The Oglehthorpe men's basketball team picked up its second straight road win and its third conference road win Friday night in Jackson, Miss., outlasting Millsaps in a close, hard-fought game, 70-65. It was the Petrels' fifth road win of the season overall.
The first half was tight most of the way through, with the two teams trading baskets and neither team able to pull too far ahead of the other. Oglethorpe led most of the half, though, and had the half's largest leaad at seven points after a 12-3 run ended with 11:57 remaining. The Petrels led by five points at the break, 38-33.
In the second half, the Petrels retook the seven-point lead with 18:53 remaining, but Millsaps went on a 7-0 run to tie the game two minutes later. Oglethorpe briefly took the lead back on a sam Purday 3-pointer, but Millsaps would soon have their first lead since early in the first half, and would expand it to four points, their largest of the game, with 12:02 remaining. It was a 17-6 Majors run from the point of that seven-point Petrel lead early in the half.
However, the Petrels regrouped and hit two straight buckets, one a 3-pointer by senior guard Alec Pitts and the other a layup by freshman forward Victor Rohlfs, to take the lead back. The two teams traded baskets and the lead over the next couple minutes, but senior guard Christian Molinet scored on a layup with 5:46 remaining to give the visiting Petrels the lead back for good.
Oglethorpe extended their lead to five with 2:30 left and hit free throws down the stretch, which proved to be enough to hang onto the five-point victory.
The Petrels shot 50 percent from the field and lit it up from long distance, shooting 52 percent from 3-point range. Senior guard Branden Jovaag had an excellent night in particular, scoring 18 points on 6-of-9 3-point shooting. Molinet had his usual solid game, scoring 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting while adding four assists. Sohomore guard Alex Davis played well, too, scoring 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
The win improves the Petrels to 13-5 on the season, 5-2 in SAA play. That puts them in fourth place in the SAA standings, but just a game behind a three-way tie for first. Oglethorpe will travel to Birmingham, Ala., to play Birmingham-Southern, one of the teams involved in the first-place tie, on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. Eastern.