WBB Preview: Loras awaits Simpson in A-R-C Semifinals

Rachel Freland
Rachel Freland

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- American Rivers Conference Tournament action continues for the third-seeded Simpson women's basketball team as the bus heads to second-seeded Loras on Thursday for the semifinals.

The Storm (20-6) won 92-72 over sixth-seeded Nebraska Wesleyan in Cowles Fieldhouse. Loras (21-4) received a bye in the opening round and awaited the winner of the matchup in Indianola.

The game will be video streamed live on the Loras Duhawks athletics website at Duhawks.com. Fans can also access the video stream via the American Rivers application on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV.

GAME 27
No. 3 Simpson (20-6) at No. 2 Loras (21-4)
Thursday, Feb. 20 | 6 p.m.
Lillis Court | Dubuque, Iowa
Live Video | Live Stats

AMERICAN RIVERS CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT
First Round — Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019
No. Simpson 92, No. Nebraska Wesleyan 72
No. 4 Luther 64, No. 5 Coe 62

Semifinals — Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019
No. 4 Luther at No. 1 Wartburg, 7 p.m.
No. 3 Simpson at No. 2 Loras, 6 p.m.

Finals — Saturday, Feb. 23
Semifinal winners at Highest Remaining Seed

SIMPSON IN THE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT
Simpson has won in the opening round in each of the last two season, but have not made it to the conference tournament final since 2013, the year the team last won it … the Storm are 12-3 in the semifinals and 5-2 against Loras all-time in the tournament … as the No. 3 seed, the team currently sits at a 2-1 record.

LORAS SERIES NOTES
Simpson and Loras gear up for the 74th meeting all-time in the series that dates back to the 1986-87 season … the Storm own a 46-27 advantage in the series, but have lost three in a row to the Duhawks … Loras has won 10 of the last 12 meetings between the two squads … Simpson has struggled more on the road in the series and is a game under .500 at 16-17 in Dubuque, Iowa.

RECENT RESULTS
Feb. 2, 2019 — L, 94-79 (Dubuque)
Jan. 2, 2019 — L, 76-67 (Indianola)
Feb. 14, 2018 — L, 86-69 (Dubuque)
Jan. 6, 2018 — W, 80-72 (Indianola)

ABOUT THE DUHAWKS
Loras and 11th-year head coach Justin Heinzen enter as the second seed in this year's American Rivers Conference Tournament … the Duhawks are riding a six-game winstreak and have only lost once in 2019 … Loras is second in the conference in both scoring offense and defense.

LAST TIME OUT
The Storm went on a 27-6 run in the second quarter to pull away from the Prairie Wolves on Tuesday. Jenna Taylor recorded a double-double with 24 points, 11 rebounds. Janey Botkins finished with 19 points on 5 of 9 shooting from behind the arc.

STORM NOTES

  • Simpson has made 277 3-pointers through 26 games and surpassed the school record of 216 set during the 2011-12 season.
  • Simpson's 20 3-pointers against Dubuque on Jan. 5 are the second-most by a team in Division III this season. Westminster (Mo.) surpassed the Storm's mark with 21 treys against MacMurray on Jan. 16.
  • The Storm rank third in Division III with 277 3-pointers made, rank third with 10.7 3-pointers per game and rank sixth in 3-point percentage (38.5).
  • The squad has been far from selfish on offense for the year and ranks seventh in the country with 429 assists. The Storm have dished more than 20 assists in nine games this season. Claire Johnson is tied for first in the conference with 119 helpers.
  • Jenna Taylor currently sits in second in Division III by shooting 47.7 percent from behind the arc and has made 62 baskets from that range for the year.
  • Simpson also boasts one of the best total offenses in the nation, averaging 80.4 ppg, ninth in Division III and first in the conference and are ninth in the country with 2,091 total points scored.
  • Janey Botkins captured third all-time in career 3-pointers made. Botkins now has 175 career makes, which passed Morgan Mauro, who made 163 between 2012-16.
  • At the charity stripe, the team is averaging 11.4 makes per game on 15.0 attempts to lead the conference with a 76.1 free throw percentage.
  • Cameron Kincaid leads the American Rivers Conference and ranks third in Division III in free throw percentage (87.7).
  • Simpson tallied its second-highest offensive rebound game against Nebraska Wesleyan on Tuesday as the team hauled in 16. The Storm grabbed 22 against Curry on Dec. 21. The team also hit the 40-rebound plateau for just the eighth time all season in the win.
  • The overtime loss at Nebraska Wesleyan was the team's first overtime defeat since Dec. 29, 2016. The Storm fell 77-69 against Puget Sound.

UP NEXT
Winner will play in the American Rivers Conference Tournament Championship on Saturday. The highest remaining seed will host.

Simpson cruises past Dubuque
January 26, 2019 Simpson cruises past Dubuque