Rinfrette, Owens Lift Panthers to Opening-Round Win

Photo credit to Wade Aiken.
Photo credit to Wade Aiken.

Ali Rinfrette scored a game-high 28 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, to lift the Pitt-Bradford women's basketball team past Hilbert Wednesday night, 69-55, in the first round of the AMCC tournament.

It was a sloppy game that featured 60 turnovers and a five-minute stretch where either team failed to score.

Hilbert led by two after the first quarter, forcing the Blue and Gold into nine turnovers and just four made baskets. Shirleah Ragin delivered a much-needed spark for the Panthers in the second quarter.

Her three-pointer at the 2:15 mark put Pitt-Bradford in front 25-23. The teams would trade free throws, and Brittany Watts' basket in the final seconds of the half gave the Panthers a 29-25 lead at the break. Ragin was a perfect 3-3 from the field in the frame, scoring eight points.

The Panthers forced a pair of quick turnovers to start the second half and extended their advantage to 33-25 on Rinfrette's bucket. Hilbert cut the deficit to six midway through the quarter, but Kaserra Owens scored on a putback to push it back to eight. Owens' steal and layup moments later stretched the margin to double-digits for the first time.

Rinfrette would not let the Hawks get closer than eight the rest of the way. She was 3-5 from the field and 7-8 from the line in the final quarter. In three games against Hilbert this season, the junior guard averaged 28 points.

Pitt-Bradford shot 45 percent from the floor and scored 26 points off 34 Hilbert turnovers. The Panthers limited the Hawks to 37 percent shooting and outscored the visitors by eight in the paint.

Rinfrette went 8-12 from the field and 11-12 from the stripe. Watts completed her seventh double-double of season with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Owens hit 7-9 shots to finish with 14 points. Darien Lantz handed out four assists, and Rinfrette had seven steals.

Pitt-Bradford improves to 16-10 on the season and will meet Medaille in the semifinals Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in Pittsburgh. The game will be played at La Roche College.