Gretzky's 14, swarming defense give Storm men 74-57 win over Buena Vista

Gretzky's 14, swarming defense give Storm men 74-57 win over Buena Vista

INDIANOLA, Iowa - Dillon Gretzky scored 14 points to lead four players in double figures, Ryan Skaar reached a career milestone and the Simpson men's basketball team used a 26-3 run in the first half to beat Buena Vista 74-57 on Wednesday.

The win allowed the Storm (15-9, 8-5 Iowa Conference) to move into sole possession of second place in the league standings with one game to go. A win at Loras on Saturday would give Simpson the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the Iowa Conference Tournament.

After a slow first half, Gretzky scored 11 points in the second half, finishing one rebound shy of a double-double. Skaar, DJ Dafney and Jamie Montgomery all had 11 points.

Nick Clark led the Beavers (9-15, 4-9) with 13 points on 5-for-12 shooting.

Skaar and Montgomery had three 3-pointers apiece for Simpson, which made 11 on the night - eight in the first half. Montgomery was key to Simpson's first-half run, scoring all 11 of his points in the opening frame. He had eight straight points, including a pair of 3s, in Simpson's 16-0 run that opened up a 32-15 lead in the first.

Skaar started the run with his second 3-pointer, pulling Simpson within two and sparking a 7-0 run. A Tyler Anderson free throw with 13:27 left gave Simpson the lead and it never looked back.

Skaar's 3-pointer from the right corner with 7:22 to play gave him 100 for his career, just the seventh player in school history to reach the century mark.

One game after allowing Coe to shoot 49 percent from the field, a menacing Simpson defense made a statement against Buena Vista. Simpson forced 20 turnovers, holding Buena Vista to a season-low 57 points, 27 below its season average.

Up next: Simpson finishes the regular season at Loras on Saturday. The Duhawks (12-12, 7-6) lost to Central 87-81 on Wednesday.