The Oglethorpe women's basketball team, playing its second game in as many nights, didn't look fatigued at all Thursday for their home opener at Dorough Field House. They outscored Agnes Scott 46-21 in the second half and ran away with an 82-44 decision.
The Stormy Petrels got solid shooting performances across the board Thursday night, especially in the second half, when they converted at a 49 percent rate from the field and a 44 percent rate from beyond the three-point line. For the game, they shot 44 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the arc while converting at 77 percent from the free-throw line. In contrast, the visiting Scotties shot just 25 percent from the field, 22 percent from three-point range, and 48 percent from the line. The Petrels outrebounded Agnes Scott, 55-37, and outscored them 32-14 in the paint, 18-4 on the fast break, and 47-10 off the bench.
The Petrels got a command performance from junior forward Ali Bleckley, who poured in 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line while leading the squad with eight rebounds. Fellow junior forward Kendelle Culpepper added 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and 3-of-5 from three-point range while grabbing five rebounds of her own. Meanwhile, freshman Katie Stewart joined Culpepper in coming off the bench and led all Oglethorpe scorers with 13 points on 4-of-8 from the field, 3-of-5 from three-point range, and 2-of-2 from the line.
The game was close for a good portion of the first half. Oglethorpe jumped out to a 10-0 lead over the game's first 3:30, but the Scotties answered with a 14-2 run of their own to take the advantage away from the Petrels, 14-12, with 11:22 remaining in the opening stanza. However, the Petrels answered in a big way with a 19-2 spurt and never trailed after that. At the end of the run, Oglethorpe held a 31-16 advantage with 3:11 remaining in the half. The two squads traded baskets for the remainder of the period, with the Petrels leading, 36-23, at halftime. Bleckley contributed nine of her points and five of her boards in the first half and converted 3-of-5 field-goal attempts for the period.
The Petrels stepped on the gas in the second half, outscoring Agnes Scott by 25 points over the course of the period. The home side went on a big run to start the second, essentially putting the game away. They outscored the Scotties 15-5 over the period's first seven minutes, opening up a 23-point advantage. They began another run after back-to-back Agnes Scott baskets, outscoring the visitors 17-4 over the next seven minutes and building their advantage to 68-35. They cruised home from there, building their lead to a maximum of 40 points in the latter stages of the contest.
"I thought it was a total team win tonight, and I loved the effort and selflessness shown by the team," said Head Coach Alex Richey. "It says a lot about the character of the team that they could bounce back from a tough loss last night with a performance like that. Winning is a hard thing to do, so we'll enjoy this one and then get ready to compete again Sunday against Emory and Henry."
The Petrels improve to 2-1 on the season, and their game against Emory and Henry will take place Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. in Dorough Field House. After that, they'll host Wesleyan (Ga.) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday before heading to LaGrange, Ga., to play LaGrange and Piedmont in the SAA/USA South Classic over Thanksgiving weekend.