The Oglethorpe men's basketball team earned a victory Friday night in their first SAA road game of the season, taking down the Hendrix Warriors 84-74 in Conway, Arkansas, to improve to 2-0 on the SAA season and 8-5 overall. The Stormy Petrels led by as many as 17 points en route to the 10-point victory on the night.
The Petrels built a big early lead, jumping out to a 16-8 advantage over the game's opening five minutes. Hendrix used a mini-run to cut the Oglethorpe advantage to four points, 20-16, with just over 13 minutes remaining in the half, but the Petrels quickly pushed it back out with a 9-2 stretch that gave them a 29-18 lead with 12 minutes left in the opening period. Oglethorpe was basically able to keep Hendrix at arm's length for the remainder of the half from there, entering the halftime break with a 44-34 advantage.
Oglethorpe began the second half by pushing their lead out even further, embarking on an 11-4 run over the opening four minutes of the period to build their largest lead of the contest, a 55-38 advantage with just over 16 minutes remaining. Hendrix slowly fought back from their 17-point deficit, outscoring Oglethorpe 14-9 to cut the Petrel advantage to 64-52 with under 10 minutes remaining. The Warriors wouldn't get any closer than that until a mere 1:35 remained in the contest, though. By then, the Petrels had already secured the victory.
The Petrels shot 54 percent from the field for the game, converting on 36 percent of their 3-point attempts. They outrebounded Hendrix 35-31, outscored them 10-2 in second-chance points and outscored them 42-34 in the paint.
Junior forward Will Perry finished the night with 27 points on 12-of-22 from the field and 12 rebounds. Senior guard Chris Lawrence scored 17 points, all in the second half, on 6-of-8 overall, 3-of-5 from 3-point range and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. Senior guard Connor Smith scored 15 points on 6-of-8 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, passing out three assists in the process.
"We struggled to get stops on defense tonight," said Oglethorpe head coach Philip Ponder, "but our offense got us a lead and we were able to hold on. Regardless, it's always good to get a road win. We are happy to get the victory, but we know that we have our work cut out for us on Sunday."
The Petrels will head to Memphis, Tennessee, to take on a high-powered Rhodes team on Sunday at 4 p.m. Eastern. After that, they return home to Dorough Field House to face off against Sewanee and Centre next weekend.