No. 10 Emory holds off Oglethorpe
Gulotta notches season-high 20 points to lead Eagles to victory
ATLANTA -- Emory senior Alex Gulotta scored a season-high 20 points, while senior Austin Claunch and sophomore Jake Davis each totaled 15 points in defeating Oglethorpe 60-54 on Monday night.
The Eagles raised their overall record to 8-0. The Stormy Petrels slipped to 3-5, Emory's 8-0 start marks the first time in school history that the program has won its opening eight games.
Oglethorpe outshot Emory from the floor, hitting 42 percent of its field goal attempts compared to the Eagles' 35.1 percent (20-of-57) mark. Emory finished with a 36-31 edge on the glass, 14-7 on the offensive end, with junior Michael Friedberg pacing the club in that department tying his career high of 12 rebounds. Friedberg also finished the contest with 10 points, five blocked shots and three steals.
Gulotta hit seven-of-17 field goal attempts and accounted for all six of Emory's three-point field goals, tying his third-highest career total. Emory made the most of 16 Oglethorpe turnovers, parlaying those into 21 points while Oglethorpe scored nine points off 10 Emory miscues.
Emory got out of the gate slowly in the first-half, hitting just five of its first 20 attempts from the floor and fell behind 23-13 with 6:44 left in the half. The game was deadlocked at 13-13 before the Petrels went on a 10-0 scoring run with junior Christian Molinet accounting for all five of his first half points in that stretch.
The Eagles countered with a 6-0 charge, starting with a 3-point field goal by Gulotta, one of four triples in the half. After a bucket by OU's Alec Pitts gave the home team a 27-19 edge with 2:34 on the clock, the Eagles closed out the half on a 10-3 spurt capped by a Claunch floater in the waning seconds that drew Emory to within one point, 30-29 at the intermission.
Emory ended the half shooting 35.7 percent (10-of-28) from the floor while the Petrels checked in at 37.9 percent (11-of-29). Gulotta paced Emory's scoring effort with 12 points off of four 3-point field goals.
The Eagles' momentum carried over to the second half, opening with a torrid 22-6 scoring outburst that enabled them to claim a 51-36 advantage with 7:13 left in the game. Part of that surge was a 15-0 outburst where Emory held the Petrels scoreless for nearly a nine-minute stretch, snapping a 36-36 tie en route to its largest lead of the game.
Davis scored seven points in that stretch while Claunch chipped in six points. Oglethorpe answered with nine consecutive points, capped by a 3-point field goal from Sam Purdy that cut Emory's lead to 51-45 with 4:55 on the clock. After the teams traded baskets, a crucial 3-pointer by Gulotta upped Emory's cushion to 56-47 with 3:25 remaining.
OU mounted one last comeback bid with five consecutive points that drew the score within four points with 39 seconds on the clock. However, four free throws by Claunch helped seal the outcome of the contest.