The women's basketball team ushered in a new era with head coach Aaron Nester at the helm on Tuesday in front of a large Dorough Field House crowd that watched Oglethorpe top cross-town rival Emory in a thriller, 80-79. The back-and-forth contest was played entirely within a 7 point window and featured 11 ties and 5 lead changes.
The two teams traded blows in the early stages of the game with the Eagles inching out to a 15-10 advantage at the 14:10 mark. The Petrels then used an 11-0 spurt to jump ahead 21-15 with 9:05 to play in the half. The run was punctuated by a Sarah Jones three-pointer and featured five different players converting baskets for the Petrels. The Eagles managed to regain their footing and the score was 33-29 Oglethorpe in the lead heading into halftime.
Again, the teams went up and down in the early stages of the second stanza with Emory managing to tie the score on six separate occasions in the first eight minutes of the half. Then it looked as though Emory might take control of the game after a spurt that produced a 60-54 lead with 9:07 to play.
The Petrels, however, refused to wilt, scratching and clawing their way back into the contest. Jones connected on one of her 7 three-pointers on the night and Mareva Bone rattled off 7 straight points of her own to thrust Oglethorpe back into a 64-60 lead they would never relinquish.
The Eagles managed to tie the score at 72 apiece with 2:12 to play following a three-ball from the corner from Becca Feldman. Showing the poise of a veteran team, the Petrels nailed all 8 of their free throw attempts, including four straight from junior Riley Cerone, in the final 90 seconds to hold off the Eagles and earn the win to delight the home court crowd.
Jones led all scorers on the night with 27 points on a scintillating 9-of-14 shooting performance that included going 7-of-12 from downtown. Bone notched 11 points and 4 rebounds on a night where all 10 Petrels who checked into the game grabbed at least 2 rebounds and tallied at least 2 points in the complete team effort.
At 1-0 on the season the Petrels will get set to host Agnes Scott this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. on Pinholster Court.