DUBUQUE, Iowa - The Simpson women's basketball team outplayed Loras in the first quarter and only trailed by six at the break, but couldn't account for a sizzling hot Loras second half in a 60-39 loss in the regular season finale Saturday.
Simpson shot just 14 of 55, 25.5 percent, as it was held to a season-low 39 points.
The loss bumps the Storm (15-10, 8-6 IIAC) into the No. 5 seed in the Iowa Conference Tournament, pitting them against No. 4 seed Buena Vista in the first round Tuesday in Storm Lake.
Simpson led 15-9 after the first but Loras managed to regain the lead for good on an Erin Weaver jumper with 4:15 in the second amidst a 15-3 run. The momentum spilled over into the second half as Loras put up a 10-0 run, not allowing a Simpson field goal until Noreen Morrow broke the drought with a layup at the 5:33 mark in the third to make it 34-20 Loras.
Terese McMahon spearheaded Loras' 15 of 32 second half shooting performance, scoring eight points.
Loras did most of its damage in the paint, outrebounding Simpson 50-30 while putting up a 32-16 advantage in the paint.
Katie Ahrenholtz tied Loras' Lori Obendorf with a game-high 12 points in only 10 minutes, being followed by Maddie Bosworth with 10 points. Noreen Morrow scored 24 points in the first meeting with Loras but was held to only two on Saturday.
Up next: No. 5 Simpson travels to No. 4 Buena Vista (14-11, 8-6) for a first round matchup in the Iowa Conference Tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Simpson defeated Buena Vista 71-64 at home on Feb. 17 in their last meeting.