COMMERCE, Texas – A second-half comeback by Southeastern came up just short on Saturday afternoon in a 73-69 loss on the road to former conference foe Texas A&M-Commerce in Commerce, Texas.
The loss drops the Savage Storm to 1-3 on the season as they head into Great American Conference play on Nov. 29 with a 5:30 p.m. contest against Henderson State in Arkadelphia, Ark.
SE trailed by 13 at halftime and fell behind by 16 early in the second half, but chipped away over time and with 3:44 to play a Bailey Welch three pointer would cap a 6-0 spurt that left the Storm down 64-63.
They would close to within one point on two more occasions, the last coming with 1:38 to play on a Welch layup, but would be unable to tie or take the lead, ultimately falling 73-69.
“Bailey played great,” said head coach Darin Grover. “She went all 40 minutes and spurred our comeback. I thought she had a complete game and played very well.”
Welch turned in a season and game-high 19 points on a 6-of-9 effort from the field that included three three pointers as well as a 4-of-4 mark from the free throw line.
“I thought we fought hard in the second half,” said Grover. “We didn’t handle their pressure well in the first half. We missed some easy shots that could have changed things in the first half and we just didn’t handle their pressure well.”
Williams and Taylor Richards each dished out five assists, but the Storm was plagued with 20 turnovers while only forcing TAMUC into 14.
Aside from posting a team-high in assists, Richards led the SE charge on the boards with eight and flirted with a double-double by adding nine points.
Williams and Haley Schaefer each added six boards, but it was the Lions ability to pull down 18 offensive rebounds and hold a 20-10 edge in second chance points that proved to be the difference.
The Storm got off to a slow start, falling behind 7-0 early, but would answer with an 11-0 run that left SE with an 11-7 lead at the 12:53 mark of the first half.
TAMUC would respond with a run of their own, scoring nine-straight points to take an 18-11 advantage.
The Lions would grow that lead to as much as 13 points before the Storm would cut it back to eight points with 3:24 to play in the half on a Natalie Ruud jumper.
TAMUC would pull away sown the stretch in the half to lead by 15 before a Richards jumper with 14 seconds left would set the halftime score to 40-27 in favor of the Lions.
The deficit would balloon to 16 points early in the second half, but an 11-2 run capped by an English three pointer would make the score 47-40 with 14:14 to play.
The Lion lead would grow back out to 14 points before another Storm run would trim the deficit to 58-56 after a pair of English free throws with 6:54 to play.
TAMUC would push its advantage back out to six points before Welch fueled the late-game push that fell just short.