DECORAH, Iowa – Kate Nielsen had 21 points and 12 rebounds and the No. 11 Simpson women's basketball team kept Luther at arm's length for a majority of the game in a 71-62 win on Wednesday.
Nielsen added six steals and four blocked shots as part of her fourth consecutive double-double for the Storm (12-1, 2-0 Iowa Conference), who led for all but three minutes. Chelsie Rohrs scored 11 points and Nicole Crisp had 10 as each hit a pair of 3-pointers.
Brooke Panzer's free throw five minutes into the game gave the Storm a 7-6 lead and they never looked back. Simpson led by as many as 12 in each half, but Luther hung around. Nellie Nelson hit a short jumper to make it 32-28 early in the second half, but Luther couldn't get closer than five the rest of the way.
Taylor Johnson scored 17 points and Meagan Koepnick had 10 for the Norse (9-4, 1-1), who had won three in a row.
Simpson was out-rebounded 45-36 but got it done from the free throw line, going 20-for-24. Luther made only 11 of 25 attempts from the charity stripe.
Simpson hosts its first conference game of the season Saturday, Jan. 12 when Wartburg (9-4, 2-0) visits Cowles Fieldhouse. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.