MBB Preview: Storm travel to face top-ranked Nebraska Wesleyan

MBB Preview: Storm travel to face top-ranked Nebraska Wesleyan

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Simpson Storm men's basketball team closes a challenging stretch of four games in seven days when it travels to face top-ranked Nebraska Wesleyan on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. in Lincoln.

The Storm (13-8, 7-6 American Rivers) won for the fourth time in five games with a 90-81 victory over Luther on Monday night. The No. 1 Prairie Wolves survived a scare from Buena Vista their last time out, escaping with an 89-86 win Saturday after the Beavers' half-court heave rimmed out as time expired.

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

GAME 22
Simpson (13-8, 7-6) at #1 Nebraska Wesleyan (20-1, 11-1)
Wednesday, Feb. 6 | 8 p.m.
Snyder Arena | Lincoln, Neb.
Live Video | Live Stats

NEBRASKA WESLEYAN SERIES NOTES
Simpson and Nebraska Wesleyan meet for the 51st time in a series that dates back to 1906-07 … the Prairie Wolves own a 29-21 lead in the all-time series and have won 8 of 9 … Nebraska Wesleyan is 4-1 against the Storm since joining the league in 2016-17 … Nebraska Wesleyan won the season's first meeting, 96-84 on Jan. 9.

RECENT RESULTS
Jan. 9, 2019 — L, 96-84 (Indianola)
Jan. 27, 2018 — W, 102-97 OT (Indianola)
Dec 2, 2017 — L, 94-85 (Lincoln)
Feb. 4, 2017 — L, 73-72 (Lincoln)
Jan. 4, 2017 — L, 92-81 (Indianola)

ABOUT THE PRAIRIE WOLVES
Nebraska Wesleyan and fifth-year head coach Dave Wellman regained the top spot in the D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll after falling to No. 2 last week following an 84-76 loss to Loras … the loss to Loras on Jan. 26 snapped a 31-game winning streak, the longest in all of college basketball … Nebraska Wesleyan boasts the A-R-C's No. 2 scoring offense (91.5 ppg) and also ranks second in points allowed (73.9) … reigning conference co-MVP Ryan Garver is second on the team in scoring (15.6) but leads the American Rivers in assists (144), steals (59) and assist-to-turnover ratio (plus-3.8) … Nate Schimonitz is the team's leading scorer (18.0 ppg) and Cooper Cook is the leading rebounder (6.5 rpg).

LAST TIME OUT
Conor Riordan scored a game-high 23 points, Tyler Stumbo had a season-high 21 and Simpson used a 21-5 run midway through the second half to pull away for a 90-81 win over Luther on Monday at Cowles Fieldhouse. Riordan and Taylor Filbert made four 3s apiece as Simpson hit 14 from long range.

STORM NOTES

  • The Storm went 14-for-32 from 3-point range against Luther, giving the team 213 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 51.5 percent from the field in Monday's win over Luther, improving to is a perfect 7-0 this season when making more than half its shots.
  • 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 80.1 percent from the line as a team. That's up from 72 percent over the first 11 games.
  • Senior Tyler Stumbo is coming off back-to-back season-highs, putting up 16 in Saturday's loss at Loras before pouring in 21 Monday against Luther.
  • Adam Reiter secured his fourth double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds in last Thursday's win over Wartburg. He leads the A-R-C with 7.2 rebounds per game and his 47 offensive rebounds are also tops in the league.
  • Junior forward Kyle Wagner has established himself as one of the top 3-point shooters in the country. Hitting 51.3 percent from beyond the arc, Wagner leads the A-R-C and ranks fifth in the nation. After starting the season averaging 10.7 ppg, he is averaging 18.1 points and shooting 55.5 percent from the field in the last nine games.
  • Wagner has made at least one 3-pointer in 23 straight games dating back to last season.
  • Conor Riordan went 4-for-7 from beyond the arc in the win over Luther, giving him 101 3s for his career, the eighth player in school history to reach the century mark. His 23 points in the game increased his career total to 923 as he closes in on 1,000 for his career. He needs to average just over 19 ppg over four games (assuming an A-R-C Tournament appearance for the Storm) to reach the mark this season.
  • The Storm are third in the conference in scoring (84.6 ppg) and fifth in points allowed (79.6).
  • 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 get a well-deserved week off and will host Central on Wednesday, Feb. 13 to close the regular season home slate. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.

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