Storm drop instant-classic despite Riordan’s 35

Conor Riordan
Conor Riordan

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- Conor Riordan scored a game-high 35 points—including the game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation—but his heroics weren't enough as the Simpson men's basketball team lost to Bethany Lutheran in overtime, 103-100 in the season-opener Saturday.

The Vikings (2-0) trailed 100-98 in overtime when Jared Milinkovich hit a 3 from the right corner with 10 seconds left. Simpson turned it over on the inbound, Cire Mayfield hit a pair of free throws and John Barbee's potential game-tying 3 missed long in the closing seconds.

Barbee scored 22 points and had four steals for the Storm (0-1), who lost a season-opener for the first time under fourth-year head coach Brad Bjorkgren. Adam Reiter had 11 points and six rebounds and Ben Rajewski finished with 10 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED

A wild final minute of regulation began when Reiter scooped up a loose ball in the lane and slammed home a dunk to give Simpson an 89-88 lead. Trenton Krueger hit a pair of free throws to give the lead back to Bethany Lutheran, and Riordan lost the ball out of bounds with 4 seconds left. He stole the ensuing inbound, but called a timeout the team didn't have after getting trapped in the corner with 2 seconds left.

Austin Bauer made the technical foul free throws to make it 92-89, but Simpson was awarded possession at the point of the technical following the free throws. Inbounding in front of his own bench, Tyler Stumbo found Riordan, allowing the junior to send the game to overtime with a deep 3 from the left wing.

Barbee made the game-tying 3 with 44 seconds left in overtime and converted a fastbreak layup after a Taylor Filbert steal to make it 100-98. The Vikings got the ball down the floor quickly and Mayfield found Milinkovich open in the corner for his 10th assist of the game.

The Storm led the entire first half, taking a 12-point lead on Riordan's 3 at the 11:41 mark. Simpson led by seven at halftime, but Bethany Lutheran came back in the second, taking a 57-56 lead on a layup by Mayfield that capped a 14-3 run.

GAME NOTES

  • Riordan went 12-for-22 from the field, 5-for-9 from 3-point range and 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. He reached double figures for the 19th-straight game. 
  • The Simpson defense forced 26 turnovers.
  • Bethany Lutheran shot 85 percent from the free throw line, going 17-for-20.

UP NEXT

Simpson travels to Westminster (Mo.) on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Start time is set for 7 p.m.