INDIANOLA, Iowa - The Simpson men's basketball team hung around for 40 minutes but couldn't get the key bucket it needed to seize momentum from Buena Vista in an 86-75 loss on Wednesday.
Simpson trailed by one with just over six minutes left in the game but Buena Vista owned the final minutes, outscoring Simpson 19-9 down the stretch.
Chad Gutschenritter and Charles Swain scored 18 points apiece for the Storm (2-12, 0-3 Iowa Conference), who remain in search of their first league win. Eric Lande added 12 points off the bench and Dillon Gretzky had 11.
Simpson struggled with Buena Vista's size for most of the night, and nowhere was it more apparent than on the boards. Led by 13 rebounds from the 6-foot, 11-inch Nick Wuebker and eight from 6-foot-8 Brett Heitkamp, the Beavers (8-6, 3-0) held a 48-28 advantage on the glass. Buena Vista scored 19 second-chance points off 16 offensive rebounds.
Cole Darrow led Buena Vista with 19 points and Wuebker had 16 for the double-double.
Simpson trailed by 10 with 11:47 remaining, but two free throws and a layup by Lande triggered an 11-2 run. Ryan Skaar cut the lead to one at 65-64 when he canned a 3 from the left wing – his only shot attempt of the game – with 7:58 left.
After a bucket by Heitkamp made it a three-point game, Lande responded with a mid-range jumper to pull within one again. But Nick Clark and Grady Gallagher hit back-to-back 3s, crippling Simpson's comeback attempt and all but sealing the win.
Simpson returns to action Saturday, Jan. 18 when its hosts Luther. The Norse (8-6, 0-3) lost to league-leading Dubuque 79-69 on Wednesday.