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MBB Preview: Storm begin league play at Wartburg

MBB Preview: Storm begin league play at Wartburg

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Simpson Storm men's basketball team opens American Rivers Conference play on the road against the Wartburg Knights on Wednesday, Nov. 28. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. in Waverly.

Simpson (4-1, 0-0) at Wartburg (4-1, 0-0)
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018 | 8 p.m.
Levick Arena | Waverly, Iowa
Live Video | Live Stats

Simpson and Wartburg are meeting for the 140th time in a series that dates back to the 1945-46 season. Wartburg holds a 93-46 lead in the series. The Knights took 2 of 3 from the Storm last season, beating Simpson 76-72 in the first round of the Iowa Conference Tournament on Feb. 20 in Indianola. The average margin of victory in the last four meetings is less than six points.

Wartburg and 22nd-year head coach Dick Peth are 4-1, winning their first four games before suffering a 94-85 setback to Dordt on Saturday, Nov. 24. The top defensive team in the league, Wartburg allows just 69 points per game while holding opponents to 41.7 percent shooting. Jaran Sabus leads the Knights in scoring (18.8 ppg) and is coming off a 19-point effort against Dordt.

• Thanksgiving break was a little sweeter for Simpson after the Storm extended their winning streak to four with a 97-86 upset of No. 10 Wis.-Platteville at home on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Conor Riordan scored 26 points and Adam Reiter had a career-high 21 as the Storm got some redemption for a 36-point loss to the Pioneers in 2017.
• Simpson has won 4 of its first 5 games for the second time in head coach Brad Bjorkgren's four seasons at the helm. The Storm also went 4-1 to begin the 2016-17 campaign.
• Since committing a season-high 18 turnovers in the season-opening 103-100 overtime loss to Bethany Lutheran, the Storm have trimmed their giveaways to just 10.8 per game.
• Point guard Conor Riordan landed on the first Team of the Week after averaging 22.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.3 steals in the first four games.
• Riordan is second in the American Rivers in scoring (23.0 ppg) and his 4.50 assist-to-turnover ratio leads the league and ranks 21st in Division III. He has scored in double figures in 23 consecutive games.
Adam Reiter is an early candidate for Simpson's most improved player. The 6-foot-8 junior has increased his production exponentially in 2018-19, averaging 13.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. As a sophomore, he averaged 2.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.5 blocks.

Simpson travels to Luther on Saturday, Dec. 1. Tipoff in Decorah is set for 4 p.m.

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