A 43-point outburst in the second half launched Northwestern over the Savage Storm on Saturday in a 75-67 decision for the Rangers.
Southeastern led 38-32 at the half but, like the ladies earlier in the day, saw the lead evaporate and finally wither away altogether in the second period.
Late threes by the Rangers extended a slim lead, even as SE’s Anton Cook answered from downtown to cut it to a 63-62 NW lead. But Lakeem Henderson got it back with another three-ball for Northwestern (5-8, 2-5 in GAC).
Down five in the final minute, the Savage Storm missed a pair of good looks and were unable to close the gap. It was indicative of a cold-shooting second-half for Southeastern from behind the arc as well as the free throw line.
Urald King led SE with 15 points and Taylor Smaller had 10. Northwestern out-rebounded the Storm 22-18 in an overall statistically even ball game.
Southeastern (4-7, 2-4 in GAC) visits Harding on Monday.
Northwestern women 45 Southeastern 42
The Savage Storm ladies came into Saturday’s contest against the 1-11 Rangers with an unsullied 5-0 conference mark.
SE held a seven-point lead with 13 minutes left in the second half and watched it slip away in a 45-42 loss to Northwestern, the Storm’s first home loss and first conference loss of the season.
SE holds onto the two-slot in the Great American Conference standings with a 5-1 mark and now 8-4 on the season. A pivotal road game against 13-0 Harding awaits on Monday.
The Storm shot 2-for-13 from three-point range, compared to 5-for-26 from the Rangers. Cheree Kiser hit both of SE’s threes on 2-5 shooting.
Breanna Small-Peppers had 15 points and eight boards for the Storm, Haley Schaefer added nine and Emily Williams collected 11 rebounds to go with four points.
The Rangers led 45-40 with two minutes left, then SE committed a turnover right out of a timeout. NW got an offensive rebound and was able to run the clock down to one minute. Oddly enough, SE out-rebounded the Rangers 49-33.
Small-Peppers hit a pair of free throws with 45 seconds to make the score 45-42, then NW ran the clock down to 15 seconds without a good shot. Small-Peppers’ layup rolled out of the cup and the loose ball went out of the fingertips of a Ranger in the final second.
After a timeout, an in-bounds pass to Kiser gave her a baseline look at a game-tying three with time expiring, but the shot was long.