Storm drop heartbreaker to Nebraska Wesleyan

Storm drop heartbreaker to Nebraska Wesleyan

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nate Schimonitz scored 22 points, including the game-winner on a layup with 4.6 seconds left, and Nebraska Wesleyan came back from 17 down to hand the Simpson men's basketball team a 73-72 loss on Saturday.

A pair of free throws by DJ Dafney gave Simpson a 72-71 lead with 14 seconds left before Blake Ruiz found Schimonitz on a backdoor cut from the right wing. The Storm didn't get a shot off before time expired. Point guard Austin Turner got tangled up near midcourt, hitting the floor and losing the ball as the clock ran out.

Schimonitz scored 20 points in the second half for the Prairie Wolves (15-6, 9-4 Iowa Conference), who earned the season sweep of Simpson. Deion Wells-Ross finished with 16 points and Cooper Cook had 15 and eight rebounds.

Ryan Skaar scored all 16 of his points in the first half, finishing 4-for-7 from downtown. Dafney and Sam Amsbaugh added 12 apiece for the Storm (13-9, 6-7).

Skaar made his first five shots of the game and Simpson went on a 12-0 run to build a 39-22 advantage in the first half. The Storm led 42-28 at halftime, shooting better than 54-percent from the field. 

Nebraska Wesleyan slowly chipped away at the lead throughout the second half, but Simpson held the edge until a layup by Schimonitz and a three-point play by Ryan Garver gave the Prairie Wolves a 71-67 lead with 1:18 left.

Turner responded with a 3 from the left wing to pull within one. After a defensive stop, Dafney rebounded Turner's miss, drew a foul and hit both from the free throw line to set up the final sequence.

Simpson hosts Dubuque on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at Cowles Fieldhouse. The Spartans (9-11, 6-6) played a non-conference game against Illinois Tech on Saturday.