February 10, 2013

Men's Basketball Loses Heartbreaker at Rhodes, 52-49

The Oglethorpe men's basketball team suffered a disheartening loss Sunday afternoon in Memphis, as they fought valiantly to tie the game against Rhodes with nine seconds left, only to see a Lynx buzzer-beater sail through the net and win the game for the home side.

Rhodes led by two, 49-47, with a minute remaining. The home-standing Lynx missed a couple chances to extend the lead, and then with 10 seconds left, senior forward Sam Purdy scored on a layup off an assist from senior guard Christian Molinet to tie the game, 49-49. However, Rhodes hit a three-pointer at the other end as time expired, sending the Petrels home empty-handed.

The Lynx entered the second half with a slim 22-21 lead over the Petrels. They pushed that to a seven-point advantage with a 9-3 run to start the half, but Oglethorpe slowly whittled the lead down over the next several minutes and tied the game on a Branden Jovaag three-pointer with 5:49 remaining. They proceeded to take the lead, 45-44, with 4:52 left. They still held a one-point lead with two minutes left when Rhodes took the lead, leading to the finish.

In the first half, the Petrels fell behind early as Rhodes took a 13-3 lead, their largest of the game, with 11:21 remaining in the half. The Lynx still held a seven-point lead with 3:48 left in the period when Oglethorpe connected on three buckets in a row to slice the deficit down to a single point going into the break.

Rhodes outshot the Petrels 39-to-36 percent, but Oglethorpe shot 71 percent from the free-throw stripe to Rhodes' 56 percent, keeping them in the game.

Junior guard Tyler Courson continues to have a good month of February for the Stormy Petrels. He scored 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

The loss drops the Petrels to 15-8 on the season, 7-5 in SAA play. They maintain fourth place in the conference, but Sewanee has now tied them for that position. Oglethorpe is still a game out of third, and they will play third-place Birmingham-Southern Friday night at 8 p.m. at Dorough Field House. It will also be Senior Night, as the Petrels celebrate the careers of Christian Molinet, Alec Pitts, Branden Jovaag, Sam Purdy and Price Hamilton.

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