INDIANOLA, Iowa - At the beginning of the season, head coach Brian Niemuth said the strength of his team would be its depth.
On Tuesday night, the team proved him right.
MacKenzie Haupt scored 17 points to lead three players in double figures and Simpson used a 14-0 run late in the second half to pull away from Mt. Mercy for a 77-61 win in the final game before Thanksgiving break.
Niemuth used 11 players to wear down the Mt. Mercy offense as the Storm (4-1) scored 30 points off 24 turnovers.
"Our depth showed a little bit in the second half," Nimeuth said.
"We're going to have to win with our depth and wear people out," Niemuth said. "I don't know if we have that star player. We have a couple who are pretty good, but right now we're better when we play as a team and make that extra pass."
Down 31-27 at halftime, Simpson fought back and eventually found itself in a back-and-forth affair.
After a jumper by Makenzie Zeitler gave Mt. Mercy a 49-47 lead, Haupt answered with a jumper just inside the free throw line. Brittany Hedrick sliced through the Mustang defense to give Simpson a 51-49 lead on the next possession and Boland knocked down a 3 to push the lead to 54-49.
A pair of Haupt free throws gave Simpson a 56-49 lead and the momentum switched for good when Whitney Van Wyk started a fast break with a blocked 3-pointer that resulted in Kaale converting an and-one.
Van Wyk got a steal on the next possession and Kaale added another layup, giving the Storm a 61-49 lead and putting an end to a definitive 14-0 run that put the game away.
"I think that block [by Van Wyk] sparked us defensively and seemed to energize us," Niemuth said. "It's little things like that that Whitney does to help this team. It doesn't show up in the box score but it's important to how we play."
Simpson took care of business from the line down the stretch, going 22-for-25 in the game and 20-for-22 in the second half.
Center Abby Herb scored a game-high 23 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Mustangs (5-3), who had their two-game winning streak come to a close.
Up Next: Simpson travels to Storm Lake, Iowa for the Buena Vista Classic this weekend. The Storm play Macalester on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and close the weekend against Presentation on Saturday at 1 p.m.