The Oglethorpe men's basketball team used an excellent shooting performance and a late run to knock off the homestanding Sewanee Tigers Sunday afternoon, 69-64, in Sewanee, Tennessee. The Stormy Petrels outscored the Tigers 12-2 late in the contest and shot 50 percent for the game, helping them to the victory. The win improved Oglethorpe to 7-15 overall and 4-7 in SAA play.
The Petrels shot 50 percent for the game and held Sewanee to 38 percent from the field. That included a 41 percent mark from 3-point range, while the Tigers shot 40 percent from long range. The Petrels shot 82 percent from the free throw line, as well. Oglethorpe also outscored Sewanee 32-22 in the paint.
Individually, senior forward Drew Patrick led the team with 22 points on 7-for-11 from the field. He also shot 4 for 7 from long distance and a perfect 4 for 4 from the free throw line. Junior guard Justin Edwards scored 13 points on 5-of-8 from the field while passing out 4 assists. Sophomore center Tom Inungu added 12 points on 5-for-9 from the field.
The two teams traded baskets early in the contest and the score was tied, 9-9, with 12:13 remaining in the opening period. The Tigers ran off five consecutive points to take a 14-9 lead, then continued that run to 11-3 to take a 20-12 lead with 9:06 left in the half. However, the Petrels responded with a 12-3 run of their own over the next 3:30 to take a 24-23 lead with 5:01 remaining. From there, the teams traded baskets for the remainder of the half and the Petrels took a 34-31 lead into the break.
The Petrels immediately pushed that advantage out to start the second half. They started an 8-0 run to begin the half and took a 42-31 lead, their largest of the game, with 14:36 to play. The Tigers countered with an 11-point run to tie the score, 42-42, with 10:28 remaining. The Petrels took a 3-point lead with a set of free throws, then saw senior guard George Andino make a pair of 3-pointers, both of which maintained a 3-point Oglethorpe advantage. Sewanee came back with a 7-3 mini-run to take a 57-53 lead with 4:38 remaining. The Petrels responded with a 12-2 run, though, that put them in control of the contest. Patrick hit the go-ahead basket with 1:22 remaining, then Oglethorpe got four straight free throws from Inungu and Edwards to take a 67-61 lead with 15 seconds left.
"Friday night, we probably played our worst half of the season, and I felt like it was kind of a gut check situation," said Oglethorpe head coach Philip Ponder. "We had a productive talk before practice last night about positivity, effort and attitude, and I thought the guys were very receptive to it. I was worried, but hopeful about how we would come out and play today, and we came out and played our best game of the season. I'm really proud of how the guys responded and am hoping we can really build on today."
The Petrels will be back in action on Friday, when they return home to Dorough Field House. They'll take on Birmingham-Southern at 8 p.m. on Friday, then welcome Millsaps to Dorough Sunday at 3 p.m. After that, they'll host Berry on Saturday, Feb. 18, for Senior Day. It will also serve as the celebration of the 100th year of Oglethorpe basketball.