The Simpson men's basketball team finishes the regular season this week when it travels to Loras on Wednesday, Feb. 14 before hosting Coe for Senior Day on Saturday, Feb. 17.
Wednesday's tipoff is set for 8 p.m. and will be video streamed on Duhawks.com. Saturday's game is set to start at 4 p.m. and will be video streamed on SimpsonAthletics.com. Todd Guessford will have the call. Andrew Swadner and Rick Wilson will describe the action on KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM and online at KNIAKRLS.com.
The Storm (12-10, 8-6) had just one game last week, a 96-85 win over Central on Wednesday at Cowles Fieldhouse. Conor Riordan had a career-high 39 points on 14-for-17 shooting and Sam Amsbaugh came within three assists of a triple-double, finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Duhawks (17-6, 10-4) split their two games, falling to league-champion Nebraska Wesleyan 108-92 on Wednesday before beating Buena Vista 104-94 on Saturday. The Kohawks (9-14, 5-9) beat Luther in overtime 86-78 on Wednesday and fell to Dubuque 70-63 on Saturday.
Simpson (8-6) goes into Wednesday's game with a one-game lead on both Central (7-7) and Wartburg (7-7) for fourth-place in the standings. Buena Vista (9-6) owns a half-game lead on the Storm for third.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
1 — Playing the Best: Simpson has played the second-toughest schedule in all of Division III to this point in the season. Simpson's opponents are a combined 256-157 for a .620 winning percentage. Only Wis.-Stevens Point (.636) has played a tougher schedule.
2 — Valuing the Basketball: Simpson takes care of the ball as well as any team in the nation. The Storm turn the ball over just 10.4 times per game, sixth-fewest in Division III. Simpson's two turnovers against Luther on Jan. 31 are tied for the lowest mark in Division III this season. Simpson committed just three turnovers in the first meeting with Central and is the only team in the country to turn the ball over three-or-fewer times on two occasions.
3 — Amsbaugh's Legacy: Saturday's game against Coe mark's the final home regular-season game for senior forward Sam Amsbaugh, one of the most prolific scorers in school history. Entering Wednesday's game, Amsbuagh's 1,423 career points ranks ninth in school history and are just two points out of eighth. Since moving into a starting role as a sophomore, Amsbaugh has averaged 17.5 ppg. His six, 30-point games are the most in school history.
4 — Bench Buckets: The Storm have received a big boost from their bench play since the start of the new year. In the last 11 games, Simpson's bench is averaging 24.9 ppg, up from 13.4 ppg in the first 11 games of the season. Kyle Wagner has had the hot hand as of late, averaging 11.4 ppg over the last seven games.
5 — Riordan on a Tear: In what has already been a career year, the last four games may be point guard Conor Riordan's best yet. In addition to averaging 30 points and 5.3 rebounds, he has 20 assists and just five turnovers for an eye-popping 4.1 assist-to-turnover ratio. In the entire season, he has committed more than two turnovers just once -- three at Dubuque on Dec. 6.
Loras — Simpson and Loras are meeting for the 97th time in a series that dates back to the 1927-28 season … Loras leads the all-time series 49-47 … Simpson won the first meeting of the season, 97-88 in Indianola on Jan. 6 … the Duhawks have won 7 of 10 in the series.
Coe — Simpson and Coe are meeting for the 89th time in a series that dates back to the 1911-12 season … Coe leads the all-time series 48-40 … Simpson won the first meeting this season, 79-69 in Cedar Rapids on Jan. 10 … Simpson has now won two in a row in the series.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
Loras — The Duhawks and second-year head coach Chris Martin are 17-6 overall and second in the Iowa Conference standings with a 10-4 mark in league play … the Duahawks rely heavily on the 3-point shot, leading the IIAC and ranking ninth in the country with 12.2 3s per game … Loras owns the nation's 11th-best scoring offense, averaging 92.8 ppg, but its defense allows 83.7 ppg, last in the IIAC … Josh Ruggles leads the team and ranks second in the IIAC with 21.9 ppg … his 81 3-pointers are second in the league and 18th nationally.
Coe — The Kohawks and sixth-year head coach Bryan Martin are 9-14 overall and eighth-place in the Iowa Conference with a 5-9 mark in league play … Coe ranks eighth in the league in scoring (75.0) and second in points allowed (74.9) … led by Division III's leader in field goal percentage, Spencer Williams (75.0), Coe ranks seventh in the country in shooting at 50.6 percent … Williams leads the team in scoring (11.7 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg).