INDIANOLA, Iowa -- For the second time in four days, the Simpson men's basketball team defeated the Coe Kohawks on Tuesday, this time by a score of 90-82 to advance in the American Rivers Conference Tournament.
The No. 3 Storm (16-9) snapped a four-game home losing streak in the opening round of the A-R-C Tournament with the win and captured head coach Brad Bjorkgren's first conference tournament win and it was also the team's first since 2012.
In a game that saw five lead changes and six ties, the Storm jumped out to a quick 11-6 lead in the opening four minutes of the contest. Adam Reiter made five points during that span to fuel the run.
After both teams held pace for awhile, the No. 5 Kohawks (14-12) tied things up at 25-25 with just under-eight minutes to go in the first half. Simpson kept the lead until a 3-pointer by Josh Schmitt put Coe on top 37-34. The two teams traded baskets and Tyler Stumbo connected on a triple with 30 seconds left to send the game into halftime in a stalemate.
Reiter and Coe's Calvin Winker were going shot-for-shot in the first half as both finished the first 20 minutes with 12 points apiece. Reiter had the edge with seven rebounds, but Winker 2 of 2 from deep. The Storm had the advantage overall and shot 48.4 percent from the field and 80 percent from the charity stripe.
Coming out of the break, Coe took a small one-point lead at the 18-minute mark before the Storm went on a 17-7 surge to gain a comfortable lead at 60-51. Simpson drained three treys during that stretch, with Kyle Wagner claiming two. Reiter put the exclamation point on the run with an and-one finish on a layup and sank the free throw.
The Kowawks were down by nine at the halfway point the half and went on a 7-0 spurt to come within two at 69-67. Nolan Timp scored five points to help Coe comeback. After timeout, the Storm were able to get back to a 79-71 advantage by Wagner hitting two more 3-pointers.
Simpson was able to put the game away for good by making seven free throws in the last minute.
Both teams shot just a shade over 53 percent in the second half, while Simpson shot 50 percent from the floor for the game.
Winker ended with a game-high 33 points and grabbed 10 boards to add to his impressive statline. Timp concluded with 16 points.
The Storm will now face top-seeded Nebraska Wesleyan on Thursday. No. 2 Loras and No. 6 Dubuque will compete in the other semifinal match.
This Storm shot 93.3 percent from the free throw, their best since going a perfect 11 for 11 against Nebraska Wesleyan on Jan. 9. The team tallied 42 rebounds, its best total this calendar year and most since grabbing 42 on Dec. 2 at Luther. Riordan now has 968 career points as he approaches 1000 for his career.
Simpson will travel to Nebraska Wesleyan on Thursday for a 7 p.m. showdown in the A-R-C Tournament Semifinals.