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MBB Preview: Storm at Dubuque, 1.11.17

MBB Preview: Storm at Dubuque, 1.11.17

The Simpson men's basketball team makes its second trip to the city of Dubuque in the past five days, this time to face the University of Dubuque when it faces the Spartans on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. from McCormick Gymnasium and the game will air live on www.dbq.edu.

GAME SETUP
Dubuque (5-8, 2-3 IIAC) saw a three-game winning streak come to a close with a 94-74 loss at Wartburg on Saturday. Prior to that the Spartans earned home wins over St. Scholastica, Clarke and Coe. Simpson (9-4, 2-2 IIAC) lost its second game in a row Saturday, a 73-65 setback at Loras.

GAME DAY COVERAGE
Live Video: www.DBQ.edu

THE COACHES
Simpson—Brad Bjorkgren, 24-15 at Simpson (second season)
Dubuque—Robbie Sieverding, 169-87 at Dubuque (10th season)

PROJECTED STARTERS
Simpson—Sam Amsbaugh (21.8 ppg/8.2 apg/1.8 apg), Ryan Skaar (9.8 ppg/2.8 rpg/1.2 apg), DJ Dafney (9.6 ppg/8.3 rpg/1.4 apg), Sabonis Smith (8.2 ppg/3.9 rpg/2.4 apg), Austin Turner (7.8 ppg/3.8 rpg/3.8 apg)
Dubuque—Jake Weber (15.4 ppg/12.5 rpg/2.8 apg), Jamaree Atwater (15.3 ppg/4.9 rpg/1.5 apg), Jalen Jackson (9.8 ppg/1.5 rpg), Jacob Mohlis (7.7 ppg/2.5 rpg/1.2 apg), Kyle Bauer (4.8 ppg/3.1 rpg)

THE SERIES
• Simpson and Dubuque meet for the 148th time in a series that dates back to the 1919-20 season.
• Dubuque holds an 82-65 lead in the series, including a 26-14 edge at home.
• The Spartans have won nine straight against the Storm, including a sweep last season … Dubuque won 74-64 in Indianola and 74-60 in Dubuque.
• Simpson's last win in the series was a 95-87, double-overtime win in the 2012 IIAC tournament.

THE SPARTANS
• After limping to a 2-7 start to the season, Dubuque won three in a row before Saturday's 94-74 loss to Wartburg
• The Spartans are 4-1 at home, their lone loss coming to North Park on Nov. 22 … since then Dubuque is 4-0 at home, winning by an average of 17 points.
• Jake Weber is the only player in the Iowa Conference averaging a double-double with 15.4 ppg and a league-high 12.5 rpg.
• Though he hasn't played in the last three games, TJ Lake averages a team-high 17.8 ppg.

THE STORM
• Simpson owns one of the top defenses in the league, holding opponents to an IIAC-low 39.4 percent shooting from the field and 31.9 percent from beyond the arc … Simpson has held opponents to 35.4 percent shooting in the last five games.
• Simpson shot a season-low 41.7 percent from the free throw line in Saturday's loss at Loras, going just 5-for-12 in the eight-point loss … Simpson has made at least 10 free throws in 10 of 13 games this season.
• When the Storm make 10 3-pointers this season, they are undefeated … Simpson hasn't made more than 10 3s in a game yet, but is 6-0 when making 10.
• Simpson is 5-1 this season when Amsbaugh scores 20-or-more points, the lone loss coming in a 38-point effort against Grinnell.
• Amsbaugh has reached double figures in the scoring column in 15 straight games dating back to last season … he scored a career-high 40 against Saint Mary's on Nov. 28 and his lowest output this season was 13 against Waldorf on Nov. 21.
• Amsbaugh is on pace to reach 1,000 career points this season, entering Wednesday's game with 799 … he would become the 20th player in school history and first since Charles Swain in 2014-15 to reach the career milestone.
• Senior point guard Austin Turner has moved into eighth on Simpson's career assists list with 221 … Dirk Walker is the career leader with 448 (2000-04).
• Senior shooting guard Ryan Skaar has moved into sole possession of fifth place on the Storm's career 3-point shooting list with 127 … Zack Barragan is the career leader with 199 from 2008-12, followed by Jason Parkinson (171 from 2003-07), Ryan Hittenmiller (151 from 2003-07) and Chad Buchanan (148 from 1992-95).
• Despite standing just 6-foot-2, DJ Dafney has developed into Simpson's top rebounder, averaging 8.3 per game (4th in the IIAC) … he has increased his total to 10 rebounds per game in conference play … Dafney has four games with 10-plus rebounds, including a career-high 15 in the loss to Nebraska Wesleyan on Jan. 4.