The Oglethorpe men's basketball team used an outstanding second-half performance to run past the homestanding Rhodes Lynx 82-69 Friday night in Memphis, Tennessee. With the win, the Stormy Petrels improved to 9-8 on the season overall and an even 3-3 in SAA play, good enough to move them into a tie for fourth place in the league.
The Petrels held a slim 35-31 edge at halftime, but took control of the game in the second half. After Rhodes came back to tie it in the first couple minutes of the period, Oglethorpe embarked on a 25-7 run over seven minutes and sprinted out to a 62-44 lead with 10 minutes left. An 11-3 stretch by the Lynx brought them back to within 12 points, 65-53, with 6:45 on the clock. However, Oglethorpe put the game away after that with a 13-4 run over the next four minutes. They pushed out to a 21-point advantage, their largest of the game, with 2:45 remaining and cruised from there. The visitors shot 62.1 percent from the field in the second half and were 6-of-13 from 3-point range over the period.
In the first half, Rhodes jumped out to a 12-5 lead over the first 7:30 of play. The Petrels responded with an 8-1 run to tie the game 13-13 with 9:30 remaining until halftime. After Rhodes pushed back in front, an 11-2 Oglethorpe run over three minutes gave the visitors a 27-21 edge with 4:45 left. The teams traded baskets for the rest of the half and the Petrels led by four at the break.
Oglethorpe shot 50.8 percent from the field for the game and converted on 42.9 percent of their 3-point shots. Rhodes shot 54.2 percent but made six fewer shots while turning the ball over 14 times to Oglethorpe's eight and getting outrebounded 32-24. The Petrels held a 17-11 advantage in points off turnovers.
Senior center Tom Inungu scored 19 points on 8-of-10 from the field while grabbing nine rebounds. Sophomore forward Will Koch added 19 points of his own on 7-of-12 from the field and 4-of-5 from 3-point range, collecting six rebounds. Senior forward Will Perry scored 10 points, grabbed six rebounds, and passed out a game-high six assists.
"Tonight was a hard-fought win," said Oglethorpe head coach Philip Ponder. "We came out a little slow, but started playing better midway through the first half and took a small lead at halftime. About five minutes into the second half, we got things going. We shot the ball well and rebounded well, and those were the two differences in the game. It's always great to get a win on the road."
The Petrels continue the road trip Sunday afternoon in Conway, Arkansas, where they'll take on Hendrix at 4 p.m. EST. After that, they'll return home to Dorough Field House for four in a row and five of their final seven regular-season games.