Women's Basketball Falls to Rust in Holiday Classic Opener

Women's Basketball Falls to Rust in Holiday Classic Opener

The Oglethorpe women's basketball team fell to Rust in the opening game of the Country Inn and Suites Holiday Classic today at Dorough Field House, losing 65-54.

The Stormy Petrels got off to a good start, jumping out to an 11-2 lead with 13:24 remaining in the first half. That would be their largest lead of the game. The visiting Bearcats immediately answered with a 12-0 run over the next 4:22 to take a 14-11 lead. The two teams then traded the lead for the next couple minutes, but Rust finished the half on a 10-0 run to take a 31-20 lead into the break.

The Petrels shot just 27 percent in the first half, compared with the Bearcats' 42 percent. Oglethorpe shot just 10 percent from 3-point range in the first half to Rust's 50 percent. Also, the Bearcats outrebounded Oglethorpe 26-18 in the period. Freshman guard Ciara Hughes provided a bright spot for the Petrels over the course of the half, scoring 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

In the second half, an 8-0 stretch from the Bearcats gave them their largest lead of the game, 51-34, with 10:14 remaining. From there, the Stormy Petrels ran off a 7-0 spurt of their own to get back to within ten, 51-41, with 7:22 left. However, Rust came out with a 6-0 run to basically put the game out of reach, 57-41, with 4:13 left. The Petrels cut it back to a 10-point deficit with 2:05 left, but could not get any closer than 63-54 with 22 seconds left.

The Petrels shot better in the second half, converting at a 39 percent rate, including 43 percent from long range. However, Rust shot the lights out in the half, knocking down 57 percent of their shots. Rust outscored the Petrels 24-8 in the paint over the course of the period.

Overall, Rust outshot Oglethorpe 49 percent to 33 percent, outrebounded the Petrels 41-34, and outscored them off turnovers 17-7. Hughes finished with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting. She collected two blocks, as well. Sophomore forward Ali Bleckley scored 15 points of her own while tallying two blocks, to go along with three assists.

The Petrels drop to 3-8 on the season, and will finish their Country Inn and Suites Holiday Classic schedule when No. 19 York (Pa.) pays a visit to Dorough Field House Monday at 6 p.m.

York takes on No. 22 Wisconsin-Stevens Point this evening, and the latter will take on Rust on Monday afternoon.