Hutchcroft, Schutjer Lead Storm Past Conference Rival Coe


by Erin Guzman & Ben Lucas

Steady play by the Storm women’s basketball team settled an old score with the Kohawks in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC).

Simpson’s win Saturday brings its record to 4-3 overall and 2-0 in the IIAC. This game gives the Storm a large boost of confidence as well as a winning record, setting them up for success later on in the season.

Coe started the game better than the Storm, but Simpson put forth a strong ending to the first half with a 15-5 run that had them rounding out the first half 32-24. From there, the lead would only increase with solid play and 20 points that came from Coe turnovers. Despite the best efforts of the Kohawks, the Storm was able to hold onto a comfortable lead for the rest of the second half.

Head coach Brian Niemuth is glad to see that the team’s practice and play style is paying off as their experience increases.

“The style we play is up-tempo with defensive pressure,” Niemuth said. “For us to be successful we have to create (tempo/turnovers) from our different presses. We are still learning how to be better with our pressure.”

Juniors Mindy Hutchcroft and Stacey Schutjer both scored 18 points, a career high for Hutchcroft and Schutjer’s third 18-point game out of the last four. Senior Amy Hamilton gave a clutch performance from the 3-point line, making all three of her shots and scoring 11 points as well as grabbing four steals. Junior Ali Sokol also scored 11 points and had six rebounds, contributing a good portion of the bench’s 21 points.

The women’s basketball team grabbed its first conference win over Dubuque last Wednesday, Dec. 1.

In the game against the Spartans, the Storm rolled over all opposition, scoring over 90 points to claim a win in front of a packed Cowles Fieldhouse.

Hutchcroft and Sokol scored 14 points apiece. Sokol made 10 of 12 free throws and helped the Storm dominate in the paint. Sophomores Kelsie Reeves and Cathy Kain pushed the offensive assult, and added 11 and nine points respectively, with sophomore forward Kate Nielsen earning nine points and four rebounds under the basket.

After a tie early in the first half, Simpson answered with a 21-3 run over Dubuque in the next four minutes of play. Taking the floor again after halftime, the Storm showed no sign of stopping. Opening up a gap, as much as 34 points, allowed Simpson to carry the win, 96-69. This conference win marked Simpson’s 14th consecutive victory over the Spartans.

“I thought we played well offensively, but I think we have a chance to do a lot of improving on the defensive end,” Niemuth said. “We did okay on the boards, but we need to cut our turnovers down. So, defense and taking care of the ball will be our emphasis in practice this week. I thought we had a great crowd there and hopefully we can get them to come back.”

As a team, the Storm shot nearly 50 percent from the field, led by Hamilton and her charge from the arc. Schutjer contributed 10 points, with assists from Hamilton and Reeves. Senior Jeni Hegstrom topped off the Storm’s stellar line-up by grabbing five rebounds.

The Storm will be heading to Arizona on Dec. 29 and 30 to compete in the Grand Canyon Classic. Niemuth hopes to see this trip bring the team together as well as face some out-of-state competition.

“The trip allows us to play top quality teams outside of our region,” Niemuth said. “It’s also a good bonding experience for our players and a chance to see a different part of the country.”