Petrels Eke Past Lynx in Overtime Thriller
The men's basketball team topped Rhodes College on Pinholster Court on Friday night in thrilling fashion by winning 79-78 in overtime. Todd Ward rattled in two free throws with .1 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime where Oglethorpe eventually prevailed.
The Petrels enjoyed an early six point cushion before Rhodes exploded for 13 straight points midway through the first half to put the Petrels on notice that this would be a battle. The Lynx finished off a 13 for 25 shooting performance (52%) in the first half to head into the break on top of Oglethorpe, 36-29.
Rhodes extended the lead to 8 points early in the second stanza before the Petrels found their stride to track the Lynx down. Oglethorpe used a 16-2 run highlighted by back-to-back three's from Alex Richey to suddenly own a 48-41 advantage with 13:00 minutes to play. Rhodes countered with a 12-4 run to reclaim the lead at 53-52 just under halfway through the second twenty minutes. After Oglethorpe surged in front again by 6, the Lynx rattled off a 17-7 spurt to hold a 70-66 lead with only 90 seconds left. That's when things got crazy.
Josh Arant missed the front end of a one-and-one with 1:07 remaining and Joe Kennedy scored 3 of his 19 second half points on a three-ball that brought the score to 70-69. After the two teams traded turnovers, Oglethorpe fouled Cory Kilpatrick who made his first free throw and missed the second but got his own rebound. The Petrels then fouled John Dunavant with 16 seconds left and he came up short on his one-and-one and Oglethorpe got the rebound. Alex Richey missed a three-pointer in the corner with 5 ticks showing but Ward grabbed the rebound and got fouled going up with only.1 second left on the clock. Ward's first free throw came up high off the back iron before serendipitously falling into the net. The senior swished the next attempt and the two teams headed into overtime.
The teams went back and forth in overtime until an inbounds turnover on the Petrels gave the Lynx the ball trailing by one with 16 seconds left. Rhodes drew up a play for Andrew Galow but the Petrels were up to the task defensively and Rhodes failed to even get a game-winning shot launched.
Kennedy was outstanding for the Petrels with a game-high 24 points on 10 of 16 shooting to go along with a team-high 7 assists. Ward posted his eleventh double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 boards while Alec Pitts and Alex Richey netted 12 and 11 points, respectively. Andrew Steioff also kept his consecutive made field goals streak going by hitting all three of his shots on the night. He has now connected on 20 straight which is four shy of the NCAA Division III record.
The Petrels are 13-8 (9-3) on the season and will close out play on Oinholster Court with Birmingham-Southern this Sunday at noon.