MAGNOLIA, Ark., Okla. – Anton Cook and Nathan Jackson combined for 35 points and Southeastern nailed 11 threes on the afternoon as they close out their three-game road swing with a 71-66 win at Southern Arkansas in Magnolia, Ark., on Saturday.
The win lifts the Savage Storm to 7-12 overall on the year and 5-8 in Great American Conference play as they will now return home for a 7:30 p.m. matchup with Ouachita Baptist on Feb. 4 in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.
The win also moves SE into a three-way tie for eighth place in the league standings with Arkansas Tech and Arkansas-Monticello.
Anton Cook turned in 20 points on the game, his sixth 20-point outing of the season, hitting 4-of-9 from three-point range and adding an 8-of-9 effort at the free throw line.
Nathan Jackson added 15 points as the duo combined for nearly half of the Storm’s points in the game, with Jackson going 4-of-7 overall including hitting a rare three and adding on a 6-of-6 effort at the charity stripe.
DJ Henderson came off the bench with 10 points with a pair of threes, while Sami Bzai hit two threes and finished at nine for the contest.
SE shot 50.0 percent in the first half, including a 6-of-10 effort form behind the arc, and used five threes and a 15-of-17 performance at the free throw line in the second half alone to offset a 28.9 percent shooting effort over the final 20 minutes.
Bzai dished out a team-best five assists on the game.
While the Storm lost the battle of the boards by a 40-to-36 margin, Antonio Worthy and Kyle Roberts each pulled down seven rebounds, while Bzai added five and the duo of Cook and Jackson had four each.
Southeastern held off the second half charge by the home team thanks to an 81.5 percent effort as a team at the free throw line, going 22-of-27, marking the sixth time the team has combined for an 80 percent or better game at the stripe.
Despite the game being close, SAU tied the game just four times and led for only 32 seconds in the entire contest.
Worthy hit a layup off a Bzai pass to open scoring and, SAU would tie the score but then SE would begin to methodically pull away, going up 14-6 on a Henderson jumper at the 12:36 mark and eventuallt stretching that lead to double figures on a pair of Jackson free throws at the 10:19 mark.
The advantage would balloon to 19 points twice, the second time at 32-13 with 4:09 to go in the half on a pair of Quinton Threadgill free throws.
The Mulerider would chip away at that advantage and SE would go to the locker room at halftime up 37-24 thanks to a Marti Fonolla three with 36 second to go in the half.
SAU would slowly hammer away at SE’s lead, making it a one possession contest at the 11:09 mark and then tying it on a CJ Elkins three on its next possessions at 44-44.
The teams would trade threes, but Cook would add a second to regain the lead at 50-47 with 9:10 to play.
Another Cook three less than two minutes later would push the lead out to eight points, but SAU continued to chip and a De’Sean Dockery three-point play with 1:27 to play would give them their first and only lead of the game at 61-60.
Jackson would erase that advantage 32 seconds later when he converted his own three-point play before hitting a three next time down the floor.
Cook and Threadgill would provide the final ice with Cook going 2-for-2 and Threadgill adding a 3-for-4 effort at the line in the final 34 seconds to preserve the 71-66 Storm win.
Contact Matt Thomas SE Sports Information Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.