Southeastern (21-9) saw its most successful season since 2001-02 come to an end at the NCAA Division II South Central Shootout with a dramatic 68-66 loss to Central Oklahoma (26-5) in the opening round contest on Friday afternoon in Canyon, Texas.
“It was a physical game,” said head coach Darin Grover, “Both teams fought hard, but there were too many turnovers.”
The Savage Storm recovered from a slow start and a double-digit first half deficit to take a lead in the second half and get a late bucket to force overtime.
In the overtime session, SE got on the board first on a Jasmine Hughey layup and took a 66-62 lead after Destiny brown converted a layup with 3:15 to play.
UCO responded, however, with the last six points in the contest, including a Christina Yarbrough layup with two seconds on the clock.
“We just didn’t get too many good shot opportunities in overtime,” said Grover, “But I’m proud of my kids for fighting back after being down six at halftime.”
Brown poured in a monster game in the loss, posting 21 points and completing her 19th double-double of the season by racking up 18 rebounds.
Ashley Tucker closed her senior campaign with 12 points, while Kacey Russell chipped in double figures with 10 points.
Channing Gann also brought to an end her playing career, scoring three points and dishing out a team-high four assists.
Turnovers got the better of the Storm for the contest, committing 27 which The Bronchos turned into 23 points.
SE did recover from a 32.1 percent shooting first half to shoot 46.7 percent in the second half.
The Storm also hit 10 three pointers in the contest, which is the most a Southeastern team has made in the NCAA postseason.
UCO got on the board first and the teams traded buckets until the Bronchos got an 8-0 run to push its lead to 10-3 early in the first half.
A Russell three pointer would answer, but UCO would get going again and push its lead to the largest for either team in the game at 19-8 with 13:10 to play in the half.
SE trimmed the deficit down to four points following another Russell three, but the Bronchos again answered with a run to push the lead out to 10 points with less than three to play in the half.
An Ali Stone tipin and a pair of Brown free throws, however, trimmed the halftime deficit to 34-28.
In the second frame, SE methodically chipped away at the Broncho lead, closing it to one point on a Jasmine Hughey three-pointer, and taking their first lead since the 17:56 mark of the first half on a Hughey layup with 14:43 to play, making the score 44-43.
After trading buckets, UCO would again push its lead out to six points at 60-54, but SE outscored the Bronchos, 8-2, in the final 4:24, not the least of which was an Elizabeth dean jumper to tie the game with two second to play in regulation.