Second half push gives women’s basketball win over Mt. Mercy in home opener

by Brock Borgeson

INDIANOLA, Iowa – Women’s basketball outscored the Mt. Mercy College Mustangs, 50-30 in the second half as Simpson College went on to a 77-61 victory in their home opener Tuesday.

Junior guard, MacKenzie Haupt lead the Storm with 17 points as Simpson (4-1) had their fifth different player lead in scoring in five games.

“I think it can be different player every night,” head coach Brian Niemuth said. “It makes it really hard for the other team to pick out and scout because we have the ability for other players to step-up.”

Mt. Mercy (5-3) hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the half to give the Mustangs a 31-27 lead going into the break.

“We did not come out with any intensity at all on Tuesday,” Haupt said. “We talked about increasing our effort at halftime, and in the second half we let our defense control our offense and we are a better team when we do that.”

Tied at 49-49 with 6:40 remaining the game, Simpson went on a 12-0 run that the Storm never turned back from.

From there, Simpson began a free throw parade, putting the Mustangs away from the free throw line, closing out the game on a 28-12 run.

Eight rebounds and five blocks from Brittney Boland was much of why the Storm were able to kick up the defensive intensity in the second half.

Freshman Rachel Kaale continued to play a big role in the Storm offense, adding 12 points and five rebounds in 21 minutes.

Maddie Bosworth knocked down 8-9 from the charity stripe, finishing with 10 points as a well-balanced attack was able to ward off a 23-point and 11 rebound performance from Mt. Mercy’s, Abby Herb as the Mustang’s two-game win streak came to a close.

Simpson got minutes from 14 different players as the Storm continued to flex their muscles in the depth department, while also giving some experience to players in preparation for the conference season.

“Our depth is coming along and I like how deep we can go into our rotation,” Niemuth said. “The more minutes we those younger players now the better off we’ll be later in conference.”

Although the Storm won’t play at home again until 2015, they are glad to get off to a good start on their homefloor.

“It was just great to get that first win at home and it makes me that much more excited for the rest of the season,” Haupt said.

The Storm will continue to prime themselves for the conference season as they head to Storm Lake for the Buena Vista University Classic this Friday and Saturday.

Simpson will Macalester College on Friday with tip-off slated for 5 p.m.