Simpson takes care of Loras, 74-54
INDIANOLA, Iowa – With the shot clock running down early in the game and no clear look in sight, Kelsie Reeves fired a deep, desperation 3 as the horn sounded.
The shot banked in, a sign of what kind of night it would be for the 11th-ranked Simpson women's basketball team.
Kate Nielsen had a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double and Simpson dismantled Loras 74-54 on Wednesday night at Cowles Fieldhouse.
Nielsen went 6-for-11 from the field and hit all nine free throw attempts to help Simpson extend its regular season home winning streak to 18 games. Freshman Brooke Panzer had nine points and six rebounds and Nicole Crisp had nine points and four steals for the Storm (14-1, 4-0 Iowa Conference).
Kaitlin Phillips scored 12 points and Rachel Kerchefske had 10 for the Duhawks (12-3, 2-3), who had won 8 of 9 and were receiving votes in the D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll. The nation's eighth-leading shot-blocker, Melissa Herrmann was held to one block.
The Storm fired on all cylinders throughout, but got an especially big boost from their 3-point shooting. Brian Niemuth's team made 8 of 15 attempts from beyond the arc, getting contributions from six different players.
Katie Langmeier opened the scoring 40 seconds in, giving Loras its first – and last – lead of the game. Crisp made a pair of free throws and Nielsen went around Herrmann in the post to give Simpson a 4-2 lead, sparking a 17-5 run that ended with a long ball by Chelsie Rohrs.
Nielsen silenced any doubt of Loras comeback early in the second half, scoring eight straight points as part of a 12-0 run that gave Simpson a 44-21 lead with 17:30 left. Niki Rivera opened the half with a 3, cutting the lead to 32-21.
Simpson looks to extend its winning streak to six when it travels to Dubuque on Saturday, Jan. 19. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. The Spartans (12-3, 2-2) beat Central 77-71 on Wednesday.