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Johnson earns MVP honors as Storm claim tournament title

Claire Johnson
Claire Johnson

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- Claire Johnson was named the Simpson Thanksgiving Classic Most Valuable Player after she turned in a game-high 20 points to lift the women's basketball team to an 84-70 win over Calvin on Saturday to win the tournament.

Along with Johnson, Cassie Nash was named to the All-Tournament team for her performance with 11 points and four steals for the Storm (4-1). Cassie Chubb finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 14 points on 4 of 7 shooting from 3.

Simpson started the game with a 15-3 run over the first four minutes of game action. The Storm forced the Knights (5-3) to commit six turnovers during that span. The long-range jumper was working for Simpson as the offense hit three triples during the spurt, two were from Cassie Chubb.

Calvin would charge back in the second quarter after starting the period down nine points. The visitors would bring the game to within four at 27-23, but a three-point play off a layup and free throw from Raegan Boothe extended the tilt back to seven for the Storm. At the end of the half, Simpson would hold on to the seven-point lead after Alaira Tyus drilled a 3 in the final seconds.

As the game sat at 45-40 in the third, Nash scored five points and Cameron Kincaid added four to help orchestrate a 9-0 slide for the Storm to push the cushion to 54-40. Simpson grabbed its largest lead of the game at the 1:55 mark in the third after Hattie Rhodes scored her only points of the game with a triple to put the contest at 62-47.

With a minute remaining in the game, the Storm used a 5-0 run to pull away from Calvin and go 2-0 inside Cowles Fieldhouse for the weekend.

Notes
• All five starters scored in double figures for Simpson as Kia Rasmussen and Kincaid both had 10 points.
• The offense made 11 3-pointers in the game, making it the third contest in a row with 10-or-more made triples.
• The Storm are still first in the conference in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage at 51.3% and 45.7%, respectively.

Up Next
American Rivers Conference play resumes on Wednesday as Simpson travels to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to take on Coe (4-2 0-0 A-R-C) at 5:30 p.m.