Women's Basketball Falls at Millsaps Despite Excellent First Half

Women's Basketball Falls at Millsaps Despite Excellent First Half

The Oglethorpe women's basketball team used an outstanding first half of play Friday night in Jackson, Miss., to build a 37-28 lead at halftime. However, they couldn't stop the hard-charging Millsaps team in the end, falling to the Majors, 71-66.

After building their nine-point halftime lead, the Stormy Petrels extended it further, pushing out to a 13-point advantage, 44-31, with 16:42 to play. However, Millsaps responded by outscoring the Petrels 32-12 en route to a seven-point lead of their own, 63-56, with 3:32 to go. The Petrels responded by cutting the Millsaps advantage to as little as three points with 35 seconds left, but the Majors held on in the end.

For the game, the Petrels shot 41.3 percent from the field and 29.6 percent from beyond the arc to go with an 85.7 percent conversion rate at the free-throw line. In comparison, Millsaps shot 47.8 percent from the field, 43.8 percent from three-point range, and 80 percent from the line. They outrebounded the Petrels, 33-32, and recorded 17 assists to Oglethorpe's 10. The Petrels did perform very well on the offensive glass, outrebounding the Majors 12-6 in that category while outscoring them 15-6 in second-chance points. The Petrels also got huge contributions off the bench, outscoring the Majors 21-10 in that category. 

Sophomore forward Ciaira Hughes recorded yet another double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. She went 9-for-15 from the field and made four steals, as well. Junior guard Kristen Kennebrew poured in 15 points on 3-for-7 from three-point range while junior guard Emily Buck scored 14 points on 5-of-10 from the field, 2-of-4 from three-point range, and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line.

The two teams largely traded baskets in the first half, with Millsaps building an early lead but Oglethorpe coming back to take control by the end of the period. The Majors led, 11-7, with 16:08 to go in the opening half, but the Petrels fought back to tie the game at 18-apiece with 8:41 left in the half. From there, they ran off a 10-3 stretch to take a seven-point lead, 28-21, with 5:29 left in the period. After a brief Millsaps comeback, Oglethorpe answered again. They finished the half on a 7-0 run to take a 37-28 advantage into the break.

In the second half, the Petrels extended that to a 14-3 spurt over a total of 6:30, taking their 44-31 lead. From there, though, Millsaps ran off 12 straight points to pull to within one with 12:42 remaining. Oglethorpe seemed to restore order with a couple of baskets, rebuilding a five-point edge. However, a 17-5 Majors run gave them control of the contest, 63-56, with 3:32 to go. The Petrels pulled to within three a couple times, but Millsaps made free throws down the stretch and pulled out the victory.

With the loss, the Petrels drop to 5-11 on the season, 0-5 in SAA play. They'll travel to Birmingham, Ala., on Sunday to take on Birmingham-Southern and round out the weekend of SAA play. The game is set to tip off at 2 p.m. Eastern.