Mustangs Again Close, But Fall to Oglethorpe 69-64

Mustangs Again Close, But Fall to Oglethorpe 69-64

ATLANTA – Host Oglethorpe University held off Stevenson University 69-64 in the second round of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Classic Friday in non-conference men's basketball at the Dorough Field House.  The Mustangs (1-11) have dropped each of their last four contests by five or fewer points.

Freshman Cameron Hayes once again led the way for Stevenson, totaling 19 points and eight rebounds.  Classmate Ben Wiebusch notched 13 points, five rebounds and five assists, while freshman Kyle Wooldridge knocked down a trio of three-pointers and added 11 points. 

Oglethorpe (4-7) got 20 points off the bench from Mike Turner to lead four players in double figures.

The Stormy Petrels took their largest lead of the game, 66-58, with 3:32 remaining on a three-point basket by Chris Lawrence.  Stevenson responded by scoring the next six points, with a Hayes three at the 2:38 mark making it 66-61.  Junior Tim McNeal made 1-of-2 at the line to cut the lead to four at the 1:53 mark, then after the teams traded three scoreless possessions, made a basket to make it a 66-64 game with 26 ticks on the clock.

Stevenson was forced to foul, and a pair of free throws by George Andino made it a two-possession game with 18 seconds on the clock.  A three by Wooldridge with 11 seconds to go was off the mark, with Oglethorpe grabbing the rebound and Turner sinking 1-of-2 at the line to account for the final.

Oglethorpe led 33-30 at halftime and led for much of the second half, apart from a 35-35 tie following a Wooldridge three at the 17:25 mark.  The lead fluctuated between two and six for much of the period before a pair of free throws by Tom Inungu with just over six minutes remaining gave the Stormy Petrels a 59-52 lead.

The guests led 9-5 seven minutes into the game following a pair of free throws by Wiebusch.  The Mustangs took their largest lead, 19-13, at the 6:46 mark on a basket by sophomore Korey Hayman Jr..  Oglethorpe scored the next five points to pull within 19-18 and used an 8-0 run to take a 26-21 lead with just over three minutes left in the frame.  Stevenson scored the next five to tie the game 26-26 on a Wooldridge three with 2:10 to go, before settling for being down three at intermission, 33-30.

The Stormy Petrels shot 43.6% for the game while limiting the Mustangs to 33.3% shooting in the first half and 37.5% for the game.  Oglethorpe finished 9-31 behind the arc while Stevenson was 6-21, and the hosts went 12-15 at the free throw line compared to 10-14 for the Mustangs.  The guests held a 40-34 rebounding advantage, including 14-7 on the offensive glass.

Stevenson returns to MAC Commonwealth play on Wednesday night when it travels to Messiah College for a 7:30 contest.