MBB Preview: Storm look for season sweep of Dubuque

Ben Rajewski
Ben Rajewski

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Simpson Storm men's basketball team looks for the season sweep of Dubuque when it hosts the Spartans on Saturday at Cowles Fieldhouse. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.

The Storm (10-7, 4-5) set a school record with 18 3-pointers in a 98-89 win over Buena Vista on Wednesday, snapping a three-game skid in the process. The Spartans (11-8, 4-6) fell to Luther 97-87 on Wednesday, their third-straight loss.

The game will be video streamed live on SimpsonAthletics.com, where Bryan Geelan will have the call. Andrew Swadner and Rick Wilson will have the call for the audio stream on KNIAKRLS.com. Fans can also access the video stream via the American Rivers application on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV.

GAME 18
Dubuque (11-8, 4-6) at Simpson (10-7, 4-5)
Saturday, Jan. 26 | 4 p.m.
Cowles Fieldhouse | Indianola, Iowa
Live Video | Live Audio | Live Stats

DUBUQUE SERIES NOTES
Simpson and Dubuque meet for the 153rd time in a series that dates back to the 1919-20 season … Dubuque leads the series 83-69 … Simpson won the season's first meeting, an 86-71 victory in Dubuque … the team's split last season's series, each winning on the road … the road team has won the last three games.

RECENT RESULTS
Jan. 5, 2019 — W, 86-71 (Dubuque)
Jan. 24, 2018 — L, 80-76 (Indianola)
Dec. 6, 2017 — W, 87-83 (Dubuque)
Feb. 8, 2017 — W, 79-69 (Indianola)
Jan. 11, 2017 — L, 80-65 (Dubuque)

ABOUT THE SPARTANS
Dubuque and 12th-year head coach Robbie Sieverding have dropped three games in a row, most recently a 97-87 setback against Luther at home … the Spartans are led by Marcus McDaniel, who leads the team with 16.3 ppg, 19.0 ppg in league play … one of the best rebounding teams in the league, Dubuque has an A-R-C best 241 offensive rebounds on the season, 30 more than the second-most (Loras, 211) … Dubuque is eighth in the league in scoring (78.1) and fourth in points allowed (77.0).

LAST TIME OUT
Kyle Wagner and Conor Riordan scored 23 points apiece and the Storm made a school-record 18 3-pointers in a 98-89 win over Buena Vista on Wednesday. Wagner canned seven 3s for the Storm, who led by as many as 21 before having to hang on down the stretch. Buena Vista cut the lead to 86-84 with less than 3 minutes to play, but Simpson scored the next five points to create breathing room.

STORM NOTES

  • Simpson exploded for a school-record 18 3-pointers in Wednesday's 98-89 win at Buena Vista, breaking the mark of 17 set against Dubuque on Feb 22, 2003. The Storm went 18-for-32 in the game, good for 56.3 percent, second-best in school history.
  • Simpson went 30-for-37 from the charity stripe against Buena Vista, just the sixth time in school history a Storm team has made 30-or-more free throws in a game. The mark is the highest since Simpson tied a school record with 47 against Loras on Jan. 25, 2017.
  • The Storm have been locked in at the free throw line since the calendar changed to 2019. In six games, Simpson is shooting a blistering 83 percent from the line as a team. That's up from 72 percent over the first 11 games.
  • Junior forward Kyle Wagner had another big game against Buena Vista, scoring 23 points while going 7-for-11 from 3-point range. He has surpassed 20 points in 4 of the last 5 games and is averaging 20.2 ppg during the stretch. He averaged 10.7 ppg over the first 12 games of the season.
  • Wagner's seven 3-pointers against Buena Vista are tied for the third-most in school history and are the most since teammate Taylor Filbert also made seven against Ave Maria on Dec. 19, 2017. Wagner leads the American Rivers and ranks fourth in the nation in 3-point percentage (52.2).
  • Conor Riordan had his second, 30-point game of the season and fourth of his career when he put up 36 against Coe last Saturday. The effort marks the first, 36-point game in school history. His four 30-point games are the third-most in school history, behind Sam Amsbaugh (7) and David Otte (5).
  • The Storm are third in the conference in scoring (85.2 ppg) and fifth in points allowed (79.3).
  • Junior forward Adam Reiter is enjoying a career season, averaging 12.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game after averaging just 2.8 and 1.8 as a sophomore.
  • Defensive specialist John Barbee is fourth in the A-R-C with 33 steals.
  • Head coach Brad Bjorkgren became just the fifth coach in school history to reach 50 career wins with the Storm's 94-69 win at Luther on Dec. 3. He is the second-fastest to reach the mark, needing just 85 games. Bjorkgren is 54-40 in four seasons with the Storm.

UP NEXT
Simpson hosts Wartburg on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. at Cowles Fieldhouse.