Storm crawl back after 17-point deficit to get first IIAC win

by Billy Weathers

After being down 17 in the second half, the Storm were able to battle back and come out with a victory over the Loras Duhawks 74-70.

The Storm were able to get out to fast start with the help of sophomore Charles Swain. Swain was good from the field earlier helping the Storm sustain a lead early in the first half.

Loras was hot from the field early in the first half as well shooting 54 percent. The Storm also were quite outmatched on the boards in the first half. They were outrebounded 19-9 in the first.

Senior Olu Rotibi sparked the team on the defensive end with a few steals to help bring the score to 28-33 at half.

The Duhawks had their foot on the gas coming out of half time. They didn’t waste anytime getting started and went on an 11-2 run to start the second half. Forcing Simpson to make some adjustments to stop the shooting from the Duhawks.

Simpson got it turned around late in the second half and caught fire. They were able to battle back from being down 17 and brought it to a 56-59 game with 6:30 left in the game.

Senior Elijah Knox took control late and with the help of teammates was able to hit a shot from the top of the key with 40 seconds left to put the Storm up 71-70. It was the Storms first lead since the beginning of the first half.

After a missed put back on the defensive end the Storm’s Austin Hennings was able to grab the rebound that would essentially seal the game. He was fouled and was able to go 1-2 from the line putting the Storm up 2 with few seconds left.

After another miss by Loras, Elijah Knox grabbed the ball and was fouled. After draining both free throws and putting the Storm up by four with five seconds laugh, Knox couldn’t help but smile.

“About time,” said Knox. “It feels good to fight hard and get one finished finally. We have been in almost every game, but it feels great to finally get the w.”

Junior Ryan Olson was enthusiastic and excited after the game as well.

“We needed it bad,” said Olson. “The losing streak had been killing us, so getting this one was huge.”

Head Coach Charles Zanders was happy with the win, but still sees room for improvement.

With the Storm having the sixth hardest schedule in D3 according to they know they have a tough road ahead of them, but getting the win at home was a great boost of confidence.

“Would have rather not been down 17, but I’m happy with the win,” said Zanders. “We are still learning how to execute as a team and stop beating ourselves.”

Simpson’s next game with be Saturday, January 19, 2013 at home against the University of Dubuque. Tip off is at 4 p.m.