Men's Basketball Pulls Away with 57-Point Second Half, Maintains First Place Tie in SAA

Men's Basketball Pulls Away with 57-Point Second Half, Maintains First Place Tie in SAA
The Oglethorpe men's basketball team shot over 60 percent from the field in the second half en route Friday night en route to a 90-67 victory over the visiting Hendrix Warriors on Senior Night at Dorough Field House. With the victory, the Petrels improved to 14-7 on the season overall and 8-2 in league play, keeping pace with Centre and staying tied with the Colonels for first place in the SAA.
 
The Petrels found themselves tied with Hendrix, 33-33, at the break after a sloppy final 10 minutes of the second half, but Oglethorpe responded with 63 percent shooting over the final 20 minutes, including a 5-for-8 mark from long distance. 
 
It also served as Senior Night for the team, as they honored the careers of guards Chris Lawrence and Connor Smith prior to the game.
 
The Petrels needed a multitude of scorers to earn the victory. They had six players reach double digits in points, including Smith with 11 points. Freshman forward Will Koch recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, shooting a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. Junior forward Will Perry also earned a double-double with 11 points and 12 boards. Freshman guard Lane Foster led his team with 18 points and was also the facilitator on the evening, dishing out six assists. Lastly, junior center Tom Inungu came off the bench and filled up the stat sheet collecting nine rebounds, eight points, four assists, two steals and a block.
 
The Warriors wasted little time scoring and jumped ahead 5-3 in the first four minutes of play. From that point on, the Petrels would go on a 14-1 run, giving them a 17-6 advantage with just under 12 minute until halftime. The Petrels would never allow the Warriors to recapture the lead again. The Warriors were able to tie the game, though, with less than a minute remaining in the first half at 31-31, and then again at 33-33 entering halftime. The Petrels only made two of their 12 three-point attempts in the first half, while the Warriors made 7 of 18 from 3-point land in the opening period. 
 
The Petrels and Warriors began the second half matching nearly every basket, which allowed the game to remain close. However, with 15:40 remaining in the game and the Petrels leading 43-42, the Petrels would go on a scoring tear of 14 points without any answer from the Warriors. With 6:24 left in the game, the Petrels pushed their led out to 20 points, 72-52. The Warriors couldn't stop the Petrels in the final 16 minutes, getting outscored 47-25 during that stretch. The Petrels finished the night shooting 52 percent from the field, as well as outrebounding their opponent 57-30.
 
"We kind of got back to playing our game in the second half," said Oglethorpe head coach Philip Ponder. "We got into some foul trouble and played a bit too much one-on-one ball toward the end of the first half and they came back, but we moved the ball better in the second half and it paid off. We've got a tough game coming up against Rhodes on Sunday, but we're in good position if we can keep winning."
 
The Petrels will have their final home game of the regular season on Sunday at 3 p.m., when they'll face a high-tempo Rhodes squad. Following that matchup, the Petrels will hit the road to take on Sewanee and Centre the following weekend.

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