The Oglethorpe women's basketball team used a stifling defense to pick up their first victory of the season Saturday, an 83-45 win over York (New York) as part of the Dan Greene Memorial Invitational in St. Mary's City, Maryland. The Stormy Petrels leave Maryland at 1-1 on the season. They used a stifling defense which forced their opponents into a whopping 36 turnovers and scored 43 points directly off those takeaways, providing much of the final 38-point margin.
The Petrels held York to single-digit points in the first and third quarters and scored 20 points in both the second and third quarters, allowing them to slowly pull away from the Cardinals over the course of the game as they continued to build the defensive pressure. They got a couple of excellent performances, as well, one of them from freshman guard Bailey Charles who earned a slot on the all-tournament team with her play over the course of today and of Friday's game against St. Mary's. Against York, she scored 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting while passing out two assists and adding two steals. In addition, senior guard Emily Buck made her return to the lineup by recording 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting. She also went 2-of-4 from three-point range and made four steals. Junior forward McKenzie Fortson also had a solid outing, scoring 10 points.
As a team, the Petrels shot 47 percent from the field while holding the Cardinals to 26 percent. The Petrels converted on 36 percent of their three-point attempts while holding York to 13 percent, and committed just 19 turnovers of their own, outscoring the Cardinals 43-11 off of takeaways. They outscored York 14-4 in second-chance points, 36-18 in the paint, and 44-13 off the bench. They also dished out 17 assists to York's five.
After a slow four minutes for both teams to open the game, the Petrels exploded with a 17-2 run over much of the rest of the period. The first 10 points of the run were scored by Buck over a 1:14 stretch. Oglethorpe led 17-4 with 49 seconds remaining in the stanza. They continued that into the second quarter, extending their run to 37-8 over a 10-minute stretch and leading 37-10 with 4:45 remaining in the first half. The Cardinals went on a run of their own to end the period, though, embarking on a 16-6 stretch to pull to within 17 points, 43-26, with 53 seconds left. The Petrels led 45-26 at halftime.
Already with the big lead, the Petrels completely put the game away in the third quarter, outscoring York 23-6. In fact, they went on a gigantic 35-9 run which spanned the entire third quarter and carried over into the fourth. They held a 78-35 advantage with 6:53 remaining. From there, York mounted a bit of a comeback at the end, but the damage was already done, allowing Oglethorpe to cruise to victory.
"We couldn't buy a basket for the first couple of minutes, but then Buck went on that streak and the weight seemed to come off everyone's shoulders," said Head Coach Alex Richey. "It's good when a senior is able to do that and I'm glad to have her back in the lineup. Charles had another strong performance and our energy from a number of others seemed to wear them down. I wish we could've gotten two this weekend, obviously, but we certainly bounced back and improved as a team today."
The Petrels will now return to Atlanta and prepare for their home opener on the new "blacktop" Pinholster Court, as they'll take on crosstown rival Emory Tuesday at 7 p.m. After that, they'll stay home to face Covenant on the weekend before venturing to Macon, Georgia, the following Monday to take on Wesleyan.