The Oglethorpe women's basketball team opened their season with a 72-62 loss to St. Mary's Friday evening at the Dan Greene Memorial Invitational in St. Mary's City, Maryland. The Stormy Petrels played the homestanding Seahawks more-or-less evenly through the game's first three quarters, but St. Mary's outscored Oglethorpe 25-18 over the course of the fourth, securing the victory.
Overall, the Petrels outshot St. Mary's 40 percent to 37 percent, but the Seahawks made 10 three-pointers over the course of the game, shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc to Oglethorpe's 20 percent. St. Mary's also forced 25 Oglethorpe turnovers to their own 18. The Petrels did outrebound the Seahawks 47-38 and outscored them off the bench 13-6. Freshman guard Bailey Charles finished the game with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting while fellow freshman Lauren Ransom scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
St. Mary's began the game with back-to-back buckets, but the Petrels responded with a 7-0 run. From there, the two teams went back and forth for the remainder of the quarter, with the Petrels holding a 17-16 lead at the end of the period.
The Seahawks began the second period like they did the first, pushing out to a small lead with an 11-2 run over a six minute period and building a 27-21 edge. However, Oglethorpe again came back with a run of their own, embarking on a 9-3 stretch to tie the score 30-30 with 57 seconds remaining in the half. St. Mary's added a three-pointer at the buzzer to take a 33-30 lead at the break. Charles led the way over the course of the opening half with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
St. Mary's pushed out to a 39-32 lead to begin the second half, but the Petrels again responded with a run to draw the game even, this time going on a 10-3 spurt to make it 42-42 with 4:35 remaining in the third quarter. However, the Seahawks finished with the period's final two baskets, taking a 47-44 edge into the final quarter. They continued that run into the fourth quarter, pushing out to a 17-point lead with a 23-6 run over the first six minutes of the quarter, giving themselves a 67-50 lead with 4:16 left in the game. The Petrels found themselves behind the eight-ball after that, but they did mount a solid comeback over the rest of the contest, going on a 12-3 run. There was not enough time remaining in the game for them to pull any closer than eight points, though, and St. Mary's secured the 10-point victory in the end.
"This was a pretty even game throughout much of it, but the four-minute stretch in the fourth quarter decided the game," said Head Coach Alex Richey. "We couldn't get a stop and a few mental errors did us in against the home team. We have to do a better job finishing inside, taking care of the ball, and communication on defense, but we have a long time to shore those things up before conference play."
The 0-1 Petrels will continue their stay in Maryland at the Dan Greene Memorial Invitational Saturday when they take on York (New York) at 1 p.m.