Stormy Petrels blow out Maryville to open weekend in Kentucky

The Oglethorpe women's basketball team continued their hot start to the season Friday evening with a 72-51 victory over Maryville (Tennessee) on Day 1 of the Lee's Famous Recipe/Hampton Inn Classic in Danville, Kentucky. The Stormy Petrels used a dominating performance on the defensive end and on the boards to improve to 4-1 on the season.

The Petrels held the Scots to just 29.1 percent from the field and outrebounded them 57-26, including a 23-7 advantage on the offensive glass. The latter mark led to a 22-5 advantage in second-chance points for Oglethorpe, who also enjoyed a 52-20 edge in the paint. 

Junior centers Sydni Donovan and Savannah LeGate largely keyed the Petrel advantage down low, combining for a dominant performance. Donovan scored 21 points on 9-for-11 from the field and swatted four Maryville shots, while LeGate added 14 points on 6-for-11 from the floor. The two combined for 17 rebounds, 12 of them on the offensive end.

Oglethorpe got off to an 8-2 start early in the contest, but the Scots came back with a 16-8 run over 5:15 of the first quarter to push their way to an 18-16 lead with 45 seconds remaining in the opening period. They led 20-18 at the quarter break, but it would be their largest lead of the game. The Petrels responded with an 11-2 run which lasted most of the second quarter, taking a 29-22 lead with 2:30 remaining until halftime. Oglethorpe didn't score again in the first half, but took a 29-24 lead into the break after outscoring Maryville 11-4 in the second quarter.

The Petrels extended their advantage in the third quarter, outscoring the Scots 15-3 over the opening 6 minutes of the period and extending their overall run to 26-7 since the start of the second quarter. That gave them a 44-27 lead with just over 4 minutes remaining in the third. The Scots responded with a quick 11-2 run late in the period, pulling to within 8 points, 48-40, with 30 seconds remaining. Oglethorpe used a Donovan 3-point play to push back to a 51-40 lead at the end of the third, though, then extended their advantage early in the fourth. Starting with the Donovan basket at the end of the third, they outscored Maryville 14-2 over 5:45 and all but put the game away over that stretch, taking a 62-42 lead with 6:15 remaining in the contest. A quick 7-point Maryville run cut their deficit to 13 with just over 4 minutes left, but the Petrels finished the game on a 10-2 spurt.

Junior guard Taylor Smith added 8 points, eight rebounds and a game-high six assists, while junior forward Audrey Burdge and freshman guard Amy Vazquez each threw in 9 points. Burdge collected hers on a stellar 4-for-5 from the field.

"We have really tried to emphasize better effort on the boards," said Oglethorpe head coach Alex Richey, "and after a good week in practice, it carried over. I was happy with our defensive intensity and our unselfish play on the offensive end."

The Petrels quickly get back to action Saturday afternoon, when they take on Otterbein at 1 p.m. to close out their weekend in Danville.