Storm clinch IIAC title early with 67-59 win at Wartburg

by Brett Crable and Zach James

Suspense always seemed to find Simpson’s women’s basketball team when the end of the season drew near. Not in 2013. Not when Simpson has been perfect in Iowa Conference play that enabled them to win the IIAC title for the sixth straight season.

Even though Wartburg is usually in the conversation for the conference regular season title, Simpson ended their hopes by beating the Knights for the second time this season Wednesday evening, 67-59.

The Storm came in with an overall record of 20-1, 10-0 in conference.

Wartburg, on the other hand, had an overall record of 13-8, 6-4 in conference, which is good enough for third place in the conference.

Both teams came out in the first life with no offensive game in sight. Midway through the first it was all tied up 9-9 and was merely a defensive stand by both of the teams. This is how much of the half played out as Simpson went into halftime with a slight lead over the Knights, 26-23.

Like usual though, the Storm came alive in the second half where their shots started to fall. The teams were both still neck and neck the first few minutes into the second half until Simpson decided to erupt for a 16-0 run, which was a tremendous spread for the way that this game was playing out on the defensive side. At this point in the game the Storm had a double digit lead making it seem like the game was about out of reach, but the Knights were not going to go quietly. The Knights got within reach of seven points, but could not do any better than that as several clutch baskets by the Storm put the Knights away for the second time this season.

As the Simpson College fan base has seen time and time again, if the Storm are held down in the first half they tend to make up for it on the offensive end in the second half of the games. This team continues to ride the momentum of an astounding season, and hopefully continue climbing in the national rankings as well.

The Storm will be in action again Saturday, February 9, where they will be taking on Loras College, on a day in which Simpson coach Brian Niemuth will hopefully grab win number 500. Tip off will be at 2 p.m.