Southeastern men hang on to beat Henderson State 85-80
Via Southeastern Oklahoma State University Sports Communications
DURANT, Okla. - Five players reached double-figures and Southeastern held off a late charge to pick up a big 85-80 win over Henderson State on Thursday night in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.
The win lifts the Savage Storm to 18-5 overall on the season and 13-4 in Great American Conference play heading into a Saturday afternoon matchup with Ouachita Baptist set for 3 p.m.
"I think it was the most critical thing," said head coach Kelly Green about the team's quick start. "You don't have that, you're playing even from the beginning. We got out, we got the ball moving. We got a couple stops and we got it out in transition and got the floor spaced. It seemed like we never could quite get that to happen again. I know we talked about it at halftime. They were scoring the ball, and when they scored the ball it made it hard for us to get out and go in transition."
Adam Dworsky led the way with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting with a pair of threes while adding four rebounds and swiping three steals.
Ante Brzovic was right on his heels with 19 points and was just short of a double-double with eight rebounds.
Bobby Johnson shot 60.0 percent from the field and finished with 17 points and posted a game-high three blocked shots.
Kellen Manek followed with 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting with a pair of threes and seven rebounds, while Jett Sternberger rounded out the group with 11 points, finishing 6-of-6 at the free throw line.
The Storm shot 50.9 percent overall for the game, but hit just 26.9 percent form beyond the arc.
SE started out on fire with an 11-0 run that featured a pair of Manek threes and saw the Storm take control early.
HSU would finally get on the board with a three, but the Storm would continue to push and eventually take a 19-5 lead on a Sternberger three with 14:00 to play in the first half.
The Reddies would close the gap to eight points by the 10:42 mark and would get it to single digits again with 5:19 to play in the half.
Manek would answer that with a pair of free throws as Southeastern score eight-straight points capped by a Brzovic layup to take its largest lead at 46-29 with 3:04 remaining in the first.
HSU would close the half on an 11-2 run and the Storm would take a 49-37 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Within the first 1:35 of the second half, SE had pushed its lead back to 16 points following a Johnson bucket.
The Reddies chipped away and would cut the Storm advantage to 10 points three times by the 14:12 mark, and would ultimately close to 60-51 with 12:35 remaining.
SE would get an answer to that, but HSU would continue to push, this time closing the gap to eight points twice before a 7-2 spurt would give the Storm a 73-60 lead following a Brzovic three.
Southeastern would maintain a double-digit advantage until the 2:23 mark following a pair of Sternberger free throws before a 9-2 run by the Reddies would make the game as close as it had been since the opening minutes, getting to within 81-77 with 20 seconds to play.
Sternberger would hit a pair of free throws and after HSU would come up empty on its next possession, Dworsky would hit two more to give the Storm an eight point lead with nine seconds to play.
Henderson State would hit a three just before the buzzer to cut Southeastern final winning margin to 85-80.