Simpson women's basketball

Five players scored in double figures, the team posted its highest shooting percentage in 35 games, and the No. 6 Simpson College women's basketball squad turned away a late comeback by Loras to claim both team's American Rivers Conference opener with a 85-79 final score.

Cassie Nash led the way for the second-straight game with 18 points thanks to 61.5 percent shooting from the floor. Cameron Kincaid had 12 points fueled by 6-of-6 shooting from the free throw line and Hattie Rhodes (13), Kia Rasmussen (12), and Anna Wanek (10) each posted season-highs to round out Simpson's double-digit scorers.

Kincaid doubled her previous career-high assist mark with eight helpers as the Storm finished with 16. Jenna Taylor brought down eight rebounds followed by Kincaid with four.

As a unit, Simpson (3-0, 1-0 A-R-C) shot 60.0 percent from the field, the team's highest shooting percentage since converting 60.3 percent against Concordia-Moorhead on Nov. 29, 2019. The Storm made 42.1 percent of their shots from beyond the arc and made 11-of-12 free throws.

The first quarter opened with back-and-forth action that saw the Duhawks (3-1, 0-1 A-R-C) take a 15-14 lead with their third triple of the game. Following a timeout, a Kincaid layup ignited a 17-4 run for the Storm highlighted by seven points from Nash and two long-range scores from Wanek. While Simpson's offense shot a blistering 77.8 percent during the quarter, the Storm defense was just as strong as Simpson held Loras scoreless from the field in the final five minutes of the frame.

In the second quarter, Simpson struggled on both ends of the court as Loras erased its deficit with the help of 9-0 and 7-0 spurts. A layup from Rhodes put the Storm back on top, 37-36, with 0:47 left on the clock but the Duhawks hit a three-pointer as time expired to lead 39-37 at the break.

Simpson jumped back out in front in the third frame with a 30-15 quarter fueled by 6-of-7 shooting from downtown. K. Rasmussen had two and four others knocked down a three as eight players scored for the Storm during the frame.

Back-to-back layups by Nash gave Simpson a 75-57 advantage in the fourth, but the home team didn't go away quietly as Loras battled all the way back within one score with a 19-4 run. The last-ditch effort was too little too late, though, as there were just 18 ticks left on the clock and Simpson went a perfect 6-for-6 at the line to close out the game.

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