The Oglethorpe men's basketball team dropped a game to first-place Birmingham-Southern on the road Sunday afternoon, losing 68-53 to the Panthers. The loss dropped the Petrels to 13-6 on the season, 5-3 in SAA play. With the loss, they remain in fourth place in the SAA standings, now two games out of the top spot.
The Petrels simply didn't shoot well on the road, shooting 33 percent to the home-standing Panthers' 44 percent. Meanwhile, Oglethorpe had difficulty for much of the game against Birmingham-Southern's full-court press. The Petrels did mount a rally late in the game, but it turned out to be too late to salvage a chance to win.
In the first half, Birmingham-Southern got off to a good start, outscoring the Petrels 17-9 over the first nine minutes of the game. From that point, the Panthers more or less kept a 10-point lead for the remainder of the half while the Petrels struggled from the field. Oglethorpe shot 29 percent in the first half.
Oglethorpe got off to a bad start coming out of the locker room as the Panthers got off to a 10-0 second-half start, putting the Petrels down 43-25 and really putting them behind the eight-ball for the remainder of the game. Birmingham-Southern led by as many as 23 points with 10:51 remaining, 60-37.
However, starting from that point, Oglethorpe mounted a furious rally outscoring the Panthers 16-4 over the next eight minutes. That cut the lead to 11, 64-53, with 2:48 remaining, giving the Petrels a slim chance to get back into the game late. However, the Panthers hit their free throws down the stretch, securing the 15-point victory.
The Panthers outscored the Stormy Petrels 30-18 in the paint and 24-17 off turnovers.
Senior guard Christian Molinet led Oglethorpe with 15 points. He also came up with three steals. Sophomore guard Alex Davis scored 10, while freshman guard Drew Patrick scored nine points on 3-of-5 shooting while tallying four steals.
The Petrels will return home on Friday night for a big SAA weekend. They will play first-place Centre Friday at 8 p.m., then will turn around the next night and play Sewanee, also at 8 p.m.