ATLANTA, Ga. - The Oglethorpe women's basketball team did not shoot well in the first half at crosstown-rival Emory Wednesday, putting them down by 18 points at the half. It was too much to overcome in the second half, and the home-standing Eagles defeated the Stormy Petrels, 80-61.
The Petrels shot just 17 percent for the first half, including 15 percent from beyond three-point range. The Petrels shot much better in the second half, converting at a 46 percent rate and a 50 percent one from three-point range. This pushed their totals for the game up to 31 percent from the field and 30 percent from beyond the arc, but they couldn't overcome the 40-22 halftime deficit.The Eagles outscored the Petrels by a single point in the second half, 40-39.
The Petrels got some solid individual performances for the game, led by junior guard Emily Buck, who scored 17 points on 2-of-4 three-point shooting and 5-of-5 from the line. She also passed out three assists. Junior guard Kristen Kennebrew had an excellent game, as well, pouring in 15 points on 5-of-6 free-throw shooting and adding a couple of assists. Sophomore forward Ciaira Hughes led the Petrels with eight rebounds and she added nine points to that on 5-of-8 free-throw shooting before fouling out of the game in the latter part of the second half.
Emory jumped out to the lead with an early 11-2 run, taking a 13-4 advantage with 13:12 remaining in the half. Oglethorpe answered with back-to-back baskets, but Emory went on another run, this one totaling 8-0, to take a 23-10 lead with 6:40 remaining. After a period of trading baskets, Emory continued with a 13-3 run to take their largest lead of the half, 40-20, with 2:16 remaining. Oglethorpe answered with a couple of free throws to cut the lead to 40-22 at the break.
The Petrels played much better in the second half and it started with an immediate 11-4 run to cut the Eagles lead to 44-33 with 14:46 left in the game. However, Emory answered with a big 12-2 run of their own, making the score 56-35 with 11:49 remaining. The Eagles built the lead up to 61-38, their largest of the game, with 8:34 left, but the Petrels weren't done yet, cutting it back to a 13-point spread with an 11-1 run. The score was 62-49 with 6:51 left, but that was as close as the Petrels would get. After an Emory run, the Petrels cut it back to 15, 70-55, with 4:35 left, but Emory pushed it back out from there, securing the game.
"It was really a tale of two halves," said Head Coach Alex Richey. "We couldn't buy a basket in the first half and dug a significant hole and against a team as good as Emory, that was it. I was very proud of how we competed and battled in the second half. We have to have a short memory now, as we play Agnes Scott tomorrow in our home opener."
The Stormy Petrels drop to 1-1 on the season, but will now return to Dorough Field House for their home opener against Agnes Scott Thursday night at 7 p.m. From there, the Petrels will host two more games before Thanksgiving, taking on Emory and Henry at 2 p.m. Sunday and Wesleyan (Ga.) at 6 p.m. Tuesday.