Storm look to continue winning ways against Coe, Wartburg

Ben Rajewski
Ben Rajewski

The Simpson men's basketball team carries a four-game winning streak into the week as the Storm travel to face the Coe Kohawks on Wednesday, Jan. 10 before hosting the No. 21 Wartburg Knights on Saturday, Jan. 13. Wednesday's tip-off in Cedar Rapids is set for 8 p.m. while Saturday's tip is set for 4 p.m. at Cowles Fieldhouse.

Todd Guessford will have the call for Saturday's game on SimpsonAthletics.com. Pre-game begins at approximately 3:45 p.m.. Andrew Swadner and Rick Wilson will have the call for Saturday's game on KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM and online at KNIAKRLS.com.

THIS WEEK
Simpson (7-6, 3-2) at Coe (6-7, 2-2)
Wednesday, Jan. 10 — 8 p.m.
Kohawk Arena — Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Live Video | Live Stats

#21 Wartburg (10-3, 3-1) at Simpson (7-6, 3-2)
Saturday, Jan. 13 — 4 p.m.
Cowles Fieldhouse — Indianola, Iowa
Live Video | Live Stats

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
1 — The Storm extended their winning streak to four games after beating Luther and Loras at home last week. Simpson beat Luther 83-60 on Wednesday and snapped Loras' five-game winning streak with a 97-88 triumph on Saturday.

2 — A big part of Simpson's recent success has been the team's lack of turnovers. In the last four games, the Storm are averaging just 9.8 turnovers per game game -- down from 12.1 in the first nine. Simpson has committed 10-or-more turnovers just once in the last four games compared to eight in the first nine.

3 — Sam Amsbaugh is just 14 rebounds away from becoming the eighth player in school history to join the 1,000-point, 500-rebound club. The senior forward is currently 10th on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,271 points. His 486 rebounds rank 12th.

4 — After getting out-rebounded in six of the first 10 games, Simpson has out-rebounded its last three opponents and is now 5-1 on the year when winning the battle on the boards. The Storm are just 1-5 when getting out-rebounded, the lone win coming against Husson on Dec. 18.

5 — This week's first opponent features a familiar face on the sidelines. Coe head coach Bryan Martin graduated from Simpson in 1999, was a three-year letterwinner for the Storm basketball team and served as a student coach during the 1999-2000 season. Martin is 6-4 against his alma mater since taking the Coe job in 2012-13.

SERIES NOTES
Coe — Simpson and Coe are meeting for the 88th time in a series that dates back to the 1911-12 season … Coe leads the all-time series 48-39 … the teams split last season's series, with the Kohawks beating the Storm 80-70 in Indianola on Jan. 14 and the Storm winning 67-62 in Cedar Rapids on Jan. 21 … Simpson is 12-14 against Coe on the road but has won its last two trips to Cedar Rapids.

Wartburg — Simpson and Wartburg are meeting for the 137th time in a series that dates back to the 1945-46 season … Wartburg leads the all-time series 91-45 … Simpson swept last season's series, winning 81-68 in Indianola on Dec. 3 and 86-80 in Waverly on Jan. 28 … Simpson is 16-25 against Wartburg at Cowles Fieldhouse.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Coe— Led by sixth-year head coach Bryan Martin -- a 1999 graduate of Simpson -- the Kohawks have won two in a row, highlighted by a 69-65 upset of then-18th-ranked Wartburg on Jan. 6. Coe boasts the most accurate shooting team in the IIAC, hitting 51.3 percent of its shots from the field, good for sixth in Division III. The Kohawks are led by 6-foot, 7-inch senior forward Spencer Williams (12.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg), who leads the country with a 76.7 field goal percentage.

Wartburg — Led by 21st-year head coach Dick Peth, the Knights are ranked 21st in the most recent D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll. Wartburg was ranked 18th in the nation before a 69-65 upset at the hands of Coe last Saturday. The Knights boast the league's best defense, leading the IIAC in scoring defense (68.8 ppg), field goal percentage defense (40.2) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (30.3). The Knights have allowed 70-plus points just three times all season. Junior guard Jaran Sabus (15.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg) is among the league-leaders in scoring and rebounding.