FROSTBURG, Md. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women's basketball team earned its first win of the season in a hard-fought battle with Bethany Saturday in the Jim Crawley Tip-Off Tournament hosted by Frostburg University.
The lead changed hands 10 times and the scored tied eight times but the Panthers held on to come out on top as a clutch three-pointer from Shaelyn Snipes gave the Panthers a late lead they'd never surrender 85-82.
"It is great to pick up a win for this young group of talented players," said Head Coach Sharay Hall, who picked up her first win as a collegiate head coach. "It truly was a game of runs, but with some key shots down the stretch, we were able to pull out the win against a very disciplined team. I'm proud of the girls for not giving up."
Rinfrette dished a career-high 11 assists for her first double-double of the season.
Pitt-Bradford connected on eight three-pointers, led by Snipes who went a perfect 3-3 from long range.
Pitt-Bradford jumped out to a hot start early with a 9-2 run made up of a three-pointer and a pair of free throws from Rinfrette and jumpers from Allison Guengerich and Isenberg.
Bethany then answered with an 11-3 run to take a 15-12 lead at the 2:33 mark.
The two teams traded buckets the rest of the quarter and Bethany took a three-point lead into the second quarter, 19-16.
Guengerich got things started in the second quarter with a three-pointer to tie the game at 19-19, but Bethany then scored seven straight to take a 26-19 lead at the 6:41 mark.
But the Panthers responded with a 10-0 run of their own from 6:02-3:55, highlighted by six-straight points from Snipes and capped by a jumper from Rinfrette.
Pitt-Bradford later extended the run to 16-2, which brought the score to 35-28 at the 2:54 mark with a three-pointer from Alston-Smith.
Bethany closed out the half outscoring the Panthers 6-2 and the two teams went into the break with the Panthers clinging to a 37-35 lead.
Four-straight free throws and a layup for Bethany made up a 6-0 run to start the second half and put them up 41-37.
But back-to-back layups from Anna Colebert and Rinfrette followed by a three-pointer from Snipes and a free throw from Rinfrette gave the Panthers those six points back and brought the UPB lead to 45-41 at the 6:20 mark.
Back and forth, the two teams traded runs once more, and a three-pointer from Alston-Smith in the final minute of the third tied the game at 54-54 into the fourth.
Alston-Smith got things started in the fourth quarter with a layup, and an and-one from Snipes put Pitt-Bradford ahead, 59-54, in first 30 seconds of the closing quarter.
Later down 72-65, Rinfrette broke a 10-0 Bethany run with back-to-back layups, connecting on a three-point play on her second to bring the score to 72-70 at the 4:12 mark.
After a Bethany bucket, Guengerich and Snipes hit back-to-back three-pointers to put Pitt-Bradford ahead, 76-74, at the 3:22 mark. A jumper from Rinfrette at the 2:50 mark later gave the Panthers a 78-74 lead.
Bethany then scored a bucket to cut the Panthers lead to two points, but a layup from Isenberg with 39 seconds remaining put Pitt-Bradford back up four points, 80-76.
A Panthers defensive stop on the next Bethany possession and a pair of free throws from Rinfrette put the Panthers ahead six with 24 seconds left.
But Bethany would battle back, connecting on a hoop-and-the-harm, missing the free throw and laying one in to bring the deficit to two points, 82-80, with 12 seconds left.
But a pair of free throws from Rinfrette put the Panthers back up four, and a block from Isenberg on the next Bethany possession sealed the game for the Panthers.
Pitt-Bradford shot 44.8 percent from the field while grabbing 14 offensive boards that resulted in 12 second-chance points.
For her performance in the two games, Rinfrette was named to the Jim Crawley Tip-Off All-Tournament Team.
The Panthers will be idle until after Thanksgiving and will be in action next on Wednesday, Nov. 29, as Hilbert comes to the KOA Arena for the first conference action of the season.