Perfect home records stay intact for Storm basketball on Wednesday

Perfect home records stay intact for Storm basketball on Wednesday

by Brock Borgeson, Sports Editor

INDIANOLA – Home has been kind for the Simpson men’s and women’s basketball teams this year and that trend continued on Wednesday when the Storm basketball teams improved to a combined 8-0 on the year at home with a doubleheader sweep of Loras.

Women’s Game: Simpson 81, Loras 53

It was all Simpson, all of the way, as the Storm never trailed, breaking a four-game losing streak against Loras. Head coach Brian Niemuth thought it was the best team-defensive performance his squad has turned this year and it showed on the court and in the box score. Simpson’s dogged defense forced 30 turnovers and managed to outscore the Duhawks (9-5, 2-1) 31-7 in points off turnovers.

Loras trailed 25-16 at the 7:24 mark in the second quarter but that was the last they’d see of a single-digit deficit as SImpson finished 17 of 34 from the field in the first half to lead 38-21.

Noreen Morrow was once again was the go-to scorer for Simpson, continuing a breakout sophomore year with a career-high 24 points and five boards.

“She had the skills but she wasn’t in great shape last year but after a year in our program she figured out what it took and got herself where she needed to be,” Niemuth said. “She is a force and gets better every game.”

Maddie Bosworth was Simpson’s only other scorer in double-figures, putting up 14 points in 22 minutes – tied for the most playing time of any Simpson (9-5, 2-1) player as Niemuth played six bench players for at least 12 minutes.

Simpson now has a good chance of making it three-straight and winning a key-tilt game in conference when it hosts Dubuque (5-9, 0-3) at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Men’s Game: Simpson 78, Loras 60

Loras lit-up the Storm last year and have won five-straight in the series but tonight was a different story as Simpson (9-5, 2-1) led wire-to-wire and maintained its 4-0 record at home on the year, getting some help from a larger-than-usual student section.

“It’s really nice to get the students out there going because we’ve been on the road and I think that gave us a little bit of energy around the five minute mark [in the second half],” head coach Brad Bjorkgren said.

Simpson pounced out to an 11-2 lead ignited by two 3-pointers from Ryan Skaar, forcing a Loras timeout and essentially setting the tone for the entire night. Loras managed to get within two at 21-19 midway through the first half although when the Duhawks hit, Simpson responded with a sequence of their own.

Loras (7-7, 2-1) found itself down 36-26 at the break, a deficit they’d float around for most of the second half until a late-game run really put things out of reach.

“I was a little surprised that it ended up being an 18-point victory because everyone is pretty equal in this league,” Bjorkgren said after beating Loras, who downed Buena Vista last weekend after they dispatched of Simpson in the conference opener.

Simpson was simply more energetic and more relentless, outscoring the Duhawks 26-6 in points off the bench, a number that was titled heavily by Sam Amsbaugh’s 21 points. Amsbaugh turned the team-high night despite not being even expected to play on Wednesday.

“It was questionable whether he was going to play tonight,” Bjorkgren said. “About an hour and a half he was running up in Hopper saying I can run, but now I am thinking he was just trying to get out of practice,” Bjorkgren said jokingly.

Skaar had 19 points and Dillon Gretzky had 18, helping quiet the impact of Mirko Grcic’s 25 points for Loras.

Coming Up

After some unexpected outcomes on Wednesday throughout the Iowa Conference, Simpson has a chance to earn a share of first place if they defeat Dubuque and stud-scorer Andre Norris on Saturday. Tip-off is at 4 p.m. back at Cowles.