Swain buzzer-beat goes for naught, Storm lose in OT
INDIANOLA, Iowa – For the second straight game, overtime spelled heartbreak for the Simpson men's basketball team.
Charles Swain forced the extra frame with a 3-pointer as time expired but Michael Crocker and Tyler Wedemeier combined for 12 of Luther's 21 points in overtime as the conference front-runners held on for a 93-86 win on Saturday.
The overtime loss is the second this week for Simpson, which fell to Buena Vista 76-74 at home on Wednesday.
Wedemeier had 28 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks and Crocker scored 19 for the Norse (15-6, 8-2 Iowa Conference), who kept pace atop the conference standings with Buena Vista.
Swain scored 21 of his 28 in the second half and overtime, Olu Rotibi had 15 points and nine rebounds and Elijah Knox had 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Storm (6-15, 2-8), who lost their third in a row.
Down 72-69 with 6.7 seconds left, Austin Hennings set a flair screen for Swain, who received a cross-court pass from Knox, took a dribble to his right and knocked down a 3 from the left wing with 0.2 seconds left.
Cale Austin provided the dagger in overtime, giving Luther the lead for good with a deep 3 on the left wing that made the score 77-74. The Norse proceeded to hit all 10 free throw attempts in the extra frame, finishing the game 27 of 32.
Foul trouble plagued Simpson in the second half, as Hennings was relegated to the bench for much of the period with four fouls. He fouled out early in overtime, finishing with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Simpson trailed by 10 with less than 10 minutes to go in the game but cut it to two on an 8-0 spurt fueled by back-to-back 3s from Hennings and Drew Bentley. A free throw by Olu Rotibi with 1:49 left gave Simpson a 66-65 lead, its first since the 18:45 mark.
The Storm travel to Wartburg on Wednesday, Feb. 6 for an 8 p.m. tipoff. The Knights (12-8, 7-3) beat Central 76-70 on Saturday.