Strong defensive effort helps Storm to fifth straight win

Sabonis Smith helped the Storm to a 52-38 win over Northwestern Ohio on Wednesday, Dec. 21.
Sabonis Smith helped the Storm to a 52-38 win over Northwestern Ohio on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

LAS VEGAS — Sabonis Smith scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds and the Simpson men's basketball team held Northwestern Ohio -- one of the top teams in NAIA -- to just three field goals in the first half en-route to a 52-38 win to close the Las Vegas Hoopla on Wednesday.

Sam Amsbaugh added 14 points and five rebounds for the Storm (9-2), who held the 25th-ranked Racers (11-4) to just 20-percent shooting from the field. Austin Turner added six points, five rebounds and four assists for the Storm.

Saddeq Bello scored 10 points, the only player in double figures for Northwestern Ohio, which was held 34 points below its season scoring average. The Racers went just 10-for-50 from the field and scored 13 of their 38 points from the free throw line.

Simpson pulled away with a 17-2 run early in the first half and Northwestern Ohio never recovered. Smith sparked the run with seven straight points to put Simpson up 15-2, part of an 11-0 run.

The Storm have won five games in a row for the first time since the 2003-04 season.

Northwestern Ohio's 38 points are the fewest scored against Simpson since Feb. 10, 2004, when the Storm held Central to 31 in an 88-31 win in Pella.

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Simpson plays at NCAA Division II Northwest Missouri State in an exhibition game on New Year's Eve. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.