From SOSU Sports Information
ADA, Okla. – Ill-timed miscues prevented Southeastern from mounting a second-half rally as East Central handed the Savage Storm a 98-85 loss on Thursday night in Ada, Okla.
The loss drops SE to 6-10 overall on the year and 4-5 in Great American Conference play heading into the back-half of the road trip on Saturday afternoon against Arkansas tech at 2 p.m. in Russellville, Ark.
The Storm lagged a little from the floor, shooting 38.8 percent from the floor, but were solid from long range, hitting 50.0 percent from behind the arc, going 10-for-20.
Bailey Welch turned in a game-high 20 points to lead four players in double-digits. Welch hit a pair of threes and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
Haley Schafer came on in the second half and finished with 17 points, while Emily Williams turned in 14 points off the bench and Ronay English finished with 12.
Welch turned in another strong assist outing with a game-high eight.
Breana Small-Peppers hauled in a game-best 10 rebounds as the Storm held a 51-to-41 edge on the glass thanks in large part to 22 offensive boards.
SE held an edge in points in the paint, 36-28, and second chance points, 20-11, but ECU took advantage of 22 Storm turnovers to hold a 27-6 advantage in points off turnovers.
The teams opened the contest trading three pointers, but the Tigers would answer with five-straight points to take the early lead at 8-3.
That lead would grow to six points before would whittle away at the deficit, finally tying the game at 19-19 on a Kayle Reaves three with 10:48 to play in the half.
ECU would answer and the Storm would again tie the game at 24-24 on a pair of Welch free throws.
The Tigers would again jump out in front, this time pushing its lead out to eight points with 6:06 to play in the half.
The teams would then trade buckets before SE would reel off a 10-2 run that ended in another Reaves three pointer to take its first lead of the night at 40-39 with 3:05 remaining.
ECU would regain the lead, however, and score the final eight points of the half to take a 47-40 lead to the locker room.
The second half was just as fast paced as the first.
The Tigers would push their lead out to 12 points early, but a 7-0 run capped by a Welch layup would trim the deficit to 54-49 with 16:19 to play.
ECU would maintain a lead, however, eventually pushing it back into double figures, hitting 71-59 with 10:05 to play.
SE would get a Cheree Kiser three to cut the deficit to nine points, but that was as close as they would get as the Tigers outscored the Storm 20-12 over the next seven minutes to push its lead out to 91-74.
Southeastern would use a slight 11-7 edge over the final two minutes to fashion the 98-85 final score.
Matt Thomas is the Sports Information Director at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.