INDIANOLA, Iowa - After a first quarter that featured five lead changes, the Simpson women just couldn't get any traction in a 77-61 loss to Wartburg on Wednesday.
"The difference in the game tonight was totally effort," head coach Brian Niemuth said. "They played like they wanted to win the game and we didn't."
Simpson (12-8, 5-4) has hunkered down on defense this season when at home, keeping teams to only 53 points three different times. Wartburg's 77 were the most given up by the Storm at home this season.
Sophomore guard Katie Sommer was a big reason for the Knights' success. She scored 27 points, 17 above her season average.
"I thought we could stay between her and the basket and we didn't," Niemuth said. "Again, a lot of that was effort. I think she made them go tonight and she created a lot of shots for other people."
Wartburg put together a 21-5 run in the second quarter, taking the lead for good while building momentum on the way to a 37-23 lead at the break.
The Knights (14-6, 4-5) shot 48 percent from the field in the second half, helping quell any comeback from Simpson.
Both teams shot an impressive 21-24 from the free throw line although Wartburg was more efficient from the field, shooting 47.1 percent (24-of-51) to Simpson's 31.6 percent (18-of-57).
Wartburg was lifted by a 20-point, seven rebound performance from center Aryn Jones who filled in for usual center, Kailey Kladivo.
"We have to watch film and figure out what we can get better at and try to make the adjustments we need to make the third time through," Niemuth said. "And I know we will play with better effort next time."
Up Next: Simpson finishes a two-game homestand with a 2 p.m. matchup against Central on Saturday at Cowles Fieldhouse. The Dutch (1-8, 4-16) lost to Luther 80-52 on Wednesday.