Learning Experience’ on Minnesota Trip

by Erin Guzman

An early season estimate of Storm men’s basketball was found in the Northwestern Tip-off Tournament on the road at Roseville, Minn.

Simpson faced off against UW-River Falls and North Central in early season play, taking a loss, but also a dramatic win.

In the game against UW-River Falls, the Storm grabbed an early lead with back-to-back threes from junior Zack Barragan. But a return from the Falcons made by Aaron Anderson tied the game midway in the first half. The Falcons of River Falls managed to maintain a comfortable 22-point lead by the end of the first half, before claiming a win over the Storm, 90-69.

Barragan led the Storm with 15 points and two rebounds during the opening tournament game. Junior Seth Hutcheson scored 11 and contributed five rebounds. Rounding out the top scorers was sophomore Rob King with eight points and four rebounds in only 11 minutes of play.

From there the Storm went on to play the loser of the Northwestern-North Central match. After a defeat from Northwestern, North Central battled Simpson in the loser’s bracket.

The Cardinals sought a win over the Storm, but could not get by the fast paced scoring in the second half. A tie in the first half was short-lived due to a 30-16 run made by Simpson. After a 42-28 score at half time, the Storm never let the Cardinals get within 10 points of their score, making the final 83-59.

Barragan again led the Storm in scoring with a career-high 18 points; including three threes and a 50 percent shooting average. Another solid performance came from Hutcheson, tallying 14 points and nine rebounds. Senior centers JJ Vanderheiden and Taylor Nederhoff contributed 10 and nine points respectively. Sophomore Elijah Knox added eight points, five assists and four steals.

This win also marked the first of Head Coach Charles Zanders’s Simpson coaching career. Zanders was proud to see how the team grew from game to game.

“The tournament in Minnesota was a great learning experience for our team,” Zanders said. “We played a very good UW-River Falls team who out played us in the first half of the game. I’m happy we stepped up in the second half and matched their intensity but unfortunately we were in too big of a hole to recover. After two tough games against number 24 Augustana and River Falls, who received votes for national recognition, we took those experiences into the North Central game. We came away with a 23-point victory. We are learning and evolving, I’m happy with our progress to this point.”