ALVA, Okla. — Southeastern scored the first 13 points of the fourth quarter to erase a nine point deficit at Northwestern Oklahoma State and would get a 10-for-10 effort at the free throw line from Taylor Richards in the final 1:05 to pull away with a 71-63 win on Saturday afternoon in Alva, Okla.
The win snaps a four-game losing skid and lifts the Savage Storm to 4-10 overall on the year and 2-6 in Great American conference play heading into a Monday night matchup with rival East Central at 5:30 p.m. in Ada, Okla.
The game got off to a sluggish start in the first half and NWOSU picked up the pace first in the second half, leading the Storm by as many as 11 points late in the third quarter.
Katie Webb opened scoring in the fourth quarter and at the 4:51 mark a pair of Rachel Wallace free throws would give the Storm a 52-51 lead.
A Wallace three on the next possession would stretch the lead to 55-51.
NWOSU would close the gap to two points four times over the next three minutes, but Richards would score SE’s final eight points at the free throw line over the last 36 seconds to hold off the Rangers.
Thanks to her 10-for-10 effort at the line in the final minute Richards led the way for SE with 14 points.
She was joined in double-digits by Demi Koelzer who was efficient in limited minutes, turning in 11 points in 11 minutes played, while Wallace added 10 points with the help of a pair of threes.
Olivia Potter added nine points despite not shooting a three for just the fourth time in her career, finishing with a 3-for-5 effort form the floor and 3-for-4 from the free throw line. Webb also added nine points, while Kaylie Baxter had six on a pair of threes.
The Storm shot 51.1 percent from the floor thanks to a 56.0 effort in the second half and added a 5-of-12 mark form long range.
Richards turned in an all-around game, adding six assists to her team-leading point total as well as five rebounds and a team-high three blocked shots.
Webb led the way with six boards, with Richards and Emem David adding five, while SE held a 36-to-30 edge on the glass.
The game crept along early for both teams, but SE struggled with six turnovers on its first six possessions before Shelby Hill drained a three with 6:04 to go in the first quarter on the first shot attempt for the Storm.
Despite the start a Madison Thames layup at the horn to end the quarter would put Southeastern up 13-12 after one quarter.
NWOSU would regain the lead early in the second quarter and held it until a Miranda Schaefer bucket dropped with 2:37 to go to put SE up 22-21, but a pair of Ranger free throws would give the home team the 23-22 lead at halftime.
SE would close midway through the third quarter and twice take leads, the second coming on a Koelzer layup with 5:45 to go in the quarter to go up 35-33.
The Rangers would answer with an 18-7 run to end the third and leave the Storm in a nine point hole heading to the fourth quarter, setting up its final frame rally.
ALVA, Okla. – Southeastern rallied from a double-digit second half deficit to get within two points with 1:20 to play, but were unable to complete the comeback on the road in an 82-77 loss to Northwestern Oklahoma State in Alva, Okla., on Saturday afternoon.
The loss drops the Savage Storm to 5-9 overall and 3-5 in Great American Conference play heading into a Monday night meeting with rival East Central at 7:30 p.m. in Ada, Okla.
SE put four players in double-figures as it shot 46.8 percent as a team, including hitting six threes, but struggled to stop the Rangers who hit 50.8 percent from the floor and 53.8 percent from behind the arc.
Tyler Lonzie led the way with 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor, adding a 4-of-5 effort form the line.
Nathan Jackson and Anton Cook each pitched in 16 points with Cook putting up a pair of threes and Jackson going 7-of-11 overall from the floor.
Sami Bzai finished with 13 points with a team-best three three pointers.
Bzai also led the way with four assists, while Stelios Papafloratos added three to go with seven points off the bench.
Lonzie also led the way on the glass, nearly turning in a double-double with nine rebounds, while Kyle Roberts added six.
Lonzie also chipped in a pair of blocked shots, while Roberts had two steals.
The Rangers took the lead out of the gate and SE would tie the game once, but NWOSU would eventually run out to a 25-15 lead by the midway point of the first half.
An 11-1 run by the Storm answered to tie the game at 26-26 after a pair of Papafloratos free throws, but SE was unable to seize the lead as the home team would eventually take a 35-30 lead at the half.
That deficit would twice grow to double digits over the first eight minutes of the second half, but SE would mount a comeback and after Cook converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 10:25 to go the deficit was 59-56.
Just under four minutes later Cook would hit a three to knot the game at 61-61.
However, NWOSU scored the next seven points, and despite closing to within two points in the final 1:20, SE was unable to cap the comeback, falling 82-77.
Contact Matt Thomas at email@example.com.