The Oglethorpe women's basketball team came back from a tough loss on Saturday to beat the LaGrange Panthers on Sunday, 67-53, in Mount Berry and wrap up their stay at the SAA-USA South Classic. The win improved the Stormy Petrels to 3-1 on the young season.
The Petrels got off to a roaring start, outscoring the Panthers 21-9 in the first quarter and 37-20 over the opening half of play. LaGrange cut it to 10 points late in the third quarter, but the Petrels pulled away in the fourth and secured the 14-point victory.
Oglethorpe forced 20 LaGrange turnovers and scored 19 points off those takeaways over the course of the contest, while LaGrange forced just 11 and scored just six points off turnovers. The Petrels also outrebounded the Panthers 45-41 overall and 19-11 on the offensive glass, leading to a 23-6 margin in second chance points. Oglethorpe also outscored LaGrange 36-8 in the paint. The Petrels shot 36 percent from the floor while holding LaGrange to 29 percent.
The Petrels were led by freshman center Savannah LeGate, who recorded a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds. She went 5-for-10 from the field and 7-for-9 from the free throw line. Junior forward Lauren Ransom scored 11 points on 4-for-7 from the field, recording 3 blocks and 2 steals. Sophomore guard Sydney Long contributed 11 points and 6 boards.
Oglethorpe began the game on a 13-3 run over the opening 6:40 of the contest, then continued by finishing the quarter on an 8-2 stretch to build a 21-9 lead at the end of the first period. That run continued into the second period and extended to a 17-4 stretch over five minutes of play, leading to a 30-11 Petrel advantage with 6:48 remaining in the second quarter. LaGrange responded with seven straight points, cutting it to 30-18 with 3:55 left in the half, but the Petrels used a 7-2 stretch at the end of the half to push their advantage back out to 37-20.
LaGrange came back early in the second half with an 11-4 run to cut the Oglethorpe advantage to 10 points, 41-31, but the Petrels restored order from there. They embarked on a 12-3 run to give themselves a 58-39 lead with 7:50 remaining, all but putting the game away.
"I was proud of the way we recovered from a tough result on Saturday and came out and really took it to LaGrange out of the gate today," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "I thought we did a good job of forcing turnovers and of hitting the glass, especially in the first half. We did let them back into the game a bit in the second half, so we still have some stuff to work on as we head into the week, but overall, I was happy with the performance today. Now we've got to get ready for the Berry game on Wednesday. It's our first conference game, and will be our biggest game of the year so far. It's a quick turnaround, as well, so we'll have to move on from this weekend quickly and get read for the challenges that this upcoming week holds."
The Petrels will take on Berry in their first SAA contest from Dorough Field House at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. After that, they'll head to St. Louis, where they'll take on No. 10 Washington in the McWilliams Classic at 8 p.m. Eastern on Friday. After that, they'll face off against either Pomona-Pitzer or Austin on Saturday.