Men's Basketball Falls to Hot Shooting Lawrence in Daytona Beach Shootout Opener

Men's Basketball Falls to Hot Shooting Lawrence in Daytona Beach Shootout Opener

The Oglethorpe men's basketball team fell 79-60 to Lawrence Wednesday afternoon in their opener at the Daytona Beach Shootout in Florida. The Stormy Petrels were put behind the eight-ball early by the Vikings, who shot 69 percent from the field overall and 81 percent from beyond the arc in the first half at Daytona Beach's Ocean Center and led 50-35 at the break. The Petrels played Lawrence more evenly in the second half and held them to 42 percent shooting over the final 20 minutes, but were unable to mount a comeback.

For the game, Lawrence finished at 56 percent from the field to Oglethorpe's 37 percent, and made 17 total 3-pointers en route to a 71 percent success rate. The Petrels shot 32 percent from distance for the game. The Petrels did force 17 turnovers and outscored the Vikings 17-10 off of them. They also outscored their opponent 11-7 in second chance points and outrebounded them 8-3 on the offensive glass. Lawrence won the overall rebounding battle 33-27.

After taking a brief 9-7 lead early, the Petrels fell behind the hot shooting Vikings. An 11-4 run from Lawrence gave them a 26-16 lead with 14:08 to play in the opening half, but Oglethorpe responded with a 14-2 spurt over a 5:30 stretch to take the lead back, 30-28, with 8:35 remaining. The Vikings came back with a 22-5 run to end the half, though, pushing out to a 50-35 advantage at the break. 

Lawrence continued that run into the first few minutes of the second half, extending it to 25-5 overall before the Petrels stopped it with points on consecutive possessions. The Vikings went on another spurt soon after, though, outscoring Oglethorpe 12-2 over a 3:40 stretch to take a 65-41 lead with 12:58 remaining. The Petrels answered with three straight baskets, but Lawrence answered back again, extending their lead to as many as 26 points over the course of the second half.

Junior forward Will Perry led the Petrels with 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting and 6-of-7 from the foul line. He also grabbed six rebounds and passed out three assists. Senior guard Chris Lawrence scored 14 points on 5-of-9 from the field overall and 4-of-8 from 3-point range. He also recorded three steals. Junior center Tom Inungu scored 10 points and grabbed six boards.

"Today was a tough day," said Oglethorpe head coach Philip Ponder. "We didn't defend as well as we would have liked, but Lawrence gave one of the best shooting performances I've ever seen. They finally cooled off a bit in the second half, but we just couldn't get anything going offensively in order to mount a comeback. We will have to regroup quickly, because we play another tough squad tomorrow."

The Petrels fell to 4-4 on the season with the loss, and will take on the Falcons of Concordia (Wisconsin) to round out their stay at the Daytona Beach Shootout Thursday at 4 p.m. After that, they'll return home Dec. 29 and 30 to host the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Tournament at Dorough Field House. The Petrels will battle Ozarks (Arkansas) in their tournament opener Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. The winner of that game will go against the winner of the Geneva-Manchester game for the tournament title on Dec. 30 at 4 p.m., while the losers will play in the consolation game at 2 p.m.