The Oglethorpe men's basketball team looked to celebrate Senior Night in style Saturday at Dorough Field House, but the Stormy Petrels couldn't get past the Berry Vikings, falling to their in-state opponents 65-59. The loss dropped the Petrels to 13-12 on the season overall and 7-7 in league play. It also meant that they fell to fourth in the league at the end of the night.
It was the Petrels who jumped out to a lead in the first half, as they outscored the Vikings 13-6 in the opening 5:30, including an 11-1 run over 4:30 during that stretch. That would be Oglethorpe's largest advantage of the game, though, and Berry fought back with a 15-4 run to take the lead right back at the 10:30 mark of the period. They eventually pulled out to a 21-17 lead with 5:40 remaining until halftime. The Petrels used consecutive baskets from freshman guard Ryan Jenei and sophomore guard Lane Foster to take the lead back, 27-26, late in the period, but consecutive baskets in the final 10 seconds of the quarter gave Berry a 31-29 lead at the break.
The visitors pushed their advantage with a 9-2 run to start the second half. They led 40-31 with 15:20 left, but the Petrels came back with six straight points to cut it to 42-39 with just under 13 minutes to go. They extended that run to 11-3 and pulled to within a single point, 45-44, with 10:40 left. However, a 10-2 Viking run gave the visitors a 55-46 lead. Oglethorpe had one more run in them, outscoring Berry 8-2 over the next 3:30 to cut it back to a three-point game with 3:20 left. The Vikings made big shots down the stretch, though, and wound up with a six-point win.
Seniors Tom Inungu and Will Perry each scored 15 points on the night for the Petrels. Inungu went 6-for-12 while Perry grabbed six rebounds and passed out three assists. Jenei added 13 points on 4-of-7 from the field overall and 3-of-5 from 3-point range.
Berry hit 41.7 percent of their 3-point shots including several with the shot clock winding down. The Petrels were just 27.8 percent from long distance. Berry outrebounded Oglethorpe 42-27, including a 13-6 advantage on the offensive glass.
Before the game, seniors Inungu, Perry, Zach Breathwaite and Devin Huffman were honored as part of Senior Night festivities.
The Petrels now get set for the SAA Tournament, to be played Feb. 22-24 in Danville, Kentucky. They'll hold the tournament's No. 4 seed, meaning they continue their streak of finishing in the top half of the league every year since the start of the SAA in 2012-13. They'll take on fifth-seeded Birmingham-Southern Friday in the opening round at a time to be determined.