The Oglethorpe women's basketball team completed a sweep of their Holiday Inn Express and Suites Classic on Tuesday, trouncing the visiting Emory and Henry Wasps 72-52. That result made the Stormy Petrels the only team to go 2-0 in the 4-team field which also featured Birmingham-Southern and Centenary (Louisiana). Oglethorpe jumped all over Emory and Henry in the first and fourth quarters, jumping out to a 28-10 lead after the opening period and holding the Wasps to just five points over the final 10 minutes.
The Petrels shot an outstanding 51 percent from the field, including a 44 percent mark from 3-point range. They also converted at a 71 percent clip from the free throw line. Meanwhile, they held Emory and Henry to 30 percent from the field and 18 percent from beyond the arc. Oglethorpe outrebounded the Wasps 38-26 over the course of the contest.
Oglethorpe was led on the afternoon by junior guard Jada Triplett, who tallied 22 points on 9-of-13 from the field and 3-of-5 from 3-point range while passing out four assists. She was joined by freshman Savannah LeGate, who recorded her sixth double-double of the season with a 13-point, 13-rebound performance. She also went 6-of-8 from the field and tallied four steals, three assists and two blocks, earning her the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Classic MVP. Junior guard Bailey Charles finished with 10 points of her own with a perfect 3-for-3 line from the charity stripe. She also passed out three assists and recorded a pair of steals, and earned a spot on the All-Classic Team.
The Petrels started the game on fire from 3-point range, as they drilled the first six long-distance shots they took in the contest. They began the game on a 25-6 run over the opening seven minutes. After a couple of Emory and Henry baskets cut the Oglethorpe advantage to 28-12 early in the second quarter, the Petrels responded with a 9-4 stretch to push the advantage out to 37-16 with six minutes remaining in the first half. The Wasps came back with nine consecutive points, though, and cut the Petrel advantage to 37-25 with 3:23 left in the half. The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the quarter and Oglethorpe led by 14 at the break.
In the third quarter, the Petrels and Wasps continued to jockey back and forth. Oglethorpe extended their advantage to 20 points, 49-29, early in the period, but Emory and Henry responded and cut the Oglethorpe lead back to 11 points after a 12-3 stretch. The home side was dealing with foul trouble, too, as junior forward Lauren Ransom fouled out, LeGate had three fouls, and sophomore forward Karlymarie Dyer had four. The Petrels responded with seven consecutive points, though, and took a 61-47 lead into the fourth quarter.
In the final period, the Petrels completely locked things down on the defensive end. They allowed the Wasps just one made basket over the final 10 minutes and held them to five points for the quarter overall. This allowed the Petrels to pull away for the 20-point victory.
"I really felt like we took a huge step forward over the past week," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "We had our best practices of the season coming out of final exams and then played really well against both Centenary yesterday and Emory & Henry today. Hopefully, that gave us some confidence headed into the holiday break that we're moving in the right direction as a team, and that we can come back after the break still firing on all cylinders."
The Petrels will next be in action on Dec. 29, when they travel to Lexington, Kentucky, to take on Transylvania in a non-conference showdown at 3 p.m. After that, they'll return home on Jan. 2 to go against crosstown rival Emory.