WHEATON, Ill. - The Simpson women's basketball team has shown an ability to win close games early in the season.
With an overtime win in which it led most of the way already on the ledger in 2011, Simpson proved that it can come from behind on Saturday.
Kate Nielsen (Urbandale, Iowa) scored a game-high 15 points in her first start of the season, Jamie Elbert (Indianola, Iowa) scored five crucial points down the stretch and Simpson out-scored Wheaton 10-2 in the last three minutes of a 56-52 win at King Arena.
Down by four with under three minutes left, Elbert canned a 3-pointer to cut the Wheaton lead to one. Nielsen completed an and-one two possesions later to give Simpson a 52-50 lead and her layup with 41 seconds left extended the lead to four.
Wheaton answered on a Brooke Olson layup with 20 seconds left but Elbert iced the game with a pair of free throws in the final 17 seconds.
Elbert finished with 11 points off the bench, hitting 3-of-5 from 3-point range for the Storm (7-2). Stacey Schutjer (Titonka, Iowa) added 11 points, Nielsen pulled down a team-high seven rebounds and Kelsie Reeves (Des Moines, Iowa) handed out four assists.
Lauren Graham posted a 12-point, 10 rebound double-double for the Thunder (4-4), who led for most of the second half.
Next up for the Storm is a trip to River Falls, Wis. for a meeting with UW-River falls on Saturday, Dec. 17. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.