This is a week of great opportunity for Southeastern athletics.
The Great American Conference basketball tournament tips off today in Bartlesville and Southeastern men and women are in the field.
Southeastern fans who can’t travel will have the next best option as all Storm games will be carried live on KSEO or KLBC.
For the second-straight year, the GAC has partnered with JBM Productions of Little Rock, Arkansas, to provide live video streaming coverage online to viewers worldwide at http://greatamericanconference.com.
Michael Westbrook of KLBC will serve as the lead play-by-play announcer with Grant Merrill of Benton, Arkansas, as lead analyst.
Westbrook is in his fourth year of broadcasting Savage Storm athletics. Joey McWilliams (Durant) and Paul Smith (Russellville, Arkansas) will be on hand as backups while Westbrook handles play-by-play on radio for Southeastern. Coach Darin Grover’s sixth-seeded team will take on No. 3 Harding at noon today.
Coach Kelly Green’s fourth-seeded team will meet No. 5 Ouachita Baptist at 8:30 p.m. Friday
Southeastern’s ladies will be trying to make it two of three against the Bisons after each team held serve at home in the regular season.
The Storm topped Harding 72-60 in Bloomer Sullivan Arena with three in double figures. Bailey Welch led the way with 14 points without her best shooting night. She did nail 10 of 10 at the free-throw line while playing the full 40 minutes.
Ronay English added 11 points in 22 minutes and Emily Williams chipped in 10 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes.
Shana Holmes paced Harding with 18 points in 34 minutes and Montana Lewis scored 17 and grabbed 12 rebounds in 34 minutes
Harding defeated the Storm 83-69 in Searcy with the Storm having four in double figures. Cheree Kiser led the way with 15 points on five of eight from the field in 30 minutes.
Welch had 14 points with nine of 10 at the line in 40 minutes and Natalie Ruud also scored 14 points in just 24 minutes. Haley Schaefer had 11 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes.
Holmes scored 18 points on five of nine from the field in 27 minutes for Harding.
An old-fashioned field goal separated the teams in total points with Southeastern scoring 141 and Harding 143.
Holmes and Lewis will draw special attention from Storm defenders today. Shot selection will be vital and a good job in this department should send Southeastern to the second round.
SOUTHEASTERN’S men will also be trying to make it two of three against Ouachita Baptist.
These teams didn’t get the memo on home-court advantage as each won on the other’s floor in the regular season.
Southeastern traveled to Arkadelphia to nip the Tigers 59-56 with Chris Roussell throwing in 29 points on 10 of 14 from the floor, including five of six from beyond the arc, in 38 minutes.
Micah Delph led the Tigers with 15 points in 29 minutes.
The Storm never got untracked in Bloomer Sullivan Arena, dropping a 74-48 decision with Andris Misters scoring 10 points and pulling down nine rebounds in 37 minutes.
Michael Morris led OBU with 19 points on nine of 12 from the field in 25 minutes.
The scoring differential was 23 points with Southeastern hitting a total of 107 points to 130 for Ouachita Baptist.
Again, defense and shooting percentage will determine whether Southeastern advances to the second round.
COACH MIKE METHENY’S Storm baseballers are not where they want to be, but they have a shot at the top this weekend.
Southeastern is 9-7 overall and 4-5 in the latest Great American Conference standings.
Arkansas Tech leads the poll at 16-5 and the conference at 6-0.
The Storm will visit Arkansas Tech for a three-game series Friday and Saturday with a chance to take a bite out of the league leader.
Eddie Cervantes is 3-1 on the mound for the Storm and has limited opponents to a .188 batting average in six starts. Cameron Mann is 1-0 with a 2.04 ERA with 19 strikeouts and only five walks. Tucker Alexander is batting .333 and is one of three who have started all 16 games. Evan Ramsey is hitting .326 with team highs in home runs (four) and runs batted in (16).
Ryan Salter has a .322 batting average and leads the team with 16 stolen bases in 18 attempts.
Following the Arkansas Tech series, Southeastern will play 12 out-of-conference games before Southern Arkansas comes to town on March 29.
There are games with Southern Nazarene, Cameron, Northeastern and Oklahoma Christian. Yes, Southern Nazarene is in the GAC, but not eligible this year for the regular-season championship or post-season play.
Mark your calendar for March 21. That’s when the Storm visit Oklahoma State for a 4 p.m. game. Former Southeastern assistant coach Roland Fanning is now at OSU and will have a chance to coach against his former team.
Thirteen of Southeastern’s 16 games have been decided by four or fewer runs.
COACH RON FAUBION’S LadyStorm softballers are on the road for the next two weekends.
Southeastern tops the latest GAC poll at 19-4 and joins Arkansas-Monticello (16-8) as the only undefeated teams in conference play at 4-0 each.
The Storm will visit Henderson State Friday and Saturday, then pay a visit to Arkansas-Monticello on March 15-16.
Southeastern has won five in a row with the four-game sweep of GAC foe Southern Arkansas here last weekend.
The latest NFCA national poll has Southeastern listed at No. 2 for the third week in a row. Valdosta State (Georgia) remains atop the poll.
The LadyStorm didn’t appear on the radar in preseason, then jumped to No. 2 after winning the NFCA Leadoff Classic, trailing No. 1 VSU by 29 points in the first regular-season poll.
The second poll had SE trailing by 33 points, the third by 23 and the current poll shows the Storm has cut the gap to 10 points at 392-382 and the first-place-votes margin to seven at 10-3.
Jacee Bennett and Mindy McElroy have become a tag team in the circle with each collecting four saves. One starts and the other finishes and everybody lives happily ever after.
Bennett is 11-2 with a 2.53 ERA and is holding opponents to a .232 average while striking out 85 and walking 26 in 77.1 innings.
McElroy is 7-1 with a 1.68 ERA and is holding opponents to a .247 average with 33 strikeouts and 16 walks in 71 innings.
Jessica Simmons leads the team with a .377 batting average, 23 runs scored and 29 hits. (Goin’) Jessie tops the chart with 18 stolen bases in 20 attempts.
Courtney “Speedy” Moore is batting .375 with team highs in doubles (six), home runs (four) and runs batted in (19). She is four for four in stolen bases, including a steal of home.
Lacie Cook is batting .350 and Rachel Jones rounds out the .300 list at .333 with three doubles and nine RBIs.
In fewer plate appearances, McElroy is hitting .382 and Courtney Riddle is batting at a .375 clip.
Eighteen of Southeastern’s 23 games have been decided by four or fewer runs.