Stormy Petrels Earn Hard-Fought Overtime Victory over Maryville (Tenn.)

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The Oglethorpe men's basketball team got a big neutral-court win over Maryville (Tenn.) Sunday at the LaGrange Classic in LaGrange, Ga., defeating the Scots, 72-70 in overtime, to improve to 6-1 on the young season.

With the game tied 34-34 at the half, the two teams engaged in a back-and-forth second half. The Stormy Petrels took a 6-point lead early in the period after a 9-3 run, but an 8-2 answer by Maryville re-equalized things, 45-45. The Petrels went on a 6-0 run to take a 51-45 lead with 13:42 remaining, but an 8-2 stretch from the Scots gave them a 55-53 lead with 10:26 left. Oglethorpe went on an 8-0 run of their own to take a 61-55 lead with 4:58 remaining, freshman guard Connor Smith hitting a 3-pointer to finish the run. Maryville had another answer, though, as another 8-2 run tied the game, 63-63, with 3:27 left to play.

From there, the two teams went back and forth. Sophomore guard Drew Patrick hit two free throws with 2:46 left to give the Petrels a 2-point lead back, but Maryville hit a shot at the other end to re-even the game. The Petrels hit two more free throws for another 2-point lead with 16 seconds left, but the Scots hit a shot with two second remaining to force overtime. 

It was a defensive struggle in the overtime period, as neither team scored over the first two minutes. Senior guard Tyler Courson broke the drought and gave the Petrels a 69-67 lead, but a Maryville 3-pointer gave the Scots their first lead since the 8:04 mark of the second half, 70-69 with 2:44 remaining. However, a Patrick jumper gave Oglethorpe the lead back, 71-70 with 2:25 remaining. It was a lead they would not relinquish. The defense again took over for the rest of the overtime period, as Maryville never could get the go-ahead shot to go. The Petrels held on for the 72-70 win.

The game started with a 5-0 Maryville run, but the Petrels answered with a 15-4 run of their own to take a 15-9 lead with 14:37 left in the half. A 6-0 Scot run tied the game at 15-all, and from there the two teams went back-and-forth for the rest of the half, Oglethorpe never leading by more than five and Maryville never leading by more than two. Courson poured in 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting in the half.

In the second half, the Petrels and Maryville finished on even terms, 33-33, despite Maryville shooting 53.8 percent to Oglethorpe's 38.5 percent. They did this by earning 18 free throws in the period and making 10 of them. By contrast, Maryville shot just one free throw in the second half.

For the game, Maryville outshot Oglethorpe 42.4-to-40 percent from the floor and 68.4-to-53.3 percent from the line. Both teams shot 33.3 percent from beyond the arc and turned the ball over 13 times. The Petrels dominated the Scots on the boards, however, outrebounding their opponent 45-33.

Courson finished the game with 24 points on 7-of-14 shooting and added three assists. Patrick scored 13 points and junior guard Alex Davis scored 12 on 5-of-10 shooting. Sophomore forward Victor Rohlfs scored 10 points and came up with three steals, as well.

The 6-1 Petrels will travel to Mount Berry, Ga., to take on Berry in their SAA opener Thursday night at 8 p.m. That will kick off a stretch of three games in five days for the Petrels. They'll return home to take on Piedmont on Saturday and crosstown-rival Emory next Monday.