The men’s basketball team sent a message to Buena Vista Tuesday night in their conference tournament opener at Cowles Fieldhouse: The Storm is here to win.
Juniors Cornelius Mosby and Zack Barragan joined forces to put up 17 points a-piece, as Barragan went 3-for-4 from the 3-point line in Simpson’s 78-72 victory over Buena Vista.
The Storm shot 77 percent from the charity stripe in the win while Mosby and sophomore Elijah Knox grabbed seven and four rebounds respectfully. Mosby went 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
Simpson hadn’t been to the conference tournament since the 2006-07 season, and the win marked the first post-season victory in four years. The Storm’s victory means they swept Buena Vista on the season, three games to zero.
The men will travel to Decorah on Thursday, Feb. 24 to face Luther.
Saturday, Feb. 19
The Storm looked to Barragan to get the win against Cornell and lead the team to the conference tournament on Saturday, Feb. 19.
Barragan decided to answer the call.
Barragan was put in a tough situation being that he almost lost the ball with only four seconds left and down by one point; he caught a break with the officials, shook off the previous possession and wound up making the game winning lay-up as time expired with the final score 76-75.
“This was a great win for not only our program but for our seniors as well,” Barragan said. “They now have a chance to play for a conference tournament championship for the first time and our team is going to make the most out of that opportunity.”
Barragan scored a total of 15 points with senior JJ Vanderheiden adding 14. Junior Cornelius Mosby collected 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Storm has recently had a rough history when it comes to the conference tournament, but Charles Zanders, head men’s basketball coach, enlightened them with some motivational words.
“I told our guys they had worked too hard this season to change the culture and mind set of the program,” Zanders said. “They deserved to be in IIAC tournament, and it was all up to them to make it happen.”
This win places the Storm as the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament. The last time the Storm has appeared in the conference tournament was in the 2006-07 season.
Wednesday, Feb. 16
Earlier in the week, junior guard Zack Barragan scored five from the three-point range in Simpson College’s 97-85 win over Buena Vista Wednesday night. Barragan added seven field goals and two free throws for a total of 21 points.
In stride, junior center Cornelius Mosby contributed his own 21 points and senior center JJ Vanderheiden tied his career high with 20 points.
Barragan started off Simpson strong scoring the first eight points. The Storm kept up the pace the rest of the first half outshooting the Beavers 47-31. The lead was enough to keep Simpson ahead for the rest of the game.
The Storm shot 56 percent from the field goal range and 80 percent from the line.
“I really have to give a shout out to the Simpson student body and let them know how appreciative I am of their support this season,” Zanders said. “They are a big part of our success.”