DES MOINES, Iowa - MacKenzie Haupt came off the bench to score a career-high 22 points, two on a pair of clutch free throws in the closing seconds and the No. 16 Simpson women's basketball team survived AIB, 77-73 in the season opener on Monday night.
Morgan Hansen hit two free throws to pull AIB within 75-73 with 13 seconds left. Haupt then drew a foul and sunk both free throws with 9 seconds on the clock to seal the win for the Storm (1-0).
Johnikka Nash scored 15 points to lead six players in double figures for the Eagles (4-3), who lost to Simpson by 28 a year ago.
AIB pulled within 61-60 on a 3-pointer by Nash with 9:07 to play, capping a 13-0 run that nearly erased what was a 14-point Simpson lead. The Storm responded with a 9-1 run of their own, highlighted by a Mauro 3 that gave them a 70-61 lead with 6:11 left.
Simpson made 11 3-pointers and scored 29 points off 26 AIB turnovers.
Simpson opens the home schedule on Saturday, Nov. 23 when it hosts UW-Eau Claire at 3 p.m.