Panthers' Playoff Run Ends In Double-Overtime AMCC Semifinal Defeat

Photo by Erika Helo
Photo by Erika Helo

HAMBURG, N.Y.  –  The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women's basketball team toughed out a double-overtime battle with No. 2 Mount Aloysius in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Semifinals Saturday but saw its playoff run cut short, 103-93. 

"We had a good run this season," Head Coach Sharay Hall said. "Through everything, we finished together. With limited numbers, we battled hard in double OT. I am so proud of this group for finishing strong. We will miss Ali who is simply an All-Star and an amazing talent. She has been a leader, a go-to player and a fun spirit. She leaves with great pride knowing what she has put into this program. She will truly be missed. This is only the beginning of UPB WBB. Looking forward to what the future has to hold for our program." 

In the closing seconds of the first overtime period, Jennifer Isenberg knocked down a three-pointer from the wing to tie the game and help the Panthers take the second-seeded Mounties to the second OT.

Isenberg scored 27 points and pulled in 17 rebounds for a double-double.

Ali Rinfrette dropped 34 points and also recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds.

Rinfrette was unconscious from long range, hitting seven of nine three-point attempts. 

As a team, the Panthers made 14 three-pointers while holding the top three-point shooting in the AMCC to 8-22 (36.4 percent) from beyond the arc.

Pitt-Bradford ends its season with a 15-11 overall record after claiming an 11-7 record against AMCC teams during the regular season.

The Panthers stormed out to a strong first quarter.

With the scored tied 7-7, the Panthers went on a 13-4 run to help Pitt-Bradford hold a 20-13 lead at the end of the opening quarter.

The Panthers kept rolling into the second, starting the period on a 9-0 run started by four points from Shaelyn Snipes then continued with a layup and a three-ball from Isenberg.

The Mounties found their offensive form, though, and ended the quarter on a 17-5 run and closed the Panther deficit to 42-38 at the end of the first half.

Isenberg led all scorers with 15 points in the first half and Rinfrette dropped 11 on 3-4 shooting on three-point field goals.

Pitt-Bradford forced 12 Mountie turnovers in the first half, turning them into 15 points off turnovers.

The two teams traded buckets early in the third until an 8-0 Mountie run tied the score at 50-50.

Rinfrette ended the run with a three-pointer and a layup. A bucket from Isenberg later brought the score to 57-51 in favor of the Panthers.

Rinfrette then took over the scoring for the Panthers the rest of the period, scoring the last eight points for Pitt-Bradford capped by back-to-back three-pointers to help lift the Panthers to a 65-60 lead into the fourth quarter. 

The fourth quarter began with runs from each team, first a 9-0 run from the Mounties answered by a 10-0 run from Pitt-Bradford to bring the score to 75-69 in favor of the Panthers.

With a minute to go, the Panthers held a 78-73 lead after a made free throw by Rinfrette.

A layup from the Mounties brought the score to 78-75 with 33 seconds left in regulation, and Mount Aloysius later capitalized on a Pitt-Bradford turnover with a three-pointer to tie the game with 20 seconds left.

On the final possession, Isenberg saw a clean look on a baseline jumper but the ball rimmed out and the two teams went into overtime.

Down 82-81 with 1:06 left in overtime, Wells knocked down a three-pointer from the wing to put the Panthers back on top, 84-82.

A three-pointer from the Mounties with 28 seconds left put them back ahead, but Isenberg once again saw a clean look on a clutch shot and this time delivered, hitting a three-pointer with three ticks left on the clock.

Anna Colebert blocked the Mounties' last attempt as time expired to send the game into a second overtime. 

But the second overtime period was all Mounties, as they outscored the Panthers, 16-6, to advance to the conference finals.

In addition to her double-double of 34 points and 11 boards, Rinfrette assisted eight of her teammates' buckets and blocked four shots.

Rinfrette ends her storied four-year career with 2,099 career points – the program's most ever. She also pulled in 538 rebounds, assisted 366 buckets and earned 244 steals as a Pitt-Bradford student-athlete. 

Rinfrette will be the Panthers' lone graduating senior, as Pitt-Bradford is set to return nine players from this year's team.