Storm defeat Coe, advance to A-R-C Semifinals

Kyle Wagner
Kyle Wagner

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- For the second time in four days, the Simpson men's basketball team defeated the Coe Kohawks on Tuesday, this time by a score of 90-82 to advance in the American Rivers Conference Tournament.

The No. 3 Storm (16-9) snapped a four-game home losing streak in the opening round of the A-R-C Tournament with the win and captured head coach Brad Bjorkgren's first conference tournament win and it was also the team's first since 2012.

In a game that saw five lead changes and six ties, the Storm jumped out to a quick 11-6 lead in the opening four minutes of the contest. Adam Reiter made five points during that span to fuel the run.

After both teams held pace for awhile, the No. 5 Kohawks (14-12) tied things up at 25-25 with just under-eight minutes to go in the first half. Simpson kept the lead until a 3-pointer by Josh Schmitt put Coe on top 37-34. The two teams traded baskets and Tyler Stumbo connected on a triple with 30 seconds left to send the game into halftime in a stalemate.

Reiter and Coe's Calvin Winker were going shot-for-shot in the first half as both finished the first 20 minutes with 12 points apiece. Reiter had the edge with seven rebounds, but Winker 2 of 2 from deep. The Storm had the advantage overall and shot 48.4 percent from the field and 80 percent from the charity stripe.

Coming out of the break, Coe took a small one-point lead at the 18-minute mark before the Storm went on a 17-7 surge to gain a comfortable lead at 60-51. Simpson drained three treys during that stretch, with Kyle Wagner claiming two. Reiter put the exclamation point on the run with an and-one finish on a layup and sank the free throw.

The Kowawks were down by nine at the halfway point the half and went on a 7-0 spurt to come within two at 69-67. Nolan Timp scored five points to help Coe comeback. After timeout, the Storm were able to get back to a 79-71 advantage by Wagner hitting two more 3-pointers.

Simpson was able to put the game away for good by making seven free throws in the last minute.

Both teams shot just a shade over 53 percent in the second half, while Simpson shot 50 percent from the floor for the game.

Conor Riordan finished with 21 points and Reiter went for 20 points and 12 boards. Wagner chipped in 17 points, John Barbee had 10, and Tyler Stumbo and Taylor Filbert each had eight off the bench.

Winker ended with a game-high 33 points and grabbed 10 boards to add to his impressive statline. Timp concluded with 16 points.

TOURNAMENT TALK

The Storm will now face top-seeded Nebraska Wesleyan on Thursday. No. 2 Loras and No. 6 Dubuque will compete in the other semifinal match.

GAME NOTES

This Storm shot 93.3 percent from the free throw, their best since going a perfect 11 for 11 against Nebraska Wesleyan on Jan. 9. The team tallied 42 rebounds, its best total this calendar year and most since grabbing 42 on Dec. 2 at Luther. Riordan now has 968 career points as he approaches 1000 for his career.

UP NEXT

Simpson will travel to Nebraska Wesleyan on Thursday for a 7 p.m. showdown in the A-R-C Tournament Semifinals.