Panthers Drop Elmira, 77-64, in Season Opener

Panthers Drop Elmira, 77-64, in Season Opener

Sean Brown Sr. picked up his first career victory as a head coach, as Pitt-Bradford dropped Elmira, 77-64, in their season-opener Friday night in the KOA Arena. 

"It was a total team effort tonight. We did a great job of turning our defense into offense," Brown Sr. said. "A lot of different players stepped up and had big games for us."

Ali Rinfrette led four Panthers in double figures with a team-high 30 points, seven rebounds and four steals while shooting a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line. Darien Lentz and Abby Brate chipped in with 13 points each while Casey Stringer added 10 points. Kennedy Cratty rounded out the high-powered offense with six points. Brate led the team with six assists and five steals in the victory.

"Ali gave us exactly what we thought she was going to give us. She has worked very hard over the summer and the offseason and it definitely showed tonight," Brown Sr. said. "Darien and Abby were both really consistent and played terrific defense, which certainly helped turn the game around in the third quarter."

Pitt Bradford's defense suffocated the Soaring Eagles all night long, leading to 35 turnovers. The Panthers took advantage of Elmira's miscues, scoring 30 points off of those turnovers.

Pitt-Bradford battled to a 14-10 advantage in the first quarter and 18-13 advantage in the second to take a 32-23 lead at the half. 

The Panthers didn't let up, extending their lead to as many as 19 with just under one minute left in the third.

Elmira refused to give in, cutting the deficit to just eight late in the fourth quarter. However, the Panthers - especially Rinfrette - knocked down their free throws late in the game to seal the 77-64 victory in the season opener.

"Ali really did a nice job staying poised when they made their run," Brown Sr. said. "She made some huge free throws down the stretch to ice the game."


The women's basketball team returns to action Tuesday at 8 p.m. against Alfred State in the KOA Arena. The men's team hosts Alfred State Tuesday at 6 p.m. for their season opener.