ST. PAUL, Minn. – After trailing 30-24, the men’s basketball team outscored North Central University 45-29 in the second half en route to a 69-59 victory.
“We executed our plan perfectly with our inside and outside presence and our guards knocked down shots when they needed to,” head coach Charles Zanders said.
After leading the team in scoring last night, senior Charles Swain went 4-8 from behind the arc as he lead all scorers with 20 points, 17 of which came in the second half.
North Central University (0-2) went on a 20-8 run to finish the first half with the help of Travis Voigt and Luke Chafin who both finished with 15 points apiece.
Simpson (3-1) shot 62.5 percent from the floor in the second half as the Storm turned the game around whereas the Eagles floundered, shooting only 28.6 percent from floor.
Cort Singleton’s presence down low kept the Eagles at bay as he swatted away nine shots, helping ease the temporary loss of Tyler Anderson and Cody Isabel in the post.
“Cort was throwing things out of here left,” said Zanders “He was doing a good job defensively and that’s one of the reasons we recruited him. I was really pleased with our defensive effort as a whole.”
Junior Chad Gutschenritter finished with a season-high 14 points after knocking down three pointers within the first five minutes of play to give Simpson the early lead.
In replacement of the injured Tyler Anderson, DJ Dafney earned his third start of the season, coming through with a quietly effective game. Dafney had five points, four rebounds, four assists and one steal.
“DJ has a lot of athletic attributes,” Zanders said. “And he’s only going to continue to grow and improve and has helped in the absence of Tyler.”
Despite the team’s two weekend wins, Zanders admits that his team is still not where it needs to be in rebounding and on the defensive end.
Zanders has been pleased with how the guys have responded in the absence of Isabel and Anderson, commenting that they have stepped up to the plate as a team.
“We aren’t blowing anybody away on the boards and I’d like to be able to dominate in that category,” Zanders said. “We are very close to being 4-0 but we aren’t where we want to be but guys are understanding the next man up mentality and that winning has to be done as a unit.”
Men’s basketball will have a chance to extend their winning streak to three games as they head to Oskaloosa to face a tough William Penn team this Tuesday at 7 p.m.