The Oglethorpe men's basketball team found themselves in a tight battle with the Hendrix Warriors Sunday afternoon in Conway, Arkansas, but the home side put the game away with free throws down the stretch and won 63-56. The loss dropped the Stormy Petrels to 9-9 on the season overall and 3-4 in SAA play.
The game went back and forth throughout the first half, with the teams trading off the lead. The Petrels led by as many as three points over the course of the period and Hendrix led by as many as five with that advantage coming at the tail end of the half. Senior center Tom Inungu sank a pair of free throws to tie it at 27-27 with just under a minute remaining, but the Warriors responded with five straight points to take the lead at the break.
Hendrix took control of the game early in the second half with a 13-2 run over 4:30, pulling out to a 47-35 lead with 11:30 remaining. The Petrels worked their way back into the game, though, going on a 12-2 run of their own over 5:15 and pulling to within two, 52-50, at the 5:30 mark. The Warriors came back with five straight to take a 57-50 lead with 2:30 to go, but the Petrels wouldn't go away. Freshman guard Carlos Sone hit a 3-pointer to make it 57-53 with 1:20 left. After Hendrix sank a pair of free throws, sophomore guard Lane Foster converted a three-point play to cut it just three, 59-56, with 22 seconds left. Oglethorpe did not score again, though, and the home side sank free throws down the stretch to put the game away.
Senior forward Will Perry led the Petrels with 17 points on 6-of-12 from the field and 3-of-5 from 3-point range with seven rebounds. Inungu added 16 points on 6-of-12 from the field and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe while recording three blocks. Foster chipped in 11 points for his part.
The Petrels shot just 37.7 percent from the field overall and were 7-for-20 from 3-point range. They did convert nine of their 11 free-throw attempts and hold Hendrix to just 38.5 percent from the field, but it wasn't enough to secure victory.
"Today was tough," said Oglethorpe head coach Philip Ponder. "I thought we defended pretty well, but we just couldn't get any offense going. We had a lot of guys in foul trouble and that affected us. We just have to rebound from this and we look forward to finishing with five of our last seven games at home."
The Petrels return to Dorough Field House on Friday, when they'll host Rhodes at approximately 8 p.m.