The Oglethorpe women's basketball team thrashed in-state opponent Wesleyan, 84-33, in their season opener Tuesday night in Dorough Field House.
The Lady Petrels started the game on a 50-10 run over the first 19 minutes. Freshman forward Ali Bleckley, playing in her first collegiate game, scored 16 points in the first half on 7-of-12 shooting. Senior center Sarah Giles added 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Defensivley, Oglethorpe confounded the visiting Pioneers with relentless pressure. they held the Pioneers to 28 percent shooting in the first half, racked up 12 steals, and forced 22 turnovers. Wesleyan did not score back-to-back buckets until the final minute of the half, and the Lady Petrels went into the locker room with a 50-14 lead.
It was more of the same from the home team in the second half. Over a seven-and-a-half minute period, they went on another large run. The 20-3 run culminated in a three-pointer from freshman guard Emily Buck, which gave the Lady Petrels a 52-point lead, their largest of the game, at the 7:24 mark. Buck had eight points on 3-of-4 shooting in the second half. From there, Oglethorpe coasted home for the easy season-opening victory.
Giles finished the game as the Lady Petrels' leading scorer with 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting, and added four blocks. Freshman guard Kalin Williams had an excellent debut, as well, scoring 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting. She chipped in game-highs of four steals and four assists in the process. Freshman forward Alana Bentley was the team's leading rebounder with 14.
The Lady Petrels outscored the Pioneers 48-8 in the paint, 47-3 off turnovers, 29-6 in second-chance points, 16-0 on the fast break, and 21-6 off the bench. Oglethorpe's defense held Wesleyan to 28 percent shooting and forced 35 turnovers.
The 1-0 Lady Petrels will welcome Spelman in to Dorough Field House for their second game of the season Tuesday night. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m.