The Oglethorpe women's basketball team had its five-game winning streak snapped in Memphis, Tenn., Friday night as they fell to Rhodes for the second time this season, 68-51. The loss drops the Stormy Petrels to 10-12 on the season, 5-6 in SAA play.
The Petrels had difficulty getting things going against the home-standing Lynx and trailed for the majority of the game. Rhodes pushed out to a 10-point lead at halftime and pushed that to as much as a 21-point advantage in the second half on their way to the 17-point win.
The two teams shot similar percentages, with the Peterls shooting 36.4 percent and the Lynx coming in at 37.1 percent. The Petrels even shot 50 percent from three-point range compared with Rhodes' 30.4 percent. However, Rhodes took almost 20 more shots than Oglethorpe over the course of the game and made seven more in total. Rhodes also shot 83.3 percent from the free-throw line to Oglethorpe's 66.7. In addition, the Petrels committed 17 turnovers while Rhodes committed just nine.
The Petrels got a couple of solid performances on the evening from individual players. Juniors Emily Buck and Kendelle Culpepper tied for the team lead with 10 points. Culpepper had her best game of the season so far, going 4-for-5 from the field and 2-for-2 from three-point range off the bench. Buck went 2-for-3 from long distance and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line, improving her Division III-leading free-throw percentage. Sophomore forward Ciaira Hughes scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds while senior guard Aisha Atwater led the team with five assists.
The Petrels led for the first three minutes of the game, but Rhodes came back with a 21-9 run over the next six minutes to take a 23-13 lead with 10:48 to go in the first half. The Petrels fought back with back-to-back three-pointers to cut the lead to four, but Rhodes pushed it back out with a 7-2 run and led by 10 at the half.
In the second, Rhodes continued a stretch that they started at the end of the first, culminating an 18-3 run in total and taking their largest lead of the game, 52-31, with 12:34 remaining. The Petrels made a push to get back to within 12 points with 4:42 left, going on a 13-4 run over a 6:15 stretch. They would get no closer, though. Rhodes pushed it back out with seven straight points, putting the game away.
"We forgot what got us to this point," said Head Coach Alex Richey. "Rhodes took it to us on both ends of the court. I'm hopeful this will get us refocused, because we can still do some very good things as the season goes on."
The Petrels now drop to fifth place in the league with the loss, a game behind a third-place tie. They'll next travel to Conway, Ark., on Sunday to take on Hendrix in their final road game of the regular season. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern.