WAVERLY, Iowa - Simpson led nearly the entire way, taking a 50-42 lead into the fourth, but it hit a cold spell late, being outscored 17-6 in the final frame as the Wartburg Knights (13-3, 3-2 IIAC) rallied from behind to knock off Simpson (10-6, 3-2 IIAC) 59-56 on Wednesday night.
Simpson had the ball with 12.6 seconds remaining and a chance to send the game into overtime, but Katie Ahrenholtz's 3-point attempt was off the mark as time expired, ending the Storm's three-game winning streak.
The Storm led 54-46 with 7:34 to go in the game but the tides quickly turned in Wartburg's favor. The Knights turned a 10-2 run over the next four minutes, tying the game at 56 before Morgan Neuendorf hit the eventual game-winning layup with 2:15 on the clock. Simpson committed four turnovers in the final two minutes, going 0-for-3 from the field.
Simpson didn't just lead for much of the second half but actually didn't forfeit the lead at all until Wartburg nabbed it for the first time with 3:58 to go in the third.
Wartburg used a 19-9 advantage on the offensive glass while going 17-for-22 from the free throw line to fuel its comeback. Simpson, on the other hand, went to the line only once, going 0-for-1 from the stripe.
Senior Kailey Kladivo shot only 6 of 21 but she managed to turn an 18-point, 13-rebound double-double for Wartburg. Neuendorf added 14 and point guard Katie Sommer chipped in with 11.
Up next: Simpson comes back to Indianola to host Luther at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23, looking to defend its perfect 5-0 record at home.