The Oglethorpe men's basketball team got behind big early against the visiting Rhodes Lynx Sunday afternoon and couldn't quite get over the hump with their comeback attempt. In the end, Rhodes defeated Oglethorpe by nine points, 62-53.
The Petrels fell behind early in this one, as they saw Rhodes go on a 17-5 run in the first half to take a 16-point lead, 28-12, with 5:25 remaining in the half. The Petrels were able to cut the lead to 15 at the break, 33-18, but were outshot 48-25 percent for the period, and were also outscored 12-2 in the paint.
In the second half, the Lynx picked up where they left off at the end of the first half. They quickly pushed their lead to the largest of the game, 38-20. Rhodes still led by 16 points, 47-31, with 10:36 remaining when Oglethorpe started to mount a comeback.
They cut the lead down to seven, 49-42, with an 11-2 run that ended with 6:32 remaining. Rhodes pushed the lead back out to 12 with 4:55 remaining, but the Petrels then scored nine straight points on three straight three-pointers, two by senior guard Alec Pitts and one by senior forward Sam Purdy, to cut the lead down to three, 54-51, with 1:40 remaining.
Unfortunately, that's as close as the Petrels would get. Rhodes hit some shots down the stretch and a couple of crippling turnovers by Oglethorpe sealed the result for Rhodes.
Oglethorpe shot 54 percent in the second half, but still only shot 39 percent for the game after the dismal first half. Meanwhile, Rhodes shot 45 percent for the game. Rhodes outscored Oglethorpe 24-10 in the paint, and while Oglethorpe did outscore Rhodes 22-6 off the bench, the Lynx starters outscored the entire Oglethorpe team on the day (56-53).
Pitts appears to be fully back from the injury that caused him to miss the first month of the season, as he scored 14 points to lead the Petrels on the day, marking his second good outing of the weekend. Purdy scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting, all from three-point range. Senior guard Christian Molinet scored only four points on the afternoon, but dished out a whopping 10 assists. He tallied four steals, as well.
The Petrels drop to 10-4 on the season, 2-1 in SAA play. They will travel to Mount Berry, Ga., on Saturday to take on Berry at approximately 8 p.m., or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the women's game.