The Oglethorpe women's basketball team dominated the Birmingham-Southern Panthers on Friday night in Dorough Field House, never trailing and leading by as many as 22 points en route to a 65-48 win that vaulted them into a tie for first place in the SAA. The Stormy Petrels improved to 17-4 overall and 8-2 in league play.
The win combined with a Millsaps loss to Berry to move the Petrels into a tie with the Majors atop the league standings. Oglethorpe and Millsaps are scheduled to face off at 1 p.m. on Sunday for sole possession of first place.
In Friday's game, Oglethorpe opened up an 18-7 lead on the Panthers over the first 5:45 of the contest. Birmingham-Southern used nine straight points to cut the Petrel lead to just two, 18-16, with 1:45 left in the first quarter, but the home side began the second quarter with an 11-2 run and pushed their advantage to 31-18 at the 4:15 mark of the period. Oglethorpe built that advantage to 26-22 at the halftime break.
The Petrels spent the better part of the third quarter on a 13-2 run and built a 51-31 lead with 10 minutes to go. They extended their advantage to 22 points early in the period and cruised to a 17-point win from that point.
Oglethorpe shot 46.8 percent from the field while holding Birmingham-Southern to just 32.7 percent. The Petrels forced 16 Panther turnovers and outscored them 17-9 off of takeaways. They also held a 42-20 advantage in the paint.
Sophomore center Savannah LeGate scored 10 points, grabbed six rebounds, and made three steals. Sophomore forward Audrey Burdge added nine points on 4-for-6 shooting to go with four steals and five boards. Senior forward Lauren Ransom led the team with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting while grabbing five rebounds.
"We really did a good job moving without the ball offensively," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey, "which is something we've been focusing on in practice the last two weeks. We're glad to be back in a tie for first place, but there's still lots of basketball to be played. We've got a big one coming up on Sunday here at Dorough."
After the Petrels host the Majors, they'll hit the road the following weekend for games against Centre and Sewanee before closing out the regular season against Berry at Dorough Field House on Feb. 16.