Lankford clutch as Storm hold off Wis.-Eau Claire

Lankford clutch as Storm hold off Wis.-Eau Claire

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Noreen Morrow scored a game-high 16 points, Britney Boland finished a rebound shy of a double-double and the Simpson women's basketball team held off a late rally to beat Wis.-Eau Claire 74-66 in the season opener Friday.

Boland had 10 points and nine rebounds, Janey Botkins had 11 points and Ellen Gallagher added 10 points off the bench for the Storm (1-0), who led by 14 late in the third quarter before seeing the lead shrink to one mid-way through the fourth.

A layup by Jenni LaCroix made it 59-58 with 4:10 left to play before Megan Lankford hit a clutch 3 to extend the lead to four. Amarissa Raley added a lay-in and Lankford made a pair of free throws as the Storm held off the late charge.

Lankford was held scoreless before the fourth quarter but finished with nine points in the final 3:17. 

Anna Graaskamp scored 14 points and Hallee Hoeppner added 13 for the Bluegolds (0-1). 

Morrow and Gallagher scored 10 points apiece in the first half. Simpson scored 24 points in the second quarter alone, building a nine-point lead at the break.

Simpson continues its tour of the Wisconsin Conference on Saturday when it takes on Wis.-Whitewater at the Eau Claire Tip-Off Classic. 

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