INDIANOLA, Iowa – Freshman Brooke Panzer scored a career-high 17 points, senior Kate Nielsen turned in another monster performance, and the 11th-ranked Simpson women's basketball team took care of rival Central 73-56 on Wednesday night.
Nielsen led all scorers with 26 points and chipped in eight rebounds. She went 11 of 12 from the charity stripe and drained all three 3-pointers she attempted. Nielsen also found success down low in the second half, despite being double teamed most of the evening.
"I think Kate's going to be double and triple teamed pretty much from here on out because of how she's played this season," said head coach Brian Niemuth, who earned career victory No. 495 with the win. "Brooke is going to have to find ways to score to take some of that pressure off of Kate."
Panzer was up to the challenge.
The 5-10 forward found plenty of ways to score, going 7-for-10 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free throw line.
"As long as Brooke knocks those shots down, it's just going to make us that much better," continued Niemuth.
It didn't take long for Panzer to find a rhythm as she scored six of Simpson's first nine points and set a career-high in the first half alone with 11, helping the Storm (17-1, 7-0 Iowa Conference) take a commanding 35-21 lead at the half.
The Storm defense proved relentless yet again as it forced 29 Dutch turnovers on the night. Freshman Whitney VanWyk led the way with six steals in the turnover frenzy, while Nielsen and Maddie Bosworth accounted for nine takeaways.
Alyssa Schwartz led the Dutch (9-9, 2-5) as she scored a team-high 17 points on 7 of 11 shooting.
Simpson travels to Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Jan. 26 for a rematch with Coe. The Kohawks (11-7, 4-3) scraped by Buena Vista 68-66 in an overtime thriller on Wednesday.
Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.