The Oglethorpe women's basketball team had a tough shooting night Friday at the Hangar Dome in Jackson, Mississippi, and were unable to recover from it in a 51-40 loss to the homestanding Millsaps Majors. The defeat drops the Stormy Petrels to 11-11 on the season overall and 5-6 in Southern Athletic Association play.
The Petrels shot 26 percent from the field and 17 percent from 3-point range over the course of the game. They held Millsaps to 27 percent from the field, but the Majors shot 46 percent from long distance and 70 percent from the free throw line on 30 attempts. In addition, the Petrels found themselves in foul trouble most of the game, with freshman forward Lauren Ransom and freshman center Alexandria Brown finishing the game with four fouls and playing fewer than 22 minutes.
Millsaps kept the Petrels at arm's length throughout the third quarter, entering the period with a 10-point advantage and maintaining that edge throughout the period. Down 38-27 with time running out in the third quarter, though, the Petrels went on a mini-run to pull themselves back into the contest. After senior guard Aisha Atwater made a pair of free throws with one second remaining in the period, Oglethorpe continued that run into the fourth. In all, they went on a 7-1 stretch that lasted until the 8:12 mark of the final period, cutting the Millsaps lead to 39-34. The Petrels still trailed by just five points, 44-39, with 4:29 remaining. Millsaps began the run that put the game away at that point, however. They finished the game on a 7-1 run of their own to pull away to the 11-point win.
The two teams went back and forth throughout most of the first quarter. The home side led by as many as three points while the Petrels built a 2-point edge with 3:49 left in the period. With the score tied at 12-12 after the first quarter, the Majors outscored the Petrels 14-4 in the second, though, and built a 26-16 lead at the halftime break.
Freshman guard Bailey Charles led the Petrels with 11 points on the evening. Ransom finished with the team lead in rebounds, grabbing seven of them. She finished with four points.
The Petrels did score nine points off of 14 Millsaps turnovers while the Majors scored just five off of 13 Oglethorpe giveaways. The visitors outscored Millsaps 14-10 in the paint and 19-15 off the bench.
"The defensive physicality of this game really bothered us," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey, "and our foul trouble kept us out of rhythm. It's very hard to win on the road when those things happen. We'll look to bounce back Sunday in Birmingham."
The Petrels will travel east to Birmingham, Alabama, next, where they'll take on Birmingham-Southern at 2 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday. The Panthers currently sit in first place in the SAA. When the two teams faced in early January at Dorough Field House, the Petrels handed Birmingham-Southern their first loss of the season to that point.