Storm beat Cornell in overtime thriller
INDIANOLA, Iowa - It wasn't always pretty, but the Simpson women's basketball team got the result it was looking for Wednesday night: a win.
Despite shooting only 30 percent from the field and losing an 11-point, second half lead, Simpson rode the clutch performance of Kate Nielsen (Urbandale, Iowa) to a 63-60 overtime win against Cornell at Cowles Fieldhouse.
Nielsen - who scored eight of the team's 10 points in overtime - gave Simpson a 61-60 lead when she hit a tough, turnaround jumper in the lane with 33 seconds left. She secured the rebound after Cornell's next possession and hit two free throws to lock up the win with five seconds left.
"She took the game over," head coach Brian Niemuth said of Nielsen. "She's such a competitor; she likes moments like that."
Nielsen ended with 12 points, nine rebounds and four steals coming off the bench for the Storm (5-1, 1-0 Iowa Conference), who beat Cornell for the 19th straight time.
The combination of Camille Marie-Lidd and Taylor Dicus resulted in 38 points and 17 rebounds for the Rams (2-3, 0-1). Lidd scored a game-high 22 points and brought down nine rebounds while Dicus went for 16 and eight.
Cornell trailed by 11 mid-way through the second half before a free throw by Marie-Lidd sparked a 10-3 run, putting the Rams right back into the game. On the final possession of regulation, Marie-Lidd grabbed a deflected shot and laid it in as time expired, forcing overtime.
Wednesday's game marked the second time this season the Storm have lost a double-digit, second half lead.
"We have a failure to put teams away when we get the lead, Niemuth said. "I think it's a mindset where we take our foot off the pedal. We have to be tougher than that."
Despite the offensive woes, Simpson's defense came to play. The Storm forced 31 turnovers, resulting in 25 points on the offensive side.
"We shot the ball poorly but still won the game, so that tells me we are getting it done on the defensive end," Niemuth said. "We just have to get our offense going."
Nicole Crisp (Sliprock, N.M.), Jamie Elbert (Indianola, Iowa) and Stacey Schutjer (Titonka, Iowa) scored 10 points each. Schutjer saw double teams for most of the night, but made her presence felt on defense with four blocks.
The Storm face an early test Saturday, Dec. 3 when they travel to Waverly for a meeting with Wartburg. The Knights (5-1, 1-0) beat Luther 77-72 on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.