INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Simpson men's basketball team earned a spot in the American Rivers Conference Tournament after winning 93-87 over Central on Wednesday.
Adam Reiter scored a career-high 26 points in the win to pace the Storm (14-9, 8-7 A-R-C) and shot 12 of 14 from the free throw line. Reiter scored 17 points in the first 20 minutes and shot a perfect 9 for 9 from the charity stripe. Conor Riordan scored 15 points and Tyler Stumbo had 20 off the bench.
The Dutch (8-16, 5-10) jumped out to an eight-point lead near the halfway point of the first half at 20-12, but Simpson battled back on a 7-0 run that was highlighted by a Reiter dunk to bring the game to within one. The visitors went back on top after a made three before the Storm went on a small 4-0 run to tie the game at 23-23.
Simpson went on two more runs to end the quarter, a 7-0 and 13-2 to end the half at 53-37. To end the first half, the Storm made three triples in a row and Stumbo flashed his range and drained the last two.
The second half cruised along as Central trailed by over 10 points until the 14 minute mark and got to within six a minute later. The tide changed at the 11 minute mark and the Dutch erupted on a 12-2 run. Adam Flinn tallied six points during the streak to bring the game to within one at 76-75.
Stumbo and Reiter teamed up to stop the bleeding with a basket and a pair of free throws to make it 80-75. Central brought the game to 83-82 with Simpson owning the lead, but would never regain the lead and the Storm held off the comeback attempt as Kyle Wagner sank four straight free throws.
Both teams shot even from the field and made 53 percent of their attempts. While the Storm went 22 of 26 from the free throw line and Central went 10 of 14.
Jaden Moody and Flinn each scored 24 points for the Dutch and Jamel McKnight added 21.
With the victory, Simpson earned its way into the American Rivers Conference Tournament and will finish at least as the fourth seed. The Storm and Coe are tied with an 8-7 conference record and the Kohawks have already one the early season matchup between the two teams. Nebraska Wesleyan is sitting comfortably in the No. 1 spot, with Loras and Wartburg trailing in second and third.
This is the third time all season Simpson has made over 20 free throws in a game. The Storm shot their fifth-best field goal percentage of the season in the win. Reiter has now scored in double figures in his last five of six outings.
On Saturday, the squad hits the road to play at Coe for a 4 p.m. matchup.