INDIANOLA, Iowa – DJ Dafney converted the go-ahead layup with 3.2 seconds left, Cole Darrow missed the potential game-tying 3 as time expired and the Simpson men's basketball team beat Buena Vista in dramatic fashion, 65-62 on Saturday at Cowles Fieldhouse.
Trailing 62-61 with 4.5 seconds left, Dillon Gretzky took the ball out under Simpson's own hoop. Dafney curled off a screen and took the lob from Gretzky, laying it in to help Simpson regain the lead and knock off the preseason conference favorite.
Dafney scored 13 points and pulled down eight rebounds and Gretzky scored 16 as the Storm (6-7, 1-1 Iowa Conference) snapped a four-game losing streak in the series. Charles Swain finished with 12 points and hit a pair of clutch free throws with 47 seconds left to pull Simpson within one at 62-61.
Brett Heitkamp and Kennedy Drey each posted double-doubles for the Beavers (8-5, 1-1). Heitkamp had 13 and 11 off the bench and Kennedy finished with 10 and 17. The team's leading scorer on the year, Cole Darrow finished with 12 on 4 of 16 shooting.
Simpson came out of the gates strong and led by as much as 12 in the first half before taking a 40-30 lead into halftime. Buena Vista chipped away at the lead with a 22-9 run in the second half, taking its first lead at 52-51 on a Nick Clark layup with 7:50 left.
Neither team led by more than three in the final 8 minutes as the lead changed hands six times.
A layup by Kennedy gave Buena Vista a 62-59 lead with 1:05 left. Swain drew a foul on the next possession and hit both free throws, responding from two rare misses earlier in the game.
Clark missed a 3 on the next possession and Simpson set up a sideline play with 7.8 seconds left. Swain drove to the hoop and was blocked by Heitkamp, but the ball went out of bounds to set up Gretzky's lob to Dafney.
Ryan Skaar intercepted the ensuing inbounds pass and hit two free throws to give Buena Vista one final shot with just over a second left. The Beavers found Darrow off the full-court inbound, but his deep 3 from the right wing missed right as the buzzer sounded.
The Storm defense held the Beavers to just 3 of 21 shooting from 3-point range.
Up Next: Simpson faces Loras at Dubuque next Wednesday, Jan. 14. The Duhawks (5-8, 0-2) lost to Coe 68-60 on Saturday.