The Oglethorpe men's basketball team is off to a 4-0 start for the first time since 1998 thanks to a hard-fought 91-83 victory over LaGrange at Dorough Field House to wrap up the Oglethorpe Thanksgiving Classic Sunday afternoon.
The win means the Petrels are the only team to go 2-0 in this weekend's Classic. Emory and LaGrange went 1-1 and Maryville went 0-2.
The Petrels got off to a blazing start, shooting 62 percent for the first half, 62 percent from three-point range. They started the game on a 24-8 run, and had their largest lead of the game, a 20-point lead at 35-15, with 9:39 remaining in the first half. The team would go on to lead 48-33 at the half. Sophomore guard Alex Davis had 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting and 2-of-2 from the free-throw stripe in the first half. Senior guard Brendan Jovaag had 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, 3-of-4 from long distance.
In the second half, the game got much more physical and testy, as the half featured 27 total fouls, two technical fouls and a flagrant-one foul. LaGrange slowly fought back over the course of the half, but Oglethorpe always seemed to have an answer whenever the Panthers got close. LaGrange cut the Oglethorpe lead to six with 14:21 remaining, but five straight points by freshman guard Drew Patrick pushed the lead back out to 11 at 64-53 with 13:46 remaining. LaGrange made another run and cut the lead to five with 10:11 remaining. Oglethorpe went on an 11-1 run over the next 2:11 to retake a 15-point lead with eight minutes remaining. LaGrange again mounted a rally late, cutting the Oglethorpe lead to four at 87-83 with 1:23 remaining. However, from there, the Petrels sank 4-of-6 foul shots, two by Davis and two by senior guard Christian Molinet, to seal the victory.
The Petrels shot 53 percent for the game, 50 percent from beyond the arc, to LaGrange's 36 percent, 35 percent from long distance. Oglethorpe outscored LaGrange 14-8 on the fast break.
Molinet finished with 15 points, nine assists and six rebounds on the night. Jovaag added 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, 4-of-6 from three. Davis contributed 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting, 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.
The 4-0 Petrels will next take the court Thursday night, when they will take on Berry in the teams' SAA opener at 8 p.m. in Dorough Field House.