Senior Kade Tatkenhorst led all scorers and junior Chris Honz notched a double-double as Simpson men's basketball dropped a 69-64 contest at Wartburg to open its season Tuesday night.
Tatkenhorst poured in 16 points with five rebounds and three steals in only his fourth career start for the Storm (0-1, 0-0 A-R-C). Honz produced a game-high 12 boards to go along with 10 points while swatting three Wartburg (1-1, 0-0 A-R-C) shot attempts. Sophomore Collin Lister provided 14 points.
As the Knights looked poised to run away with the contest after gaining a 16-point tilt, Simpson went on a 21-9 spurt in the second half to bring the game to a four-point margin at 65-61. Junior Bryce Yoder, Honz and Tatkenhorst each scored six points during that span while the offense connected on five triples.
Wartburg stopped the momentum with four straight points in 20 seconds to push the lead to nine with only 10 seconds left. Lister drained his third 3-pointer of the night with seconds left to bring the game to a five-point margin.
In the first half, the Knights grabbed 27 rebounds to help hold a 39-28 lead at the break after nine players made a shot, compared to Simpson's five that sent one through the bottom of the net. Senior Alec Hinson netted five points off the bench in the first half.
Both teams shot 65 times, while the Knights made 41.5% of their attempts, compared to the Storm's 35.4% clip. Simpson owned the 3-point battle by making 38.2% of its 34 attempts.
The Storm had five student-athletes make their debut tonight as junior Deontei Johnson, sophomores Rio Bingley, Buck Eagleburger and Trent Williamson, and freshman Lincoln Swanson all received playing time in their first opportunity.