The Oglethorpe women's basketball team faced a tough test Friday evening against a Rhodes Lynx team that proved to be better than their record (now 1-16 on the season). In the end, though, the Stormy Petrels pulled away for a 64-54 victory over the visitors and improved to 11-6 on the year overall and 5-1 in SAA play, good enough for sole possession of second place in the league.
The Petrels got an outstanding performance from sophomore forward Lauren Ransom, especially late in the game. She finished with 18 points on 7-of-13 from the field, but recorded 10 of those points in the fourth quarter on 4-of-5 from the field. Sophomore guard Jada Triplett finished with 15 points on 4-of-4 from the free throw line, while sophomore forward Madi Foltz came in with 7 points and 3 assists.
The Petrels recorded 16 assists on their 22 made baskets and forced 17 Rhodes turnovers while committing just 13 themselves. Oglethorpe outscored the visitors 15-5 off turnovers for the game. Despite being outpaced 19-13 on the offensive glass, the Petrels outscored their opponent 16-7 in second chance points. They also outscored Rhodes 15-8 off the bench.
The game began with the Petrels going on a 16-5 run in the first quarter to build a 19-9 advantage with 2:23 remaining in the period. Rhodes responded with back-to-back baskets, making it a 5-point game headed for the second quarter.
The Lynx continued to fight back at the start of the second, extending their run to 14-3 and taking a 23-22 lead with 7:59 remaining in the opening half. The Petrels came back with an 11-5 run to recapture the lead, 33-28, with 3:17 left until halftime, and they maintained a 33-30 advantage into the break.
After Rhodes cut it to a 2-point game early in the third quarter, the Petrels scored four straight to push their lead out to seven points, but Rhodes answered back with a mini-run of their own to cut it to three. The Petrels responded with eight straight points to push their advantage out to its largest of the game to that point, 48-37, with 3:28 remaining in the period.
Rhodes again cut into the advantage to start the fourth, getting as close as 48-42 in the quarter's first minute. The Petrels responded by extending their lead back out to 10, then trading baskets with their opponent the rest of the way, though. This allowed them to slowly close the game down as the fourth quarter wore on.
"That was a great team win," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "I thought our third-quarter defense was really good. Madi Foltz was awesome tonight and it seems like every game, we have someone else stepping up. We have a big test on Sunday, so we can enjoy this one for a few more hours before we move on to Hendrix. I'm proud of our young team, but there's lots of ball still to be played."
The Petrels will be back in action Sunday at noon, when they welcome Hendrix to Dorough Field House. The game will be a part of the day's Coaches vs. Cancer festivities, and all fans are encouraged to wear gold in support of childhood cancer victims. All proceeds from the gate will be donated to the Sam Robb Fund for pediatric cancer research and outreach.