Men's basketball uses stifling defense to beat Rhodes, 59-30

Men's basketball uses stifling defense to beat Rhodes, 59-30

The Oglethorpe men's basketball team suffocated the visiting Rhodes Lynx with their zone defense Friday night en route to a 59-30 victory. The win improved the Stormy Petrels to 10-9 on the season overall and an even 4-4 in SAA play. It also moved the team into a tie for fourth place in the league standings.

The Petrels allowed just nine points in the first half and held the Lynx to 21.2 percent from the field and 4-for-23 from 3-point range. Rhodes was just 4-for-23 from the field overall in the opening half of play.

Oglethorpe had shooting difficulties of their own in the first half, converting on just 8 of 29 shots and 2 of 14 three-pointers. However, they shot much better in the second half, making 46.7 percent of their field-goal attempts and 9 of 16 three-pointers. For the game, they shot 37.3 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from long distance.

Both teams went through droughts of over six minutes in the first half, and the Petrels led just 7-4 at the 10-minute mark. The Lynx came back to tie it at 7-all with 8:30 left until halftime, but Oglethorpe went on a 13-0 spurt over a five-minute stretch late in the half and took an 11-point lead into the locker room.

Rhodes quickly cut their deficit to six to start the second half, but the Petrels began to heat up from 3-point range. They outscored the visitors 39-16 over the remainder of the game and pulled away for the 29-point win.

Freshman guard Ryan Jenei scored all 15 of his points in the second half, making 4-of-5 from 3-point range and 5-of-6 overall. He went 4-for-8 from distance over the course of the game. Sophomore guard Lane Foster scored all 10 of his points in the second period, as well, going 4-for-5 over the final 10 minutes and 4-for-6 for the game. He also passed out five assists and made four steals. Sophomore forward Will Koch scored 12 points on 2-of-4 from distance. He also grabbed seven boards and passed out three assists. He scored eight points in the second half.

"Our defense won the game for us tonight," said Oglethorpe head coach Philip Ponder. "I loved how active we were, and we kept getting stops when we couldn't get shots to fall. We finally started scoring in the second half, but our defense never let up."

The Petrels will be back in action Sunday, when they welcome Hendrix to Dorough Field House at 2 p.m. After that, they'll host Birmingham-Southern and Millsaps the following weekend.