La Roche University (21-7) men's basketball headed into nationally ranked #9 Wittenberg University (27-2) as underdogs, and despite falling to the Tigers 66-83, the Redhawks proved they can compete with the best of them. LRU jumped out to an early 14-6 lead Friday night less than five minutes into the game, but that would prove to be their largest. Less than 10 minutes later, Wittenberg claimed the lead and never looked back. LRU would hang around for a majority of the contest, but never pulled within one possession of the Tigers after their early run.
Senior G Darius Lawrence led La Roche in scoring for the fourth straight game. Lawrence finished with 19 points, three rebounds, two assists and a block. The AMCC All-Second team member scored 10 or more points in 25 of 27 games this season. Junior F and AMCC Player of the Year, Tyler Frederick, picked up his 17th double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Junior G Austin Hannes scored all 13 of his points in the first half. Senior G Kennedy Smith contributed 11 points, four rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block.
Hannes hit the first two shots of today's contest as the Redhawks took a quick 4-2 lead. Then, back to back jumpers from Frederick and Lawrence put LRU up 9-2 just over two minutes into the game. Wittenberg responded by proving why they are ranked the number nine team in the country and slowly but surely gained the lead.
Up 27-26 with 7:07 to play in the first, Witt erupted for a 16-8 run. Every time La Roche would hit a big shot, the Tigers had an answer. The hosts lead 43-35 at the break.
LRU's determination carried into the second half as they continued to hang around, trailing just 68-59 with 5:29 to play. Over the next five minutes, due mostly to fouls, Wittenberg would outscore La Roche 15-7 to go on to win by 17.