Southeastern put four players in double-figures, but it was not enough to pick up a win on the road in the season finale, falling at Harding by an 83-69 margin on Saturday afternoon in Searcy, Ark.
The loss drops the Savage Storm to 10-16 overall on the year and 8-12 in Great American Conference play heading into the conference tournament in Bartlesville, Okla., March 7-10.
SE will not have to wait long to get a rubber-match against the Bisons as the two will meet in a rematch in the first game of the GAC tournament at noon on March 7 in a matchup of the No. 3 Seed and No. 6 seed.
Cheree Kiser earned her first start of the season and led the team with 15 points with a 5-of-8 shooting night that included a 3-of-5 mark from three-point range.
Bailey Welch was right behind with 14 points, while Natalie Ruud matched her, with Rood connecting on four three pointers in the game.
Haley Schaefer rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11.
Welch also led the way in assists with five, while Kiser and Taylor Richards each added two.
Schaefer led the squad in rebounds with seven, while Welch and Emily Williams each pitched in five.
Southeastern shot 35.7 percent from the field in the game, but were better from long range, connecting on 10-of-23 three point tries for a 43.5 percent mark.
Harding owned the offensive glass, holding a 15-0 edge in second-chance points on the contest, while also owning large advantages in bench points and points in the paint.
Kiser and Ruud staked SE to a 6-0 lead with back-to-back threes to open the game, but HU answered with a 13-2 run to take a 13-8 lead.
SE would eventually tie the game on a Ruud three with 9:36 to play in the half and regain the lead 30 seconds later on a pair of Welch free throws.
The teams would trade the lead once more before the Bisons again jumped out to a five-point advantage.
This time it was a pair of Ruud free throws and a Welch three that knotted the game at 28-28 with 3:51 to play in the half.
HU, however, would score the final seven points of the half and take a 35-28 lead at halftime.
The deficit would grow to eight points early, but the Storm would rally with a 12-2 run capped by a pair of Welch free throws to tie the game at 40-40.
HU would answer with a bucket, but SE would regain the lead when Schaefer drained her first three of the season with 15:52 to play.
The Bisons would again answer and Schaefer would again put SE back in front, this time with a pair of free throws to make the lead 45-44 with 13:56 to play.
HU would answer with back-to-back bucket and SE would twice tie the game before the Bisons would push their lead to 54-50 with 10:34 to play.
A Kiser three with 7:34 to play would close the gap to 59-58, but that was as close as it would get.
Southeastern would get the deficit to two possessions at 67-62 with 4:07 to play, but the Bisons would finish by outscoring SE 16-10 down the stretch to make the final 83-69.
SEARCY, Ark. – Southeastern got 20 points from Andris Misters, but saw its regular season come to a rocky conclusion on the wrong end of an 85-58 loss to Harding on Saturday afternoon in Searcy, Ark.
The loss drops the Savage Storm to 15-11 on the season and 11-9 in Great American Conference play.
SE finishes in a tie for fourth with Arkansas-Monticello in the final standings, but despite losing the tiebreaker to UAM for seeding purposes will end up with the No. 4 seed due to Northwestern Oklahoma State being ineligible for the tournament. Southeastern will open the tournament with an 8:30 p.m. matchup against Ouachita Baptist on March 8 in Bartlesville, Okla.
Misters finished the night shooting 7-of-12 from the field with a 5-for-5 effort at the line to post 20 points which is his second-best outing of the season.
He was the only Storm player in double-digits as Steven Kohli posted eight points and Quinton Threadgill finished with seven.
Despite turning in his lowest scoring effort of the season with five points, Chris Roussell did hit a career milestone, scoring his 1,000th point with his first jumper in the contest.
Threadgill dished out five assists, but SE struggled from the field with a 35.1 percent shooting night that included a 2-for-11 mark from behind the arc.
Kohli led the way on the glass for SE with seven rebounds, while Roussell chipped in four.
SE held small edges in points off turnovers, 6-5, and second-chance points, 9-4, but the difference was a 56.5 percent-to-35.1 percent shooting differential that included a 12-to-2 advantage in made threes for the Bisons.
The Storm took an early lead out of the gates after back-to-back buckets by Kohli and Mateus Oliveira for the 4-3 advantage.
The teams would trade buckets and SE would again jump ahead 8-6 on a Kohli layup at the 14:28 mark.
HU answered with six-straight points to regain the lead, pushing it to as many as six before the Storm trimmed the deficit back to 26-22 on an Antonio Worthy layup with 4:20 to play in the half.
The Bisons would follow then score the final nine points of the half to put SE in a 35-22 hole at the half.
The second half opened with an HU three and would get no better as it continued.
SE would have some answers early, three times closing the gap to 14 points, the last time coming on an Oliveira layup with 17:13 to play which made the score 43-29.
An 8-2 Bisons run would extend the lead to 20 points, but Roussell’s first bucket of the game would cut the lead back to 18 points.
HU would answer again, and twice more SE would close the deficit to under 20-points, with the last being on a pair of Kohli free throws with 7:46 to play.
From that point on, the Bisons outscored the Storm 17-9 to fashion the 85-58 final.