INDIANOLA, Iowa – An efficient effort by Morgan Terpstra and another dominating defensive performance helped the Simpson women's basketball team cruise to a 73-36 win over Dubuque on Saturday.
Simpson held Dubuque to under 20 percent shooting for the game, including a 3-for-32 effort in the first half. Dubuque finished the first half with just nine points, the second fewest ever allowed in a half by Simpson.
Terpstra scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in just 20 minutes of action for the Storm (13-8, 8-2 Iowa Conference), who gave themselves a little more breathing room the second time around against Dubuque.
A last-second shot from Markayla Mahr gave Simpson a 55-54 win in the first meeting, but it was a different story the second time around.
Simpson got a 3-pointer by Brittany Hedrick to start the game and never looked back. A 3 by Morgan Mauro made it 17-3 and Rachel Kaale's layup with 55 seconds left in the half made it a 29-point advantage as Simpson took a 38-9 lead into the locker room.
Mauro and Whitney Van Wyk made two 3s apiece in the first half as Simpson went 5-for-13 from downtown.
The second half was more of the same as Simpson led by as many as 37 points in the rout.
The Spartans (13-8, 6-4) didn't have a player reach double figures, but were led by Jenna Kotas with eight points.
Simpson has held opponents to single digits in a half three times in school history. The last time came in 2008, when Simpson held Cornell to nine points. The school record for fewest points allowed in a half is seven, set against Central in 2006.
The win clinched a spot in the Iowa Conference Tournament, as Simpson joins Loras and Coe as the teams who have punched their ticket.
Trailing Loras by two games in the standings, Simpson nearly got some help from Wartburg on Saturday but the Duhawks squeaked out a 66-65 win in overtime.
Simpson returns to action Wednesday, Feb. 12 in a 6 p.m. start at Wartburg. Saturday's loss dropped the Knights to 8-13 overall and 2-8 in the league.