Women’s hoops drops 64-58 decision to Franciscan

Junior Alicia Kimmel

The Pitt-Bradford women’s basketball team struggled to find a rhythm offensively in 64-58 defeat to the Franciscan Barons on Saturday, Feb. 22.

Junior Alicia Kimmel led all Panthers in scoring with 12 points, six rebounds and two assists. Freshman Brittany Watts finished her afternoon with 10 points and four rebounds.

Pitt-Bradford (14-11, 10-8) struck first in the scoring department when senior Geena Sneeringer dropped in a free throw to put the Panthers on the board. Minutes later, Watts banked one in off the glass to tie the game at nine points each five minutes into play.

The Panthers seemed to have little trouble scoring in the first period, but could not slow the Barons’ attack. Sophomore Madison Krebs tacked on her first points of the afternoon at the 12:07 mark to give the Panthers a two-point lead with a lot of time left.

Less than a minute later, freshman Kaserra Owens finished a layup in the paint to put the Panthers up by three. The ensuing possession for the Barons saw Dani Link sink a three pointer of her own to knot the score once again.

 It was then that Franciscan (5-19, 4-14) grabbed a small lead that it held onto for the remainder of the first period.

Pitt-Bradford cut the deficit to within two points twice with less than four minutes to play, but each time it did the Barons found the basket to extend their lead. Franciscan went up by five points with over a minute to play, when Sophomore Abby Brate hit a jump shot with 30 seconds left to send the Panthers to the locker room trailing, 33-30.

Pitt-Bradford shot 46.4 percent from the field for the first half and did not attempt a triple. The Panthers were four of nine from the line.

The Barons finished the first 20 minutes shooting 50 percent from the floor, including 54.5 percent from behind the arc. They were just one of four from the line.

Watts put one in off the glass to open the second half scoring and bring the Panthers to within one point less than a minute into the action. Franciscan immediately responded, refusing to let the Panthers overtake the lead.

Even though Pitt-Bradford cut the deficit to one point less than a minute later, Franciscan put together a small run and with 13:09 left in the game, led the Panthers 46-38.

As time began winding down and the clock showed just five minutes remaining, the Panthers fought furiously to steal the Barons’ lead. Sophomore Allison Osborne connected on a shot just outside the paint to bring Pitt-Bradford back within three points.

Yet again, Franciscan overpowered the Panthers’ defense and found a way to extend its lead with little time left. A jumper by Kimmel with 25 seconds to go proved to be the final points for Pitt-Bradford as the Panthers saw the clock dwindle to show no time remaining.

“This is a very tough loss especially going into the playoffs next week,” said head coach Patrick Daniel. “Little things win ball games and today we didn’t do enough of the little things to win. We have two days to prepare ourselves mentally and physically to be ready to play.”

For the game, Pitt-Bradford shot 37.7 percent from the field and did not connect on a triple in the second half from three. The Panthers were 12 of 21 from the charity stripe.

Franciscan shot 45.3 percent for the game, including 44.4 percent from behind the arc. The Barons were eight of 17 from the line.

Despite the loss, the Panthers secured the fifth seed in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Tournament and will travel to face Pitt-Greensburg on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.