The Oglethorpe women's basketball team took down Centre in Danville, Ky., in dominating fashion on Sunday, 72-55. The Stormy Petrels led by as many as 22 points in the second half of the contest. They now improve to 8-11 on the season and 3-5 in SAA play after sweeping the weekend's two road games against Sewanee and Centre, putting them in a fifth-place tie with Centre in the SAA standings.
The Petrels shot 46.3 percent for the game while holding Centre to just 28.8 percent shooting from the floor. In addition, Oglethorpe converted on 45.5 percent of their three-point attempts, sinking 10 three-pointers in all. They held their opponents to just 17.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Petrels outrebounded Centre 39-26 while recording 10 assists to Centre's five.
The Petrels had several stellar performances that helped propel them to the resounding win. Sophomore forward Ciaira Hughes added another quality performance to her impressive season statistics with a 13-point, 13-rebound effort in the win. Junior guard Emily Buck had 11 points in the game and junior guard Kristen Kennebrew added 10 points to the Petrels' total. The team had great performances off the bench, as well, with sophomore forward McKenzie Fortson adding 13 points and 10 rebounds and sophomore guard Raegan Merryman contributing nine points in the contest.
The home-standing Colonels jumped out to an early 5-0 lead at the 17:19 mark of the first half, but the Petrels took charge soon after, going on an 11-0 run to go ahead of Centre 15-7 with 13:24 left to play in the half. The Colonels got within three of Oglethorpe before a 6-0 run extended the Petrel lead to nine with just 4:26 left in the first. Centre tried to close the gap before the end of the half, but the Petrels only added to their lead, putting themselves ahead of the Colonels 40-29 at halftime.
The Petrels came out firing on all cylinders at the start of the second half, going on an incredible 16-5 run that gave the team a game-high 22-point lead with just 11:46 left to play. The Colonels tried to get back into the game, going on a 7-0 run to cut the Oglethorpe lead to 14 points with 3:13 left. The Petrels refused to let the Colonels get close, though, winning 77-52 over the conference rival.
"I'm so proud of our team," said Head Coach Alex Richey. "I thought our defensive effort was the best it has been all season. We had a lot of balance on offense, as well, from Merryman and Fortson, which was great. They provided great contributions off the bench."
The Petrels had a successful road trip, winning three of the five games they played during the three-weekend road swing. In addition, it's the first two-game sweep of a conference road weekend for the program since 2009.
The squad will return to Dorough Field House next weekend to host SAA opponents Millsaps and Birmingham-Southern as conference competition heats up. The Petrels will take on Millsaps Friday at 6 p.m. as part of homecoming festivites and will battle the Panthers of Birmingham-Southern Sunday at 1 p.m.