Posted: Jan 12, 2018
The Oglethorpe women's basketball team hosted the Sewanee Tigers at Dorough Field House on Friday night in Oglethorpe's first home conference game of the new year. Things did not look good for the Stormy Petrels early, as they were down big at halftime, losing 28-16, while only managing to shoot 14 percent from the field. The Petrels were able to flip the momentum of the game in the second half, though, reducing the Tiger lead to 34-31 at the end of the third period. The Petrels then went on to outscore the Tigers 27-13 in the fourth quarter to secure the victory. The late game push allowed the Petrels to win by 11, 58-47. The Petrels improved to 10-5 on the season overall and 3-1 in the SAA, moving them into a first-place tie in the league.
The Petrels needed a few key players to help them come out on top. One key player for the Petrels was sophomore guard Sydney Long, who led her team in points. All of Long's 16 points were scored in the second half, where she went 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. Freshman forward Savannah LeGate had a historic night, recording 22 rebounds, 15 of which were offensive boards. The 22 rebounds tied LeGate for the program single-game record, as she matched Kim Mohr, who accomplished the feat on Nov. 18, 1995, against Atlanta Christian (now Point). LeGate also ended the game with 10 points.
The Petrels started the game cold, missing on their first four shot attempts. The Petrels continued to have a hard time making a basket, ending the quarter shooting 3-for-17. The Petrels also had a difficult time holding onto the ball, giving up seven turnovers. In the first quarter, the Tigers led by as many as eight at one point, and finished the quarter on top, 13-7.
The Petrels continued to struggle in the second quarter, making just 11 percent of their shot attempts. With 5:05 left before halftime, the Tigers were able to extend their lead out to 15 points, which was their largest of the game. The Petrels would be outscored 15-9 in the second quarter. The Tigers never trailed in the first half, which allowed them to enter halftime with a 28-16 advantage.
The Petrels wouldn't give up and began the second half playing tough defense, combined with strong offensive and defensive rebounding. The Petrels were able to score eight points off of five turnovers by the Tigers in the third quarter, and combined for 10 offensive rebounds which led to nine second-chance points in the period. They outscored Sewanee 13-6 in the period, but were still behind 34-31 entering the final period.
In the fourth quarter with just under nine minutes left to play, the Petrels were finally able to tie the game at 36-36. From that point on, Oglethorpe went on a 15-3 run and never relinquished their advantage. The Petrels shot an outstanding 57 percent and outscored the Tigers 27-13 in the fourth to help them secure the victory. The home team also outrebounded the visitors by a whopping 60-36 margin.
"An ugly win is way better than a pretty loss," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "We missed so many shots that we have been making all season, but we just continued to grind and our second half defense and rebounding were phenomenal. I'm super proud of our entire team for their maturity in the face of adversity and for lifting each other even when nobody was playing their best game. We've got a huge matchup on Sunday and we will now have to get ready to bounce back for that one."
The Petrels will remain at home on Sunday to take on Centre at 1 p.m. in another SAA showdown. The visiting Colonels will enter the game at 3-1 in SAA play, just like the Petrels. The two teams are tied with Rhodes atop the conference standings after four games.