INDIANOLA, Iowa - Sam Amsbaugh scored 14 of 21 points in the second half, including the go-ahead putback with 90 seconds left, and the Simpson men's basketball team made big defensive plays down the stretch to beat Central 79-73.
Amsbaugh went 4-for-6 from the field in the second half and Dillon Gretzky battled through a bloody left eye brow to score 19 points for the Storm (13-8, 6-4 Iowa Conference), who snapped a two-game losing streak and completed a season-sweep of their biggest rival.
Simpson trailed by one when Amsbaugh rebounded his own miss and finished the putback to make it 71-70 with 1:32 left. Ryan Skaar sealed the deal on the defensive end, drawing a charge with 32 seconds left to preserve the lead and picking the pocket of Pete Walker to help seal it.
Simpson trailed by eight with with 5 minutes left but outscored Central 18-4 down the stretch. The Dutch (14-7, 5-5) made just one field goal in the final 6 minutes.
Pete Walker had 16 points and seven rebounds and Trashawn Boyd finished with 15 points for Central, which saw a two-game winning streak come to a close. Colby Taylor - the IIAC's second-leading scorer - finished with nine points, 13 below his season average.
Simpson built a 12-point lead in the first half and led 39-30 at halftime. Central outscored Simpson 37-17 over the next 13 minutes, taking a 69-61 lead before going cold.
Austin Turner converted a three-point play and Gretzky canned a 3 from the top of the key to spark Simpson's stretch run. Skaar made the play of the game when he stepped in front of Austin Glawe, drawing a charge to preserve the 71-70 lead. He followed that up by stripping Walker with 20 seconds left and Simpson leading 73-70.
Simpson went 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 30 seconds and went 21-for-25 for the game.
Up next: Simpson goes to Luther on Wednesday, Feb. 10. The Norse (5-16, 4-6) beat Buena Vista 84-70 on Saturday.