|Ali Rinfrette has already been Pitt-Bradford's leading scorer for two months. Now she's the program's first to reach 2,000 points.
Pitt-Bradford athletics file photo
Coe gave unbeaten Wartburg a scare and Ali Rinfrette gave herself a nice big round milestone, but not many ranked teams were even threatened on Wednesday night in Division III women's basketball action.
Trailing by five with 7:30 to play, second-ranked Wartburg scored the next seven, taking a 51-49 lead with 2:26 left. Two free throws by Miranda Murphy with 1:30 to play gave the Knights a 53-51 lead, but the Kohawks answered with a layup by Jenna Lehman with 1:01 to play to tie the game. With seven seconds left, Aryn Jones hit the second of two free throw attempts to give Wartburg a 54-53 lead. With fouls to give, Wartburg fouled Coe twice in the final seconds before the Kohawks forced a desperation 3-pointer that fell short.
Katie Sommer led the Knights (24-0, 15-0 IIAC) with 14 points, while Jenna Lehman scored a game-high 20 for Coe (13-11, 10-5).
UW-Stevens Point limited No. 19 UW-Oshkosh to just two baskets and a free throw in the third quarter to build a nine-point advantage on the Titans (18-5, 8-5 WIAC), then held on in the fourth quarter to win 60-52. Oshkosh got within three with a minute and a half left and Eliza Campbell blocked Taylor Barrett's shot twice in quick succession, but the Titans could not get the ball back without sending the Pointers (13-11, 7-6) to the foul line, allowing UWSP to ice the victory.
No. 14 UW-Whitewater didn't have much drama leading up to its celebration as the Warhawks drubbed UW-Platteville 77-42 and clinched the WIAC title for the eighth time in program history. Whitewater outscored the Pioneers 45-18 in the middle periods and turned 34 Platteville turnovers into 39 points. The Warhawks will be the top seed in the WIAC tournament and are also the top team in NCAA's newest set of Central region rankings.
No. 4 Thomas More secured the top spot in the PAC tournament with a 75-47 win at St. Vincent. Thomas More, who has not lost to a PAC opponent since January 2012, will finish the regular season on Saturday against Washington and Jefferson, which will be the second-seed in the PAC playoffs.
Jennifer Isenberg registered game-highs with 25 points and 16 rebounds, but it was Rinfrette who got the headlines, reaching the 2,000-point mark with a free throw late in the first quarter of Pitt-Bradford's 67-59 win vs. Penn State-Altoona. Rinfrette shot just 3-for-14 from the floor, but she added 12 rebounds and shot 9-for-10 from the foul line in leading the Panthers (13-10, 10-7 AMCC) to the victory.
Amy Bullimore scored a game-high 30 points, but the rest of the Ohio Northern team shot 12-for-38 as the No. 21 Polar Bears were knocked off by Otterbein, 64-56. Ali Cartnal led the Cardinals (16-8, 12-5 OAC) with 17 points as ONU dropped to 20-4, 14-3. The Polar Bears will play Marietta, which handled Muskingum 74-51, for the top spot in the OAC tournament on Saturday.
The USA South conference tournament got underway on Wednesday, with eight teams in action and four getting first-round byes. In the East Division, third-seeded Averett topped sixth-seeded Meredith, 76-64, while fourth-seeded N.C. Wesleyan held off fifth-seeded Salem, 66-63. In the West, third-seeded Maryville sped past sixth-seeded LaGrange, 87-59. Fifth-seeded Covenant upset fourth-seeded Huntingdon, 63-53.
Kaia Porter and Kaylie Brazil combined to make eight of eight free throws in the final 15 seconds to help No. 8-ranked St. Thomas hold off host St. Mary's (Minn.), 68-62. Lucia Renikoff had 22 points for the Tommies (22-2, 17-0 MIAC), who secured at least a share of the program's fourth consecutive MIAC championship and moved to 10-0 on the road this season. They are just the second school in the 35-year history of MIAC women's hoops to win or share four or more consecutive titles (St. Ben's had three solo and two shared titles in a row from 2005-10).
Westfield State claimed the top spot in the MASCAC playoffs for the third time in five seasons with a 113-65 win over Fitchburg State. The Owls (16-7, 10-1) turned 40 Falcons' turnovers into 48 points. Westfield State is 49-4 in the MASCAC since 2014-15.
Montclair State bounced back from Saturday's loss at TCNJ with a 79-60 home win over Rutgers-Camden to clinch the No. 1 seed for the NJAC playoffs. Katie Sire scored 31 points for the Red Hawks who are looking for their sixth consecutive NJAC title. Rutgers-Camden will be the sixth seed in the playoffs and head to Stockton on Saturday afternoon for a first round matchup.