Slow start hampers Storm in loss

DECORAH, Iowa – Tyler Wedemeier scored a game-high 22 points, controlled the paint on the defensive end and Luther held on for a 59-53 men's basketball win over Simpson on Wednesday.

Wedemeier went 8-for-13 from the field, blocked five shots and grabbed seven rebounds for the Norse (9-4, 2-0 Iowa Conference), who never trailed despite a lackluster shooting performance.

Both teams struggled offensively with neither hitting better than 40 percent of their attempts. The free throw line didn't treat Luther much better, as the Norse hit only 13 of 25.

Having trailed the entire game, Simpson made a push in the final minutes behind Elijah Knox. The senior point guard scored six straight points – four from the free throw line – to make it 47-47 with five minutes left.

Wedemeier answered for Luther, hitting a short jumper before completing a three-point play. Michael Crocker provided the dagger with a 3 as the Norse scored 10 unanswered to put the game away.

Charles Swain led the way with 11 points for the Storm (4-9, 0-2), who suffered their fourth straight loss. Austin Hennings scored 10 points and brought down eight rebounds and Knox finished with 10 and seven boards.

Simpson's slow start proved crucial, as Luther jumped out to a 16-2 lead in the first seven minutes. Simpson proceeded to outscore Luther 51-43 over the remaining 33 minutes.

Simpson will try for its first conference win when it hosts Wartubrg (7-5, 2-0) on Saturday, Jan. 12. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.