The Oglethorpe women's basketball team continued their outstanding play of late Sunday afternoon at Dorough Field House, leading the visiting Hendrix Warriors wire to wire en route to a 53-45 victory in a defensive battle. The victory improved the Stormy Petrels to 12-6 overall and 6-1 in SAA play, ensuring sole possession of second place for the Petrels through the first half of the conference season.
The Petrels played outstanding defense throughout the day, holding the visiting Warriors to 29 percent from the field and 18 percent from 3-point range. They also forced 20 Hendrix turnovers and outscored the visitors 19-9 off those takeaways.
Senior forward Lauren Ransom led the team with 17 points on 6-of-12 from the field, adding 3 blocks in the process. Sophomore guard Jada Triplett scored 12 points on 4-of-9 from the field for her part, while converting both of her free throw attempts. Sophomore forward Madi Foltz scored 6 points of her own while grabbing 6 boards.
The Petrels began the game on an 11-4 surge in the opening eight minutes, then continued that into the second quarter, as well, beginning the game on a 20-9 run in all. They led by that margin with 5:32 left in the second period. The sides traded baskets for the remainder of the half, and the Petrels took a 27-17 lead into the halftime break.
Hendrix used a 6-2 mini-run to start the second half and cut the Oglethorpe lead to 29-23 just under three minutes into the period, but the Oglethorpe defense clamped down from there and held them scoreless for 4:40, even while being unable to score themselves during that stretch. The Warriors cut the Oglethorpe lead back to just five points, 33-28, with 1:47 remaining, but four straight Oglethorpe points put them back ahead 37-28 going into the fourth quarter.
The two teams traded baskets to begin the fourth quarter, then went on a 3-minute collective scoring streak as the defenses clamped down again. However, Triplett hit a huge 3-pointer with 5:42 remaining to make it 42-32. Hendrix answered back, but consecutive Oglethorpe baskets gave them a 46-35 lead with 3:30 remaining. Then, with the score 47-37 and 1:20 to go, Triplett leaked behind the defense on an inbound play with the Warriors instituting the full-court press. Her layup gave Oglethorpe a 49-37 lead, really putting the visitors behind the 8-ball. The Petrels made free throws down the stretch and came away with the victory.
"It's always great to hold court at home, especially with the odd schedule this year where we go right back to Rhodes and Hendrix next weekend," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "A 6-1 record at the midway point is a really good start and we have a lot of ball left to be played, but I couldn't be happier with my group. They care about each other and are playing with confidence. Our team defense was fantastic once again, and that will always give you a chance. I hope we can keep it rolling, but we're going to enjoy this one for a little bit before we get back to work together on Tuesday at practice."
The Petrels will head back on the road next weekend, facing off against Rhodes Friday night at 7 p.m. Eastern in Memphis, Tennessee. After that, they'll continue to Conway, Arkansas, to take on the Warriors again Sunday at 1 p.m.