MBB Preview: Storm host Central on Senior Day

Taylor Filbert (L) and Ben Rajewski
Taylor Filbert (L) and Ben Rajewski

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Simpson Storm men's basketball team has a chance to clinch a spot in the American Rivers Conference Tournament when it hosts the Central Dutch in the home finale on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. at Cowles Fieldhouse.

The Storm (13-9, 7-7) have been off since last Wednesday's 102-71 loss to conference champion and top-ranked Nebraska Wesleyan. The Dutch (8-15, 5-9) snapped a six-game losing streak with a 94-90 win over Luther on Saturday.

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 23
Central (8-15, 5-9) at Simpson (13-9, 7-7)
Wednesday, Feb. 13 | 8 p.m.
Cowles Fieldhouse | Indianola, Iowa
Live Video | Live Audio | Live Stats

TOURNAMENT TALK
The Storm currently sit in the fifth position in the American Rivers standings, a game behind Coe. With a win Wednesday, Simpson would clinch a spot in the league tournament. If Simpson wins out, it has a chance to host a first-round contest as either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed.

CENTRAL SERIES NOTES
Simpson and Central meet for the 202nd time in a series that dates back to 1906-07 … the Storm hold a slim 102-99 lead in the all-time series … the Dutch have won 3 of 4 in the series, including an 87-84 win on Jan. 16 in Pella … Simpson is 25-17 all-time against Central in Cowles Fieldhouse.

RECENT RESULTS
Jan. 16, 2019 — L, 87-84 (Pella)
Feb. 7, 2018 — W, 96-85 (Indianola)
Jan. 17, 2018 — L, 93-87 (Pella)
Feb. 21, 2017 — L, 76-66 (Indianola)*
Feb. 11, 2017 — W, 82-71 (Pella)
Jan. 18, 2017 — W, 64-63 (Indianola)
*IIAC Tournament

ABOUT THE DUTCH
Central and seventh-year head coach Craig Douma were 4-3 in league play before dropping six games in a row, snapping the skid with a 94-90 win over Luther on Saturday … Shimar Jones led Central with 23 points in the win while Jamel McKnight had 21 … currently the first team out of the tournament, the Dutch need a win to get back in the mix … the Dutch are led in scoring by junior guard Jaden Moody (17.4 ppg) … Seth Wood is the league's second-leading rebounder (7.3 rpg) and McKnight is the league's second-leading assist man (5.0 apg).

LAST TIME OUT
Kyle Wagner scored 20 points and Taylor Filbert had 17 with five 3-pointers but Simpson lost to No. 1 Nebraska Wesleyan 102-71 last Wednesday in Lincoln. The Storm made 13 3-pointers but trailed by as many as 37 in the loss. Conor Riordan missed the game due to illness.

STORM NOTES

  • Simpson will recognize five seniors between games as John Barbee, Taylor Filbert, Cayce Good, Ben Rajewski and Tyler Stumbo take the home floor for the final time in a regular season game.
  • The Storm made 13 3s in the loss to Nebraska Wesleyan, giving the team 226 3s on the season. The school record is 232 set in 2015-16, head coach Brad Bjorkgren's first season at the helm.
  • Simpson is a perfect 7-0 this season when shooting 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 10 games, Simpson is shooting 79.6 percent from the line as a team. That's up from 72 percent over the first 11 games.
  • Adam Reiter narrowly missed his fifth double-double of the season when he finished with 10 points and nine rebounds in Wednesday's loss to Nebraska Wesleyan. He ranks third in the A-R-C with 7.3 rebounds per game and his 49 offensive rebounds are tops in the league.
  • Junior forward Kyle Wagner has established himself as one of the top 3-point shooters in the country. Hitting 50.8 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 18.3 points and shooting 53.4 percent from the field in the last 10 games.
  • Wagner has made at least one 3-pointer in 24 straight games dating back to last season. His 62 3s this season rank second in the A-R-C and are the fourth-most in a season in school history.
  • Conor Riordan went 4-for-7 from beyond the arc in the Feb. 4 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.
  • The Storm are third in the conference in scoring (84.0 ppg) and sixth in points allowed (80.6).
  • 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 close the regular season Saturday, Feb. 16 at Coe. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. in Cedar Rapids.

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