Men's Basketball Nabs Overtime Win from Season Opener in Philadelphia

Men's Basketball Nabs Overtime Win from Season Opener in Philadelphia

The Oglethorpe men's basketball team got their season off on the right foot in Philadelphia's Equinox Classic, defeating co-host Swarthmore, 88-82, in overtime on the latter's home floor in Swarthmore, Pa.

The Stormy Petrels were in trouble, down as much as 60-53 with 7:23 remaining in the ball game. They fought their way back and tied the game, 62-62, when junior center Jordan Kinney capped a 9-2 run with a pair of free throws with 4:31 remaining. However, the home-standing Garnet pushed the lead back out to four points with 3:37 left, and had it at five points with 3:09 left. The Petrels whittled the lead down to a single point with 2:38 left after sophomore forward Victor Rohlfs hit back-to-back shots. Swarthmore came back with a three-pointer, which gave the home side a four-point lead with 2:11 left, but junior guard Alex Davis answered with a basket of his own to bring the lead back down to two, 71-69, with 1:59 remaining. Then, with 26 seconds remaining, sophomore guard Drew Patrick hit a game-tying layup after grabbing a defensive rebound on the other end of the floor. The game was tied, 71-71, at the end of regulation.

In the overtime period, the Petrels fell behind 75-73, but they finished with a flourish, outscoring the Garnet 14-5 over a three-minute stretch. Rohlfs hit the big three-pointer that put the Petrels in the driver's seat, extending their lead to seven, 82-75, with 1:04 remaining, capping a 9-0 mini-run in the midst of the larger run. From there, the Petrels hit their free throws and put the game away.

Oglethorpe had actually found themselves with a lead early in the second half. With the halftime score 34-32 in favor of the visitors, the team went on a 7-0 run early in the half to push their lead out to seven, 45-38, with 14:03 remaining. It was a 15-3 Garnet run over a three-minute period that put the Petrels in a seven-point hole.

In the first half, Swarthmore surged to a 7-1 lead before the Petrels surged back to tie it at 7-apiece. Then, the Petrels slowly built a lead, getting it as high as nine points, 24-15, with 9:26 remaining in the period. Swarthmore slowly cut the lead down over the remainder of the half, getting it down to 34-32 at the halftime buzzer. Senior guard Tyler Courson was on fire in the first half, scoring 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting for the period. This included a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range.

The Petrels outshot the Garnet 48.1 percent to 40.3, and shot 42.1 percent from beyond the three-point arc. The Petrels were outrebounded 48-30, but forced 16 turnovers and committed only seven.

Courson led all scorers with 26 points, shooting 8-of-12 from the field overall, 4-of-6 from beyond-the-arc and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line. The effort marks a career high in points for him. Rohlfs also enjoyed a breakout game, scoring 21 points of his own on 7-of-11 shooting and 3-of-6 from behind the arc. Davis and Patrick added 13 and 12 points, respectively.

The Petrels now move across town to Haverford, Pa., where they'll take on Haverford, the other co-host of the Equinox Classic, at 3 p.m. Saturday.