Spartans Sweep Storm for First Time in School History

More news about: Dubuque

INDIANOLA, Iowa – A pair of Kayla Springer free throws capped the Spartans 7-0 run to end the game and boosted the University of Dubuque women's basketball team to a 69-66 triumph over Simpson to maintain possession of first place in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) on Wednesday night.

With their third win over the Storm (15-7, 5-6 Iowa Conference) in the last six meetings, the Spartans (15-7, 9-2 Iowa Conference) claimed their first season sweep of Simpson in the 71st game of the series dating back to 1980. UD's sixth overall win against the Storm helped the Spartans maintain a one-game lead in the IIAC over Luther and Coe with three to go in conference play.

The Spartans were led in scoring by Emily Brinker and Jenna Kotas, who totaled 16 points apiece. Brinker also added a game-high eight rebounds while Kotas grabbed six boards as the pair saved their best for last. 
The dynamic duo took over down the stretch and scored 14 straight UD points, starting with a Brinker jumper at the 8:03 mark. Springer's free throws with two seconds to go ended the streak and put away Simpson for UD's first season sweep of the Storm in school history.

No stranger to clutch free throws, it was the second time this season Springer iced the game at the line after hitting six in a row to finish off Loras. Springer finished the game with 10 points, seven rebounds, and two blocked shots.

Before Springer sealed the deal, the Spartans stayed afloat late in the second half behind Brinker's efficient night (5 of 8 from field), and Kotas' ability to shake off a rough shooting performance (5-for-18). The pair kept UD in it as the Spartans never trailed by more than four in the final 10 minutes of play. 

After opening up a 41-38 halftime advantage, both teams went cold in the second half with neither team shooting greater than 28 percent. UD's IIAC-leading three-point defense (24.8% allowed) shined after holding Simpson 0-8 from downtown, forcing the Storm to make their free throws (14-for-15).

Despite her foul trouble, Simpson guard MacKenzie Haupt led all scorers with 20 points on 7 of 11 shooting in just 21 minutes of play.

After going 0-for-13 from downtown in their previous game, Meggie Schmidt hit UD's first three-pointer less than two minutes into the game to get the three-point monkey off their back. Schmidt ended up with 14 points and six boards as the Spartans converted 5 of 10 three-point attempts on the game. 

The Spartans travel to Wartburg (13-9, 4-7 Iowa Conference) this Saturday, February 14 at 2:00 p.m. Wartburg lost to Buena Vista, 85-73, on the road Wednesday night. UD downed the Knights, 80-54, at home in their first meeting of the year.