Despite building a halftime lead and going up by as many as eight in the second half, Southeastern saw rival East Central outscore the Savage Storm 45-27 in the second half to hand SE a 74-60 loss on Thursday night in Ada.
The loss drops the Storm to 8-10 overall on the year and 4-6 in Great American Conference play heading into a Jan. 26 matchup with Southern Nazarene in Bloomer Sullivan Arena at 7:30 p.m.
Taylor Smaller and Darius Harris paced the Storm offense with 17 points each.
Smaller used five threes to reach his total, and Harris went 7-of-12 from the field with a pair of threes.
Antonio Worthy turned in 10 points in the effort while also leading the team in rebounds with nine.
Harris added seven boards as did Sami Bzai.
Smaller and Harris each dished out three assists.
The Storm shot 35.5 percent for the game due to a rough second half in which they shot 29.4 percent.
Conversely the Tigers hit 47.1 percent from the field on the night.
Another factor came on the free throw line where SE was 7-of-9 while ECU hit 17-of-22, with all 22 attempts coming in the second half.
The Tigers jumped to an early lead, but by the 15:30 mark the Storm would take its first lead on a Bzai three.
Southeastern would push that early lead out to five points before ECU would put together a run of its own to regain the lead and go up 27-21 with 5:15 to go in the half.
A Smaller three would then kick off a 12-2 run by the Storm to end the half, punctuated by a Bzai three-point play with 18 seconds left to make the score 29-27 at halftime.
Quinton Threadgill opened the second half with a three and Harris would add one near the 18 minute mark to give SE its largest lead of the game at 39-31.
The Tigers would then put together a 20-6 run to mount a 51-45 lead at the 8:32 mark.
The Storm would try to answer, but ECU would stretch its lead to 10 points by the 6:05 mark.
Back-to-back buckets from Worthy and Harris would cut the deficit back to 59-53 with 5:15 to play, but that was as close as it would get as the Tigers would outscore the Storm 15-7 over the final five minutes to fashion the 74-60 final score.