WBB Preview: Storm travel to Dubuque looking to get back on track

WBB Preview: Storm travel to Dubuque looking to get back on track

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Simpson women's basketball team makes its first road trip of 2019 when it travels to face Dubuque in an American Rivers Conference matchup Saturday, Jan. 5. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. from the Stoltz Sports Center.

The Storm are looking to bounce back after a 76-67 loss to Loras on Wednesday. Simpson led by eight in the fourth quarter but an 18-1 run by the Duhawks proved too much to overcome.

Andrew Swadner and Rick Wilson will have the call on 95.3 FM and 1320 AM or online at kniakrls.com.

GAME 14
Simpson (10-3, 2-2) at Dubuque (2-11, 0-4)
Saturday, Jan. 5 | 2 p.m.
Stoltz Sports Center | Dubuque, Iowa
Live Video/Live Stats | Live Audio

DUBUQUE SERIES NOTES: Simpson and Dubuque are meeting for the 78th time in a series that dates back to the 1980-81 season … Simpson leads the series 68-9 and is 6-4 in the last 10 meetings … the teams split last season's series … Dubuque won 88-86 on Dec. 6 in Dubuque and Simpson won 85-65 on Jan. 24 in Indianola … Simpson owns the longest winning streak in the series, taking 19-straight from Jan. 19, 2005 to Jan. 19, 2013.

ABOUT THE SPARTANS: Dubuque and 12th-year head coach Mark Noll are 2-11 on the season and have lost 11 of 12 after a season-opening win over Finlandia … the Spartans fell to Central 72-66 on Wednesday despite 19 points and seven rebounds from Kia Dwight … Dubuque features one of the youngest rosters in the conference with four freshmen, five sophomores, three juniors and zero seniors … junior guard Kia Dwight leads the team in scoring at 10.6 ppg … the Spartans rank seventh in the league in scoring (64.2 ppg) and last in points allowed (76.5 ppg).

LEADING THE A-R-C: Simpson leads the American Rivers Conference in eight team and individual categories:

Scoring offense — 80.1 ppg
Free throw percentage — 74.3
3-point percentage — 37.5
3-pointers made — 122 (9.4 avg/g)
Steals — 162
Individual field goal percentage — Jenna Taylor, 53.6
Individual free throw percentage — Cameron Kincaid, 90.9
Individual steals — Rachel Freland, 43 (tied)

LAST TIME OUT: Simpson got career games out of Janey Botkins and Rachel Freland in a 76-67 loss to Loras on Wednesday. Botkins tied a career-high with 21 points and Freland set a career-high with 18. The Storm led 59-51 with 8:14 left in the fourth quarter before going more than 7 minutes without a field goal, allowing Loras to mount an 18-1 run to make it 69-60 with under a minute to play.

TAYLOR ENJOYING BREAKOUT SEASON: Jenna Taylor posted her fifth double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds against the Duhawks. The junior forward has reached double-figures scoring in 16 straight games dating back to last season. She ranks second in the A-R-C in both scoring (18.1 ppg) and rebounding (7.8 rpg) and leads the league in field goal percentage (53.6). Taylor has already earned American Rivers Conference Player of the Week honors three times.

LIVE BY THE 3: Simpson is among the best teams in the country at shooting the 3-ball. The Storm rank ninth in Division III with 122 3-pointers, an average of 9.4 per game. At the current pace, Simpson would crush the school record of 216 3s set during the 2011-12 season. Simpson has made at least 10 3-pointers in the last three games and is 3-1 when making 10-or-more 3s this season.

DEFENSE DICTATES SUCCESS: While Simpson boasts one of the best offenses in the league, the defense is what gets things started. The Storm have had at least 10 steals in all but two games this season and are 8-0 when snagging at least 12 steals. Senior guard Rachel Freland is the top thief on the roster with 43 steals. She has recorded a steal in all but one game.

KINCAID STEADY AT THE LINE: Sophomore Cameron Kincaid is among the best free throw shooters in the nation. The forward is shooting 90.9 percent from the charity stripe to lead the American Rivers Conference and rank seventh nationally. If she can continue her prowess at the line, she will challenge the school single-season mark of 90.3 percent set by Kara DeNoon in 2004-05.

BOTKINS CLIMBS RECORD BOOKS: Janey Botkins has 141 career 3-pointers, good for fifth in school history. Breaking into the top-3 before the season ends is well within her reach, as she trails Morgan Mauro (3rd, 163) and Tiffany Whitsell (4th, 153). After enduring a dry-spell early in December, Botkins has found her rhythm in the last six games. During that stretch she is averaging better than three per game while shooting better than 54 percent (20-for-37).

CHUBB PLAYING KEY ROLE: Junior forward Cassie Chubb is an early candidate for most improved player for the Storm. After averaging under 6 minutes per game as a sophomore, the junior has transformed into the team's top option off the bench. She is averaging 8.5 points and 5.9 rebounds in 2018-19, up from 2.1 and 1.1 a year ago.

UP NEXT: Simpson hosts Nebraska Wesleyan on Wednesday, Jan. 9. Start time is set for 6 p.m. at Cowles Fieldhouse.

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