INDIANOLA, Iowa – Senior Nicole Crisp scored a game-high 15 points, Kate Nielsen recorded her ninth double-double of the season, and the 8th-ranked Simpson women's basketball team ran away from Buena Vista, 76-42 on a snowy Wednesday night.
After all other conference basketball games were postponed due to the weather, Crisp and the rest of her team made the most of their opportunity to play. Despite only playing 17 minutes, the 5-8 guard led the way for the Storm (19-1, 9-0 Iowa Conference) with 15 points off 5 of 10 shooting.
Nielsen was also able to find success in limited action on the night, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for the home team. After averaging 23.3 points per game in three wins last week, the senior from Urbandale was recently named IIAC Athlete of the Week for the fifth time on the season.
The Storm got off to a slow start offensively and trailed 15-14 midway through the opening half. Crisp helped Simpson mount a 26-10 run to end the half and lead 40-25 at the break.
"We did a great job as a team moving the ball in transition," Crisp said. "Working the ball around created open shots and we were able to knock them down."
The Storm defense was relentless in the second half as the Beavers scored just 17 points in the second 20. Overall, Simpson forced 23 turnovers and held Buena Vista (8-12, 1-8) to just 24 percent shooting on the night.
Freshman Whitney Van Wyk rounded out the trio of Simpson women in double figures, tying her career-high with 13 points. She hit three 3-pointers and recorded two blocks on the evening
After jumping to number eight in the USA TODAY Sports/WBCA Coaches' Poll, the highest ranking since the 08-09 season, the Storm look to remain unbeaten in conference play as Luther comes to town on Saturday for a 2 p.m. tipoff.
"It doesn't matter what we're ranked, we just have to play our game and stay focused," Crisp said of the team's move in the polls.
The Norse (11-8, 3-5) travel to Loras on Thursday evening after their Wednesday matchup with the Duhawks was postponed.
Notes: With the win, Simpson head coach Brian Niemuth moved within three games of career win No. 500, as he is now 497-194 in 26 seasons ... the Storm clinched a berth in the IIAC Tournament with the win ... Simpson's 10 3-pointers were the second most this season and most since canning 14 against Iowa Wesleyan on Nov. 28 ... Nielsen now has 403 points on the year and needs to average 16.2 points per game over the final six (including the IIAC Tournament) to become the sixth player in program history to score 500 in a season.