Storm's winning streak snapped
INDIANOLA, Iowa – A cold shooting performance put a halt to Simpson's run at an undefeated Iowa Conference season.
Mollie Whiting had 32 points and 10 rebounds and a pesky Dubuque defense held the No. 6 Simpson women's basketball team to its worst offensive performance of the season in a 72-56 win on Wednesday night.
Whiting shot only 7-for-21 from the field but made 16 of 18 from the charity stripe as the Spartans (17-7, 7-6) snapped a 19-game losing streak in the series.
Kate Nielsen had 16 points for the Storm (22-2, 12-1), who lost for the first time in 13 games and saw their regular season home winning streak end at 22.
On a night when Simpson honored its seniors and was presented the conference championship trophy in front of the home crowd at Cowles Fieldhouse, the mood was anything but celebratory following the game.
The Storm shot just 21.7 percent from the field – a season low – and made 1 of 21 from 3-point range. Simpson stayed in the game thanks to a stellar night at the free throw line, making 16 more from the charity stripe (29) than the field (13).
The game turned in Dubuque's favor late in the first half. With both teams struggling to score, Alexis Lozano-Dobbs hit back-to-back jumpers and a Mollie Whiting layup gave the Spartans a 21-14 lead with 5 minutes, 20 seconds left. Jena Darwin's layup with 10 seconds left in the first half capped off an 18-9 run over the final 6 minutes which gave Dubuque a 33-23 halftime lead.
Dubuque stayed hot early in the second half, mounting a 15-2 run over the first 4 minutes which resulted in a 48-25 lead. Whiting and Meggie Schmidt hit back-to-back 3s during the stretch to give the Spartans a 42-25 lead.
Simpson closes the regular season at Central on Saturday, Feb. 16. The Dutch (10-14, 3-10) lost to Loras 64-43 on Wednesday.
Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.
Notes: Nielsen's 16 points give her 496 for career, just four shy of becoming only the sixth player in Simpson history to score 500 points during a season.