Cook explodes for 48, Storm stun Harding with miraculous comeback


By Matt Thomas - mthomas@se.edu



Tracy Johnson came off the bench with 14 points Thursday night but it wasn’t enough for Southeastern to overcome a horrible third quarter as they dropped an 84-72 decision to Harding University.


Kevin Farr | Durant Democrat

Southeastern senior Anton Cook scorched the nets for a career-high and Great American Conference single-game record 48 points to help fuel the Savage Storm to a thrilling 121-112 overtime win over Harding University Thursday night at Bloomer Sullivan Arena.


Kevin Farr | Durant Democrat

It was a miraculous comeback on Thursday night at Bloomer Sullivan Arena as Southeastern’s men erased a nine-point over the final minute of play to shock Harding, 121-112, in a record-setting victory.

Senior Anton Cook had another career night, breaking his own Great American Conference scoring record with 48 points in the win.

The Savage Storm women went cold in the third quarter and was outscored 28-11 en route to an 84-72 loss to No. 17 Harding on Thursday night in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.

Both teams close the regular season on Saturday for Senior Day hosting Arkansas Tech at 1 p.m.

Harding 84, Southeastern 72 (Women)

The loss drops the Savage Storm to 16-9 overall on the season and 14-7 in Great American Conference play as well as dropping them into a tie with Southwestern Oklahoma State for third with one game to play.

Katie Webb led all scorers in the contest with 22 points, going 7-of-11 from the floor and 3-of-3 from behind the arc, but was held to just two points in the second half after posting 20 in the first 20 minutes.

Tracy Johnson and Chasen Howard posted double-digit outings off the bench with 14 and 12, respectively.

Rachel Wallace dished out four assists, while Courtney Brady added three.

Ariannah Kemp finished with six rebounds to lead the Storm, while Webb, Emem David and Jordan Dawson chipped in five each.

The Storm jumped out to an 11-4 lead on a Johnson three at the 5:02 mark of the first quarter, and would take a 14-11 lead to the break after one.

HU eventually took a 25-22 lead in the second quarter, but SE mounted a 13-2 run capped by a Webb bucket with 2:05 to play in the half to go up 35-27 before taking a 35-32 lead to the locker room at halftime.

The Storm scored first in the third quarter, but would go quiet for more than five and a half minutes as HU answered with a 17-0 run to take a 49-37 lead, going on to outscore SE in the frame 28-11 and mount a 60-46 lead.

Southeastern fell behind by as many as 23 in the final quarter but rallied down the stretch and a Chandler Kemp layup with three seconds left would fashion he final score of 84-72.

Southeastern 121, Harding 112, OT (Men)

Cook’s conference-record 46 points lasted just three weeks as Thursday night he went 12-of-22 from the floor with a 7-of-10 effort from three point range and 17-of-18 at the free throw line to break his own GAC scoring mark with 48 points.

Overall the game was the highest scoring contest in GAC history with 233 points, while the overtime period was NCAA Division II record caliber as the 28 points in the five minute frame was the most by a team in DII competition, with the 47 points the two teams combined for setting a new mark as well. The old team record was 27 held by Southern Indiana versus Central Missouri in 1985, while 46 points was the old combined record first reached by North Dakota State and South Dakota on Jan. 9, 1999 and matched by NDSU and St. Cloud State on Jan. 16, 1999.

Tyler Lonzie was next in line for the Storm on offense with 24 points on 12-of-15 shooting, while Kevin Buckingham checked in with 18 points with a pair of threes.

Bobby Johnson came off the bench to add in 13 points, including a trio of threes.

Jett Jobe finished with just six points off a pair of threes, but dished out 10 assists to trigger the SE offense.

That offense shot 51.9 percent for the game from the field, including a 7-of-8 effort from the floor in OT for an 87.5 percent clip.

Despite holding a 15 point lead at 66-51 with 12:56 to play, the Storm would find themselves looking up at a nine point deficit when Cook stepped to the free throw line with 55 seconds to play in regulation.

He would hit both and score six of the team’s next eight points at the charity stripe with a Buckingham tipin providing the other bucket to close that gap to 91-90 with 12 seconds to go.

Harding’s Tim Wagner would end the run with a pair of free throws at the 11 second mark, and Cook would drain a three with four seconds left to knot the game at 93-93 and send it to overtime.

The points came quickly in the OT session as a Lonzie layup would open SE’s scoring, but the Bisons would tie it immediately.

Cook followed with a three point play to give the Storm a three point advantage and they would never look back.

HU would close the gap to one point twice, but after a Buckingham three was followed up by a Lonzie dunk with 2:56 to go, opening up a six point lead, SE would lead by two possessions for the remainder of the contest, winning 121-112.

Harding early on, going up by as many as nine points before an 18-6 run was capped by Cook with a three at the 8:58 mark to put the Storm ahead 30-27.

The teams would remain close throughout the remainder of the first half with SE scoring the final four points of the half to go up 45-40 at the break.

Matt Thomas is the Sports Information Director at Southeastern

Tracy Johnson came off the bench with 14 points Thursday night but it wasn’t enough for Southeastern to overcome a horrible third quarter as they dropped an 84-72 decision to Harding University.
http://durantdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_TracyJohnson3.jpgTracy Johnson came off the bench with 14 points Thursday night but it wasn’t enough for Southeastern to overcome a horrible third quarter as they dropped an 84-72 decision to Harding University. Kevin Farr | Durant Democrat

Southeastern senior Anton Cook scorched the nets for a career-high and Great American Conference single-game record 48 points to help fuel the Savage Storm to a thrilling 121-112 overtime win over Harding University Thursday night at Bloomer Sullivan Arena.
http://durantdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_AntonCook1-1.jpgSoutheastern senior Anton Cook scorched the nets for a career-high and Great American Conference single-game record 48 points to help fuel the Savage Storm to a thrilling 121-112 overtime win over Harding University Thursday night at Bloomer Sullivan Arena. Kevin Farr | Durant Democrat

By Matt Thomas

mthomas@se.edu

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