Simpson beats Loras 76-68, advances to IIAC Championship

Simpson beats Loras 76-68, advances to IIAC Championship

INDIANOLA, Iowa – Chelsie Rohrs knocked down a clutch 3-pointer with 36 seconds left, helping the No. 12 Simpson women's basketball team advance to the Iowa Conference Tournament Championship game with a 76-68 win over Loras on Friday night.

The top-seeded Storm (24-2) will host third-seeded Dubuque in the title game at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24. The Spartans (20-7) beat Wartburg 73-65.

Kate Nielsen led the Storm with 28 points and 13 rebounds, hitting a career-high six 3s. Nielsen went 4-for-6 from beyond the arc in the second half alone, helping Simpson go 12-for-28 on the night.

Rohrs finished with 12 points, Kelsie Reeves had 14 and five assists and Nicole Crisp added 12 points.

The 3-pointer by Rohrs – her second of the game – couldn't have come at a better time.

Loras trailed by as many as 12 in the second half, but seized momentum with a late, 8-0 run that trimmed a 10-point deficit to 65-63 with 3:10 left. A 3 by Nielsen ended the run, but Kelly Rogowski hit a trey of her own moments later, cutting Simpson's lead to 71-68 with 1:05 left.

With the shot clock winding down on the ensuing possession, Reeves drove the lane and kicked to Rohrs, who hit from three feet beyond the arc on the right wing.

Rogowski had 19 points and Melissa Herrmann grabbed 10 rebounds for the Duhawks (18-9), who fell to 2-5 against Simpson in the IIAC Tournament.

Sunday's appearance in the title game marks Simpson's 12th in the 14-year history of the tournament and is the team's sixth in a row. The winner of Sunday's game earns the Iowa Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, which begins March 1.

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