INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Simpson women's basketball team staged a 22-8 run in the third quarter to regain the lead, but couldn't complete the comeback to fall, 84-75, against Coe at home on Wednesday.
The Kohawks (13-9, 8-5 A-R-C) rushed out to a 19-10 tilt after the first frame as the offense connected on 53.3% of its shots. The second-best scoring defense in the American Rivers Conference allowed the Storm (15-6, 7-5 A-R-C) to go 4-for-15 from the field during the opening 10 minutes of play.
In the second stanza, Simpson responded with an 8-3 spurt to come within four after Cameron Kincaid tallied four points. The visitors kept the pressure on to stop the Storm's momentum to send the contest into halftime with Coe ahead, 39-29.
Cassie Nash scored seven points during Simpson's 22-8 scoring spree in the third to put the game at 47-46 in favor of Coe. Madeline Wilkins drained three-straight triples to keep the advantage at 56-53 to swing the tide. Wilkins ended the frame by going 5-for-5 from long range to help provide a six-point buffer at 66-60 when the third ended.
Claire Johnson opened the fourth with a 3-pointer to trim the deficit to provide a boost for the offense, but Coe slashed the momentum by reeling off an 8-0 run. Simpson retaliated with a 7-0 spurt that ended short after another triple from Wilkins with just over three minutes to play.
A free throw by Jenna Taylor brought the game to a five-point gap with 90 seconds left, but the visitors held on to win by sinking seven free throws down the stretch.
The offense was well balanced for Simpson as four starters reached double figures, but only tallied four bench points. Kia Rasmussen led the way with a career-high 21 points, and Taylor added 16 points and six rebounds. Claire Johnson contributed 14 and Nash ended with 11.
The Kohawks held the advantage on the glass by grabbing 34, compared to Simpson's 26. This is the lowest rebounding performance since the Storm hauled in 21 against Wisconsin-La Crosse on Nov. 16, 2019.
A-R-C play remains tough this weekend as Simpson visits No. 9 Wartburg for a 2 p.m. contest in Waverly, Iowa on Saturday.