Storm run past Buena Vista in second half
INDIANOLA, Iowa – After a close battle that found the Simpson women's basketball team trailing at the half 36-33, the squad rallied with a 14-2 run to start the second in an 81-66 win over Buena Vista on Wednesday.
Stacey Schutjer scored a game-high 24 points to go along with 16 rebounds for the Storm (17-5, 10-3 Iowa Conference), who won their fifth game in a row and remained atop the league standings.
"At halftime, we talked to each other and said we needed to step it up because we knew we weren't giving our best effort," said junior forward Cathy Kain, who finished with 13 points and a team-high five assists. "We picked it up on defense and started boarding and that helped a lot."
Schutjer went 11-for-15 from the field, leading a dominating effort in the paint which saw Simpson out-score Buena Vista 42-18 down low.
"She's [Schutjer] playing like she should be right now," head coach Brian Niemuth said. "She's playing like an All-American, playing with a lot of confidence and her teammates are doing a good job of getting her the ball."
Simpson scored the first 10 points of the second half on the way to a 14-2 run. Schutjer knocked down the first of her two 3s to give Simpson a 41-39 lead, one it would not relinquish.
Laura Hilby scored 21 points to lead the Beavers (10-12, 5-8). Susan Kies added 20, hitting 4 of 7 from beyond the arc. The team's leading scorer, Jessica Christensen, got into foul trouble early and finished with eight rebounds and zero points.
Simpson ended their first half woes shooting 35 percent from the field and just 20 percent behind the arc. But when they came out of the locker room to begin the second half, they raised the bar shooting 58 percent from the field and 60 percent from three-point territory.
"I think tonight we took a little step backwards because of the intensity that we played with [early]," Niemuth said. "But I think we're starting to get things figured out. We're getting the ball inside when we can and we're hitting the open 3s. We've just got to start getting better at our defense right now."
The team travels to Mount Vernon for a conference bout against Cornell on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.