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MBB Preview: Luther visits Cowles Fieldhouse on Monday

John Barbee
John Barbee

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Simpson Storm men's basketball team continues a brutal stretch of four games in seven days Monday when it hosts the Luther Norse on Monday at Cowles Fieldhouse. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.

The Storm (12-8, 6-6 American Rivers) suffered a 100-79 loss to 18th-ranked Loras on Saturday while the Norse (7-12, 1-10) lost to Coe 80-63.

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 21
Luther (7-12, 1-10) at Simpson (12-8, 6-6)
Monday, Feb. 4 | 8 p.m.
Cowles Fieldhouse | Indianola, Iowa
Live Video | Live Stats

LUTHER SERIES NOTES
Simpson and Luther meet for the 158th time in a series that dates back to 1923-24 … the Norse hold a 82-75 lead in the all-time series, but Simpson has won seven-straight dating back to the 2015-16 season … the Storm have won by an average of 15.3 points during the stretch … Simpson beat Luther 94-69 on Dec. 3 in Decorah.

RECENT RESULTS
Dec. 3, 2018 — W, 94-69 (Decorah)
Jan. 31, 2018 — W, 92-75 (Decorah)
Jan. 3, 2018 — W, 83-60 (Indianola)
Feb. 15, 2017 — W, 74-62 (Indianola)
Dec. 7, 2016 — W, 69-59 (Decorah)

ABOUT THE NORSE
Luther and 13th-year head coach Mark Franzen recently snapped a streak of 27 consecutive conference losses when the Norse beat Dubuque 97-87 on Jan. 23 in Dubuque … Luther has lost its last two games, most recently falling to Coe 80-63 despite a career-high 19 points from Spencer Sturges … the Norse are led by Jared Nicolaisen, who is the team's leading scorer (16.3 ppg) and rebounder (5.0 rpg) … Nicolaisen returned to the lineup on Saturday after missing three games … the Norse rank sixth in the league in scoring (79.3) and seventh in points allowed (82.3).

LAST TIME OUT
Adam Reiter scored 19 points and Tyler Stumbo added 16 off the bench but Loras used a big first-half to beat Simpson 100-79 on Saturday. The 18th-ranked Duhawks shot better than 56 percent from the field in building a 51-26 halftime lead.

STORM NOTES

  • The Storm went 9-for-18 from 3-point range against Loras, giving the team 199 3s on the season. The school record is 232 set in 2015-16, head coach Brad Bjorkgren's first season at the helm.
  • Simpson shot 48.4 percent from the field in Saturday's loss to Loras, the team's highest shooting percentage in a losing effort this season.
  • Simpson is a perfect 6-0 this season when shooting better than 50 percent from the field.
  • Simpson exploded for a school-record 18 3-pointers in a 98-89 win at Buena Vista on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 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.
  • The Storm have been locked in at the free throw line since the calendar changed to 2019. In nine games, Simpson is shooting a blistering 80.8 percent from the line as a team. That's up from 72 percent over the first 11 games.
  • Adam Reiter secured his fourth double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds in Thursday's win over Wartburg.
  • Junior forward Kyle Wagner has established himself as one of the top 3-point shooters in the country. Hitting 51.9 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 18.6 points and shooting 56.1 percent from the field in the last eight games.
  • 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. 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 (78.5).
  • 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
The Storm travel to face No. 2 Nebraska Wesleyan on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Start time is set for 8 p.m. in Lincoln.

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