The Simpson men's basketball team takes a six-game winning streak -- the program's longest since 2002-03 -- on the road this week as the Storm (9-6, 5-2) travel to face the Central Dutch on Wednesday, Jan. 17 before making the trek to face the Buena Vista Beavers on Saturday, Jan. 20. Wednesday's tipoff is set for 8 p.m. while Saturday's game slated for a 7 p.m. start.
Todd Guessford will have the call for a special audio stream of Wednesday's game on SimpsonAthletics.com. Pre-game begins at approximately 7:45 p.m. Andrew Swadner and Rick Wilson will have the call for Saturday's game in Storm Lake on KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM and online at KNIAKRLS.com.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
- The Storm own the Iowa Conference's longest winning streak after wins over Coe and No. 21 Wartburg last week. The Storm went on the road to beat Coe 79-69 on Wednesday and knocked off the nationally-ranked Knights 86-81 in front of the home crowd on Saturday afternoon.
- A big part of Simpson's recent success has been the team's lack of turnovers. In the last six games, the Storm are averaging just 9.0 turnovers per game game -- down from 12.1 in the first nine. Simpson ranks ninth in the nation for fewest turnovers with 10.9 per game.
- Sam Amsbaugh is just two 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 1,313 points. His 498 rebounds rank 12th.
- The Storm have received a big boost from their bench play since the start of the new year. In the last four games, Simpson's bench is averaging 22.3 ppg, up from 13.4 ppg in the first 11 games of the season. Junior guard John Barbee leads the group with 8.3 ppg and 4.0 spg during the stretch while Kyle Wagner -- who started the first six games of the year -- is averaging 7.3 ppg and 4.3 rpg since the calendar turned to 2018.
- Sophomore point guard Conor Riordan has raised his production as of late. In the last four games, he is averaging 21 ppg, shooting nearly 57 percent from the field and and boasts a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He averaged 16.3 ppg and shot just over 49 percent from the field in the first 11 games of the season.
Central — Simpson and Central are meeting for the 199th time in a series that dates back to the 1906-07 season … Simpson leads the series 101-97 … the Storm won both regular season meetings last season but Central knocked Simpson out of the IIAC Tournament with a 76-66 win at Cowles Fieldhouse on Feb. 21 … prior that game Simpson had won four straight in the series.
Buena Vista — Simpson and Buena Vista are meeting for the 155th time in a series that dates back to the 1921-22 season … Buena Vista holds a slim lead in the all-time series, 79-75 … the Beavers extended their winning streak in the series to four games after a 92-91 win over the Storm in the season's first meeting back on Nov. 29 … Simpson has lost six straight at Siebens Fieldhouse.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Central — Led by sixth-year head coach Craig Douma, the Dutch have lost three of their last four games after falling to Loras 109-92 on Monday night. All-IIAC guard Kyle Smith leads the team in scoring (15.8 ppg) and is among the league-leaders with 43 3-pointers. Reigning IIAC Player of the Week Malik Wildermuth averages 13.8 ppg and a team-high 2.9 apg. Central is allowing a league-worst 89.6 ppg against conference opponents.
Buena Vista — The Beavers and 22nd-year head coach Brian Van Haaften fell out of first place after back-to-back losses against Loras and Wartburg, falling to the Duhawks 82-80 on Saturday and losing to the Knights 85-65 on Monday. Senior guard David Jeffries leads the team in scoring (16.1 ppg) but fellow senior Thomas Wisecup is one of the most balanced players in the league, leading the team in rebounding (7.2 rpg) and assists (4.0 apg) to go along with his 12.6 ppg. Billy Sparks is third in the IIAC with 42 3-pointers.