Central nearly shocks Storm; Nielsen’s 30 defeats Dutch 70-68

by Zach James

PELLA – Central came into the game with a 10-14 record, but they played with a top-ten nationally ranked Simpson squad for 39 minutes. The Storm women pulled through on the road to close the Iowa Conference regular season with a 70-68 win.

Central shot 24 of 50 from the floor to Simpson’s 20-for-49.

Kate Nielsen scored 30 points for the third time this season, but it’s what she did on the other side of the floor that helped the Storm avoid their first losing streak of the season.

Nielsen blocked a Kenzie Vander Molen shot in the final seconds to help seal the win for Simpson.

However, Central center Bry Pierce had a chance to tie it with :.00:3 remaining, but the shot was short, and so was their chance to upset Simpson.

It was a back-and-forth game throughout much of Saturday afternoon as the game saw 13 ties and 12 lead changes. Simpson’s biggest lead was eight in the first half while Central’s largest lead was three at the half.

Chelsie Rohrs scored 10 points for the Storm.

Offensively for Nielsen, the senior shot 8 of 14 and 11 of 14 from the free throw line, most of those coming in the second half.

Morgan Terpstra played a season-high 23 solid minutes for the Storm, and scored three minutes, respectively, for Simpson.

Three Central starters – Alyssa Schwartz, Rachel Evans, and Nicole Strasko – kept the Dutch in the game thanks to their 16, 15 and 12-point performances.

Simpson opens up Iowa Conference Tournament play Thursday against the winner of Loras and Coe.