The men's basketball team kept their postseason hopes alive by topping Millsaps in Jackson, Miss. on Sunday, 70-51. The Petrels drilled 50% of their shots from the field and held the Majors to just 34% en route to setting up a huge showdown against Sewanee this Friday.
The Majors eked out to an early 5 point advantage before the Petrels got things going and took control. Oglethorpe trailed 14-11 before Tyler Cerone nailed a three-ball to tie it with 12:42 to play in the first half. That would mark the last time in the contest the Petrels faced a deficit as Oglethorpe became more assertive as they closed out the half.
The score was still knotted at 19 apiece when the Petrels put together the decisive push. Christian Molinet started the half-closing 17-7 run with a jumper and Branden Jovaag followed with a three to up the margin to five. Sam Purdy extended the advantage to 8 with another shot from long-distance and Alec Pitts capped the spurt with an old-fashioned three-point play that gave Oglethorpe their first double-digit lead as they headed to the locker room with a 36-26 lead.
The Majors rallied just once in the second stanza when they managed to trim the Oglethorpe lead to 40-33 with 14 minutes to play. The Petrels responded, however, with a 12-0 run over the next 5.5 minutes of the game to push the lead to 19 and put the game away.
Pitts led four Petrels in double-figures with 15 points, 4 assists and four rebounds in the win. Jovaag and Molinet tallied 12 and 11, respectively, while Andrew Steioff was 9-of-10 at the charity stripe on his way to 11 points.
Oglethorpe is now 10-12 on the season and 5-8 in SCAC play. The Petrels trail Sewanee (11-9, 5-7), Friday night's opponent, by only a half game for the final playoff berth from the East. A win on Pinholster Court on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. would push the Petrels past the Tigers in the standings as the two teams come down the home stretch of their seasons.