ARKADELPHIA, Ark. - Southeastern nearly erased an eight-point deficit in the final 2:48, but could get no closer than three points en route to a 56-50 loss to Henderson State on Saturday afternoon in Arkadelphia, Ark.
The loss drops the Savage Storm to 5-12 on the year and 3-9 in Great American Conference play.
After a pair of HSU free throws with just under three minutes to play, the Storm found itself trailing 50-42, but a three from Taylor Smaller and a pair of Quinton Threadgill free throws closed the gap to three points with 2:03 to go.
The Reddies answered with a three from Deoirvay Johnson, but Threadgill would answer right back with a three of his own to make the score 53-50 with 1:15 to play.
HSU would add three free throws in the final 32 seconds to fashion the 56-50 final score.
John Balwigaire would lead all scorers in the contest with 17 points on a 6-of-14 effort form the floor that included a 4-of-8 mark from the three point line.
Smaller just missed double-figures and finished with nine points, while Threadgill chipped in seven.
Smaller also dished out a team-high four assists.
Urald King, Smaller and Anton Cook each hauled in six boards as the Storm held a 33-to-32 edge in the rebounding battle.
Despite holding a 13-3 edge in points off turnovers, a 10-0 edge in second-chance points and a 20-8 advantage in scoring in the paint, the Storm were still out-shot 42.5 percent-to-34.5 percent.
The Reddies also added two more threes than SE had and went 14-of-17 from the line while the Storm hit 4-of-8.
Points were hard to come by for both teams in the early going.
HSU took an early 3-1 lead, but the Storm answered with a grinding 7-0 run that lasted just under seven minutes to take an 8-3 lead with 12:49 to go in the half after a Balwigaire three.
The Reddies would answer with back-to-back threes that regained them the lead which would see-saw between the teams until HSU used a three and a pair of free throws to take a 21-16 lead with 5:32 to play in the first half.
Consecutive Balwigaire threes would immediately answer that run and give the Storm a 22-21 edge with 4:42 to go in the first.
The team would continue to trade one-point leads until HSU squeaked out a 27-24 edge with less than a minute to play, but Anton Cook would tie the game on a layup and the follow up free throw after drawing a foul with 23 seconds left which would fashion the halftime score of 27-27.