DURANT, Okla. - Southeastern put five players in double-figures and had two with double-doubles, but could not overcome a rough night at the free throw line in an 82-79 loss to Southern Arkansas on Saturday afternoon.
The loss drops the Savage Storm to 6-13 overall and 4-10 in Great American Conference action.
Not only did SE struggle at the free throw line, hitting just 3-of-9, they were also on the wrong end of a free throw attempts discrepancy, with SAU hitting 17-of-24 at the charity stripe.
Aside from the free throw line, the Storm outshot its opponent 50.8 percent to 47.5 percent from the field, including a 44.4 percent-to-36.0 percent mark form long range.
SE hit 12-of-27 threes, with Daichi Taniguchi draining 5-of-8, and Taylor Smaller and Randy Peters each adding three.
Urald King and Taniguchi each finished with 17 points, with King turning in his seventh double-double of the year with a game-high 11 rebounds.
Darius Harris turned in his third double-0double of the season with 15 points and 10 boards, while Smaller finished with 14 points and Peters added 11.
Southeastern held a 38-to-32 advantage on the glass as well.
Smaller dished out seven assists to lead the team, with King, Taniguchi and Cook each adding four as the Storm piled up 26 helpers as a team across from 13 turnovers.
SAU held a 15-7 edge in points off turnovers, while SE held a slim 10-8 edge in second chance points and the teams tied at 32-32 in the paint.
The first three buckets of the game were threes, one each from Smaller and Cook, as well as SAU’s Chauncy Williams.
Southeastern took the lead early, pushing it to an eight-point advantage on a Taniguchi three with 10:05 to play in the half.
The Muleriders, however would mount a 23-6 run that turned that deficit into a 38-29 lead with 4:05 to play in the half.
The Storm would score the last four points of the half to trim the deficit to 42-38 at halftime.
SE took its first second-half lead on a Smaller three at the 18:07 mark to go up 46-44, but SAU answered with a 9-0 run to go up 53-46 with 16:25 to play.
That lead would expand to nine points before an 11-2 run closed the gap to 62-61 after a Smaller jumper with 11:16 to play.
The Storm would eventually tie the game at 69-69 on a King layup, and 40 seconds later take a 72-71 lead on a Smaller three with 5:45 to play.
Cook would follow up with a jumper on the next possession to extend the lead to three points.
The teams would trade buckets and the lead, with the Storm holding a 77-76 advantage after a Peters three with 4:03 to play.
SAU would answer with five-straight points to go up 81-77, and a Smaller jumper would cut the gap to 81-79 with 38 seconds to play, but that was as close as they would get as the Muleriders would add a late free throw to fashion he 82-79 final score.