Comeback falls short as Central holds off Storm

Comeback falls short as Central holds off Storm

INDIANOLA, Iowa - The Simpson men's basketball team erased a 16-point, second-half deficit but Colby Taylor scored the game-winning layup with 17 seconds left as Central escaped with an 80-76 win on Wednesday night.

Down 69-53 with 8:35 left, Simpson went on a 23-7 run down the stretch to tie it at 76 when Chad Gutschenritter hit a pull-up 3 from the top of the key with 1:11 left.

Simpson had a chance to take the lead after a Central miss, but Spencer Bakerink came away with a steal and Taylor finished the fast break for the 78-76 lead. Charles Swain missed on a tough drive that would have tied it with 2 seconds left and free throws by Nile Eckermann put it away.

Gutschenritter scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half and handed out six assists to lead the Storm (3-17, 1-8 Iowa Conference). Swain added 19 points on 3-for-5 shooting from downtown and Austin Hennings posted a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double off the bench.

Matt Greenfield scored a game-high 23 points on 10 of 16 shooting for the red-hot Dutch (14-6, 7-2), who won their fifth straight.

Central's winning streak began with an 84-83 overtime win at home against Simpson on Jan. 22.

Simpson returns to action Saturday, Feb. 8 when it hosts Dubuque in a 4 p.m. tipoff. The league-leading Spartans (19-1, 8-1) won the first meeting 76-66 and beat Wartburg 83-65 on Wednesday.

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