MBB Preview: Wartburg visits Cowles Fieldhouse on Thursday

MBB Preview: Wartburg visits Cowles Fieldhouse on Thursday

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Simpson Storm men's basketball team will go for its third straight win when it hosts the Wartburg Knights on Thursday at Cowles Fieldhouse. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.

Originally scheduled for Wednesday, the game was postponed due to a dangerous cold snap throughout the Midwest.

The Storm (11-7, 5-5 American Rivers) pulled away in the second half for a 75-62 win over Dubuque on Saturday while the Knights (14-6, 8-3) won their fifth-straight with a 93-81 victory over Central.

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

GAME 19
Wartburg (14-6, 8-3) at Simpson (11-7, 5-5)
Thursday, Jan. 30 | 8 p.m.
Cowles Fieldhouse | Indianola, Iowa
Live Video | Live Stats

WARTBURG SERIES NOTES
Simpson and Wartburg meet for the 141st time in a series that dates back to the 1945-46 season … Wartburg leads the series 94-46 and has won three straight … the Knights beat Simpson 92-81 in conference opener on Nov. 28 in Waverly.

RECENT RESULTS
Nov. 28, 2018 — L, 92-81 (Waverly)
Feb. 20, 2018 — L, 76-72 (Indianola)*
Feb. 3, 2018 — L, 85-77 (Waverly)
Jan. 13, 2018 — W, 86-81 (Indianola)
Jan. 28, 2017 — W, 86-80 (Waverly)
Dec. 3, 2016 — W, 81-68 (Indianola)
*IIAC Tournament

ABOUT THE KNIGHTS
Wartburg and 22nd-year head coach Dick Peth extended their winning streak to five games with Saturday's 93-81 win over Central … prior to that, the Knights knocked off then-No. 22 Loras 88-83 at home … the Knights boast the league's leading scorer in Jaran Sabus (21.9 ppg), who is averaging 22.4 ppg and 7.0 rpg during the winning streak … guard Cam Kickbush leads the conference with 70 3-pointers, 16 more than Nebraska Wesleyan's Cooper Cook … Wartburg is fourth in the league in scoring (83.1) and third in points allowed (74.7).

LAST TIME OUT
Conor Riordan scored 19 points, Kyle Wagner added 16 and Simpson pulled away in the second half for a 75-62 win over Dubuque on Saturday, sweeping the season series with the Spartans. The Storm mounted a 13-3 run to start the second half, breaking open what was a 35-35 tie at halftime. Adam Reiter posted a 10-point, 17-rebound double-double.

STORM NOTES

  • Simpson shot 50.9 percent from the field in the win over Dubuque, the sixth time the Storm have shot better than 50 percent in a game this season. Simpson is a perfect 6-0 in those games.
  • Adam Reiter pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds in Saturday's 75-62 win over Dubuque, the most by a Simpson player since Austin Hennings had 17 on Dec. 14, 2013. He is the 12th player in school history to grab 15-or-more rebounds in a game.
  • Simpson exploded for a school-record 18 3-pointers in last 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 seven games, Simpson is shooting a blistering 82.7 percent from the line as a team. That's up from 72 percent over the first 11 games.
  • Junior forward Kyle Wagner had established himself as one of the top 3-point shooters in the country. Hitting 53.1 percent from beyond the arc, Wagner leads the A-R-C and ranks second in the nation. After starting the season averaging 10.7 ppg, he is averaging 19.5 points and shooting better than 58 percent from the field in the last six games.
  • 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.
  • Conor Riordan had his second, 30-point game of the season and fourth of his career when he put up 36 against Coe on Jan. 19. 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 (84.6 ppg) and fifth in points allowed (73.3).
  • Junior forward Adam Reiter is enjoying a career season, averaging 12.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game after averaging just 2.8 and 1.8 as a sophomore. He is second in the league in rebounding and leads the American Rivers with 41 offensive rebounds.
  • Defensive specialist John Barbee is fourth in the A-R-C with 34 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
After a two-game homestand, Simpson hits the road to face No. 18 Loras on Saturday, Feb. 2. Start time is set for 4 p.m. in Dubuque.

Storm fall to No. 20 Loras
January 2, 2019 Storm fall to No. 20 Loras
Storm stun No. 10 Platteville
November 20, 2018 Storm stun No. 10 Platteville