The Oglethorpe women's basketball team saw a fourth-quarter comeback fall just short against Berry Friday night in Mount Berry, Georgia, as the homestanding Vikings held on for a 52-49 victory. The Stormy Petrels answered back from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to pull to within a point, 47-46, with 2:30 left, but Berry did not allow them to get any closer. The loss drops the Petrels to 4-4 on the season, 0-1 in SAA play.
After a pair of free throws from senior guard Emily Buck pulled the Petrels to within one, the Vikings' Emma Cook made a layup at the other end to push them back up by three with 1:36 remaining. Freshman guard Brooke Simpson hit 1-of-2 with 52 seconds left to make the score 49-47. Oglethorpe freshman guard Nicolette Andrey got a steal with 30 seconds left, giving Oglethorpe a chance to tie or take the lead, but they couldn't get a shot to go. Two Berry free throws put them back up by four with 18 seconds left. Oglethorpe got a basket from freshman guard Bailey Charles and then got the ball back, down by just three, for a final shot. Buck's last-second three-pointer came up just short, though.
Berry built their largest lead of the game with 9:12 remaining, pushing out to a 41-30 advantage. The Petrels fought back from there, though, embarking on a 16-6 run over the next seven minutes to pull to within one with 2:30 remaining. That run included a streak of six consecutive points over a minute-long stretch to quickly get the game back to a one-possession difference. It featured a jump shot from freshman forward Lauren Ransom and back-to-back 2-for-2 trips to the free throw line from Charles and Buck.
Behind by five points to start the second half, Oglethorpe pushed into the lead with a 6-0 stretch over the third period's first minute. Berry answered, though, with a 17-6 stretch that gave them control of the game, pushing them into a 10-point advantage with 1:24 remaining in the half.
The first half was a defensive struggle which Berry led most of the way. Neither team shot particularly well over the opening two quarters of play, with Berry shooting 23 percent from the floor to Oglethorpe's 17 percent.
Buck led the Petrels with 14 points, picking up three steals in the process. Ransom finished with 10 points and nine rebounds to go with her three steals, while Charles scored 10 points of her own and grabbed seven rebounds.
For the game, Berry shot 35 percent from the field while the Petrels shot 25 percent. The two teams combined to go 1-for-22 from three-point range. Oglethorpe held their own on the glass and grabbed 17 offensive boards to Berry's nine. As a result, they outscored the Vikings 13-2 in second-chance points. Berry's bench outscored Oglethorpe's 16-6.
"We're going to have a tough time winning on the road in conference play shooting 25 percent," said Head Coach Alex Richey. "Our second-half effort on defense was good enough to win and the shots were there. We just couldn't get them to fall tonight. We'll come back ready to play against a very good Maryville (Tennessee) team next Friday."
The Petrels will indeed take on the No. 16 Scots in Maryville, Tennessee, next Friday at 6 p.m. It'll be the first of two games against nationally-ranked opposition out of the team's next three contests. They'll take on No. 14 FDU-Florham Dec. 19 in Dorough Field House as part of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Classic.