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MBB Preview: Storm at Buena Vista, 1/23/17

MBB Preview: Storm at Buena Vista, 1/23/17

The Simpson men's basketball team is out for its third-straight win when it travels to Storm Lake, Iowa to take on the league-leading Buena Vista Beavers at Siebens Fieldhouse on Monday, Jan. 23. The game was originally scheduled to take place last Monday, but was postponed due to icy road conditions. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.

GAME SETUP
Matchup: Simpson (11-6, 4-4 IIAC) at  Buena Vista (11-6, 7-1 IIAC)
Location: Storm Lake, Iowa • Siebens Fieldhouse
Time: Wednesday, Jan. 23 • 8 p.m.
Last Time Out: Simpson beat Coe 67-62
Live Video/Stats: www.BVUAthletics.com
Series: Simpson leads 79-72

THE OPPONENT
Behind the play of one of the league's top players, Buena Vista has won five games in a row and sits atop the conference standings with a 7-1 mark in league play. Kennedy Drey, a 6-6 senior forward, is an early candidate for conference MVP honors. He averages 17.5 ppg, 10.2 rpg and shoots nearly 50 percent from the floor. The top rebounding team in the conference is 6-2 at home this season.

THE SERIES
Simpson and Buena Vista meet for the 152nd time in a series that dates back to 1921-22. Simpson leads the series 79-72 but is just 12-22 against the Beavers in Storm Lake. The teams split last year's regular season meetings but Buena Vista brought Simpson's surprise season to a close with a 29-point win at Cowles Fieldhouse in the first round of the IIAC Tournament.

STORM STORYLINES
1 -- Simpson has been getting added production out of its bench as of late, and Nick Noah is leading the charge. The junior Des Moines Area CC transfer is averaging 5.5 ppg, but has scored 10 in each of the Storm's last two games, wins over Central and Coe. The Storm's reserves are averaging 24 ppg over the last four games after averaging 21.9 ppg in the first 13.

2 -- Austin Turner has been making an impact as of late not because of his scoring, but his ability to take care of the basketball. The senior point guard ranks second in the IIAC with a 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio and has committed just three turnovers in the last four games. Averaging 8.4 ppg this season, he has upped his average to nearly 11 ppg in the last four contests. 

3 -- Held to just six points in Saturday's win at Coe, junior forward Sam Amsbaugh saw his streak of 18 straight games in double figures come to a close. He is still on pace to become the 20th member of Simpson's 1,000-point club, entering Monday's game with 853 career points. He is averaging a career-high 19.9 ppg this season and ranks second in the IIAC in field goal percentage (56.9).

4 -- DJ Dafney has made a career out of doing the dirty work. Despite standing just 6-foot-2, Dafney is the Storm's leading rebounder this season with 8.0 per game, fourth in the IIAC. For his career he has 466 rebounds, 111 assists and 100 steals. He is just the 14th player in school history with 100 steals and needs to average 4.6 rebounds to reach 500 by the end of the regular season. If he can do that, he would be just the second player in school history with 500 rebounds and 100 steals, joining Tim Dunlavy (647 rebounds, 104 steals from 2006-10).

5 -- Simpson trailed by 12 in the second half before coming back to beat Central 64-63 on Wednesday night, marking the first time this season the Storm have overcome a deficit of more than four points to win. The comeback ties Simpson's largest since coming back from 16 down to beat Graceland on Dec. 4, 2012. Simpson came back from 12 down to win twice last season, at Central on Jan. 27 and at Luther on Feb. 10.