EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Noreen Morrow scored a game-high 16 points, Britney Boland finished a rebound shy of a double-double and the Simpson women's basketball team held off a late rally to beat Wis.-Eau Claire 74-66 in the season opener Friday.
Boland had 10 points and nine rebounds, Janey Botkins had 11 points and Ellen Gallagher added 10 points off the bench for the Storm (1-0), who led by 14 late in the third quarter before seeing the lead shrink to one mid-way through the fourth.
A layup by Jenni LaCroix made it 59-58 with 4:10 left to play before Megan Lankford hit a clutch 3 to extend the lead to four. Amarissa Raley added a lay-in and Lankford made a pair of free throws as the Storm held off the late charge.
Lankford was held scoreless before the fourth quarter but finished with nine points in the final 3:17.
Anna Graaskamp scored 14 points and Hallee Hoeppner added 13 for the Bluegolds (0-1).
Morrow and Gallagher scored 10 points apiece in the first half. Simpson scored 24 points in the second quarter alone, building a nine-point lead at the break.
Simpson continues its tour of the Wisconsin Conference on Saturday when it takes on Wis.-Whitewater at the Eau Claire Tip-Off Classic.