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.