The Oglethorpe women's basketball team had a rough shooting night Saturday at Dorough Field House in their final game before heading for the SAA Tournament, and it came back to haunt them in a 70-63 defeat at the hands of the visiting Berry Vikings. The loss means that the Stormy Petrels finish the regular season with a 14-11 overall record and an 8-6 mark in conference play, putting them in fourth place by themselves headed into the postseason.
The Petrels shot just 37 percent from the floor for the game overall and 17 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. They also shot 63 percent from the free throw line, including a 50 percent mark in the second half. Both teams turned the ball over a lot, with the Petrels committing 21 turnovers to Berry's 18. The Vikings outscored the Petrels 16-12 in second chance points and 32-28 in the paint, while the Petrels outscored the visitors 32-9 off the bench.
Freshman guard Bailey Charles contributed 12 points on 5-of-6 from the line, but was the only Oglethorpe player in double figures. She also recorded 6 assists and 3 steals. Sophomore guard Jada Triplett had 8 points, but was in foul trouble much of the second half and wound up fouling out of the game. Both sophomores Nicolette Andrey and Alexandria Brown were good off the bench, as both scored 8 points on 4-of-7 shooting. Brown collected 8 rebounds and Andrey 3 steals.
Things did not go especially well for the Petrels from the outset, as Berry jumped out to an early lead with a 7-3 mini-run. The Petrels came back to tie it, but the Vikings used consecutive baskets to build back to a 5-point edge. Oglethorpe responded with seven straight points to take a 17-15 with a minute left in the period, but Berry went back ahead by a single point headed to the second.
Oglethorpe used five straight points to build a 4-point advantage, 22-18, with 8:27 to go until halftime, but Berry came back with seven straight points of their own to take the lead back, 27-24, with 3:11 to go in the half. The teams traded 3-point runs after that and the score was 30-27 at halftime.
The Petrels tied it at 31-apiece early in the second half, but the Vikings came back with an 11-4 run to make it 42-35 with 4:06 left in the period, giving them their largest lead of the contest to that point. Oglethorpe pulled it back to a 3-point game, but Berry pushed it back out to 50-42 going to the fourth quarter. They extended that to a 12-3 run to give themselves their largest lead of the game, 54-42, with 8:40 left. Oglethorpe used seven straight to cut it back to a 5-point game, and eventually a 3-point contest with 4:14 left. However, Berry pushed it back out to an 8-point lead from there and held the Petrels off for the victory.
It was a celebratory night for Oglethorpe basketball as a whole, as the two programs honored the 100th anniversary of the sport at the school. A large number of alumni from both the men's and women's programs took to the floor at halftime of the men's game to celebrate the occasion.
The Petrels hold the No. 4 seed going into the first round of the SAA Tournament, and will take on the No. 5 seed Sewanee Tigers on Friday in Birmingham, Alabama. The teams split the season series, with the Petrels winning 74-69 in Atlanta on Jan. 8 and the Tigers winning 53-50 in Tennessee on Feb. 5.