INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Simpson men's basketball team split the season series with Wartburg on Thursday after claiming an 84-81 win in a close-knit battle in American Rivers Conference action.
The Storm (12-7, 6-5 American Rivers) snapped a three game losing streak to the Knights (14-7, 8-4 A-R-C) with the help of a 15-point lead during the second half.
After going up by two at the half, Simpson went on a 23-9 run to begin the second half in the first seven minutes of play. During that stretch, Adam Reiter netted six of his 19 points for the Storm.
With less than five minutes to go in regulation, the Knights cut the deficit to four after going on an 11-0 run to make it 76-72. A basket by Conor Riordan and a pair of made free throws by Reiter pushed the lead by back to eight for Simpson at the two-minute mark.
The visitors bounced back and brought the score to within two at 80-78, but had to start fouling and sent Kyle Wagner to the line. Wagner visited the charity stripe four times in the last 15 seconds and he buried all four attempts.
In the first half, neither team could break away and Simpson held the largest lead at any point at seven, while the Knights had a one-point advantage at the 13-minute mark.
For the game, the Storm shot 49.2 percent from the floor and 38.5 percent from behind the arc.
Along with 19 points, Reiter grabbed 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Kyle Wagner matched his teammate with 19 points, while dishing out four assists. Riordan scored 16 points, Taylor Filbert had 12 and John Barbee contributed 10 points.
For the Knights, Cam Kickbush led all scorers with 27 points and the conference's leading scorer, Jaran Sabus, had 21.
Wartburg leads the conference in rebounding margin at 5.0, but Simpson tallied four-more rebounds than its counterparts and had a 38-34 edge on the glass. The Storm scored more bench points (17) and second-chance points (12) during the contest.
Simpson takes a one-day break from competition before traveling to Loras on Saturday for a 4:00 p.m. contest.