Despite a cold shooting night from the field, the Buena Vista women's basketball team hung around against #16 Simpson College (11-1, 1-0 IIAC) on Saturday afternoon, but its upset bid came up a little short as the Beavers, fell 62-50. The game was the Iowa Conference opener for both teams.
Susan Kies (Fonda, Iowa/Newell-Fonda) led BVU with 15 points, including three of the team's six three-point buckets, while also sinking all six of her free-throw attempts. She is now tied with Courtney Stoelk (2005-09) for fourth on the program's all-time list with 111 made three-point shots. Senior Tara Lehner (Le Mars, Iowa/Le Mars) and sophomore Becca Pennington (Mt. Ayr, Iowa/Mt. Ayr) each followed with nine points, with Lehner also chipping in with 13 rebounds and four steals.
As a team, the Beavers were held to only 22 percent shooting from the field and made more free-throws (18) than field goals (13). They did play some stingy defense of their own, however, holding Simpson to only 36 percent shooting.
Simpson led 23-15 midway through the first half before Kies hit two free-throws and drilled a three-point shot to get BVU back within three at 23-20 with just over eight minutes to play in the opening half. Simpson, despite playing without the league's leading scorer for most of the first half because of foul trouble, was able to push the margin back up to eight before taking a 30-24 lead into the locker room.
The Storm began the second half on a quick 6-0 run to go up by 10 and led by as many as 15 with 12 minutes to begin. BVU got back within 10 just minutes later on another three-pointer from Kies, but the Storm went on another 6-0 spurt to build their largest lead (16) with six minutes left and the Beavers were unable to string enough shots together to get any closer than 10 the rest of the way.
Nielsen led three players in double-figures for the Storm with 11 points, while hauling in a game-high 19 rebounds. Kelsie Reeves and Chelsie Rohrs each followed with 10 points.
Buena Vista dips to 7-5 overall (0-1 IIAC) and will look to bounce back and even its conference record when it hosts Loras College (10-2, 0-1 IIAC) on Wednesday night, January 9, at 6:00pm.