The Simpsonian

Men’s basketball outscored 45-25 in second half, fall to last place Luther

by Brock Borgeson

INDIANOLA, Iowa – Coming out of the gate, Simpson College men’s basketball was all over Luther College, leading 31-17 going into the half.

Once the whistle was blown to start the second half, all of that changed. Simpson shot 27 percent in the second half as Luther went 12-21 from the field to come away with a 62-56 win at Cowles Fieldhouse Wednesday night.

“We just had a lack of discipline to continue doing what we did in the first half,” head coach Charles Zanders said. “I can’t tell you how many shots we didn’t make. Putting the ball in the hole has been an ongoing problem all year.”

From the 18:01 mark in the second half, Luther (5-11, 1-4) began a 18-3 run that eventually gave them the lead at the 9:48 mark on a pair of free throws by Leyton Bohr.

Simpson (6-10, 1-4) would eventually regain the lead on a pair of Cody Isable layups although after coughing it up again at the 5:24 mark, Luther never let go.

Luther would ward off a pair of last minute 3-pointers from Charles Swain and Austin Turner that initially brought within two at 56-58 with only 10 seconds to play.

Nathan Meyer and Jake Martin, who infished with a game-high 14,  would then seal with deal on a pair of free throws apiece as the Norse hung on for their first conference win of the season.

“It’s just frustrating that we can’t put 40 minutes of basketball together on the floor through one game right now,” Zanders said.

Despite leading the way in scoring on the night for Simpson with 12 points, Swain only went 4-17 from the floor in 32 minutes.

Austin Turner scored 11 and DJ Dafney scored six to go along with five rebounds and three steals as he played a full 38 minutes.

But one of the brightest points of the night came from freshman Sam Amsbaugh who starting in place of sophomore Cort Singleton.

Amsbaugh would produce 11 points, seven boards, three assists, one steal and one block.

“One of the bright spots tonight was Amsbaugh,” Zanders said. “He got the call because we saw that it was a better personnel matchup with their big man, Jake Martin. It proved to be a good move.”

Unfortunately, due to a left shoulder injury, Leif Olson wasn’t able to Amsbaugh up as Simpson’s other two main post players in Singleton and Vaughn Wilson generated zero points in only seven minutes.

After the game, Zanders expressed a dire need for some more of his players to step up and put the ball through the basket.

A simple desire, but one the Storm desperately need as they battle through the rest of the season without Tyler Anderson and Chad Gutschenritter.

At 1-4 in the IIAC, Simpson tied with Luther within conference play as they look ahead to a 4 p.m. matchup with the University of Dubuque in Dubuque on Saturday, Jan. 24.

Dubuque (13-3, 3-2) sits at third place in the conference behind Coe and Buena Vista as the Storm look to avenge their two losses to the Spartans last season.

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