INDIANOLA, Iowa - The Simpson women's basketball team erased an 18-point, second-half deficit but Kaitlin Phillips hit the game-tying 3 at the end of regulation and Loras held on for a 70-65 overtime win in the regular season finale Saturday.
With the loss, the Storm take the No. 6 seed into next week's Iowa Conference Tournament and will travel to No. 3-seed Coe on Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Eby Fieldhouse in Cedar Rapids.
Simpson enters the IIAC Tournament in an unfamiliar position. This is the first time the Storm won't host a first or second round game in the 16-year history of the tournament.
Lori Obendorf had 21 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and Victory May added 11 points, 10 rebounds for the Duhawks (15-10, 9-5).
Annie Gullickson made the go-ahead jumper from the top of the key with 22 seconds in regular for Simpson, which trailed 43-25 at the 18:44 mark in the second half. Guard Brittany Hedrick made the defensive play of the game on the ensuing possession, blocking 6-foot-2 Obendorf in the paint. Van Wyk made a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 59-56 with 3.4 seconds left.
On the game's deciding play, Phillips went the length of the floor and just beat the buzzer with a pull-up 3 on the right wing, forcing Simpson's second overtime game of the season.
May made the go-ahead free throw with 28 seconds left in overtime and Loras led 68-65 when Hedrick's desperation 3 fell short to help the Duahawks escape.
Simpson trailed 39-23 at halftime and saw the deficit grow to 18 early in the second half before the defense picked up. The full-court pressure finally got to Loras, as Simpson scored 12 points off nine turnovers in the second half.
Katie Ahrenholtz hit a mid-range jumper to spark a 16-0 run, which ended with her jumper in the paint that made it 43-41 with 12:44 left. Ahrenholtz had six points during the run, Bosworth had four and Hedrick and MacKenzie Haupt each hit 3s.
Simpson didn't have an answer for Obendorf in the first half, as she scored 13 points. Loras outscored Simpson 24-8 in the paint in the first before the pressure defense kept Loras away from the hoop in the second.
Simpson's first overtime game was an 88-81 win over Luther at home hon Jan. 21 ... Simpson recognized three seniors between the men's and women's games: student coaches Brooke Niemuth and Nora Weaver and guard Alyse Messa.