The Oglethorpe women's basketball team outscored St. Mary's (Indiana) 43-25 over the course of the second half Saturday afternoon on the second day of the Manchester University Main View Tipoff Classic in North Manchester, Indiana, allowing themselves to pull away from the Belles en route to a 96-73 victory. The win served as the Stormy Petrels' first of the young season and improved them to 1-2 on the campaign so far.
The Petrels got double-digit points from three players on the afternoon and saw sophomore guard Bailey Charles earn her second career double-double. Charles finished with 11 points and a career-high 10 assists while also grabbing 6 rebounds. Fellow sophomore guard Jada Triplett led the team in scoring on the day, collecting 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field and 8-of-8 from the foul line. She passed out 5 assists of her own. Meanwhile, sophomore forward Lauren Ransom scored 22 points on 8-of-12 from the field while adding a team-high 4 steals. Both Triplett and Ransom earned spots on the All-Classic team.
Oglethorpe shot 47 percent from the field over the course of the game and sank 33 percent of their three-point attempts. They also shot 77 percent from the foul line. They collected 22 assists on 34 made baskets and forced 29 St. Mary's turnovers, scoring 39 points off of them. The Petrels also outscored the Belles 40-14 in the paint.
The Petrels got off to an excellent start, scoring eight consecutive points to begin the contest. A 7-2 run by St. Mary's got them back to within three, 10-7, with 7:12 remaining in the opening quarter and the two teams traded runs after that. Oglethorpe pushed their advantage to 17-9, but the Belles came back with an 11-2 run over a three-minute stretch to take the lead, 20-19. The teams traded baskets for the rest of the quarter from there and the score was tied 28-28 at the end of the opening quarter.
St. Mary's briefly took the lead again at the outset of the second quarter, but the Petrels responded with an 11-0 spurt over the next 1:45 to take a 40-31 lead with 6:35 remaining in the opening half. Six consecutive points from the Belles brought them back to within three, 40-37, but the Petrels pushed it back out to a 47-39 advantage. Late in the half, St. Mary's used a seven-point run to make it a 49-48 contest with 1:13 left in the quarter, but the Petrels responded with four consecutive points late on free throws from Triplett. That gave Oglethorpe a 53-48 advantage at halftime.
The two teams traded baskets for most of the third quarter, but the Petrels slowly expanded their advantage. They used a 9-3 run over 2:40 at the end of the period to build a 77-66 advantage headed into the fourth.
Oglethorpe put the game away in the final 10 minutes, outscoring their opponents 19-7 over the period and using a 17-4 run at one point to pull out to an insurmountable lead. They finished with their largest lead of the contest, a 23-point advantage.
"I was very proud of our character today in bouncing back after a loss last night," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "Everyone on the team and staff contributed with great energy and enthusiasm for 40 minutes. We are gaining a lot of experience early in the year and hopefully we can build on today with our first home game coming on Tuesday before the Thanksgiving holiday."
The Petrels will take on Wesleyan (Georgia) at 6 p.m. Tuesday evening in Dorough Field House for their home opener. After that, they'll take a break for Thanksgiving before heading to Demorest, Georgia, next weekend for the SAA/USA South Classic, where they'll take on Piedmont and LaGrange.