Storm beat Luther, win 11th in a row

INDIANOLA, Iowa – Kate Nielsen scored 29 points and No. 8 Simpson out-ran Luther in an 85-76 women's basketball win on Saturday.

Nielsen added seven rebounds, Nicole Crisp and Brooke Panzer had 14 points apiece and the Storm (20-1, 10-0 Iowa Conference) extended their winning streak to 11 games.

A close contest throughout the first half, Simpson pulled away with a 15-5 run early in the second. After back-to-back buckets by Taylor Johnson cut Simpson's lead to 44-42, a layup by Nielsen sparked the run, which included six points from Nielsen and four from Crisp.

Logan Hjerleid scored 19 points and Megan Koepnick had 18 off 4-for-7 shooting from beyond the arc for the Norse (12-9, 4-6).

Luther remained in the game in the first half thanks to shooting 50 percent from the field and hitting 6 of 8 from downtown. But Simpson's defense stiffened in the second half, creating 19 turnovers for the game which resulted in 21 points.

The Norse opened the game on an 8-2 run and made four of their first five shots before Simpson went on an 11-2 run to get back into it. Simpson held a 42-38 lead at the half.

Simpson travels to Wartburg on Wednesday, Feb. 6 in a 6 p.m. tipoff. The Knights (13-8, 6-4) needed overtime to beat Central, 55-49 on Saturday.

Notes: With the win, Simpson head coach Brian Nimeuth moves within two games of career win No. 500 and is now 498-194 … Nielsen moved into 11th on Simpson's career scoring list with 1,042 points … Kelsie Reeves had a season-high and tied a career-high with seven assists … Reeves moved into fourth all-time at Simpson with 265 assists … the Storm extended their regular season home winning streak to 22.