Women's Basketball Drops USA South/SAA Classic Opener to Piedmont

Women's Basketball Drops USA South/SAA Classic Opener to Piedmont

The Oglethorpe women's basketball team suffered a tough first day at the USA South/SAA Classic in Demorest, Georgia, Saturday, as they fell to the homestanding Piedmont Lions 73-62 and fell to 2-3 on the young season. The Stormy Petrels were outshot 44-to-35 percent over the course of the game and committed 23 turnovers while dishing out just 9 assists. Despite turning the ball over 18 times themselves, Piedmont finished with 21 assists.

Oglethorpe did get a double-double from sophomore center Alexandria Brown, who scored 10 points and collected 11 rebounds in just 13 minutes of action. She went 3 for 4 from the field and 4 for 6 from the free throw line. Meanwhile, sophomore forward Lauren Ransom scored 10 points on the evening, putting up a perfect 4 for 4 line from the charity stripe.

The first quarter was relatively even, with the Petrels using a 7-0 run over 1:30 to build a 13-8 advantage with 1:48 remaining in the period. As it turned out, that would be their largest lead of the game. The Lions finished the quarter with four straight points to make it 13-12 headed into the second. 

Things turned in Piedmont's favor in the second, as they outscored the visitors 22-13 for the period and went on a 24-9 run over a 9:30 stretch dating back to the final two baskets of the first period. The Petrels trailed 34-26 at the halftime break.

The Lions continued to expand their lead in the third quarter, beginning on a 10-3 run to take a 44-31 lead with 5:34 remaining in the period. The Petrels bounced back with an 8-2 run to cut the Piedmont lead to 46-39 with 2:48 remaining in the quarter, but Piedmont pushed it back out with three straight baskets to end the stanza and led 55-41 through 30 minutes.

Piedmont pushed their advantage to as many as 20 points with a spurt to begin the fourth quarter. Dating back to the final three baskets of the third, the Lions embarked on a 19-6 stretch to build their advantage to an all-but-insurmountable 67-47 with 5:17 remaining. The Petrels finished on a solid 15-6 run, but it wasn't enough.

"It was a tough day for us all the way around," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "We missed some shots and hung our heads in the second quarter, which affected our defense. That's a key point for us to learn going forward. Defense has to travel if you want to be a great team. The best news is that we get to have a quick turnaround, so we can't dwell on tonight."

The Petrels will be back in Demorest on Sunday for Day 2 of the USA South/SAA Classic. They'll take on LaGrange at 2 p.m. The Panthers fell to Berry on Saturday in the first game of the afternoon.