WBB Preview: Simpson hosts UW-Eau Claire in final home game of 2017

WBB Preview: Simpson hosts UW-Eau Claire in final home game of 2017

The Simpson Storm women's basketball team hosts the Wis.-Eau Claire Blugolds in the final home game of 2017 on Saturday, Dec. 16. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. from Cowles Fieldhouse and will be broadcast on SimpsonAthletics.com.

The Storm (6-3) return to the court for the first time in more than a week when Simpson handled Kansas Christian 97-23. The Blugolds (7-1) are coming off their first loss of the season, a 71-66 setback to Loras on Saturday, Dec. 9 in Dubuque.

THIS WEEK
Wis.-Eau Claire (7-1) at Simpson (6-3)
Saturday, Dec. 16 — 2 p.m.
Cowles Fieldhouse — Indianola, Iowa
Live Video (SimpsonAthletics.com) | Live Stats (SimpsonAthletics.com)

OPENING TIP
» Simpson is coming off a 1-1 week in which the Storm lost to Dubuque 88-86 on Wednesday, Dec. 6 and beat Kansas Christian 97-23 on Friday, Dec. 8. Noreen Morrow scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the loss to Dubuque and Kelli Hanson led the way with 12 points against KCC.

» The Storm allowed just 23 points in the win over Kansas Christian, setting a school record for fewest points allowed. The mark broke the previous record of 25 points against Coe in the 1979-80 season.

» Simpson shot 54.2 percent in the win over Kansas Christian, the fourth time the Storm have shot 50 percent-or-better in just nine games this season. Simpson shot 50 percent just two times in all of 2016-17.

» Morrow is closing in on the 1,000-point milestone for her career. The senior from Lake Park, Iowa goes into Saturday's game with 866 career points and needs to average just over eight points per game to reach the mark by the end of the regular season. She's averaged 14.1 ppg over the last three seasons.

» Simpson's three losses in 2017-18 have come by a combined eight points. The Storm dropped the season-opener to Wis.-Stevens Point 69-66, fell to Saint Benedict 66-63 and lost to Dubuque 88-86.

SERIES NOTES
Wis.-Eau Claire — Simpson and Wis.-Eau Claire are meeting for the seventh time in a series that began in the 1993-94 season. Simpson leads the series 5-1 and has won three in a row, the lone loss coming in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The teams most recently met in the 2016-17 season-opener, a 74-66 Simpson win in Eau Claire.

Date [Location] — Result
11/18/2016 [Eau Claire] — W, 74-66
11/23/2013 [Indianola] — W, 83-75
11/17/2012 [Eau Claire] — W, 70-52
3/2/2012 [Chicago] — L, 69-61 (NCAA Tournament)
3/8/2008 [Indianola] — W, 70-63 (NCAA Tournament)
12/29/1993 [Eau Claire] — W, 102-55

SCOUTING OUT THE OPPONENT
Wis.-Eau Claire — The Blugolds are led by 6-foot sophomore forward Anna Graaskamp, who leads the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in scoring (17.8 ppg) and shooting percentage (59.2). She has scored in double figures in all eight games this season, and is third in the WIAC with 1.5 blocks per game. As a team, the Blugolds shoot a WIAC-best 74.8 percent from the free throw line but rank last in the league with a -0.6 rebound margin. Eighteenth-year Head coach Tonja Englund earned her 300th career win in a 50-48 overtime triumph over St. Norbert on Nov. 21.

Storm suffer setback at Loras
February 14, 2018 Storm suffer setback at Loras