INDIANOLA, Iowa - The Simpson men's basketball team erased an 18-point deficit in the second half but a late run gave Gustavus Adolphus a 66-58 win in the season opener Saturday night.
Simpson trailed 46-30 early in the second half before holding Gustavus scoreless over the next 8:22, pulling within 46-45 on a Amsbaugh free throw with 7:57 left.
Amsbaugh hit a jumper in the paint to pull Simpson with a point again and a pair of free throws by Charles Swain gave Simpson a 49-48 lead with 6:42 left.
The advantage was short-lived, however, as Chad Poppen made two free throws to give the lead back to Gustavus, 50-49. Poppen's jumper with 5:22 left sparked a 7-0 run as the Gusties (1-0) outscored Simpson 14-8 over the final 4:52 to hold on for the win.
Isaac Tapp scored 14 points and Poppen finished with 13 for the MIAC's preseason No. 2 team. The Gusties went 18-for-22 from the line and outrebounded Simpson 46-34.
Chad Gutschenritter scored 11 points and Gretzky finished with 10 for a Simpson team that shot better than 44 percent from the field but went just 8-for-18 from the line.
The Storm host another MIAC foe on Sunday as Augsburg visits Cowles Fieldhouse. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.