Texas A&M University-Commerce took a comfortable 11-point lead into the halftime break, but Southeastern Oklahoma fought its way back in the second half as the Lions' late rally came up short in an 85-83 loss at Bloomer Sullivan Arena.
A&M-Commerce falls to 0-3 on the season while the Savage Storm notch a victory in their season opener, sitting at 1-0.
Senior Breanna Harris had another stellar performance for A&M-Commerce, notching yet another double-double with 19 points and 19 rebounds on the night, including nine offensive boards. It is the 28th double-double of her career and her second in three games.
Senior Shanekqua Bibbs and junior Devin Oliver each finished the night with 13 points and six rebounds while senior Danielle Dixon and sophomore Aubree Butts each posted 10 points in the loss. Sophomore Symone Brown added eight points and eight rebounds as well for the Lions.
A&M-Commerce shot just 36.0 percent from the floor on the night, compared to 45.7 percent for the Savage Storm. The Lions once again dominated the rebounding statistics, pulling down 63 boards--including 30 offensive--compared to just 48 for Southeastern Oklahoma.
Seeking its first win of the 2013-14 season, A&M-Commerce went head-to-head with Southeastern Oklahoma early as the teams combined for one tie and six lead changes through the opening 10 minutes of the first half.
Trailing 30-22 with 8:16 remaining in the opening stanza, A&M-Commerce controlled the tempo in the final minutes of the first half. Over the final eight minutes, the Lions outscored the Savage Storm 28-9, including a 14-4 spurt that lasted five minutes, taking a commanding 50-39 lead into halftime. Harris had already reached her double-double, logging 15 points with 10 rebounds in the first half.
But as the second half got underway, Southeastern Oklahoma went on a run of its own, outscoring the Lions 15-3 over the first four minutes to reclaim the lead at 54-53, setting up a back and forth battle down the stretch in the second half.
Over the final 15 minutes, A&M-Commerce and Southeastern Oklahoma had five ties and eight lead changes as neither team was able to pull away from the other. The largest lead either team enjoyed was by a slim three-point cushion, with the Lions building a 75-72 lead with 4:29 remaining.
The Savage Storm used a 7-2 run to regain the lead at 79-77 with 2:47 remaining, and it was a lead it would never relinquish. The Lions were able to tie the game one last time at 79-79 with 2:16 to go off a pair of free throws by Harris, only to see Southeastern reel off five straight to take an 84-79 lead with 1:29 to go.
Dixon did her best to will the Lions back into the game, hitting back-to-back layups in the final minute to trim the lead to 84-83. After the Savage Storm hit one of two free throws in the waning seconds to take an 85-83 lead, Dixon put up a potential game-winning three pointer as the buzzer sounded, but the shot was no good.
Breanna Small-Peppers led the way for Southeastern Oklahoma with 18 points and 16 rebounds while Cheree Kiser added 20 points for the Savage Storm.
A&M-Commerce will be back in action this Thursday, taking to the court at the Field House for the first time in 2013-14. The Lions host the Dustdevils of Texas A&M International as the opening tip is set for 5:30 p.m.
Southeastern Oklahoma 85, A&M-Commerce 83
Bloomer Sullivan Arena • Durant, Okla. • Tuesday, Nov. 12
Records: A&M-Commerce (0-3); Southeastern Oklahoma (1-0)
Up Next: vs. Texas A&M International • Thursday, Nov. 14 • 5:30 p.m.