DECORAH, Iowa – The Simpson men's basketball team had another strong first-half performance against Luther.
But again, the tide changed in the second half as Luther beat Simpson 58-51 on Wednesday night to sweep the season series.
DJ Dafney scored nine points to lead Simpson, who went 4-for-5 from 3-point range in the first half while leading as many as nine. Dillon Gretzky added five points and a career-high nine rebounds for the Storm (6-14, 1-8 Iowa Conference).
Jake Martin had 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Norse (7-13, 3-6), who came back to beat Simpson two weeks ago in Indianola after trailing by 14 at halftime. This time, they trailed 24-23.
Christian Wright put Luther ahead for good with 10:04 to play, knocking down a 3-pointer for a 46-43 lead.
The Storm controlled much of the first half, using an 11-3 run to build a 22-13 lead with 3:10 to play. Dafney sparked the run with an and-one while back-to-back 3s by Austin Turner and Sam Amsbaugh gave Simpson a nine-point advantage.
But Luther finished the half strong, getting two buckets from Martin and a 3 by Cale Austin with 6 seconds left to pull within one.
Simpson's only lead of the second half came on a fast break dunk by Dafney that made it 35-34 at the 14:19 mark. A jumper by Luke Wright gave the lead back to Luther, a lead it held until a Ryan Skaar jumper tied it 43-all with 10:31 to play.
Simpson goes to Central on Saturday, Feb. 7. The Dutch (10-10, 3-6) lost to Dubuque 105-62 on Wednesday. Central won the first matchup 74-58 in Indianola.