The Oglethorpe women's basketball team came back from 12 points down against Rhodes Friday night at Dorough Field House, using a 21-6 third quarter to turn the tables on the visiting Lynx on Senior Night and give their seniors their first career victory over Rhodes. It was Oglethorpe's first victory over the Lynx since Dec. 31, 2010, and it improved the Stormy Petrels to 10-10 on the season overall, 4-5 in Southern Athletic Association play.
The Petrels got 17 points from senior guard Emily Buck, playing in her penultimate home game, on 5 for 7 from the field, 3 for 3 from long distance, and 4 for 4 from the free throw line. Freshman forward Lauren Ransom added another double-double, her seventh of the season. She scored 15 points and grabbed 13 boards on the evening. Freshman guard Bailey Charles finished with 12 points and three blocks for the contest.
Down 36-27 at the halftime break, the Petrels got to work right away coming out of the locker room. They began the half with consecutive buckets from Charles and Buck over the opening minute and continued from there. They tied the game at 40-apiece on a 3-pointer from freshman forward Madi Foltz with 6:18 left in the quarter, then took the lead on a Ransom layup with 5:28 left in the period. It was a lead they would never relinquish. In all, they outscored the visiting Lynx 21-6 in the third quarter.
Oglethorpe continued their run into the fourth, as well. From the point where Charles hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the first half to the 6:48 mark of the fourth quarter, they went on a 28-8 run. At the end of the spurt, the Petrels had a 52-44 advantage.
The Lynx worked their way back into the game, though, scoring six straight points over the next 1:30 to cut the Petrel lead to just 52-50 with 5:06 left. Buck hit a big three to extend the Oglethorpe lead back to five, but Rhodes kept coming. In all, they went on a 12-5 run to slice the Oglethorpe lead to 57-56 with 46 seconds remaining. Ransom hit two big free throws to push the lead back up to three, though, and then Buck went 4 of 4 at the free throw line in the final minute to close it out on her Senior Night.
The first half was all Rhodes for large portions. After the Petrels jumped out to a 4-0 lead, the Lynx responded by outscoring the Petrels 17-5 over the remainder of the quarter. They extended that lead out further early in the second, jumping out to their largest lead of the game, a 23-11 advantage, with 6:24 remaining in the half. In all, they outscored the Petrels 23-7 over an 11-minute stretch. The Petrels scored six straight points over the next 1:30 to stay in it, though, making the score 23-17 with 4:52 remaining. Rhodes slowly built their lead back up over the remainder of the period, even equaling their largest lead with four seconds left in the half. Charles' buzzer-beating 3-pointer cut the Rhodes advantage to nine at the break.
Both teams shot 32 percent from the field for the game, with Rhodes shooting 44 percent from long distance to Oglethorpe's 43 percent. The Petrels converted on 79 percent of their free throw attempts and forced 14 Lynx turnovers. Oglethorpe outscored Rhodes 22-11 in second-chance points and 24-10 in the paint.
"Rhodes came out on fire and I challenged our guards to do a little bit better job of getting them off the 3-point line," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "Bailey's shot at the end of the half was huge for momentum and our defensive intensity continued to turn up in the second half. Our league is so balanced, though, and the tournament should be great for the fans of the SAA. We just want to keep growing from this and show some consistency as we move closer towards the end of the regular season."
The Petrels will take on Hendrix Sunday at noon in their final home game of the regular season. After that, they'll hit the road for the campaign's final two weekends.