The Oglethorpe women's basketball team got the lead over visiting Birmingham-Southern a couple times in the second half Sunday at Dorough Field House, but could never get the push to close it out and wound up losing 65-57.
The loss drops the Stormy Petrels to 4-15 on the season, 2-6 in SAA play, and moves them into a sixth-place tie with Hendrix.
The defeat came despite a great performance from sophomore guard Emily Buck, who scored 25 points and shot 8-of-16 from the field, 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Freshman guard Ciara Hughes also added 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals. She was also a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe.
Despite all that, the Petrels could not recover from a first half in which they shot just 24 percent, including 3-of-15 from the 3-point line. After the two teams traded baskets for the game's first five minutes, the visiting Panthers went on a 15-3 to run to take a 22-11 lead with 7:36 remaining in the period. The Petrels mounted a rally, going on a 13-4 run from that point until the 25-second mark of the first half. The Petrels had cut the Birmingham-Southern lead down to two, 26-24, but the Panthers came back with two free throws and a halfcourt buzzer-beater to take a 7-point lead into the locker room, largely ruining much of Oglethorpe's hard work in the latter part of the first half.
The Petrels were determined not to let that phase them, however, and came out of the second-half gates with a purpose. They started the half on an 11-0 run and took a 35-31 lead on a Buck 3-pointer with 16:04 left in the half. Going back to the point where they were down 11 in the first half, the Petrels had a 24-9 over an 11-minute stretch of the game, even taking into account Birmingham-Southern's 5-point run at the end of the half. However, the Panthers quickly came back with a 13-0 run as the Petrels went scoreless for a nearly 7-minute stretch in the second half.
The Petrels were not done, however, and they answered back with another big run, going on a 15-4 spurt to take the lead back, 53-51, with five minutes remaining in the game. It was the last lead they would have. The Panthers came back with a run that put the game away, a 14-2 surge that put them up by 10 points with just 35 seconds remaining.
Buck played brilliantly in the second half, scoring 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor and 2-of-3 shooting from 3-point range, and the Petrels shot 48 percent for the half. However, Birmingham-Southern picked up their shooting, as well. For the game, the Panthers outshot the Stormy Petrels 37-to-35 percent.
The Petrels will next take the floor on Friday, when they go on the road for the first time in nearly a month to take on Centre in Danville, Ky., at 6 p.m. They'll then stop by Sewanee at 2 p.m. Eastern time Sunday.