Amsbaugh leads strong bench, Storm men pull away from Loras

Amsbaugh leads strong bench, Storm men pull away from Loras

INDIANOLA, Iowa – Sam Amsbaugh showed few ill-effects from an injury sustained in practice earlier in the week, scoring 21 points to lead the Simpson men's basketball team to a 78-60 win against Loras on Wednesday.

With his playing status in doubt after injuring his foot in practice, Amsbaugh came off the bench to go 5-for-9 from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 from the line. Brook Thompson added five points off the bench as the Storm (9-5, 2-1 Iowa Conference) reserves outscored Loras' 26-6, helping Simpson remain undefeated at home.

"We have a bunch of guys that play and give us good depth off the bench," head coach Brad Bjorkgren said. "I think we can wear people out with our depth."

Ryan Skaar scored 19 points, coming two rebounds shy of a double-double. Dillon Gretzky added 18 – 12 in the second half – as Simpson improved to 4-0 at Cowles Fieldhouse.

Simpson went 13-for-13 from the free throw line in snapping a five-game losing streak in the series.

Last week's Iowa Conference Player of the Week, Mirko Grcic led all scorers with 25 points for the Duhawks (7-7, 2-1), who had won their last three.

Simpson came out firing on all cylinders, sprinting to an 11-2 lead on a pair of 3-pointers by Skaar and one by Austin Turner. An 11-0 run midway through the first pushed the lead to double figures as Simpson led from wire-to-wire.

The home crowd was energized by a number of hustle plays that saw players diving after loose balls and getting fast breaks at the other end.

"We want to be the first ones diving on the floor," Bjorkgren said. "We want to take charges. Those things get contagious, then everyone starts doing it."

Loras pulled within five twice in the second half, but Simpson had an answer each time. Gretzky nailed a 3 from the top of the key to push the lead to eight with 17:42 to play and DJ Dafney got to the rim to spark a 6-0 charge with 14:53 left.

Dafney finished with six points and seven rebounds but had his work cut out for him on the defensive end, shadowing Grcic for 28 minutes.

Up next: Simpson hosts Iowa Conference preseason favorite Dubuque on Saturday, Jan. 16. The Spartans (9-5, 2-1) lost to Central 72-67 on Wednesday.