The men's basketball team returned from winter break in style on Tuesday evening by demolishing Berry College on Pinholster Court, 93-56. The Petrels busted open the game with a dominating 20-0 stretch in the first half and led the Vikings by as many as 42 points en route to the home court laugher.
The Petrels led 16-13 with 13 minutes to play in the first half before exploding for the aforementioned 20-0 run. The run was keyed by a swarming Oglethorpe defense that converted 4 steals in the stretch into 11 Petrel points. The spurt began with a bucket and free throw from Andrew Steioff, included 5 straight points from freshman Alex Davis and was punctuated by a Branden Jovaag steal and Christian Molinet layup to render the score 36-13 with 8:14 to play in the half. The Petrels stretched their advantage to 54-23 before a half court shot at the buzzer by Berry trimmed it to 54-26 at the break. The half court heave was about all that went right for the Vikings in the opening stanza and the game was virtually out of reach after the first 20 minutes.
To remove any doubt Oglethorpe used a 16-6 spurt midway through the second half to carry a 30 point lead up to 40 and give head coach Philip Ponder an opportunity to go to his bench for the remainder of the contest. The bench players responded by playing well down the stretch and almost preserving the 40 point cushion. In all, 14 players played at least 5 minutes of action and 13 of them scored at least one hoop.
The Petrels shot 51% from the field while holding the Vikings to only 40%. Oglethorpe outrebounded Berry 44-29, held a 45-6 advantage in bench points and outscored the Vikings 31-3 in points off turnovers.
Andrew Steioff was 7-of-8 from the field for a game-high 18 points to go along with a team-high 6 rebounds. Jovaag tallied 15 points and sophomore Tyler Courson came off the bench to net 11, a career high. Freshman Alex Davis added 10 points to round out the Petrels in double-figures.
Oglethorpe finishes their nonconference slate with a 5-4 record and now will head into exclusive SCAC play at 5-7 overall on the season. The Petrels face Rhodes College in the Dorough Field House this Friday at 8:00 p.m.