The Oglethorpe women's basketball team went into the Thanksgiving break on a high note Tuesday evening at Dorough Field House, running past the visiting Covenant Scots 80-58 to improve to 6-1 on the season. The Stormy Petrels outscored Covenant 46-25 in the first half and 24-12 in the third quarter to pull out to a huge lead and cruise to victory.
Junior guard Taylor Smith recorded her first double double as a Petrel, leading the way for her team with 24 points on 11-of-15 shooting. She also led the Petrels with 10 rebounds and made three steals. Junior forward Audrey Burdge went 3-for-6 from the field for 8 points and added five assists, while sophomore guard Nikki Reed recorded five assists and five steals.
Covenant outshot the Petrels slightly from the field (45.2-to-42.7 percent overall and 40-to-35.7 percent from distance), but Oglethorpe earned a bevy of extra possessions as they forced 34 Covenant turnovers, and outrebounded the Scots 46-26 overall and 25-5 on the offensive glass. They used those advantages to top the visitors 33-11 off turnovers and 23-2 in second-chance points. The Petrels also outscored Covenant 48-18 in the paint.
The Scots took a 6-2 lead in the opening two minutes of the game, but that stretch served as their only lead of the contest. The Petrels bounced back with an 8-0 run to push to a 10-6 lead with 5:45 left in the opening period. The teams traded baskets for much of the remainder of the opening stanza, but the Petrels scored the final 6 points of the period to take a 22-15 edge into the second. They then extended that run into the second quarter, outscoring their opponent 17-3 in all over a 6-minute stretch dating back to the first quarter to build a 33-18 advantage with just under 6:10 left until halftime. They then closed the half on an 11-2 run to outscore Covenant 24-10 in the second quarter and take a 46-25 lead into the locker room.
Oglethorpe continued to extend their advantage early in the third quarter, opening the period on a 9-2 run over the first 3:15 and pushing their run to 20-4 dating back to the second quarter. That gave them a 55-27 lead with 6:40 remaining in the third. The Petrels began another huge spurt shortly thereafter, building their largest lead of the game with a 17-7 stretch over 6:10. That gave them a 72-37 advantage with just under 9 minutes remaining in the contest. Covenant whittled the 35-point lead down to 22 late in the game, outscoring Oglethorpe 21-8 over the final 8:40.
"This is our second straight year starting 6-1, and it's been a strong start for us," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "We all know that we have a long way to go to get to our full potential, though. It's now time for our staff and our players to enjoy some time off with friends and family for the Thanksgiving holiday. We hope everybody has a great break and comes back rested and ready to go, as we have two big games next week."
The Petrels will take on crosstown rival Emory Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. from Dorough Field House, then will host in-state foe Berry in their SAA opener Dec. 7 at 5 p.m.