INDIANOLA, Iowa — Sam Amsbaugh scored a career-high 40 points, DJ Dafney pulled down 13 rebounds and the Simpson men's basketball team pulled away down the stretch to beat Saint Mary's (Minn.) 82-66 on Monday.
Sabonis Smith added 10 points and Amsbaugh recorded the 10th 40-point game in school history as the Storm (4-1) improved to 3-0 against the MIAC this season. Simpson used a 17-5 run midway through the second half to pull away.
"Sam just kind of goes about his business and scores a quite 40," head coach Brad Bjorkgren said after the game.
Amsbaugh's well-rounded repertoire was on display Monday night. He beat Saint Mary's inside and out, scoring 22 points in the paint while going 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. He went 9-for-12 from the free throw line and added 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.
After missing his first shot of the game, Amsbaugh missed just three the rest of the way. He didn't miss from the field in the second half, going 6-for-6.
Wylie Ferron had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinals (2-1), who fell to 0-3 all-time against Simpson.
On a night when Amsbaugh stole the show, it was Simpson's bench that sparked the deciding run in the second half.
Jamie Montgomery hit a 3 from the left corner to give Simpson a 52-46 lead, Cody Good extended the lead to 56-48 and Brook Thompson had a big sequence to extend the lead to 13. He collected a loose ball and knocked down a 3 from the left wing then finished a fastbreak in traffic to give the Storm a 61-48 lead with 9:54 left in the game.
"We had some guys come off the bench and make some plays both defensively and offensively," Bjorkgren said.
Saint Mary's only lead came on a Cole Kruger layup to start the game. Smith answered with a 3 and Simpson led the rest of the way. Simpson led by as many as nine in the first half and led 40-35 at halftime.
Simpson has a quick turnaround, going to Grinnell on Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Amsbaugh's 40-point performance is the most by a Simpson player in more than 10 years … the last Storm player to score 40 was Jason Soppe (41) against Grinnell on Dec. 9, 2006 … it is tied for the seventh-highest scoring performance in Division III this season … Simpson made eight 3-pointers, its first win while making fewer than 10 this season … Simpson is off to its best start since also going 4-1 to start the 2002-03 season.