Nielsen named MVP, headlines IIAC honors

Nielsen named MVP, headlines IIAC honors

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Kate Nielsen earned league MVP honors, Nicole Crisp brought home the award for Defensive Player of the Year and Brian Niemuth was named Coach of the Year, highlighting Simpson's selections to the 2013 All-Iowa Conference Women's Basketball Team.

A senior from Urbandale, Iowa, Nielsen becomes the sixth conference MVP in Simpson history and first since Carrie Larson in 2008-09. Nielsen ranked second in the league and is currently seventh in the nation in scoring (21.9 ppg). She also ranked third in the IIAC in rebounding (8.7 rpg) and led the way in steals (3.08 spg) and 3-point percentage (53.3 percent). She posted 10 double-doubles on the year and was named Iowa Conference Player of the Week seven times.

Nielsen is one of only six players in school history with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds and one of only two to accomplish the feat to go along with 150 steals. She is also one of only two players in school history to accumulate 1,000-plus points in less than two seasons – she transferred to Simpson from Minnesota State, Mankato for her sophomore year.

This season, Nielsen has posted near-record numbers in points, rebounds and steals. She ranks third in the Simpson single-season record books in each category with 570 points, 227 rebounds and 81 steals.

A senior from Shiprock, N.M. Crisp becomes Simpson's first Defensive Player of the Year to go along with her first team all-conference honors. Crisp averaged more than 10 points and two steals per game, second on the team in both categories. She nearly doubled her scoring average in 2012-13 after putting up 5.5 points per game in  2011-12. In her two seasons since transferring from Mesa Community College, she has 110 thefts.

Niemuth earns his seventh IIAC Coach of the Year honor and second in a row after leading Simpson to a record-tying sixth consecutive Iowa Conference Championship in 2012-13. He became the 20th coach in NCAA Division III women's basketball history to win his 500th game during the season and enters the NCAA Tournament with a career record of 503-195 in his 26 seasons at the helm. Under Niemuth, the Storm have been ranked as high as No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports Top 25/WBCA Coaches' Poll and are currently No. 10 in the D3hoops.com Top 25.

In addition to the conference's major awards, Kelsie Reeves took home second team all-conference honors and Chelsie Rohrs earned honorable mention accolades.

A senior from Des Moines, Iowa, Reeves ran the point for the Storm, leading the league with 109 assists (3.96 per game). Reeves ranks fifth in school history with 295 assists. She averaged seven points per game this season and shot a career-high 78.7 percent from the free throw line. Reeves took home co-Iowa Conference Player of the Week honors for the period ending Sunday, Feb. 23 on the heels of a career-high 24 points in Simpson's IIAC Tournament Championship win over Dubuque.

A senior from Granville, Iowa, Rohrs is third on the team with 7.8 points per game and leads the way with 38 3-pointers. Since transferring to Simpson from Wayne State for the start of the 2011-12 season, Rohrs has led the Storm in 3-pointers made each season and has 83 for her career.

The No. 10 Storm host Westminster (17-10) in the first round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship on Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m. If Simpson wins, it would go on to face the winner of Friday's early game between No. 18 UW-Stevens Point (23-5) and Concordia-Moorhead (21-6) on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Simpson 2012-13 All-Iowa Conference Honorees
Name Yr. Pos. Honor
Kate Nielsen Sr. F MVP
Nicole Crisp Sr. G Defensive POTY/First Team
Kelsie Reeves Sr. G Second Team
Chelsie Rohrs Sr. G Honorable Mention
Storm's winning streak snapped
February 13, 2013 Storm's winning streak snapped
Niemuth joins 500-win club
February 9, 2013 Niemuth joins 500-win club