The Pitt-Bradford women’s basketball team used a strong
first half followed by a rally in the second half to defeat the Allegheny
Mountain Collegiate Conference’s top-rated team in the La Roche Redhawks,
78-74, on Saturday, Jan. 11.
Freshman and newcomer Brittany Watts exploded in the paint
for the Panthers racking up the team’s first double-double this season. Watts
finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and one assist.
The Panthers had four different players score in double
figures. The next was junior Alicia Kimmel. Kimmel had a team-high 19 points
and four rebounds. Sophomore Abby Brate
registered 14 points, three rebounds and six assists, and freshman Kaserra
Owens had 11 points and six rebounds.
Pitt-Bradford (8-4, 4-1) seemed to meet its match from the
opening tip. Each team took turns capitalizing on offensive opportunities to
begin the contest.
With nearly six minutes gone off the clock, the two squads
were knotted at 10 points each. Spectators could tell this game would have the
makings of an old-school boxing match, with each team taking turns trading
blows to decide an eventual winner.
The Panthers caught fire with just under eight minutes to go
until the break, and the Redhawks had no answer for Pitt-Bradford’s attack.
Little by little the lead grew for the Panthers, who led by
as much as 13 points at one point. The Redhawks struggled to maintain
possession of the ball as they failed to grab rebounds and coughed up several
opportunities in a row.
As the half continued and the clock started to wind down, La
Roche found a way to bring itself within four points with just 30 seconds to go
in the half. The two teams headed into halftime with the Panthers clinging to a
Pitt-Bradford shot 36.4 percent from the field in the first
half and did not attempt a triple. The Panthers were 10-of-18 from the line.
La Roche finished the first twenty minutes shooting just
26.5 percent from the field and connected on just 1-of-9 from behind the arc.
The Redhawks were a stout 12-of-15 from the charity stripe.
La Roche (9-3, 4-1) seemed to find its rhythm offensively in
the second half of play. Despite, a quick run by the Panthers to begin play,
the Redhawks settled in about the fifteen-minute mark and attempted to put
their foot on the gas.
After a big three-point shot from La Roche’s Casie Cygan,
the Redhawks led 46-42 with 13 minutes left in the action.
The knockdown, drag out fashion the first half showed only
intensified during the final 12 minutes of this game. Each team now took turns
taking the lead and tempers became short with every turnover proving costly to
It wasn’t until the clock showed 2:21 remaining when the
Panthers finally stole the lead for good. A layup from Owens put Pitt-Bradford
out front and kept the momentum on the side of the home team.
Several missed shots and a couple of turnovers later and
this game moved to its final moments with the Panthers holding on to an eight
point lead with 13 seconds left. La Roche’s Shataya White hit a meaningless
three-point shot at the buzzer to equal the final score.
“This is a great win for us on our home court,” said head
coach Patrick Daniel. “I am very proud of my team for the effort, the energy
and the intensity they played with for 40 minutes. We did the little things
today that got us this big win.”
For the game, the Panthers shot 47.2 percent from the field
and did not attempt a single three-point shot. They were 28-of-48 from the
La Roche finished the game shooting 38.5 percent from the
floor and 21.1 percent from behind the arc. The Redhawks were 21-of-29 from the
Pitt-Bradford returns to the court on Sunday, Jan. 12 to
take on Franciscan in a quick turnaround. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.