Wagner, strong second half lead Storm to win over Dubuque

Kyle Wagner
Kyle Wagner

DUBUQUE, Iowa -- Kyle Wagner scored a career-high 21 points and the Simpson men's basketball team put together a dominant second half in beating Dubuque 86-71 on Saturday.

Wagner scored 17 points in the second half, helping the Storm (9-4, 3-2 American Rivers) outscore Dubuque by 20 in the period. Simpson shot 56 percent from the field and went 8-for-11 from 3-point range in the final 20 minutes.

Simpson could ill-afford a loss following a humbling loss to Loras and looking ahead to a meeting the nation's top team in Nebraska Wesleyan. The Storm are one of three teams tied for second in the league. 

Simpson trailed by eight early in the second half but mounted a 21-4 run to take a commanding lead. Wagner's go-ahead 3-pointer with 14:10 left in the game made it 52-49 and the Storm never looked back, scoring the next 11 points.

A jumper by Conor Riordan extended Simpson's lead to 58-49 and Simpson stayed on the gas until the horn sounded.

Riordan scored 18 points in his second game back from injury and reserve Tyler Stumbo added 12 points for the Storm, who snapped Dubuque's five-game winning streak.

Avery Butler scored 19 points and Michael Williams had 12 and nine rebounds for the Spartans (10-4, 3-2), whose only conference loss going into the game was against defending national champion, Nebraska Wesleyan.

GAME NOTES

Simpson tied a season-high with 17 made free throws, going 17-for-19 from the line … Ben Rajewski scored 10 points and went 3-for-7 from 3-point range … Wagner was a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, making all three in the second half … Simpson won despite being outrebounded 41-32.

UP NEXT

Simpson hosts No. 1 Nebraska Wesleyan on Wednesday, Jan. 9. Start time is set for 8 p.m. at Cowles Fieldhouse.