The Oglethorpe women's basketball team got 19 second-half points on 7-of-12 shooting from sophomore forward Lauren Ransom and shot 54 percent from the field during the final 20 minutes en route to a 74-69 victory over the visiting Sewanee Tigers Sunday afternoon at Dorough Field House. The victory improved the Stormy Petrels to a perfect 3-0 in SAA play and 9-5 overall headed into their first road trip of the new year.
Ransom finished with a career-high 29 total points on 10-of-19 from the field and 9-of-11 from the free throw line. She also grabbed 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. Sophomore guard Bailey Charles scored 10 points of 4-of-8 from the field and 2-of-3 from 3-point range, passing out 3 assists. Sophomore center Alexandria Brown finished with 11 points on 5-of-6 from the field, nine of them coming in the first half.
Both teams shot 46 percent from the field, with the Petrels converting on 40 percent of their 3-point attempts and Sewanee knocking down 38 percent of theirs. Oglethorpe shot 70 percent from the free throw line to their opponent's 44 percent. The Petrels outrebounded the Tigers by a significant margin, outpacing them 45-26 on the glass, including 17-7 on the offensive end. That led to a 17-5 discrepancy in second-chance points. The home side outscored Sewanee 26-5 off the bench, as well.
The teams went back and forth early in the game, with the Tigers taking a 13-9 advantage off of back-to-back buckets with 3:03 left in the first period. That capped off an 8-0 run after the Petrels took a 9-5 lead with 5:47 left. Oglethorpe responded with a 10-0 run over the final two minutes of the quarter, building a 19-13 lead headed into the second.
The Petrels continued to build on their advantage in the second quarter, extending it to a 12-0 run with the opening basket of the second period. Oglethorpe later used six consecutive points to build an 11-point cushion, 31-20, with 3:58 to go until halftime. They maintained an 11-point lead into the break.
Oglethorpe took their largest lead of the contest just 30 seconds into the third quarter, pushing to a 13-point advantage on a jump shot from freshman forward Karlymarie Dyer. The Tigers began the run that would vault themselves back into the game, though, embarking on a 19-5 stretch over the next 4:20 to take a 43-42 lead of their own with 4:06 remaining. Charles answered with five straight points for the Petrels, though, giving her team a 47-43 lead. Sewanee took the lead back, however, and the teams went back and forth for the remainder of the quarter, making it 50-50 headed into the final 10 minutes.
The fourth quarter began with three consecutive baskets by the Petrels, two on post-ups by Ransom and one by sophomore forward Madi Foltz. Sewanee came back to within three, but another Ransom layup made it 60-55 with 5:48 to go. The Tigers made another push to get to within a point, but the Petrels again went on a run of two Ransom baskets and one Foltz basket, pushing it back out to a 7-point game with 2:39 to go. Ransom made a pair of free throws just after that, and Charles followed with a layup of her own a couple minutes later to make it 70-64 with 26 seconds left. Junior guard Rebecca Spry hit a couple free throws after another Sewanee basket, but the Tigers made it a single-possession game, 72-69, on a 3-pointer with four seconds left. Oglethorpe advanced the ball with a timeout and got a layup from Ransom on the inbound play, securing the game.
"That was a really exciting, back-and-forth game between two teams who left it all out on the floor," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "We did a good job establishing Lauren and [Brown] inside today. Sewanee is so dangerous, with numerous shooters on the floor, and we did a really good job of defending their Princeton back-door action. We had a few issues with communication, which led to a couple of open shots from them, and we need to shore that up a bit, but we executed down the stretch on both ends and were able to hold on. It's always a great weekend when you can get two home wins!"
The Petrels will now hit the road, traveling to Birmingham, Alabama, to take on Birmingham-Southern Friday at 7 p.m. Eastern and continuing to Jackson, Mississippi, to go against Millsaps Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern. The Birmingham-Southern game will be for sole possession of first place in the league, with both teams sitting at 3-0 in SAA play headed into the contest.