Women's basketball recovers from early deficit to best Sewanee 69-56

Women's basketball recovers from early deficit to best Sewanee 69-56

The Oglethorpe women's basketball team bounced back from a 13-point deficit late in the first quarter Sunday afternoon in Sewanee, Tennessee, outscoring the homestanding Sewanee Tigers 60-35 over the final three quarters en route to a 69-56 victory. With the win, the Stormy Petrels improved to 19-5 on the year overall and 10-3 in SAA play.

The Petrels were helped along by a career-high 30 points from senior forward Lauren Ransom, who went 12-for-16 from the field while recording 13 rebounds and two steals. She accrued 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting as the team made its comeback over the middle two quarters. Her performance keyed the Oglethorpe comeback. 

The comeback proved necessary after the Tigers went on a 15-1 run over 4:45 of the first quarter, running out to a 19-6 lead with 55 seconds left in the opening quarter. The Petrels answered back in the second quarter, though, outscoring Sewanee 9-2 after their 13-point lead and slicing the deficit to 21-15 at the 7:45 mark. The home side pushed it back to an 11-point game with a five-point run, and led 33-21 with two minutes remaining until halftime.

Oglethorpe responded with consecutive 3-pointers from senior guard Jada Triplett to end the half, cutting the margin to just six points, 33-27, at the break. Triplett finished with a season-high 16 points on 5-of-8 from the field overall and 4-of-6 from 3-point range. She dished out five assists, as well.

The run that Triplett started continued in the third quarter, as senior guard Brooke Simpson began the period with a three of her own to cut it to a three-point game. The visitors wound up their 15-4 run -- dating back to those two 3-pointers by Triplett -- with another 3-pointer from senior guard Bailey Charles at the 7:35 mark to cut it to just one, 37-36. Sewanee pushed their lead back out to two possessions several times, though, and the Petrels seemingly couldn't vault ahead. They tied it 44-44 on a Ransom layup with 1:45 left in the quarter, but the Tigers still pushed back ahead. 

The Petrels took the lead on a Ransom layup at the 30-second mark, though, and wouldn't relinquish it for the remainder of the contest. They finished the game on a 25-10 run over the final 11 minutes and outscored Sewanee 19-10 in the fourth quarter.

Oglethorpe shot 42.9 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from 3-point range. The Tigers shot at pretty similar rates, but the Petrels made nine more free throws and outscored their opponents 29-10 off turnovers. The Petrels also outrebounded Sewanee 35-25 overall and 12-5 on the offensive glass.

Simpson also played well for Oglethorpe, scoring 12 points on 9-of-10 from the foul line and recording four assists.

"I was not happy with our defensive intensity to start the game, but our leaders really took it upon themselves to lock in on that end of the floor, which allowed us to gain our rhythm offensively," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "That's a sign of our culture and character, and I couldn't be happier in our responde after our backs were against the wall after the tough loss a week ago. I'm looking forward to celebrating these special seniors on Saturday as we try to build momentum going into the tournament."

The Petrels celebrate Senior Night at 6 p.m. Saturday against in-state opponent Berry at Dorough Field House. After that, they'll head to the SAA tournament in Jackson, Mississippi, Feb. 22-24.