DECORAH, Iowa -- Sarah Holtz came off the bench to score a game-high 18 points for Luther, the Simpson women's basketball team suffered through an uncharacteristically cold shooting night and the Storm fell to Luther 84-61 in the semifinal round of the Iowa Conference Tournament on Thursday night.
Katie Waller added 17 points and went 5-for-8 from beyond the arc for the second-seeded Norse (18-9), who shot nearly 51 percent from the field. Luther advances to the IIAC Tournament Championship game to face top-seeded Wartburg on Saturday.
Jenna Taylor scored 12 points and Noreen Morrow and Rachel Freland had 11 apiece for the sixth-seeded Storm (14-13). Two days after upsetting third-seeded Coe in the opening round, Simpson ran out of magic against the Norse, shooting just 37.1 percent from the field.
Luther used an early run to take control of the game.
Victoria Hazard scored the first points of the game on a jumper but Claire Marburger scored four straight points to spark a 14-0 Luther run. After missing two of their first three shots, the Norse made 7 of 11 to close the first quarter and led 19-8.
Morrow made the first shot of the second quarter to pull within nine but Sydney Rehnelt answered with a 3 -- one of 15 in the game for Luther -- and the Norse led by double figures the rest of the way.
Hazard had eight points and Claire Johnson had five to go along with nine rebounds for the Storm.
One year removed from a tough 9-16 campaign and missing out on the IIAC Tournament, Simpson got back on the right track by finishing above .500 and getting a win in the conference tournament ... four seniors took the floor for the final time: Noreen Morrow, Ellen Gallagher, Maddie Simmons and Mary-Grace Wachal ... Morrow closes her career 11th in school history in total points (1,125) and sixth in rebounds (597).