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DJ Henderson connected on eight threes, including a late dagger with seven seconds to play, and finished with 24 points to lift Southeastern to a 90-86 win over Arkansas Tech on Thursday night in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.
The win lifts the Savage Storm to 8-2 overall and 4-2 in Great American Conference play heading into a matchup today with Harding at 3 p.m., also in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.
“I thought we stayed the course tonight,” said head coach Kelly Green. “Defensively I thought we were actually pretty good at times. They do such a good job of spreading the floor and they swing the ball really well. They got to the basket on us a couple of times and those are the things we didn’t want them to do. We knew they were going to make some tough threes, but when they got to the paint on us that’s when they hurt us.”
Henderson finished the night hitting 8-of-11 from three-point range to turn in 24 points to lead the Storm scoring effort.
“DJ Spends a lot of time in the gym shooting the ball,” said Green. “He spends a lot of time taking care of his body. Where he’s really gotten better this year is we count on him to defend other team’s point guards a lot of times and he’s really gotten better at defending ball screens. When he’s doing that he’s important to our team because he stays moving. He’s moving on defense and that translates into him moving on offense. We just kept talking to him about catch and shoot.”
Kellen Manek turned in his own 20-point effort, finishing the night with 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field with a pair of threes.
Kevin Buckingham was next in line with 17 points while Kayo Goncalves came off the bench to turn in 12 with a pair of threes.
SE finished the night hitting 15 threes and shooting 42.9 percent from long range as a team, while posting a 46.6 percent effort overall from the floor.
The Storm finished the contest with 18 assists in the fats-moving contest, led by seven from Jett Jobe and six from Adam Dworsky.
Buckingham led the way on the glass for SE with eight boards, while Manek, Henderson and Jobe each hauled in six.
In a contest that featured 32 lead changes and 12 ties it was a stretch over the final minute when the lead did not change hands that may have been the most exciting.
After a Buckingham layup put SE in front 87-81 with 1:08 to play, the Wonder Boys would get a bucket from RJ Glasper at the 59 second mark to cut the lead to 87-83.
After a pair of rare free throw misses from Jobe with 49 ticks remaining, ATU’s Will Adler would connect on a three to cut the Storm lead to a precarious 87-86 advantage with 39 seconds to go.
Southeastern would come down and milk the shot clock before Henderson hit perhaps his biggest shot of the night, draining a corner three with seven seconds to play to put SE up 90-86 which would hold to be the final.
The Storm led by as many as eight points late in the second half on a Manek three with 2:35 to play before the Wonder Boy rally nearly erased that edge.
That would cap a 10-0 run that erased a deficit and put SE in front for good.
Southeastern took a 49-47 lead into the half and over the first 12:37 of the second half prior to that run the teams would combine for 10 lead changes and four ties with the lead only twice reaching two possessions.
The first half was just as back-and-forth with the Storm finally putting together a 7-0 to take a 29-23 lead with 9:03 to play in the half, with the six-point lead being the largest of the first half by any team before it was whittled down to the 49-47 halftime advantage.
From Southeastern Athletics.