Cheree Kiser scored 25 off the bench and Haley Schaefer had a double-double as the Savage Storm ladies won their third straight on Saturday, a 90-84 decision over the University of Arkansas-Monticello.
Schaefer’s 24 points and 12 boards, and Kiser’s 25 (17 in the first half) overshadowed a lack of defense. Seven UAM Cottom Blossoms reached seven or more points, with three in double digits.
“We had to outscore them, because we sure didn’t guard them,” said Southeastern Coach Darin Grover. “This was one of our poorest defensive games of the year. But we had some people step up.”
Bailey Welch and Ronay English combined for 15 of the Storm’s 20 assists, and Welch went 8-for-9 from the free throw line. As a team, Southeastern hit 29 of 35 free throws (83 percent), a sizable advantage over UAM’s 16-for-26 charity shooting.
Kiser and Schaefer stepping up just shows that the Savage Storm can enjoy a new hero each night. Last Thursday it was Emily Williams leading the way, but she was held to just four on Saturday.
“I would prefer some of our kids to be more consistent, but we are excited to have a number who can step up and score. We’ve always prided our program on being very balanced.”
Schaefer, a Wright City sophomore, is one of the emerging leaders of the underclass-laden Storm team. “We have a lot of young players and I know we have alot of ability,” she said. “I just stayed really focused, and I knew the team could come out and get a win.”
Southeastern took a 50-46 lead at the half after trailing UAM by seven. Then the Storm went up seven before the Blossoms returned the favor and took back control.
UAM Coach Tanya Ray was ejected midway through the second half, with Welch connecting on all four technical free throws. It sparked a 10-0 Storm run which gave Southeastern the lead for good.
The Savage Storm out-rebounded UAM 37-26, helping them overcome 20 turnovers to UAM’s 12. Welch finished with 10 points, English had nine, Taylor Richards five, and Natalie Ruud three.
Southeastern (5-7 on the season) evens up their conference mark at 3-3 with the win, going into a Thursday road game against rival Southwestern (8-2, 3-1 GAC).