The Oglethorpe women's basketball team got the main part of their SAA season off to an excellent start Friday afternoon at Dorough Field House, as they pulled away from the visiting Centre Colonels over the course of the second half en route to a 64-39 victory. The win improved the Stormy Petrels to 8-5 on the season overall and 2-0 in SAA play.
The Petrels played very well defensively over the course of the evening, holding Centre to 33 percent shooting from the field overall and 17 percent from 3-point range. They also forced 23 Colonel turnovers while committing just 12 themselves, and outscored the visitors 26-9 off of those takeaways. The Petrels also outscored Centre 28-15 off the bench, and that margin was even bigger until late in the game.
Oglethorpe got an outstanding performance from freshman guard Morgan Grindle, who scored a season-high 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting and passed out 3 assists off the bench. Sophomore guard Bailey Charles led the team with 12 points on 4-for-8 shooting, while sophomore forward Madi Foltz scored 8 points on 3-for-4 from the field overall and 2-for-2 from distance.
The Petrels went on an 8-0 run early to take an 8-2 lead, which they held onto for most of the remainder of the opening quarter. They led 15-11 ten minutes into the contest.
In the second quarter, the Petrels started on a 13-3 run, pushing their advantage out to 26-14 with 5:14 remaining in the half. Eight straight points from the Colonels over a 4-minute stretch pulled them to within four points, 26-22, with 1:24 remaining until halftime. Sophomore guard Brooke Simpson hit a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left in the half, though, extending Oglethorpe's advantage to 29-22 headed into the locker room.
The Petrels began another run early in the third quarter, extending their advantage with a 15-4 run that covered the final seven minutes of the period. That run extended into the early part of the fourth quarter, as well, as the home team scored the first six points of that period. Overall, the Petrels went on a 21-4 run over a 10-minute period, pushing their lead out to a commanding 52-28 with 8:34 remaining. Centre went on a brief 6-point run from there, but the Petrels would outscore the Colonels 18-11 in the final quarter. They led by as many as 28 points with 2:35 remaining in the contest.
"I was very proud of our defensive effort today for the whole game," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "I thought this was our most focused performance in terms of attention to detail on the defensive end of the floor, and it allowed us to have a great outcome. We talk a lot in our locker room about developing consistency from day to day and game to game, and I hope we can continue to learn and grow from days like today to put ourselves in a good position as the season moves forward. We've got just a short time to enjoy this win, though, because Sewanee is as dangerous as anyone in our league, with a lot of firepower."
The Petrels welcome the Tigers to Dorough Field House Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. to close out the weekend, then travel to Birmingham, Alabama, and Jackson, Mississippi, next weekend to go against Birmingham-Southern and Millsaps, respectively.