INDIANOLA, Iowa – The Simpson men's basketball team hung around with one of the top teams in the Iowa Conference, but Andre Norris and company were too much to handle as Dubuque beat Simpson 78-65 on Wednesday.
The league's leading scorer, Norris had 14 points, one of four players in double figures for the Spartans (18-4, 8-3). Gage Heffernan had a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double and Lucas Ware had 17 points and nine rebounds.
Ryan Skaar scored 15 points and Jamie Montgomery came off the bench to score nine for the Storm (6-16, 1-10). Skaar and Montgomery combined for five of the team's eight 3-pointers, led by three from Montgomery.
Although Simpson had success from outside the paint, Dubuque proved to be too strong down low. The Spartans held a 44-26 edge in the paint, attempting just eight shots outside the lane in the second half.
Simpson trailed by as many as 10 in the first half, but pulled within 26-25 on back-to-back deep 3s from Montgomery. Dubuque scored the last seven points of the half – including a 3 by Kain Arthofer with 2 seconds left – to take a 33-25 lead at the break.
Arthofer helped Dubuque pull away in the second half, capping a 12-2 run with a 3 and a three-point play to give the Spartans a 50-31 lead at the 13:44 mark.
Simpson fought back to get within 11 when a pair of free throws by Skaar made it 64-53 with 4:28 left, but that's as close as it would get. Ware answered with a 3 and the lead worked its way back to 18 in the final minutes.
Simpson goes to league-leading Buena Vista on Saturday, Feb. 14. The Beavers (16-6, 9-2) – Simpson's lone win in conference play – beat Wartburg 94-84 on Wednesday.