Hawks Force OT, Overcome Panthers Wednesday

Photo by Wade Aiken
Photo by Wade Aiken

HAMBURG, N.Y. -- The Hilbert Hawks used a strong fourth quarter to battle back and eventually defeat the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women's basketball team in overtime, 85-79, Wednesday in an Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference contest.

"We fought hard despite foul trouble, which led us to an OT situation," Head Coach Sharay Hall said. "But they outplayed us, gaining offense rebounds and second-chance opportunities that hurt us in that quarter. But I was proud of the charge forward and the hard work we did put in. We will get them next time."

The result of the matchup featuring two teams in the upper echelon of the AMCC improved Hilbert to 6-1 in AMCC action while the Panthers drop to 4-3 in conference play. Both teams trail La Roche which sits at 7-1 atop the AMCC.

Shaelyn Snipes finished with a career-high 26 points shooting 6-14 from long range.

All six of the Panthers' three-pointers came from Snipes, and her six three's made surpasses her own record of five from earlier this season as a team single-game high.

Jennifer Isenberg contributed 18 points for the Panthers.

Shirleah Ragin contributed 11 points and Latifah Cain dropped 10 while playing 40 minutes running the point for the Panthers.

Pitt-Bradford held control in the first half, holding a 17-13 advantage after the first quarter and later a 37-27 lead at halftime.

Snipes erupted for 15 points in the opening half to lead the Panthers.

Pitt-Bradford picked up right where it left off with a strong first few minutes on the third quarter.

But Hilbert began to battle back, and a bucket beating the buzzer to close out the third cut the Panthers' lead to single digits, 51-42, heading into the fourth quarter.

The Hawks put together their strongest offensive quarter of the contest, scoring 25 points and holding the Panthers to 16.

A 12-5 Hilbert run to open the quarter tied the game at 56-56 with 5:53 to go. 

The two teams were neck-and-neck the rest of the way and a pair of free throws from Isenberg on the Panthers' last possession tied the game at 67-67 with 24 seconds left.

A shot at the buzzer from the Hawks went off the mark and the two teams went into overtime.

Hilbert controlled much of the offense in overtime, as a three-pointer on its first possession set the tone.

The Hawks would eventually go onto complete the win.

The Pitt-Bradford defense forced 16 Hawks turnovers and turned it over just 12 times itself.

Jenna Hicks and Snipes tied for the team lead with eight rebounds apiece.

Pitt-Bradford will be in action next on Saturday as it travels to first-place La Roche.