The Oglethorpe men's basketball team fell behind early against the Piedmont Lions and were never able to catch up Sunday afternoon in Demorest, dropping to 4-3 on the season overall with an 82-61 loss. The Stormy Petrels shot just 36 percent from the field while Piedmont converted on 60 percent of their shots from the field, leading to the 21-point victory for the Lions.
Oglethorpe shot 33 percent from 3-point range, but Piedmont converted on 59 percent of their shots from distance, sinking 13 three-point shots. Piedmont outrebounded the Petrels, 38-27.
Individually, junior forward Will Perry continued his outstanding run of play, scoring 23 points on 4-for-8 from 3-point range and grabbing eight rebounds. Senior guard Connor Smith also scored in double figures, recording 12 points. Freshman guard Lane Foster led the Petrels with three assists and three steals.
The Petrels took their only lead of the game at the outset, but Piedmont responded with a 19-9 from that point over 5:40 to take a 19-11 lead with 13:23 on the clock in the first half. Oglethorpe came back with a mini-run to make it 21-19 with 11:13 left and the two teams traded baskets for a time after that, but Piedmont slowly pulled out to a 9-point advantage at halftime.
In the second half, Piedmont began on a 38-19 stretch over the opening 15 minutes of the period, pulling out to a 77-49 advantage at the 4:51 mark, marking their largest deficit of the contest. Oglethorpe outscored the Lions 12-4 over the final 4:30, but it proved too late by that point, as the home side pulled away for the 21-point victory.
"We ran into a buzz saw today," said Oglethorpe head coach Philip Ponder. "Piedmont could not miss, and we had an off shooting day. That combination is not a recipe for success, obviously. We've been winning with our defense so far this year, but we could not get stops today. We have a little time off now to get healthy, and hopefully we can get back on the winning track down in Daytona."
The Petrels will now break for final exams, but will return on Dec. 20, when they travel to Florida for the Daytona Beach Shootout. Oglethorpe will go against Lawrence on Dec. 20 at 4 p.m., then will stay in Daytona Beach on Dec. 21 at 4 p.m. to take on Concordia (Wisconsin). After that, they'll host the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Tournament at Dorough Field House Dec. 29 and 30, welcoming Ozarks (Arkansas), Geneva and Manchester to Atlanta for that event.