Rinfrette's Clutch Free Throws Lead UPB Women to Victory

Photo credit to Erika Helo.
Photo credit to Erika Helo.

Ali Rinfrette shot a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line in the last 15 seconds, helping the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women's basketball team (12-5, 8-2) to a 77-71 victory at Franciscan (5-12, 4-7) on Saturday evening. 

The sophomore guard headed to the line, and the Barons were within two points at 73-71, needing to knock down both free throws to make it a two-possession game.

She did just that. 

Brittany Watts then came up with a big defensive rebound on the other end and Franciscan immediately fouled, still clinging to their comeback hopes with just seven seconds left.

Rinfrette proceeded to drill two more free throws, ensuring the Panthers would return to Bradford with yet another conference victory. 

"We got off to a really slow start, but we settled down and started to play some really good ball," said Pitt-Bradford head coach Sean Brown Sr. "Ali picked up two early fouls, but she was clutch later in the game knocking down some big free throws." 

Rinfrette led a balanced UPB attack with 17 points and eight rebounds while fellow Bradford native, Kaserra Owens, just missed a double-double with 16 points and nine boards. Anna Colebert followed with 15 points and Abby Brate added nine points in the victory. 

"Kaserra played out of her mind today, sparking us with some huge offensive rebounds and timely baskets," Brown said. "Anna and Darien hit some key deep jump shots in the clutch and Abby battled all night to make some huge plays."

Sarah Schriner led the Baron's offense with 22 points while Lucia Westrick added 21 points and nine rebounds in the loss. 

The Panther's defense forced 22 turnovers, resulting in a 22-13 advantage in points off of turnovers.

Franciscan started out on fire, resulting in a 17-11 lead after the opening quarter.

However, the Panthers fought back, dominating the second quarter 21-10 to take a 32-27 advantage into the locker room at the half. 

Owens' led the Pitt-Bradford offense with nine points in the second quarter.

The second half was a battle as the Panthers outscored the Barons 17-15 in the third quarter, leading to a 49-42 advantage with just 10 minutes left. 

Franciscan made their run in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to as little as two late in the game, but Rinfrette's clutch free throws sealed the deal for the Panthers.

 The Panthers return to action Wednesday for a key AMCC matchup with Penn State Behrend at 8 p.m. at the KOA Arena.