The Oglethorpe women's basketball team suffered a one-point loss to LaGrange Sunday, 60-59, at the SAA/USA South Classic in Mount Berry, Ga.
The Panthers made two free throws with 12 seconds left to go up by four points, 60-56, with 12 seconds left. The Stormy Petrels quickly went down the floor and sophomore guard Emily Buck buried a 3-pointer with seven seconds left to pull to within one, 60-59. The Petrels then forced a LaGrange turnover to get the ball back with six seconds left and a chance to win. However, back-to-back shots from freshman guard Quinesha Farmer and freshman forward McKenzie Fortson would not fall at the buzzer and the Panthers escaped with the victory.
Leading up to that, the Petrels had affected a stirring comeback, fighting back from a 14-point deficit with 15:17 remaining. Down 45-31, the Petrels started their comeback with a huge 16-4 run to pull to within two, 49-47, with 8:29 remaining. LaGrange answered with a 9-2 run of their own to push the lead back out to nine, 58-49, with 6:16 left. The Petrels mounted one final rally, going on a 7-0 run over the next 2:47 to pull back to within two points, 58-56 with 2:53 left, leading to the ending sequence.
Buck did all she could to bring the Petrels back, pouring in 14 second-half points and 4-of-8 from the field and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Freshman guard Ciara Hughes recorded a double-double in the second half alone, the first of her career, contributing 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and 11 rebounds. The Petrels outscored LaGrange, 33-26, in the second half.
In the first half, the Petrels came back from a 5-0 deficit to take a 4-point lead, 11-7, with 15:21 remaining in the half. However, LaGrange came back with a 27-11 for the rest of the half, going into the locker room with an 8-point advantage, 34-26.
For the game, senior guard Kyana Jenkins had one of the best games of her career, recording a double-double of her own with 10 points and 13 assists. She added four steals, as well. Meanwhile, Hughes finished with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting and 12 rebounds, and Buck came in with 16 points and three steals.
LaGrange outshot the Petrels 39.6-to-36.4 percent. Both shot under 30 percent from beyond the arc, but LaGrange outrebounded the Petrels, 43-35. Oglethorpe outscored the Panthers 16-7 off turnovers and 22-10 off the bench.
The 1-5 Petrels will travel back to Mount Berry on Thursday, when they'll take on Berry in their SAA opener at 6 p.m. They will then travel to Lookout Mountain, Ga., to take on Covenant for the second time in as many weeks on Saturday before taking a break for final exams.