The Oglethorpe women's basketball team used a 17-4 run in the third quarter to pull away from the crosstown rival Emory Eagles Tuesday evening at Dorough Field House and secure the program's first victory over their rivals since Nov. 15, 2011. The win improved the Stormy Petrels to 8-4 on the season as they head into the bulk of SAA play starting this weekend.
The Petrels held a 41-39 advantage at the halftime break after what had been a largely even first half of play. Oglethorpe scored 13 consecutive points over a 4:30 stretch to build a 15-point lead, 55-40, with 1:35 left in the third quarter. From there, the Petrels took as much as a 16-point lead early in the fourth, but largely held serve down the stretch to secure their eighth victory of the season.
Emory managed to hold down a slim early advantage in the first quarter, taking an 18-17 lead to the second quarter. They extended that to a largest lead of six, grabbing a 25-19 edge with 7:20 remaining in the contest. However, the Petrels responded with seven straight points to take the lead right back, 26-25, with 5:11 left in the quarter. From there, the teams went back and forth for the remainder of the half, resulting in a 2-point Oglethorpe lead.
The Petrels got an outstanding performance from junior forward Lauren Ransom, who scored 25 points on 9-of-16 from the field overall while also collecting 13 rebounds. Freshman center Savannah LeGate didn't have the outstanding shooting night Petrel fans have become accustomed to, but she still added 11 points, five assists and three blocks. Junior guard Jada Triplett scored in double figures, as well, collecting 10 points on 6-of-8 from the free throw line, passing out four assists and recording a pair of steals, in the process.
Neither team shot particularly well over the course of the contest, as both teams shot 36 percent from the field. However, the Petrels outrebounded the Eagles 50-33 overall and 22-7 on the offensive glass. Oglethorpe dominated both in second-chance points and down low. They outscored Emory 16-5 in second chance points and 42-16 in the paint.
"We had a lot of players step up to keep us tight going into the half," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey. "Our third quarter defense was the difference in the game. I'm proud of Lauren on the offensive end and thought Taylor Dodson really stood out with her energy throughout the game. This was a big win for our program against a quality opponent to kick off 2018, but the real season start with conference play on the road this weekend."
The Petrels will travel to Conway, Arkansas, on Friday evening to take on Hendrix at 7 p.m. Eastern before continuing to Memphis, Tennessee, for a battle with Rhodes at 2 p.m. on Sunday. After that, they'll return home to take on Sewanee and Centre the following weekend.