The Oglethorpe women's basketball team had a tough day in LaGrange, Ga., at the SAA/USA South Classic Saturday, losing to Piedmont, 107-76. The loss drops them to 4-2 on the young season.
The Stormy Petrels shot 43.1 percent from the field and converted from three-point range at a very good rate of 44 percent. In addition, the team shot 75 percent from the free-throw line. However, Piedmont answered with 50 percent from the floor and 46.2 percent from three-point range. In addition, the Lions outrebounded the Petrels, 47-32. The Lions also shot very well in the second half, converting at a 58.8 percent rate, 69.2 percent from beyond the arc. The Petrels shot 46.7 percent from both for the period, but it wasn't enough.
The Petrels got solid performances from junior guard Emily Buck and junior forward Ali Bleckley. Buck recorded 17 points on 3-of-5 from three-point range and 8-of-8 from the free-throw line. In addition, she recorded five assists and four steals for the game. Bleckley scored 10 points while grabbing five rebounds.
The Petrels took a very early 4-2 lead, but Piedmont answered with a 6-0 run to take an 8-4 advantage. After Oglethorpe tied it back up, Piedmont used a 12-2 run to build a 20-10 advantage with 12:23 remaining in the half. The Petrels answered with a 9-3 run of their own to cut the Lions lead to four, 23-19, but Piedmont pushed it back out to a 10-point advantage, 31-21. The two teams continued to trade runs and the Petrels answered back with a 7-0 run of their own to cut the Piedmont lead to three, 31-28. The Lions were able to push it back out to 11, though, and led 41-34 at halftime.
Piedmont began the half on a 13-6 run, taking a 54-40 advantage with 16:37 left on the clock. The two teams traded baskets for awhile and the Lions led, 61-51, with 13:30 left. However, Piedmont then went on the run that would decide the game, outscoring Oglethorpe 14-5 over the next four minutes to take a 75-56 lead. The Petrels were able to cut the Piedmont lead to as little as 14 points, 79-65, after a five-point mini-run with 7:49 remaining. However, Piedmont went on another big run, this one 18-3 over the next five minutes, to go ahead by 29 points and put the game away.
"Piedmont took it to us today," said Oglethorpe Head Coach Alex Richey. "This was a learning experience for us, but on the bright side, we have an opportunity to quickly forget today by hopefully playing well against a strong LaGrange team tomorrow."
The 4-2 Petrels will round out their stay at the SAA/USA South Classic on Sunday when they take on hosts LaGrange at 4 p.m. They'll then return home to Dorough Field House to take on Berry in the SAA opener for both teams Thursday night at 6 p.m.