Emory Men's Basketball Treats Home Crowd To Come-From-Behind OT Win Over Oglethorpe
The Emory University men’s basketball team received career-scoring nights from sophomore Alex Greven and junior Austin Claunch and rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit to snatch a season-opening 92-84 overtime win against Oglethorpe University on Wednesday evening.
The pair accounted for 54 points with Greven totaling 28 points and Claunch 26. Greven knocked down 11-of-18 from the floor while Claunch converted 10-of-20 field goal opportunities, including three-of-five from beyond the arc. Claunch also finished with a team-high eight rebounds, a career-best five steals and doled out seven assists without a turnover while logging 44 minutes of action.
The visiting Petrels shot 53.1 percent from the floor (34-of-64) while Emory posted a 45.3 percent effort (34-of-75). Oglethorpe also held a 43-33 edge on the glass but turned the ball over on 20 occasions with Emory scoring 29 points off those miscues. The Eagles turned the ball over just four times.
Emory trailed by a 46-34 margin at halftime as Oglethorpe converted 62.1 percent of its field goal attempts (18-of-29), including 69.2 percent from three-point range (9-of-13). The Eagles’ offense struggled during the opening 20 minutes of play hitting 39.4 percent from the floor (13-of-33), with Claunch and Greven keeping the squad in striking distance with 15 and nine points, respectively. Emory trailed at one point in the first half by 16 points, 44-28, following a trey by Oglethorpe’s Alec Pitts. Baskets by Claunch, Greven and freshman Jake Davis helped Emory to a 6-2 advantage the remainder of the stanza, leaving the gap at 12 points.
Emory still faced a 14-point obstacle with 7:33 left in the game and by 12 points, 73-61, with 4:28 on the clock. However, the Eagles staged a furious 17-5 rally over the remainder of regulation time that knotted the contest up at 78-78. Claunch started the surge with a three-point field goal, followed by free throw by sophomore Michael Friedberg and a jumper by junior Alex Gulotta to narrow the deficit to six points, 73-67, with 3:19 remaining. After a three-point play by OU’s Erik Strong upped the Petrel’s lead to nine points with 2:49 left, the Eagles continued their charge with Greven draining a three-pointer followed by his jumper that put Emory down by four with 2:09 remaining. Gulotta came up with a huge defensive gem when he intercepted an Oglethorpe pass and scored to draw Emory to within two points with 1:49 on the clock. After another basket by Strong, Friedberg knocked down a pair of charity tosses with 1:09 left before tying the game with a jumper with 32 ticks on the clock. The Petrels had the ball with a chance to win but turned the ball over in the waning moments that forced the extra session.
In the overtime, Emory scored first, taking its first lead of the game, following a bucket by Claunch. After Oglethorpe tied the affair at 80-80, the Eagles took the lead for good with 3:14 left following a trey by Friedberg. Oglethorpe did creep back to within one point on its next possession but saw Emory score nine of the contest’s 11 remaining points with Claunch and Greven each totaling four points apiece over the final 2:37.
Gulotta came off the bench to produce 16 points (his second-highest career total), 13 in second half and overtime, hitting six-of-10 from the floor, including three-of-seven from distance. Friedberg rounded out the team’s double-figure scorers with 14 points.
Emory returns to action on Friday when it plays Averett in the opening round of the Hilton Garden Inn hosted by Guilford College. Tip time for that contest is 6:00 p.m.
NOTES – Emory’s 92 points represented the 12th time during Jason Zimmerman’s tenure as coach that the Eagles have recorded 90 or more points, with the program sporting a 10-2 record in such contests … The 54 points produced by Greven and Claunch tied the eighth-highest total by an Emory tandem … The highest point total by an Eagles’ duo is 62 points with Spiros Ferderigos (45 pts.) and Jeff Hall (17 pts.) accomplishing that against Washington University on Feb. 12, 2006 … Emory has won six of the last nine meetings vs. Oglethorpe with four of those five contests going into overtime … Emory now stands 15-10 all-time in season-opening games … Emory has won its last seven home-opening contests and claims an all-time slate of 20-5 in those affairs … Dating from the last 12 outings of 2009-10, Gulotta now has three-point field goals to his credit in his last 13 games, tying the 12th-longest streak in school history.