Women's Basketball Falls to No. 13 Washington (Missouri) in Hard-Fought McWilliams Classic Opener

Women's Basketball Falls to No. 13 Washington (Missouri) in Hard-Fought McWilliams Classic Opener

The Oglethorpe women's basketball team acquitted themselves well in their McWilliams Classic opener against the No. 13 Washington (Missouri) Bears, but fell in the end, dropping the contest 90-79 to move to 4-2 on the young season. Both teams got off to a hot shooting start, but the nationally-ranked Bears pulled away in the third quarter on the first day of the 2-day tournament in St. Louis.

The Petrels hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the game, giving themselves a 6-0 lead in the opening minute of the contest. A 7-0 run by Washington pushed them ahead, 14-11, with 6:19 to go in the quarter, though, and then they went on a 9-0 spurt over a 1:08 stretch to build a 10-point advantage, 26-16, with four minutes left in the period. Oglethorpe responded with a 10-3 run of their own to end the quarter, though, cutting the Bear lead to 29-26. The Petrels were 50 percent from the field in the opening quarter, converting on 5 of 6 three-point attempts. Washington shot well, too, converting at a 69 percent rate from the field overall and hitting 5 of 9 three-pointers.

The Petrels cut the Bear lead to just two early in the second quarter, extending their run at the end of the first quarter to 14-6 and making the score 32-30 with 8:39 left in the opening half. However, an 11-4 Washington stretch put them back ahead 43-34 with 5:25 left in the period. The two teams basically traded baskets for the remainder of the period, making the score 51-40 in favor of the home side at halftime.

Washington continued to pull away in the third quarter, going on a 12-1 run over 3:25 to take a 67-49 lead and maintaining a 77-56 lead at the end of the third period. The Bears continued to extend their lead early in the fourth quarter, going on a 14-5 run bridging from late in the third quarter to early in the fourth and building their largest lead of the game, 83-59, with 6:06 remaining. 

The Petrels tried to fight their way back into the contest from there, outscoring Washington 20-7 over the final six minutes, but there proved to be too little time for the Petrels to get themselves a chance to win the game. 

Washington shot 56 percent from the field for the game while Oglethorpe converted on 40 percent of their field goal attempts. That included a 48 percent mark from 3-point range for the Bears and 35 percent for the Petrels. Washington outrebounded the Petrels, 45-34. Oglethorpe did force 18 turnovers while committing just 10 themselves, outscoring the Bears 17-9 off those turnovers.

Freshman center Savannah LeGate recorded another double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Junior guard Jada Triplett scored 16 points on 4-of-8 from the 3-point line, while junior guard Clarissa Hopkins scored 10 points on 4-of-7 from the field off the bench. Sophomore forward Karlymarie Dyer and junior guard Bailey Charles tied for the team lead with four assists.

"I'm super proud of our group for their effort throughout the game," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "We came out hot, but Washington continued to execute and knocked down what seemed to be every open look. We learned a lot about ourselves, though, and now we move on to face a scrappy Pomona-Pitzer team tomorrow with another opportunity to get better."

The Petrels will take on Pomona-Pitzer in the McWilliams Classic consolation game Saturday at 6 p.m. Eastern. The Sagehens fell 71-48 to Austin in Friday's first game. Austin will play Washington for the McWilliams Classic championship after the Petrels-Sagehens contest.