The Oglethorpe men's basketball team used turnovers to beat the visiting Hendrix Warriors Sunday afternoon at Dorough Field House. They forced 18 Hendrix giveaways and outscored them 23-4 off turnovers en route to a 70-62 victory, avenging their loss to the same team in Arkansas a week prior. With the win, the Stormy Petrels moved into a tie for third place in the SAA at 5-4 and improved to 11-9 overall.
The two teams shot the ball fairly evenly (Oglethorpe 42.1 percent, Hendrix 41.8) and the Warriors outrebounded the Petrels 42-31 and outscored them in both second-chance and paint points. Hendrix also outscored the Petrels 32-5 off the bench. But the turnovers proved to be the difference in the game, as the Petrels outscored Hendrix 11-2 off the fast break largely thanks to those takeaways, in addition to their 19-point advantage directly off turnovers.
Sophomore forward Will Koch led the way with 24 points on 9-of-17 from the field and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. The Petrels also got quality supporting performances from senior forward Will Perry, who scored 15 points on 3-of-7 from 3-point range to go with eight rebounds, and senior center Tom Inungu, who scored 11 while grabbing six boards and swatting three shots.
Oglethorpe ran out to an 8-0 lead early, but Hendrix responded with eight straight points of their own to tie it five minutes in. The teams traded baskets and leads for the remainder of the half, with Hendrix leading by three points several times but the Petrels taking a 30-29 advantage into the break.
The Petrels got hot from 3-point range early in the second half, with Koch, Perry and freshman guard Carlos Sone all getting into the act as the Petrels went on a 19-5 run and suddenly built a 49-34 lead with 11:40 left. After Hendrix cut it to 51-41 at the 7:45 mark, the Petrels used an 8-2 spurt to attain their largest lead of the contest, 59-43, with 4:40 remaining.
Hendrix didn't go away, using an 11-2 run to cut the Petrel advantage to just seven, 61-54, with 1:30 remaining. The home side made their free throws down the stretch, though, and secured the eight-point win.
"This was a good defensive weekend for us," said Oglethorpe head coach Philip Ponder. "I loved our intensity, and once again, our defense kept us in the game until we could get our offense going in the second half. We are really starting to play some of our best ball of the year, and we will look to continue to build on this."
The Petrels will take on Birmingham-Southern in Dorough Field House Friday at 8 p.m. It'll serve as a rematch of a game the Petrels won 91-70 in Alabama on Jan. 4.