A night after upsetting Centre for their biggest win of the season, the Oglethorpe men's basketball team couldn't recover from a horrid start and suffered a difficult loss, 57-51, Saturday night at Dorough Field House.
The Petrels got off to an abysmal start, falling behind 22-3 after 11 minutes. They started the game 1-for-16 from the field, and still trailed by 19, 24-5, with 6:37 left in the half before they started to mount something of a rally.
They went on an 11-2 run and cut their deficit to 10, 26-16, with 2:11 to go. However, Sewanee scored the last five points of the half to take a 31-16 lead into the locker room.
The Petrels improved their shooting significantly over the last nine mintues of the half, but still shot just 23 percent for the period. In contrast, the visiting Tigers shot 50 percent.
In the second half, the Petrels tried desperately to cut into the Sewanee lead, but had difficulty getting the margin much below 10 points. They did shrink the deficit from 15 to seven with a 12-4 run that ended with 6:24 remaining in the game. However, Sewanee immediately hit two straight baskets and pushed the lead back out to 13 points.
Still down 13, 57-44 now, with 55 seconds remaining, the Petrels hit two 3-pointers sandwiched around a foul shot, cutting the lead to six with 20 seconds left. They then got the ball back with 17 seconds left still down by six, but couldn't hit the shot that would've given them the chance to get back into the game at the very end.
The Petrels outscored Sewanee 35-26 in the second half and 46-33 after being down by 19 in the first half. In the end, the early 22-3 stretch doomed them.
The Petrels finished with a 32 percent mark from the field in the game, compared with Sewanee's 47 percent. Sewanee outscored the Petrels 36-20 in the paint and 19-11 off turnovers. Oglethorpe did outscore the Tigers 16-7 in second-chance points, as the Petrels corralled 17 offensive rebounds to Sewanee's 13 despite being outrebounded by the Tigers overall 36-34.
The loss drops Oglethorpe to 14-7 on the season, 6-4 in SAA competition. The Petrels maintain their fourth-place position in the league. They will next be in action Friday night, when they travel to Conway, Ark., to battle Hendrix. The game tips off at 7 p.m. Eastern time.