WBB Preview: Storm vs. Central, 1/18/17

WBB Preview: Storm vs. Central, 1/18/17

The Simpson women's basketball team hosts the Central Dutch on Wednesday night at Cowles Fieldhouse and will be streamed live on SimpsonAthletics.com. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. Todd Guessford will have the call beginning at 5:45.

GAME SETUP
Matchup: Central (8-7, 1-5 IIAC) at Simpson (5-10, 2-4 IIAC)
Location: Indianola, Iowa • Cowles Fieldhouse
Time: Wednesday, Jan. 18 • 6 p.m.
Last Time Out: Simpson lost to Coe, 70-65
Live Video: www.SimpsonAthletics.com
Live Stats: www.SimpsonAthletics.com
Series: Simpson leads 55-30

THE OPPONENT
After starting the season 8-2, The Dutch have fallen on hard times, losing their last five games. Central's last win came against Monmouth on Dec. 28, 65-44 in Pella. Despite the losing streak, sophomore forward Claire Marburger continues to tear up the Iowa Conference. She leads the league in scoring (22.2 ppg) and rebounding (9.3) and has six double-doubles to her credit this season. Emily Dine is the only other player averaging double-figures in scoring (13.2 ppg). The duo logs more than 30 minutes per game apiece.

THE SERIES
Simpson and Central meet for the 86th time in a series that dates back to 1975-76. Simpson leads the all-time series 55-30 and is 27-13 against the Dutch at home. Simpson owns a 30-game winning streak in the series, with Central's last win coming 2001-02. 

FIVE STORM STORYLINES
1 -- Since starting the season 1-6, Simpson has gone 4-4 in the last eight games. A big reason for the turnaround has been improved play on the defensive end of the floor, where the Storm are allowing just 62.6 ppg while holding opponents to 34.9 percent shooting. Simpson gave up 76.6 ppg in the first seven games of the season, allowing opponents to shoot 41.6 percent.

2 -- Despite suffering nine losses this season, the Storm have rarely found themselves out of games. In six of the team's 10 losses, the Storm have led in the second half. The Storm have held second half leads in each of its last four losses, leading by as many as five in the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss to Coe.

3 -- Junior post Noreen Morrow has established herself as the Storm's marquee player in her second season as a starter. Morrow has led the team in scoring in 10 of 15 games this season, reaching double figures in all but two contests. She is among the Iowa Conference leaders in points (16.5, 4th), rebounds (8.8, 3rd) and field goal percentage (54.7, 2nd).

4 -- Senior point guard Megan Lankford has been the Storm's go-to player in the clutch this season, scoring a team-high 40 points in the final five minutes of games. Morrow is a distant second with 21 points in the final five minutes.

5 -- Simpson has welcomed a quartet of impact newcomers who have developed key roles in their first season with the Storm. Freshman Janey Botkins is third on the team in scoring (7.2 ppg) and leads the team with 29 3-pointers,  freshman Allyson Simpson provides a spark off the bench and sophomore transfer Rachel Freland has worked her way into the starting lineup and is second on the team in steals. Freshman Amarissa Raley averaged 5.7 points and almost two assists in 12 games before suffering a foot injury.

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