Southeastern put five players in double figures and erased a double-digit halftime deficit to pull out an 85-83 win over Texas A&M-Commerce in the 2013-14 season opener on Tuesday night in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.
The win gets the Savage Storm off to a 1-0 start for the fifth time in the last six seasons as the team will next pack up and head to Wichita Falls, Texas for the Comfort Inn Presents Ashbrook Classic hosted by Midwestern State, with SE facing Texas-Permian Basin on Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. and MSU at 8 p.m. on Nov. 16.
Cheree Kiser picked up her offense where she left off last season, dropping a game-high 20 points off the bench on 6-of-14 shooting with three three-point buckets and a 5-for-5 mark from the free throw line.
Breana Small-Peppers was right behind her with a 19 point outing, while completing the double-double with a team-high 16 rebounds.
Ronay English turned in 13 points, while Haley Schaefer added 12 and Emily Williams dropped in 10.
SE out-shot the Lions 45.7 percent-to-36.0 percent, thanks in large part to a 53.1 percent effort in the second half.
Small-Peppers' 16 rebounds led the Storm on the glass, while Williams turned in seven rebounds and the duo of Kiser and Shelby Hill each added five.
Southeastern had a rough time on the glass as a team, however, as A&M-Commerce held a 63-to-48 edge on the glass, mostly by owning their offensive boards with 30 on the night.
Taylor Richards dished out a team-best five assists in the effort, while Williams and Kiser each added four and the Storm held a 21-to-16 edge in helpers.
The Lions led in the specialty stats, holding a 27-7 edge in second chance points to go with slight advantages in points off turnovers and points in the paint.
Threes by English and Kaylie Baxter put SE out in front 6-0 out of the gate, and the Storm would hold the advantage until the 14:26 mark when a Shanekqua Bibbs three gave A&M-C its first lead of the night.
Southeastern would eventually regain the lead and use a 9-0 run capped by an English jumper to push the lead out to eight points at 30-22.
The Lions, however would answer with a 22-2 run to put SE in a 44-32 hole with 3:38 to play in the half, and the Storm would trail 50-39 at the break.
English hit the first shot of the second half and cued a 15-3 run that turned a double-digit halftime deficit into a 54-53 lead by the 16:21 mark of the second half.
The teams traded the lead back and forth for the entire second half, with SE finally pushing its lead to 84-79 with 1:29 to play after a Schaefer free throw.
A&M-C would score back-t-back buckets to shrink the Storm advantage to one point with 42 seconds left.
Small-Peppers would hit a free throw with five seconds to play to make the score 85-83, and a last-ditch three by the Lions would rim out and SE would hang on for the victory.