The Oglethorpe women's basketball team led by as many as seven points in the second half late Sunday afternoon against Huntingdon in the final game of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Classic at Dorough Field House, but the visiting Hawks came back to within two late in the third and then outscored the Stormy Petrels 21-15 in the final period, securing a 64-60 victory. The loss dropped Oglethorpe to 7-5 on the season, headed into the holiday break.
The Hawks shot 40 percent from the field over the course of the game, compared with 34 percent for the Petrels. Huntingdon converted at a 33 percent clip from beyond the arc while Oglethorpe shot 31 percent from distance. The Petrels did shoot 70 percent from the free throw line to the Hawks' 44 percent. In addition, Oglethorpe outscored Huntingdon 16-8 off turnovers. However, the visitors did just enough to get the victory.
Individually, sophomore guard Jada Triplett finished with 13 points on 5-of-7 from the free throw line, while sophomore guard Bailey Charles finished with 10 points on 3-of-3 from the charity stripe. Both of them earned spots on the All-Holiday Inn Express and Suites Classic Team. Sophomore center Alex Brown ended with 6 points and 8 boards. Sophomore forward Emily Toomer came away with 9 points on 4-of-5 from the field.
The two teams traded points for most of the first quarter, but the Petrels went on a quick run to give themselves an advantage late in the period. They outscored the Hawks 8-0 over the final 25 seconds of the period to give themselves an 18-10 advantage headed into the second. Then, they extended that stretch to 10-0 when they hit the first basket of the second period. It turned out to be their largest lead of the contest.
The Hawks bounced back early in the second quarter, though, with a 13-1 run over the next 5:30. That gave them a 25-23 edge with 2:12 remaining in the second quarter. The Petrels answered again with another late-quarter run, scoring six straight points to build a 29-25 advantage with a minute remaining until halftime. They led 29-27 at the break.
The Petrels got off to a good start in the third quarter, as well. They began it on a 5-0 run, extending their overall run to 11-2, and built a 34-27 lead with 7:47 remaining in the third quarter. The Hawks came back to within a point with a 6-0 run of their own, but Oglethorpe pushed it back out with a 9-3 run over the next 2:30, building their advantage back to seven, 43-36, with 2:29 to go in the period.
Huntingdon came back with an 11-2 run bridged across quarters, though, taking a 47-45 lead with 8:58 to play. After a period of trading baskets, the Petrels came back to tie the score, 54-54, with 4:54 left. However, the Hawks embarked on a 7-2 run over the next 1:30, pushing out to their largest lead, 61-56, with 3:27 remaining. The Petrels converted baskets to get the score line back to within three a couple times, but Huntingdon secured defensive stops at the end to win.
"Huntingdon was the more physical team today and it really affected us," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "We had multiple times with a strong lead and we could just never put them away. This one will be a tough pill to swallow with such a long break before we get back from the holidays, but it is my hope that we will use today as motivation and come back ready to work."
The Petrels will be off from game action for the next three weeks. They'll return to Dorough Field House on Friday, Jan. 6, at 6 p.m. against SAA rival Centre, then will host Sewanee on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 1 p.m.