INDIANOLA, Iowa – The Simpson College women’s basketball team came back from 18-point deficit, leading with as little as three seconds left in regulation before a Kaitlin Phillips buzzer-beating 3-pointer forced the game into overtime, resulting in a 70-65 win for Loras College Saturday.
After Saturday’s senior day loss to the Duhawks and with a Wartburg College win over Central College, Simpson will slide into the six seed in the IIAC Tournament, placing them in a first round matchup with Coe College.
Tip-off will be 7 p.m. in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday night as Simpson looks to end a two-game skid against the Kohawks.
Loras (15-10, 9-5) came out of the gates hot, jumping out to a 8-0 lead to begin the game riding a 13-point first half performance from Lori Obendorf to take a commanding 39-23 lead into the half.
The Duhawks would lead by as many as 18, up 43-25 at the 18:44 mark in the second half. At that point Simpson (16-9, 6-8) went on a 16-0 run to get within two points.
The Storm would eventually take their first lead on a Whitney Van Wyk 3-point field goal at the 8:57 mark, putting them up 48-47.
Simpson held the lead for another seven minute until two Victoria May free throws brought Loras the 56-55 lead with 2:02 remaining.
Neither team scored for the next 1:40, until Annie Gullickson got a 17-foot jumper to roll in, giving Simpson the 57-56 lead on what seemed to be the game-winning shot.
After a Brittany Hedrick block on the ensuing Loras possession, Van Wyk hit two free throws to put Simpson up 59-56.
Out of the timeout, Loras’ Phillips went coast-to-coast, rising up and draining the game-tying 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to send the game into overtime.
Loras scored first in the overtime period although a Maddie Bosworth jumper gave Simpson a 63-62 lead with 1:47 left in overtime.
Britney Boland extended Simpson’s lead to three with two free throws but once again the Duhawks proved to be resilient, getting an Obendorf layup and six free throws to ice the game away, 70-65.
Boland had a team-high 13 points, Van Wyk added 11 and Bosworth contributed 10 off the bench.
Gullickson and Katie Ahrenholtz both added eight off the bench as well.
Once again Simpson was hurt on the boards and in the paint, being outrebounded 47-30 and outscored down low, 38-20.
Tuesday night will be the first time Simpson will not host a first or second round game in the IIAC Tournament’s 16-year history.
Simpson honored senior player Alyse Messa, student coach Brooke Niemuth, and team manager Nora Weaver.