Women's basketball falls to Millsaps 56-54 after late Majors rally

Women's basketball falls to Millsaps 56-54 after late Majors rally

The Oglethorpe women's basketball team suffered a tough loss Sunday afternoon at Dorough Field House, falling to the visiting Millsaps Majors 56-54 after leading by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter. The defeat dropped the Stormy Petrels to 17-5 on the season overall and 8-3 in SAA play, putting them in second place on the league leaderboard.

The Petrels led 44-36 entering the final period. They took a 10-point lead, their largest of the game, a few seconds into the quarter. However, Millsaps responded with a four-point run to get the deficit down to just six, 46-40, with 8:30 to play. Oglethorpe used a three-point trip featuring a made free throw and then an offensive rebound and putback off a miss on the second foul shot to jump back ahead 49-40 with seven minutes left.

From that point, though, the Majors went on a 14-1 run over the next 4:45. They hit a 3-pointer to take the lead, 52-50, with 1:05 remaining, then made a couple free throws to take a 54-50 lead with 35 seconds on the clock. Freshman guard Nikki Reed responded by hitting a 3-pointer to make it 54-53 with 29 seconds left. Millsaps missed a pair of free throws at the other end, but they were able to run down the offensive rebound, then made both foul shots on their next trip to make it 56-53 with 14 seconds left. After a missed three from the Petrels, senior guard Brooke Simpson grabbed an offensive board and got fouled, giving the Petrels a chance with 0.7 seconds left. Simpson made the first, missed the second, and got her own rebound, but her desperation shot missed the mark as the clock expired.

Millsaps led 29-25 at the break and jumped out to a 31-25 advantage early in the second half, but the Petrels quickly fought their way into the lead. They used a 17-2 run over 6:15 to flip the game in their favor, 42-33, with 2:45 remaining in the quarter.

The first half largely belonged to the Majors. They jumped out to an 11-5 lead early in the opening period, then pulled it back out to a six-point game after Oglethorpe responded by cutting it to two with 2:40 left. Millsaps jumped to an eight-point lead a couple times in the second quarter and led 26-18 with just under six minutes left until halftime. The Petrels scored five straight points to cut it to three, though, and went into halftime down just four.

The Petrels shot just 25.4 percent from the field and were 5-of-30 from 3-point range as well as 56.5 percent from the free-throw line. Millsaps shot 37.8 percent from the field and 70.8 percent from the line, by contrast. Oglethorpe forced 24 Millsaps turnovers and outscored them 28-8 off those takeaways, but it wasn't enough to make up the shooting disparity.

Senior forward Lauren Ransom led the way for the Petrels with 15 points and seven rebounds. She made 6 of 12 shots and grabbed three steals, as well. Sophomore center Savannah LeGate added six points, seven rebounds and four blocks, while Simpson scored eight points, grabbed five boards and made three steals.

The Petrels now sit a game back of Millsaps in the SAA standings with three to play, and the Majors hold the head-to-head tiebreaker for tournament seeding purposes. Oglethorpe will hit the road next weekend, taking on Centre Friday from Danville, Kentucky, at 6 p.m., then continuing to Tennessee to take on Sewanee Sunday at 2 p.m. EST.

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