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MBB Preview: Storm vs. Loras, 1.7.2017

MBB Preview: Storm vs. Loras, 1.7.2017

The Simpson men's basketball team travels to Dubuque, Iowa on Saturday to face the Loras Duhawks in a key Iowa Conference clash. The game will air on KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM and online at KNIAKRLS.com. Tipoff is set for approximately 4 p.m. from Lillis Court.

GAME 13 SETUP
Loras (9-4, 2-2) is the hottest team in the league following an 84-75 win over Wartburg on Wednesday, its sixth-straight. Simpson (9-3, 2-1) saw its five-game winning streak come to a close with a 92-81 loss to Nebraska Wesleyan on Wednesday. The Storm need a win to remain atop the conference standings.

ON THE AIR
From here until the end of the season, all of the Storm's Saturday games can be heard on KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM and online at KNIAKRLS.com. You can also download the KNIA app on iTunes and Google's Play Store. Andrew Swadner will have the call with Rick Wilson providing the color commentary.

COVERAGE
Radio: KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM
Live Audio: www.kniakrls.com
Live Video: Duhawks.com
Live Stats: Duhawks.com

5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. Simpson and Loras meet for the 94th time in a series that began in 1927-28. Loras holds a slim 48-45 lead in the all-time series. The Duhawks have held the edge in the series as of late, winning six of the last seven and seven of the last nine. The team's split last year's meetings, with each team defending its home court. Simpson beat Loras 78-60 on Jan. 13 and Loras returned the favor with an 89-87 win in the regular season finale on Feb. 20. The Storm's last win in Dubuque came on Jan. 18, 2012.

2. Simpson saw its longest winning streak in 13 seasons come to an end in a 92-81 loss to Nebraska Wesleyan on Wednesday. Ryan Skaar tied a career-high with 20 points, going 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. DJ Dafney had a 15-point, 15-rebound double-double.

3. Thus far, the IIAC has been about parity. Heading into Saturday's action, eight of the league's nine teams have two wins. Simpson, Nebraska Wesleyan, Central and Buena Vista are all tied for first at 2-1 in conference play. Loras, Wartburg, Coe and Dubuque are all 2-2 with Luther still in search of its first conference win at 0-4. Saturday's game is crucial to keeping pace with the league leaders.

4. Saturday's game features two of the top scorers in the Iowa Conference in Loras' Justin VanWambeke and Simpson's Sam Amsbaugh. Both average 22.1 ppg, tied for second in the league behind Central's Colby Taylor (23.6 ppg). VanWambeke missed Wednesday's game against Wartburg.

5. DJ Dafney is quietly piecing together the best season of his career. With increased attention given to Sam Amsbaugh, the senior is averaging 9.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game and shooting better than 46 percent from the field. He's averaging 12 points and nine boards in the past three games while shooting 54 percent from the field.