Panthers Defeat Hilbert to Win AMCC Opener

Panthers Defeat Hilbert to Win AMCC Opener

The Pitt-Bradford women's basketball team snapped its two-game losing streak Wednesday night, edging Hilbert 67-62 in the AMCC opener for both teams.

The Panthers were led by the duo of Ali Rinfrette and Brittany Watts. Rinfrette led all scorers with 22 points, and Watts added 20 points and nine rebounds.

Less than 24 hours after falling to Houghton, the Panthers bounced back with one of their best defensive efforts on the young season. The 62 points allowed represent the second-fewest points the women have surrendered this year.

The first half was a tight-knit affair as neither team led by more than two possessions. Pitt-Bradford held a four-point advantage after the opening quarter, and Hilbert used a 12-3 burst late in the second period to go ahead by the same margin. Watts hit a pair of free throws, and Kaserra Owen's jumper in the closing seconds sent the teams to the break tied at 29.

Hilbert scored the opening basket of the third quarter, and the Panthers responded by stringing together 11 straight points, including six by Rinfrette, to take their largest lead of the game at 40-31. Darien Lantz' basket at the 3:51 mark pushed the lead to double-digits.

Pitt-Bradford maintained control throughout the final quarter, displaying the poise that was missing against Houghton in the game's final minutes.  The Hawks cut the deficit to 61-57 with 1:59 left only to see Watts score two possessions later to extend it back to six, and the Panthers went 4-6 from the line over the final minute to preserve the win.

Pitt-Bradford shot 41 percent from the floor and went 16-21 from the free throw line. The Panthers were outrebounded by five but scored 19 second-chance points off 11 offensive rebounds. Hilbert shot 42 percent for the game yet struggled from the outside, going 4 of 18 from long-range.

Lantz and Owens each had seven points apiece, and Rinfrette logged a team-high four assists.

Pitt-Bradford improves to 2-3 on the season and travels to defending AMCC champion La Roche Saturday for a 2 p.m. contest.