Simpson tops Loras, takes home outright title
INDIANOLA, Iowa – It wasn't always pretty, but the Simpson women's basketball team wrapped up its first outright Iowa Conference championship since 2009 with a 59-49 win over Loras on Saturday at Cowles Fieldhouse.
Simpson recovered from a poor-shooting first half, out-scoring Loras 40-25 in the second and holding Loras without a field goal in the final four minutes to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Iowa Conference Tournament and solidify home-court advantage throughout.
Simpson has a bye in the first round and will host the winner of fourth-seeded Wartburg and fifth-seeded Loras on Thursday, Feb. 23. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Chelsie Rohrs scored a game-high 16 points, going 4-for-7 from beyond the arc for the Storm (20-5, 13-3), who extended their streak of consecutive 20-win seasons to eight. Stacey Schutjer added 11 points and nine rebounds and Kate Nielsen finished with eight and 10.
After a layup by Melissa Hermann made the score 46-46 at the 4:23 mark, Ashley Rogers' third 3-pointer sparked a 13-3 run to close the game. Loras managed only three free throws in the final 4:22 against a stingy Simpson defense.
Rogers finished with nine points, four steals, five assists and only two turnovers.
Katie Langmeier scored nine points and brought down 10 rebounds for the Duhawks (14-11, 9-7), who closed the regular season on a four-game losing streak. Herrmann and Rachel Kerchefske added nine apiece.
The Storm struggled in the first half, shooting only 24 percent from the field while committing 10 turnovers. Loras shot 38 percent in the half and led 24-19 at the break after leading by as much as 10.
Simpson started the second half with 3-pointers by Rohrs and Schutjer to take the lead, but the Duhawks erased a 34-29 deficit when a 3 by Kelly Rogowski started a 15-5 run.