The Oglethorpe women's basketball team showed no signs of rust Monday after a 10-day layoff. The Stormy Petrels got their Holiday Inn Express and Suites Classic off to an excellent start with 74-45 blowout of Centenary (Louisiana). The result improved the Petrels to 6-3 on the season headed into their matchup with Emory and Henry to close the event out on Tuesday.
The Petrels used outstanding play in the first quarter to give themselves a big cushion early on, finishing the period with a 24-10 lead. They followed that up with a 24-12 advantage in the third quarter, putting the contest away. The home side led by as many as 30 points en route to the victory.
Oglethorpe began the game with an 11-2 run over the opening 2:20. After trading a couple of baskets with the visiting Ladies, they then embarked on an 11-0 spurt over 3:30 to push out to a 24-8 advantage with 30 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
After what was pretty much an even second quarter, the Petrels maintained a 17-point advantage at the halftime break, leading 40-23. The Ladies were able to cut the Oglethorpe advantage to as little as 12 points, 24-12, with 9:08 remaining in the second quarter, but the Petrels used a 13-4 run over a 6:20 stretch to advance their lead to 37-16 with 2:28 remaining in the period.
They proceeded to put the game away in the third quarter. After a Centenary 3-pointer cut the Petrel advantage to 14 points at the outset of the period, Oglethorpe used a 6-1 minirun to stretch their advantage back out to nine, 46-27, with seven minutes left in the period, then brought down the hammer with a 23-5 run over an 8:14 stretch that bridged into the fourth quarter. That gave them a 30-point edge, 67-37, with 6:58 left.
The Petrels were led by freshman center Savannah LeGate and junior forward Lauren Ransom, both of whom followed up their outstanding performances in the loss at Guilford on Dec. 7 with very solid performances on Monday night. Both finished with 11 points and nine rebounds in limited minutes, as Ransom played 16 and LeGate just 13. LeGate was 5-for-9 from the field and collected seven offensive rebounds, while Ransom finished a perfect 3-for-3 from the free throw line. Junior guard Bailey Charles also played well, scoring six points and grabbing six rebounds of her own. She also recorded a pair of assists.
Oglethorpe dominated Centenary on the glass, outrebounding them 59-39. That included a 29-13 margin in offensive rebounding. The Petrels forced 24 turnovers while committing just 12, and outscored the Ladies 26-9 off those takeaways. The home side also dominated their opponents in the paint, outscoring them 46-16 in that category and 12-2 off the fastbreak.
"We had two good runs in this game, one in the first quarter to get a solid lead throughout most of the first half and another to pretty much give us a comfortable advantage in the third," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "I felt like our intensity was exactly where it needed to be. We've had some really good practices this week, which really led us into these two days. We had a lot of kids get a lot of minutes, which is always good, and I thought we just played Oglethorpe basketball. We'll have to be ready for a good Emory and Henry team tomorrow. It'll be a big challenge for us, and we're just looking to get better as we go along."
The Petrels will take on Emory and Henry Tuesday at 4 p.m. to close out the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Classic. The Wasps defeated SAA side Birmingham-Southern 67-45 in Monday's first game. Centenary will go against the Panthers in Tuesday's first game at 2 p.m. from Dorough Field House.