Women's Basketball Runs Away from Berry, 73-47, to Secure Win in SAA Opener

Women's Basketball Runs Away from Berry, 73-47, to Secure Win in SAA Opener
The Oglethorpe women's basketball team returned home Wednesday to face the Berry Vikings in the Petrels' first SAA matchup of the season. The Petrels continued their early-season dominance by defeating the Vikings, 73-47, at Dorough Field House. The Petrels were only ahead by nine points going into halftime, with the score 33-24.  The Petrels came out in the third quarter on fire, pushing their lead out to double digits. In that third quarter, the Petrels would outscore the Vikings 24-10 en route to their first conference win of the season. The win improved the Petrels to 4-1 on the young season, 1-0 in league play.
The game began with neither team shooting above 30 percent from the field. The shooting percentage remained similar for Berry in the second quarter, but the Petrels were able to connect on a few more shots, going 7-for-16 and pushing out to a 10-point lead at one point. At halftime, the Petrels lead 33-24 and held the advantage in four key statistics rebounds, assists, blocks and steals.
With 6:24 minutes remaining in the third quarter and the Petrels ahead 37-28, they would go on an electrifying run, outscoring the Vikings 18-1. The Petrels ended the quarter leading 57-34.  In the third quarter, the Petrels were able to connect on 8 of 14 shots from the field, as well as converting on 7 of 10 free throws.  Additionally, the Petrels were very efficient with their passing, collecting 5 assists while only committing 2 turnovers in the third quarter. The Petrel defense was also dominant in the third period, as they held the Vikings to only 22 percent from the field, and their defense forced 8 turnovers.
The third quarter would prove to be too much for the Vikings to overcome, as the Petrels were able to secure a well-earned victory. The Petrels finished the game shooting 41 percent from the field (25-for-61). The Oglethorpe defense held the Vikings to only 25 percent from the field (12-for-49) as well as forcing 29 turnovers. The Petrels would also end the game with 30 rebounds, 42 assists and 10 steals.  
The dominating performance by the Petrels was led by a multitude of players, with 13 different Petrels finding their way into the scorebook. Even with the wide span of players scoring, three of the Petrels scored in double digits. Freshman center Savannah LeGate scored 19 points, connecting on seven of her eight shots, on top of leading the game with 11 rebounds, four of which were offensive boards. Junior guard Jada Triplett scored 19 points while recording a perfect 8 for 8 night from the foul line. She would also earn 3 assists with only 1 turnover. Junior forward Lauren Ransom was all over the court, scoring 13 points as well as recording 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 3 blocks.
"We talked about having a sense of urgency to open up the second half, and I thought we came out and accomplished that," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "When you can force 29 turnovers, a lot of good things are going to happen. It seems like when you start making a couple shots, the basket starts to get seemingly get bigger for you. As we started knocking down a couple shots, you could see our team's confidence grow. Now, we look forward to the awesome opportunity placed before us against a nationally-ranked Wash U on Friday."
This Friday and Saturday, the Petrels will travel to St. Louis to compete in the McWilliams Classic. Their first matchup of the tournament will be on Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern against No. 13 Washington. After that, the Petrels will take on either Pomona-Pitzer or Austin on Saturday.