WBB Preview: Storm at Luther 12/7/16

WBB Preview: Storm at Luther 12/7/16

The Simpson women's basketball team plays its final conference game before the semester break when it travels to Decorah, Iowa to face the Luther Norse at Regents Center on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. 

GAME SETUP
The Storm (1-5, 0-1 IIAC) opened conference play with a 76-60 loss to then-No. 9 Wartburg on Saturday. The Norse (4-3, 2-0 IIAC) won their fourth game in a row with a 73-70, overtime victory over Coe on Saturday.

LIVE COVERAGE
Live Video: www.luther.edu/sports
Live Stats: www.luther.edu/sports

LAST TIME OUT
Simpson pulled within five after trailing by as many as 19 in the second half but couldn't complete the comeback in a 76-60 loss to then-No. 9 Wartburg on Saturday. Noreen Morrow posted her fourth double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds and Allyson Simpson led Simpson with 14 points off the bench. Full Recap

SERIES HISTORY
Simpson and Luther meet for the 78th time in a series that dates back to the 1976-77 season. Simpson leads the all-time series 44-33, but has lost three in a row. Luther has outscored Simpson by an average of 13.3 points per game in its last three wins.

PROJECTED STARTERS
Simpson—Megan Lankford, Janey Botkins, Maddie Simmons, Britney Boland, Noreen Morrow
Luther—Grayson Schroeder, Katie Waller, Laura Hamilton, Anna Madrigal, Madilyn Heinke

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE
Simpson—1-5, 9th in IIAC | 61.2 ppg, 8th IIAC | 36.3 rpg, 8th IIAC | 12.5 apg, 6th IIAC
Luther—4-3, t-1st in IIAC | 72.7 ppg, 3rd IIAC | 42.0 rpg, 5th IIAC | 13.1 apg, 5th IIAC

TEAM LEADERS
Simpson—PTS: Morrow, 17.5 | REB: Morrow, 11.3 |  AST: Boland, 2.7 | Team Stats
Luther—PTS: Waller, 12.6 | REB: Heinke, 6.4 | AST: Hamilton/Holtz, 2.0 | Team Stats

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
• After losing its first three games by more than 15 points per game, Luther has won four in a row, including conference wins over Loras (68-63) and Coe (73-70 in OT).

• The play of Katie Waller has been crucial to Luther's recent success, as the most recent IIAC Player of the Week averaged 17.6 points in three Norse wins last week.

• Junior forward Noreen Morrow is ranked 17th in Division III with four double-doubles in six games. Averaging 17.5 points and a league-high 11.3 rebounds, Morrow is one of just two players in the IIAC averaging a double-double, the other being Nebraska Wesleyan's Addie Wetzel (11.9 pts, 10.4 reb).

• Simpson is looking to avoid its first 0-2 start in league play since 1987-88, Brian Niemuth's first season as head coach.

• A key piece to Luther's success over the past two seasons was the play of two-time IIAC MVP Moran Lonning, who now resides on Simpson's bench as the Storm's top assistant. Lonning led the Norse to a conference tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2015 and guided Luther to the IIAC regular season title in 2016.

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