ECU women top Southeastern, 56-53

Southeastern had a season-worst performance from behind the arc and was unable to snap its losing streak as it extended to four games with a 56-53 loss to rival East Central on Thursday night in Ada, Okla.

The loss drops the Savage Storm to 12-6 overall on the year and 5-5 in Great American Conference play heading into a return home on Jan. 26 to face Southern Nazarene at 5:30 in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.

SE led at the half 29-27, but trailed for much of the second half, battling back to a 53-53 tie on an Emily Williams layup with 33 seconds to play.

ECU's Janee Garza would go to the free throw line with 10 seconds remaining and hit a pair of free throws to put the Tigers up, and on the offensive end Emem David would draw a foul and head to the line with four seconds left.

She was off the mark on her first and the Storm was unable to corral the board on the second. ECU would add one more free throw to set the 56-53 final.

Williams scored nearly half of Southeastern's points as she turned in 23 with the aid of a 12-of-15 performance at the charity stripe. It's her fifth 20-plus point game of the season.

She also added 10 rebounds to convert her sixth double-double of the year.

Kaylie Baxter chipped in nine points and six rebounds.

Southeastern held a 40-to-36 edge on the glass, but offensively the Storm never found its stride while shooting 34.8 percent from the field and a season-worst 14.3 percent from behind the arc, hitting 2-of-14.

SE led for nearly the entire first half, pushing out ahead by as many as 10 points at 15-5 with 11:03 to play in the half on a Madison Thames bucket.

ECU would rally and eventually take a pair of one-point leads before Williams hit a pair of threes and followed them up with her only three of the night to give the Storm a 29-25 lead with 1:23 remaining.

The Tigers would score the final bucket of the half and Southeastern would take a 29-27 lead into the locker room at halftime.

ECU scored the first two buckets of the second half and the teams would tie three times and the Tigers holding onto the lead until Thames and Williams hit layups on back-to-back possessions to go ahead 39-38.

That would be SE's last lead as ECU would regain the advantage and lead by as many as six points before the Storm rallied to tie the game at 53-53.