February 22, 2013

Women's Basketball's Season Comes to End with SAA Quarterfinal Loss to Rhodes

The Oglethorpe women's basketball season came to an end Friday night in Jackson, Miss., where No. 2 seed Rhodes defeated the seventh-seeded Lady Petrels 64-55 in the SAA Tournament quarterfinals.

Oglethorpe led 33-27 at halftime, but was outscored 37-22 by the Lynx in the second half. Freshman guard Kalin Williams did all she should to keep the Lady Petrels in the game in the second half. She finished with 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 3-of-4 three-point shooting and 5-of-6 free-throw shooting. In the end, it wasn't enough to prevent the squad's season from coming to a close.

The first half was a tense back-and-forth affair, with the two teams combining for three ties and 11 lead changes over the course of the period. Oglethorpe gained the lead, 24-23, on a Williams jumper with 3:21 remaining in the half and went on an 11-4 run to close the period. At haltime, they led the second-seeded Lynx 33-27.

To start the second half, the Lady Petrels picked up right where they left off to end the first. After a layup by senior center Sarah Giles, they took a seven-point lead, their largest of the game, with 17:07 remaining. The run had stretched to 14-6, dating back to the last part of the first half.

From that point, though, Rhodes began their comeback. Over the next 11 minutes, they went on a 28-9 run, completely turning the game around. With 6:25 remaining, the Lynx led 57-45.

The Lady Petrels followed with an 8-3 mini-run, trying to get back into the game. They cut their deficit to seven points, 60-53, but missed an opportunity to cut it down to five with around a minute left. Rhodes got the rebound, went to the other end, and hit the dagger, taking an insurmountable nine-point lead with 20 seconds remaining.

Oglethorpe actually outshot Rhodes for the game, 46-to-44 percent. The Lady Petrels outrebounded their opponent, as well, 26-24. The big difference in Rhodes' favor came in turnovers, where Oglethorpe had 16 giveaways to six for the Lynx. Consequently, Rhodes outscored Oglethorpe off turnovers 18-3.

In addition to Williams' big night, Giles had a good game to close out her Oglethorpe career. She scored 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting while grabbing eight rebounds. She finishes her career as the all-time leading shot-blocker in Oglethorpe history by a wide margin. The four best shot-blocking seasons in OU women's basketball annals all belong to Giles.

The Petrels finish the season with a record of 5-20. The Lady Petrels spent much of the year starting four freshmen. They will look to take that experience and use it to their advantage next season, as the then-sophomores will have a year playing major minutes under their belts.

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