DURANT, Okla. — James Harris came off the bench and went off for a season-high 25 points to spur Southeastern to a 62-47 win over Arkansas Tech on Thursday night in the conference home opener in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.
The win lifts the Savage Storm to 6-3 overall on the season and 2-1 in Great American Conference play as they welcome Harding to town on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.
Harris’ 25 points matches the second-best effort by any scorer for the Storm this season and his eight three pointers is one shy of Jason Stampley’s school record of nine set in 2007.
He shot 66.7 percent from the field overall and 72.7 percent from long range and chipped in three rebounds and one assist in 29 minutes of work.
Andris Misters and Chris Roussell each added double-digit outings with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Mateus Oliveira led the way in rebounds with 10, while Roussell and Steven Kohli each added eight.
Misters dished out a game-high six assists while Roussell was right behind with four.
Southeastern turned the game around in the second half, hitting 42.9 percent from the field and 72.7 percent from behind the arc, while holding the Wonder Boys to a paltry 23.1 percent from the field and 15.7 percent from long range.
The Storm also limited turnovers, finishing with eight as the teams put two of the best zone defenses on the floor.
Both teams shot better from distance than they did from the floor in general, with ATU hitting 38.9 percent from behind the arc for the game and just 32.7 percent overall, while SE was 38.6 from the field and 50.0 from long range.
Points in the paint were even for the teams, but Southeastern held the edge everywhere else with a19-9 lead in points off turnovers, a 12-6 advantage in second chance points and thanks to Harris’ outing they held a 25-18 lead in bench points.
It was a Kohli three that opened the game and less than a minute later an Oliveira layup gave SE a 5-0 lead early.
The edge would later grow to 10-3 on a Roussell leyup, but a 10-0 ATU run would erase that lead and leave the Storm trialing 11-10 at the 14:10 mark.
The teams would trade the lead back and forth until the Wonder Boys used an 8-0 run to take a 23-16 lead with 6:24 to play in the half.
They would hit that seven-point cushion twice more over the next two minutes before SE would score the final five points of the half to head to the locker room trailing 29-27.
ATU hit the first six points of the second half and led by a game-high eight points nearly four minute in before Oliveira answered with a jumper to stop the bleeding.
The Storm would whittle away at the deficit for the next seven minutes until a Harris three pointer fell with 9:05 to play to give SE a 44-42 lead.
Roussell would follow suit with a three of his own on the next possession to make the lead five points.
The Wonder Boys would answer with a three of their own, but another Roussell three at the 5:57 mark spurred a 15-0 run that gave SE a commanding 62-45 lead with 1:13 to play after a Harris free throw, his only point of the night not to come by way of a three.
ATU would add a pair of late free throws to fashion the 62-47 final score.