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Storm open Thanksgiving Classic with 38-point win

Cassie Nash
Cassie Nash

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- After scoring just 15 points in the opening quarter, the Simpson women's basketball team exploded for 61 points over the next two frames en route to a commanding 96-58 victory over Concordia-Moorhead in the Simpson Thanksgiving Classic on Friday.

Cassie Nash tallied 18 points to lead the Storm (3-1) as she earned her third double-figure performance in just four career games for Simpson after shooting 9-for-12. Cassie Chubb poured in 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting with four 3-pointers, and Claire Johnson had 10 points and six steals.

The Storm's tough defense forced the Cobbers (1-4) to commit 24 turnovers as they connected on just 36.2% of their attempts. From behind the arc, Concordia was 4-for-24.

As both teams were getting started in the contest, the Cobbers held a slim 6-5 advantage under five minutes to play in the first period before a triple by Allyson Simpson gave Simpson the lead. Concordia would fight back to regain the tilt at 12-11 with 1:35 remaining. Megan Todd would score to dig the Storm out of the hole and the team would keep the lead the rest of the game.

Simpson used runs of 9-0 and 12-0 in the second stanza to go up by 18 points at 36-18. The Storm would go in the locker room with a 43-24 lead after outscoring the Cobbers 28-12 in the second period.

The offense game back from intermission on a 17-5 scoring spree over the first four minutes as Nash tallied six points during that span. A basket by Caitlynne Shadle put the contest at 73-35 at the 2:11 mark, which capped off a 30-9 scoring spurt for the Storm in the third. Concordia would then score the game's next seven of 10 points to end the period at 76-42.

In the fourth, Alaira Tyus and Kelli Hanson teammed up for a 9-2 run by themselves as Tyus started it with a triple and Hanson followed with back-to-back 3-pointers. Tyus would finish with eight points in the quarter as Simpson clinched the 38-point triumph.

• Nash was just three rebounds shy of her first career double-double. 
• Of the 15 players that saw action tonight for the Storm, 14 scored a point.
• Simpson shot 60.3% from the floor and 61.9% from behind the arc, both are season highs.
• The team is averaging 20.3 assists per contest to pace the American Rivers Conference after securing its third game of the year with 20-or-more helpers.
• Head coach Brian Niemuth is now four wins away from hitting 600 career victories in his 33rd year with the program.

Up Next
Simpson returns to the hardwood tomorrow to end the Thanksgiving Classic. The Storm take on Calvin at 3 p.m. inside Cowles Fieldhouse. The Knights won 71-53 over Buena Vista in the opener on Friday.