Chris Roussell’s late three pointer helped protect home court in a Saturday 82-78 win for the Savage Storm over Southern Nazarene.
Roussell led the team with 21 points on 7-12 shooting, as well as seven boards, in Southeastern’s eighth home win this season in as many tries. But it was his dagger-like downtown shot in the final moments of a tie ballgame which punctuated the win.
“When we got down to the last two minutes, we were able to take care of the ball and find Chris who makes the big three,” said Southeastern Coach Kelly Green. “We were able to somehow squeak it out.”
Mateus Oliveira scored 15, Steven Kohli had 14, eight boards and three blocks, and Travis Timmons added 13 and six assists. Andris Misters hadan all-around game with eight points and seven assists to overcome a team-high six turnovers.
Southeastern actually lost the rebound battle to the Crimson Storm 36-32, mainly on the offensive end 13-6.
“In the first half, (Southern Nazarene) got 11 offensive rebounds and they were killing us with quickness,” Green said. “In the second half we only gave up two, but the bad news is they shot the ball better.”
The good news: Both teams shot better in the second half, and Southeastern was able to hang around after taking an early 10-2 lead and up 39-36 at the half.
Southern Nazarene (9-7, 4-6 in the GAC) actually took a slim lead early in the second half before the Savage Storm were able to shut the door. SNU’s Ryan Aaron turned in a 30-point game on the losing side.
Southeastern is now 10-5 on the season with a 6-3 mark in the conference, which puts them in a three-way tie for second with Southwestern and Arkansas Tech. The Savage Storm will have two road games this week: at East Central (5-10) this Thursday and at Arkansas Tech on Saturday.
Southeastern women 77 Southern Nazarene 67
The Savage Storm ladies built a 25-point second half lead - which the Crimson Storm whittled to seven in the final minute - relying on late free throws to take a 77-67 home win on Saturday.
Emily Williams went 7-for-12 from the field (and 5-6 at the charity stripe) to lead the Savage Storm with 19 points. Haley Schaefer added 15, Bailey Welch had 12 points and eight assists, and Ronay English had seven for Southeastern.
The Savage Storm held serve in the first half as the sizable Southern Nazarene lineup rebounded at will but struggled in shooting. A late first half run gave Southeastern a 40-29 halftime lead, then a 17-3 run gave the home team its largest lead.
But Southern Nazarene (8-8, 5-5 GAC) actually won the second period 38-37. The Crimson Storm outrebounded Southeastern 48-35, took all six blocked shots in the game, and even led 20-18 in assists.
The statistical difference was 49.2 percent shooting (30-61) by Southeastern compared to 37.5 percent for SNU on 27-of-72 shots. Also, the Savage Storm inexplicably doubled up the bigger SNU lineup on points in the paint, 50-24.
Southeastern is now 6-9 this season with a 4-5 conference mark. They will head to the road this week with games against ECU (12-3) on Thursday and Arkansas Tech (9-5) on Saturday.