The Oglethorpe women's basketball team saw their season come to an end in tough fashion Saturday evening in Birmingham, Alabama, as the Birmingham-Southern Panthers outscored the Stormy Petrels 27-12 in the fourth quarter en route to a 72-56 victory in the SAA Tournament semifinals. The loss brings Oglethorpe's season to a close with a 15-12 record.
The Petrels shot 32 percent from the field while the Panthers converted on 39 percent of their field goal attempts. They did, however, convert on 40 percent of their 3-point attempts while the Petrels were held to 26 percent from distance. Both teams shot well from the charity stripe, with Oglethorpe converting on 88 percent of their free throws and Birmingham-Southern shooting 84 percent for their part. The Panthers outscored the Petrels 24-18 in the paint.
Oglethorpe got very good performances from several players. Sophomore forward Lauren Ransom scored 11 points on 5-of-6 from the free throw line and 8 rebounds, in addition to a pair of steals. Sophomore guard Jada Triplett 12 points on 2-of-2 from the foul line while sophomore guard Nicolette Andrey had one of her best games of the season, scoring 12 points on 5-of-8 from the field.
The Petrels got off to a good start in the first quarter, jumping out to a 10-4 lead with 3:37 to go in the opening quarter. The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the period and the Petrels led 12-7 at the end of the opening stanza. They scored again to begin the second quarter, extending a run to 9-3 dating back to midway through the first quarter. Birmingham-Southern responded with a 16-6 run over the next five minutes to take a 23-20 lead with 4:01 remaining in the half. The Panthers maintained that advantage into the halftime break, where they led 29-26.
The Petrels got off to an excellent start, pushing back into the lead over the opening part of the period. They outscored Birmingham-Southern 9-2 over a 2-minute stretch to take a 39-33 lead with 5:24 remaining in the period. Oglethorpe still led 44-38 with 3:24 remaining in the quarter, but the Panthers came back with a 7-0 run to end the period and take a 45-44 lead into the fourth quarter.
Birmingham-Southern began the fourth with a 17-5 run over the opening six minutes and extended to their largest lead of the game to that point, 62-51, with 4:39 remaining. From there, Oglethorpe was unable to get closer than seven points for the rest of the contest, and Birmingham-Southern pulled away for the victory.
"This was a tough way for the season to end," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey, "but I couldn't be more proud of our team and program for continuing to grow, continuing to work hard, and continuing to represent Oglethorpe in the manner that they have all year. I'm honored to be their coach every day. We have broken our huddles with 'family' all season, and that could not be more true to who we are and who we well continue to be."