The Oglethorpe women's basketball team rallied from a 12-point, first-half deficit and a 4-point deficit early in the fourth quarter Sunday to defeat Hendrix 73-65 in the team's final home game at Dorough Field House this season. They outscored the Warriors 25-14 in the fourth quarter to improve to 11-10 on the year overall and 5-5 in Southern Athletic Association play.
Down 54-50 with 9:07 remaining in the game, the Petrels began their run. They outscored Hendrix 7-0 over the next 1:20 to turn the game in their favor, 57-54, with 7:27 left. Then, after the Warriors tied the game with 6:20 remaining, the Petrels scored seven consecutive points again to build a 66-59 advantage with 5:31 left. Hendrix converted on consecutive trips down the floor to slice the deficit back to three, 66-63, with 3:29 remaining. Oglethorpe converted at the free throw line down the stretch, however.
Senior guard Emily Buck made 1 of 2 to build a 4-point lead with 1:43 left. After the Warriors cut it to two with 1:23 remaining, freshman guard Bailey Charles hit a jump shot to build the lead back to four with 1:07 remaining. Another Buck free throw made it a 5-point game with 27 seconds left, then she put the game away by making a pair with 22 seconds remaining, building the lead to 72-65. The Petrels held on from there for a huge victory over a team that came into the game tied for first place in the SAA. The Petrels dropped them to 16-5 overall, 7-3 in the conference, and into second place.
Freshman forward Lauren Ransom led the squad with 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field and 4-for-5 from the free throw line. She also grabbed seven rebounds and made five steals. Charles finished the game with 12 points on 6 for 7 from the line, while freshman guard Emily Toomer had the best game of her career so far off the bench, scoring 13 points on 5 of 8 from the field.
The Petrels looked to come back from a 5-point deficit at halftime, but Hendrix was able to maintain their advantage over the course of the period. Oglethorpe pulled to within two early, but then seven consecutive points built the Warrior lead to 44-35 with 5:32 remaining in the quarter. Oglethorpe went back on a 7-point run of their own to cut the Hendrix lead back down to two, 44-42, with 2:54 left. However, Hendrix quickly pushed that back out to five again. The Petrels trailed 51-48 at the end of the third period.
Hendrix began the game on a 14-2 run over the opening 4:15, securing their largest lead of the contest. The Petrels fought back from there, cutting the lead all the way down to 14-12 with a 10-0 run over a 2-minute stretch. The Petrels trailed by a couple at the end of the quarter and continued to hang with the Warriors in the second. They tied the game 16-16 with 9:23 remaining, but then Hendrix pushed it out to a 6-point advantage with 6:28 to go in the half. The two teams traded baskets for the rest of the half and the Petrels trailed by five at the break.
For the game, the Petrels outshot the Warriors 42-to-40 percent. Hendrix hit 68 percent of their free throws while Oglethorpe hit 63 percent of theirs. The Petrels forced 16 Hendrix turnovers and scored 18 points off of those takeaways. Meanwhile, Hendrix forced just eight Oglethorpe turnovers and converted just five points off of them. Oglethorpe also outscored Hendrix 12-2 on the fast break and 36-15 off the bench.
"This was a great weekend for our team," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "I'm very proud of our resiliency after a rough start. It seems someone new steps up for us and makes huge plays in every game, and today was the Emily Toomer show. Raegan [Merryman] was equally impressive with some great offensive rebounds that really ignited us. There's still a long way to go with a lot of ball left to play, but winning two in Dorough to end our home schedule is special for our four seniors."
The Petrels will now hit the road for the next two weekends, winding out their regular season schedule. They'll first travel to Jackson, Mississippi, and Birmingham, Alabama, to take on Millsaps and Birmingham-Southern on Friday and Sunday, respectively.