pitt-Bradford rally each time.
Burgess' basket with 4:06 left trimmed the lead to 59-56, but La Roche's Joel McIntosh scored on the other end to snap a string of eight straight points by the Panthers.
Pitt-Bradford again cut the advantage to three with 53 seconds remaining, but after a free throw by La Roche, the Panthers failed to score on consecutive possessions erasing any chance of another late game comeback.
The Panthers shot 40 percent from the floor and were just 3-10 from behind the arc. La Roche hit 43 percent of its attempts and connected on nine three-pointers. The Redhawks outrebounded Pitt-Bradford by two and scored 16 points off nine Panther turnovers.
Burgess finished with a career-high 26 points while hitting 11 shots from the field, including a pair of three-pointers. Brandon McClester added 11 points and nine rebounds, and Tyler Ferguson had eight points and 10 boards.
Pitt-Bradford drops to 6-5 on the season and 1-3 in the AMCC. The Panthers travel to Franciscan Sunday.