Men Lose 2nd Straight SCAC Tilt in Dying Seconds
The men's basketball team suffered their second straight one point defeat in conference play on Friday night when they fell at Sewanee, 61-60. This time the Petrels blew an 18 point first half advantage and the Tigers scored off a turnover with 18 seconds left for the winning bucket.
The Petrels appeared poised to snare a road win by shooting 13-of-28 (46.4%) from the field in a first half where they nailed an even better 62.5% of their attempts from downtown (5-of-8). They used a 12-0 spurt midway through the half to turn an 8-7 lead into a 20-7 bulge, bookended by three-pointers from Tyler Cerone and Branden Jovaag. The Tigers would trim the lead back down 6 with 8:50 left but Oglethorpe responded with another 12-0 burst to push the margin to 18 at 35-17. That particular stretch was punctuated by 9 straight points from Alec Pitts following two made three's and lay-up that included a foul. The Tigers scored the final hoop of the stanza and trailed 35-19 at the break.
To say Sewanee came out of the locker room eager to get back into the game would be an understatement. The Tigers ripped off the first 17 points of the half and suddenly, with 13:31 to play, led 36-35. The Petrels steadied themselves but the damage had been done. While the lead changed hands several times down the stretch, the Tigers used a three-ball to open up a late 6 point cushion. Oglethorpe responded, however, by turning a 55-49 deficit into a 58-55 lead after a 9-0 run that ended at the 2 minute mark with a Christian Molinet layup.
Andrew Steioff scored two of his team-high 22 points to put Oglethorpe ahead 60-59 with a minute to play and, after a stop and rebound with 44 ticks remaining, hoped to milk clock on a critical possession. The Tigers Valentino Bryant stole the ball from Pitts, however, and scored a layup on the other end with 18 seconds left to lift Sewanee to the win. The Petrels could not muster a game-winning shot at the buzzer.
Steioff connected on 10-of-13 shots en route to his 22 points. Pitts and Jovaag tallied 11 each in the tough loss. Oglethorpe lost their first SCAC contest by one point as well on a three-point buzzer-beater by Birmingham-Southern. The Petrels are now 4-6 (0-2) on the season and will face Centre this Sunday at 3:00 p.m.