Clutch second-half shooting leads Simpson to 82-71 victory

by Aaron Young

INDIANOLA, IOWA– For the second game in a row, the Simpson men’s basketball team came behind for the win, this time against Graceland University, as the Storm defeated the Yellowjackets 82-71 Tuesday night.

Simpson (3-4) trailed Graceland (3-8) 39-32 at the half, but despite a sluggish start, clutch shooting and timely execution were key, as it was led by a duo of guards, sophomore Logan Hamm and senior Elijah Knox, paced the Storm in the comeback victory.

Coming off the bench, Hamm was a terror behind the arc.

The sophomore transfer from AIB was 4-for-4 from 3-point territory, totaling 12 points for the game. His first made attempt, with two seconds left in the first half, started the momentum that the Storm needed going into the locker room. Coming back onto the floor when his name was called in the second half, Hamm came through as he knocked down two back-to-back three’s, giving Simpson a 49-45 lead with 12:54 left to go in the game. From then on, the Storm never looked back.

Knox was definitely an unstoppable threat for the Yellowjacket defense. The senior captain finished the night with 17 points, going 7-for-9 from the field and 3-4 from the charity stripe. He also dished off 8 assists to his teammates, increasing his career assists mark to 264, ranking fifth in school history. The record is 448, which was set by Dirk Walker from 2000-04.

The Storm committed 16 turnovers, which has been an enemy for the squad and its young season. On the flipside, Simpson shot 59.6 percent as a team on the floor, and made 72.7 percent of their shots behind the 3-point line.

Graceland’s scoring threats came from Austin Harper, who had a game-high 20 points.

Simpson will be on the road as they take on North Central College in Naperville, Ill. on Sat. Dec. 8. Tip-off is set to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Their next home game is Jan. 7 in conference play against Wartburg.