The Oglethorpe women's basketball team outscored the Centre Colonels 21-7 in the second quarter Friday night in Danville, Kentucky, giving themselves a 31-18 advantage at the halftime break. It was a lead they would maintain throughout the final 20 minutes of the game, allowing them to earn a 57-45 victory and maintain a tie for second place in the SAA going into the final four games of the regular season. The victory improved the Stormy Petrels to 13-8 overall and 7-3 in conference play.
The two teams were relatively even from the field, with Centre shooting 33 percent and Oglethorpe converting at a 32 percent rate on their field goal attempts. Free throw shooting proved to be a big difference between the two teams, though, with the Petrels making 22 of them and Centre sinking just 4. Oglethorpe shot 55 percent as a team from the line while the Colonels shot 27 percent. The Petrels outscored the home team 13-6 in second chance points.
Sophomore forward Lauren Ransom recorded another double-double, her eighth of the season, putting up 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Jada Triplett led all performers with 23 points and sank 11 of her 17 free throws. Sophomore guard Bailey Charles added a 3-of-4 evening at the line and grabbed 6 rebounds.
The first quarter proved an even 10 minutes. The teams traded runs, with the Petrels scoring six straight points before the Colonels answered with five straight, and Centre led 11-10 headed into the second quarter. In that period, Oglethorpe outscored Centre 21-7, highlighted by a 21-4 run over 8:10. They led 31-18 at the break.
The Petrels looked to maintain their lead in the second half, and wound up doing just that. They extended their lead out to its largest of the contest, 42-25, with 5:43 left in the third quarter. Centre mounted a rally over the rest of the period and into the early part of the fourth, outscoring the visitors 13-1 over a 7:13 stretch and cutting the Petrel lead to just five points, 43-38, with 7:56 remaining. However, Oglethorpe put the game away after that, embarking on a 10-2 run over the next 3:40 to push their advantage back out to 55-42 with 1:27 left and slam the door on the Colonels.
"Road wins are so important late in the season," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "We played really strong on the defensive end, and our ability to attack gaps created offensive opportunities, although we did not shoot the ball particularly well from the field. This was a character win, and I hope we can keep it going against the most dangerous offensive team in the league on Sunday."
The Petrels travel to Tennessee on Sunday to take on Sewanee at 2 p.m. Eastern from atop the Cumberland Plateau. After that, they'll return home to Dorough Field House for their final three games of the regular season. They'll welcome Birmingham-Southern and Millsaps to Atlanta next weekend.