INDIANOLA, Iowa - The Simpson men's basketball team couldn't overcome a cold shooting night and uncharacteristic turnovers, losing to Buena Vista 87-58 in the first round of the Iowa Conference Tournament on Tuesday night.
The first trip to the postseason in three years wasn't kind to the third-seeded Storm (15-11), who shot a season-low 27 percent from the field and committed 18 turnovers that turned into 22 points for Buena Vista.
"We guarded really well in the first 10 minutes of the ball game but we couldn't make shots," first-year head coach Brad Bjorkgren said. "I think that deflated us a little bit and we panicked a little bit."
Despite the disappointing loss, Simpson made great strides in 2015-16. The Storm posted a nine-game turnaround from the previous season and finished tied for second in the Iowa Conference after being picked dead last in the preseason.
"My first day here, in a meeting with seniors, I told them I didn't want to reload. We wanted to get it going right away," Bjorkgren said.
Kennedy Drey had 18 points and 12 rebounds and Nick Clark added 16 points and five assists for the sixth-seeded Beavers (11-15), who advance to play second-seeded Wartburg on Thursday. Buena Vista built a big lead by shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half.
"We could never really get the momentum going our way," Bjorkgren said.
Despite struggling from the field early, Simpson trailed by only three when Amsbaugh hit a 3 from the top of the key to make it 18-15 with 9:30 left in the first half.
Buena Vista responded with a 19-2 run, including 3-pointers by Thomas Wisecup, Bobby Ivey and Connor Winkleman, making it 37-17 with 3:36 left in the opening frame.