Women's basketball suffers first loss of season, falls 79-64 to Mary Hardin-Baylor

Women's basketball suffers first loss of season, falls 79-64 to Mary Hardin-Baylor

The Oglethorpe women's basketball team picked up their first loss of the season Sunday afternoon against Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Stormy Petrels couldn't withstand a poor shooting day and trailed by as many as 16 en route to a 79-64 defeat on the final day of the Richard Dardenne Memorial Classic in Birmingham, Alabama. The team fell to 3-1 on the young season.

The Petrels shot just 35.2 percent from the field over the course of the game and were 6-for-17 from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, Mary Hardin-Baylor shot 45.1 percent from the field and 80 percent from the line while outrebounding Oglethorpe 52-40. 

Sophomore center Savannah LeGate enjoyed her best point-scoring day of the season so far, pouring in 24 while recording four blocks and eight rebounds in the losing effort. She was named to the all-classic team after also scoring 12 points on 5-of-8 from the field Saturday against Rose-Hulman, but only one other player joined her in double figures on Sunday. That was freshman guard Nikki Reed, who netted 13 points on a perfect 5-for-5 from the field overall and 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. She also led the team with six assists. Senior forward Lauren Ransom led the Petrels with 10 rebounds and also scored eight points on 4-of-11 from the field.

The two teams went back and forth over the course of the first quarter. The Crusaders took a four-point lead in the early-going, but the Petrels came back to tie it 8-8 at the 4:15 mark of the quarter, then to take their first lead seconds later. Mary Hardin-Baylor answered with a four-point run to push it back up to 14-11, but the Petrels used consecutive baskets to vault back into the lead, 16-14. It would be their last lead of the game, though. The Crusaders finished the quarter on a 6-2 run and led 22-18 after the opening 10 minutes.

They extended their lead in the second quarter, getting it as high as 10 points with a 9-2 run and pulling out to a 34-24 lead with 3:49 remaining in the opening half. They maintained a 40-31 advantage into the break.

Oglethorpe quickly cut the Mary Hardin-Baylor lead to 40-35 early in the third quarter. However, the Crusaders finished the quarter on a 17-7 run to take a 57-42 advantage into the final 10 minutes. They kept the Petrels at arm's length throughout the fourth quarter, with the Petrels getting no closer than nine points over the final stanza.

Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey said: "Mary Hardin-Baylor was just the better team today, and all credit goes to them. They beat us to loose balls and on the glass and made big shots every time we cut into their lead. I still like the direction we're moving as a team, though, and we've got several opportunities to get back on track this week."

The Petrels travel to Lookout Mountain, Georgia, to take on Covenant Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. After that, they'll head to LaGrange for the USA South-SAA Classic over Thanksgiving weekend. There, they'll take on Piedmont and LaGrange on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.