The Pitt-Bradford men’s basketball team suffered a bitter
94-77 defeat at the hands of the visiting La Roche Redhawks on Saturday, Jan.
11. The Panthers could not find an answer for the stout play in the low post by
the Redhawks and had trouble defending the three-point shot all game.
Senior Brandon McClester had a season-high and game-high 30
points to go with five rebounds and one assist. McClester had little trouble
finding the basket all afternoon, and on more than one occasion made a play
when there appeared to be nothing there.
Junior Keith Burgess tallied 16 points, two rebounds and two
assists. Junior Lucas Pichette registered 14 points, seven rebounds and one
Pitt-Bradford (6-6, 2-3) opened the contest on its heels
after the fast-pace and up-tempo La Roche offense burst deep into the Panthers’
end of the court repeatedly. The Redhawks quickly had the Panthers in a 6-0
hole to start the game, but Pitt-Bradford found a way to carve up the stingy La
Within a matter of a few possessions, the Panthers had
worked their way into a 10-8 game and it appeared the contest was headed for a
The La Roche three-point shooters came to life shortly after
and Torin Smith connected on back-to-back-to-back shots from behind the arc.
Just like that, the deficit grew to 24-16 in favor of the Redhawks.
The Panthers brought the score within seven points and had
less than two minutes remaining until the break. As it played out, a short jump
shot by La Roche’s Andre Flanigan put the score at 44-36, and a few seconds
later the teams headed to the locker room.
Pitt-Bradford finished the first half shooting 51.6 percent
from the floor but failed to connect from three-point land. The Panthers were
4-of-5 from the line.
La Roche shot 53.8 percent from the floor in the first
twenty minutes, but the difference in the score came by way of the four triples
the Redhawks added to the board. La Roche was 12-of-16 from the charity stripe.
La Roche (8-4, 4-1) quickly capitalized on a missed three
pointer by the Panthers to begin the second half, and just like that the
scoring continued for the visiting team.
With 15:15 showing on the clock, Pitt-Bradford came within
five points of taking the lead, but the low-post play by La Roche was just too
much for the Panthers to handle.
Quickness on the perimeter along with strong play in the
paint plagued the Panthers for much of the second half just as it did the first
As the game continued, Pitt-Bradford would make up ground
for a few possessions only to lose that ground moments later off a big play by
the Redhawks’ offense.
With two minutes remaining in the game, a jump shot by
McClester cut the deficit to 14 points and swung the momentum to the Panthers’
bench. But La Roche’s Lionel Perkins was fouled by Pitt-Bradford’s PJ Blanch
and after making his two free-throw shots, the game appeared to be out of
The clock began to melt away, as did any hope for a comeback
victory from the Panthers. A jump shot with 34 seconds remaining by the
Redhawks completed the scoring and time ran out on the next possession.
“Give credit to La Roche, they outplayed us in every aspect
of the game,” said head coach Britt Moore.
The Panthers connected on 50 percent of their shots for the
game, but were just 7.7 percent (1-of-13) from behind the arc. They were
10-of-18 from the line.
The Redhawks shot an eye-popping 62.5 percent for the
afternoon and an equally impressive 62.5 percent from the three-point line.
They were 24-of-29 from the line.
The Panthers have a quick turnaround as they hit the floor
on Sunday, Jan. 12 when Franciscan comes to town for a 1 p.m. tip-off at the