The Oglethorpe women's basketball team rode great performances by freshman guard Ciara Hughes and sophomore guard Emily Buck to a 71-69 upset victory over Birmingham-Southern in Birmingham, Ala., Friday night.
Hughes scored 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting off the bench while adding six rebounds. Meanwhile, Buck added 19 points on 2-of-2 three-point shooting while accruing five assists and four steals.
The Stormy Petrels shot 40 percent from the field to their opponents' 35 percent. Additionally, they racked up 17 assists to Birmingham-Southern's eight over the course of the contest.
The Petrels began the game on a 9-2 run. Then, after the home-standing Panthers had pulled back to within three, the Petrels embarked on another run, this one an 18-8 spurt which lasted around 10 minutes, giving them a 30-17 lead with 1:24 remaining in the first half. Birmingham-Southern hit back-to-back baskets going into the halftime break to cut the deficit to 30-21.
In the second half, the Panthers would claw their way back into the game, taking advantage of a three-minute Oglethorpe dry spell to go on a 9-0 run and cut the Petrel lead to just two, 32-30, with 17:24 remaining in the game. From there, the Petrels built their lead back up to six, 36-30, but Birmingham-Southern came right back to take the lead, 45-44. From there, the two teams traded baskets for much of the rest of the game. With 1:43 remaining, the game was tied 64-64. Buck gave the Petrels the lead for good when she buried a three-pointer with 1:20 left to give the Petrels a three-point lead. Hughes followed that up with a basket of her own to give Oglethorpe a five-point lead with 37 seconds left. A pair of Birmingham-Southern free throws got them back to within a possession. The Panthers had a chance down by two with the ball, but the Petrels forced a turnover that secured the victory.
The Petrels improve to 5-19 on the season, 3-10 in SAA play. With the victory, they move into seventh place by themselves in the SAA standings. They'll complete the regular season Sunday afternoon in Jackson, Miss., where they'll take on Millsaps at 2 p.m. Eastern.