|by Scott Elliott|
ALTOONA, Pa. - Pitt-Bradford women’s basketball used a run in the fourth quarter to break open a tie game against Penn State Altoona Wednesday night and held on to defeat the Lions, 81-74.
Both teams entered the contest with something to gain with a victory, and the scoreboard reflected it; the game featured 10 ties and four different lead changes.
Pitt-Bradford led by as much as seven on two separate occasions in the first quarter, yet Penn State Altoona rallied to trail by two after 10 minutes. The Lions hit a pair of threes in the final 90 seconds of the first half to lead 41-38 at the break after falling behind by five with 4:37 left.
Pitt-Bradford trimmed the deficit to one on Brittany Watts’ basket at the 8:20 mark of the third quarter, but Penn State Altoona ripped off six straight points to take its largest lead of the game at 49-42. The Panthers responded by scoring eight of the next 10 points to cut it to one at 51-50, and they eventually went ahead, 57-56, on Watts’ jumper in the closing seconds of the frame.
The teams would trade baskets to open the fourth quarter, and with the game tied at 64, Pitt-Bradford used a 9-1 scoring run to go ahead for good. Ali Rinfrette’s three snapped the tie, and her layup with 3:33 remaining upped the Panthers’ margin to 73-65.
Penn State Altoona refused to go away, scoring seven unanswered points to move within one with 1:42 left. Watts’ collected her own miss on the ensuing possession and was fouled. She converted both free throws to stretch the lead to three, and her three-point play on the next Panther possession sealed the win.
Pitt-Bradford only shot 36 percent from the field, but offset the poor shooting performance by forcing turnovers and dominating the offensive glass. The Panthers scored 16 points off 17 Penn State Altoona turnovers and netted 20 second-chance points, fueled by 20 offensive boards. They outrebounded the Lions by 12 and limited Penn State Altoona to 5-20 shooting from behind the arc.
Rinfrette finished with a game-high 29 points, going 10-22 from the floor, and added nine rebounds. Watts finished with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, her sixth of the season. Darien Lantz was in double-figures with 10 points, and Kaserra Owens collected 10 rebounds.
Pitt-Bradford improves to 15-9 on the season and 12-5 in the AMCC. The Panthers are currently in second place and lead Medaille by one game in the standings. The Blue and Gold will close out the regular season Saturday at home at 1 p.m. against Pitt-Greensburg.
Rinfrette 10-5-6-29, Watts 6-3-3-18, Lantz 3-2-2-10, Maciag 3-0-0-7, Colebert 3-0-0-7, Owens 2-2-3-6, Stringer 2-0-0-4, Guengerich 3, Collins 0-0-0-0, Isenberg 0-0-0-0. 30-12-14-81.
PENN STATE ALTOONA (74)
Wheeler 8-0-0-16, Zimmerman 6-3-3-15, Burk 5-3-4-15, Gripp 3-1-2-8, Boslet 3-0-0-8, Christine 2-2-3-6, Strittmatter 3-0-0-6, Sorichetti 0-0-0-0. 30-9-12-74. Halftime: Penn State Altoona 41-38
3-Point FG’s: Pitt-Bradford – Rinfrette 4, Lantz 2, Guengerich 1, Maciag 1, Colebert 1; Penn State Altoona – Boslet 2, Burk 2, Gripp 1.