The men's basketball team beat Covenant College on Pinholster Court in overtime on Wednesday night, 78-72. In a rollercoaster affair the Petrels had the final say, nailing 4-of-6 shots in overtime to survive a scrappy Scot squad.
The Scots used a variety of defenses in the first half and managed to flummox the Petrels into 35% shooting in the first 20 minutes. Oglethorpe did jump out to an early 8 point lead but it would be the largest of the game as the Scots fought back time and time again. The Petrels held a 20-13 lead with 10:04 to play in the opening stanza but only managed to make two field goals the rest of the way as Covenant crawled back to tie it at 30 apiece heading into halftime.
The second half played out like a heavyweight fight with six ties and the score changing hands a whopping 11 times. Neither team opened up a lead of more than four points, however, until a pair of Christian Molinet's free throws gave OU a 63-58 lead with 2:13 to play. The Scots countered though with consecutive old-fashioned three-point plays and suddenly, with just a minute to play, the Petrels were facing a 65-63 deficit. Freshman Alex Davis calmly drilled two free throws to tie the game with 47 ticks left and neither squad could muster a game-winning shot down the stretch.
The Scots scored the first hoop in overtime but that would be their last lead. Davis rose high above the crowd to convert a tip-in to tie it and Molinet followed with a driving layup to give Oglethorpe a two point lead. Davis grabbed a steal for the Petrels and kicked it ahead to Alec Pitts for a layup and Oglethorpe held a 4 point cushion with 2:40 to play in OT. Again, the Scots countered and, after a bucket and free throw, had trimmed the lead back down to one with a minute left. That's when Branden Jovaag hit the shot of the game to spring the Petrels to victory, a deep three from the left corner with 40 ticks left that finally gave the Petrels the lift they needed.
The Petrels won on Wednesday night despite being sloppy with the basketball and committing a season-high 26 turnovers that Covenant converted into 29 points. The Scots also held a 38-20 advantage in points in the paint but, when Oglethorpe needed it, the Petrels knocked down some big shots from the perimeter.
Andrew Steioff led the way with 15 points and 5 rebounds. Jovaag and Pitts each tallied 14 points while Davis poured in 11. Molinet had 8 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds and four steals but was also tagged with an alarming 11 turnovers.
In the end what the Petrels got was a much needed win to raise their record to 4-5 on the season. The team will take some time off for exams but will be back on the court to face Sewanee on December 16 at 8:00 p.m.