INDIANOLA, Iowa – Going into Wednesday night’s matchup between Simpson and Central College, the Storm women’s basketball team had won 26 straight games in the series.
Things were no different Wednesday at Cowles Fieldhouse as Simpson continued their dominance of the Dutch, winning 70-46 to improve to 52-30 all-time against Central.
“I thought we played really well in the first half,” head coach Brian Niemuth said. “We came out focused and with a lot of energy. I thought it was the best we’ve played in a while.”
Simpson hit their first three field goals of the game to jump out to a quick 7-0 lead, a indication as to how the game would go the rest of the way.
The Storm would go on to force 18 Dutch turnovers in the first half as Rachel Kaale scored 13 in 11 first half minutes giving Simpson a 49-15 lead at the half.
“I think we’ve gotten away from being able to force turnovers and create offense off of our defense, and today we did a lot better job with that,” Niemuth said.
Niemuth went to the bench early and often in the second half, giving minutes to 14 different players with the luxurious lead the Storm enjoyed.
Central (9-9, 0-7) would outscore Simpson (14-4, 4-3) in the second half, although it was not nearly enough to overcome a huge first half hole.
Kaale only played another six minutes in the second half as she finished with a game-high 16 points, tearing up the Dutch in the paint.
“Rachel played a great game and it showed tonight.”
The Storm showed diversity in scoring again as Britney Boland added 10 points and six rebounds as MacKenzie scored 14 points on 6-10 from the field to go along with a gaudy five steals.
“I think our diversity allows us to play different combinations depending on what our players’ abilities are,” Niemuth said.
Simpson stymied a Central offense that was without leading scorer, Rachel Evans, who has been out of action since Jan. 7 with a leg injury.
Central was lead by Savanna Thornton who scored 12 points although together, the Dutch shot only 32.6 percent, while turning the ball over 23 times.
This was the first time in conference play this season that Simpson has outrebounded their opponent. Simpson won the battle on the boards, 37-27, a big contributor to their success Wednesday.
With the win, the Storm move to 4-3 in conference, remaining all-alone for fifth place in the IIAC.
Central is still looking for their first conference win as they dwell at 0-7 in the IIAC.
Next up for the Storm is Wartburg College on Saturday, Jan. 31 back at Cowles Fieldhouse.
The two teams will tip-off at 2 p.m. as the Storm look to knock Wartburg off for the second time this year after winning 77-70 in Waverly back on Jan. 17.
“I’d like to get a winning streak going, but it’s always tough to do that in this conference,” Niemuth said. “Wartburg has some good young players and their posts scare me. We are going to have to come out with a strong defensive effort against them”