PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Franciscan offense struggled to find its rhythm against a tough La Roche team on the road as the Barons fell to the Redhawks, 80-52, Wednesday evening.
Franciscan cut the Red Hawk lead down to five with just 3:19 to play in the first before La Roche closed out the half on a 12-point run to take control for the rest of the game. Franciscan had chances late in the first to keep the deficit in single digits, but three steals by the Redhawks in the final three minutes that led to three baskets disrupted the Baron offensive chances. La Roche led 33-16 at the half.
La Roche opened the second half with a 14-7 run over the first five minutes to push its lead to 24, 49-25, with 15 minutes to play in regulation. Freshman Sean Hickey halted the Redhawk run with a pair of free throws with 14:02 to play in regulation. The Redhawks used an 11-2 run over the next two minutes to push their lead to 33, 60-27, for their largest lead of the game. Sophomore Aaron Foldi hit a pair of free throws to get the lead back down to 31, but Darius Lawrence answered with a pair of free throws of his own. A Foldi layup and a three from sophomore Joe Schriner cut the lead down to 28, 62-34, with 10:16 to play. After a jumper from La Roche with 8:36 left, senior Keoni Sablan drained a three with 7:39 to play to trim the lead to 27.
Franciscan chipped away at the La Roche lead as the Barons made it a 19-point game, 69-50, with 4:07 to play as Hickey drained a deep three from the corner to cap a 13-4 run. Sophomore Matt Trent posted 10 points in the run while Hickey added three. The Redhawks pushed their lead back to 21 with a pair of free throws with 3:52 to play. The free throws kicked off a 9-2 run over the next minute to take a 26-point lead. Darrell Barron hit the final basket of the game with 1:20 play to give the Redhawks the 80-52 win.
Franciscan was troubled by turnovers as the Redhawks forced 25 Baron turnovers. Franciscan shot 37.7% from the floor while the Redhawks finished the day 28-for-60 (46.%). The two teams were tied with 34 rebounds apiece. Trent led the Barons with 12 points and six rebounds while Foldi dished out three assists and pulled down rebounds to go with his eight points.
The Barons travel to Pitt.-Bradford for a 2pm AMCC contest.