Matt Thomas, Sports Information Director
DURANT – No. 21 Southeastern got 54 combined points from Katie Webb and Kamryn Cantwell and shot 57.1 percent as a team to pick up an 83-75 victory over Southern Arkansas on Saturday afternoon, earning head coach Darin Grover his 300th career victory.
The win is the fifth in-a-row for the Savage Storm who improve to 10-2 overall on the season and 7-1 in Great American Conference play heading into a Jan. 16 matchup with rival East Central at 5:30 p.m. in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.
“A hard-fought win,” Grover said. “I’ve had some roller-coasters, but that game felt like it lasted forever.”
“If you can break their press and handle their pressure once we get to the front court. You can go get layups. Especially if you have people like Kamryn and Katie going and getting to the rim. We only shot eight threes because we told them you have to attack the basket, you have to attack the basket. And they’ll give that to you so you just can’t let them scare you out of the ball. That’s what they’re trying to do is scare you out of the ball and they succeeded many times tonight.
“The good thing is, I feel we can play a whole lot better and not turn it over so many times, especially in bad spots.”
Grover started his coaching career with a 77-18 record as the coach at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, and on Saturday reached number 300 by picking up his 223rd win at Southeastern. The win improves his lifetime record to 300-198.
He wasn’t the only one celebrating a milestone as Webb scored 28 points to lead all scorers and lift herself to third on Southeastern’s career scoring list, passing Mouziane Deeb and bringing her career point total to 1,337, which leaves her 111 points behind Jessica Hocker who is in second place with 1,448 points.
Webb also completed her second-straight double-double with 11 rebounds while handing out four assists.
Cantwell followed with 26 points on the day and added a team-high five assists while pulling down six rebounds and snagging two steals.
Katie Branam came off the bench to turn in 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
Briley Moon and Chandler Kemp each also added six rebounds as the Storm held a 36-to-31 edge on the boards for the game.
SE shot 57.1 percent for the game, lifting its efforts in the second and fourth quarters, shooting 66.7 and 77.8 percent in those frames, respectively.
After a scoreless opening 2:26, Moon would get the Storm started with a layup and a three on consecutive possessions before Cantwell tacked on a three of her own to open with an 8-0 run.
The lead would grow to 11 points at 14-3 on a Branam bucket with 3:35 to go in the first, but SAU would close out the quarter on an 11-2 run to cut the SE lead to 16-14 after one quarter.
The Muleriders would tie the game at 29-29 with 3:59 to play in the second quarter, but the Storm answered with a 7-0 run capped by a Cantwell bucket to make the score 36-29 with 2:54 to play in the half.
The SE lead would reach 10 points twice over the final two minutes before taking a 42-35 lead to the halftime break.
A 7-2 run by SAU to open the second half cut the Storm edge to 44-42 less than two minutes in, but SE would answer right back with an 8-0 run capped by a Webb jumper to extend the lead back to double-digits with 5:46 to play in the third.
The Muleriders would slowly chip away over the final minutes of the third quarter before a late run cut the Storm advantage to 57-53 heading to the fourth quarter.
SAU would stay withing two possessions over the first half of the final quarter, closing the gap to 66-64 with 5:21 to play.
Southeastern would stop the run and slowly build a lead, reaching 81-71 with 1:50 to play on a Branam three and holding on for an 83-75 victory.