No. 5 Hope pulls away from women's basketball in fourth quarter

No. 5 Hope pulls away from women's basketball in fourth quarter

The Oglethorpe women's basketball team hung in for the first three quarters Thursday evening against No. 5 Hope at the Quality Suites Holiday Classic in Dorough Field House, but the visiting Flying Dutch pulled away by outscoring the Stormy Petrels 19-7 in the fourth quarter en route to a 64-46 win. The loss dropped the Petrels to 8-2 on the season.

Hope built a 27-14 lead with five minutes remaining in the second quarter for their largest lead of the game to that point. The Petrels stormed back over the final five minutes of the period, though, outscoring the visitors 12-2 to end the half and cut the Hope advantage to 29-26 at the break. They extended that run into the third quarter, beginning the half on a 5-2 stretch and tying the game 31-31. Overall, the Petrels went on a 17-4 run over a six-minute stretch to slice a 13-point lead down to nothing.

The Flying Dutch went right back ahead on the next possession, though, and never again relinquished their lead. They scored six straight to build a 37-31 edge before the Petrels cut it back to a two-point game with six minutes left in the third quarter. From there, Hope didn't allow consecutive Oglethorpe baskets for the remainder of the contest and finished on a 27-11 run over the final 16 minutes, slowly pulling away over the course of the fourth quarter.

Hope pushed out to an 18-7 lead over the course of the first quarter and led 18-10 after 10 minutes. They then outscored the home side 9-2 over a 3:40 stretch early in the second, building their 27-14 lead.

Senior guard Bailey Charles played very well in the losing effort, scoring a season-high 17 points on 3-of-5 from long distance and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, freshman guard Nikki Reed had an outstanding game, too. She scored 13 points on 6-of-10 from the field, recording four steals and three assists in the process.

The Petrels continued to struggle shooting the ball, converting on just 30.4 percent of their field-goal attempts to Hope's 44.2 percent. The length and size of the Flying Dutch had a lot to do with that, and the visitors outrebounded Oglethorpe 41-30, as well. 

Oglethorpe will be back in action in less than 24 hours, as they conclude the Quality Suites Holiday Classic at 3 p.m. Friday when they play Calvin. The Knights will come in having just beaten Birmingham-Southern 65-49 in Thursday's opener. 

The Panthers will take on Hope at 1 p.m. in Friday's first game.