Andrew Streitel, Assistant Sports Information Director
WAVERLY – Wartburg men’s basketball knocked off Simpson College 69-64 on Tuesday, Jan. 12 inside Levick Arena to record its first victory of the 2020-21 campaign. With the win, the Knights stop a three-game losing skid against the Storm dating back to 2019.
The Orange and Black will conclude nonconference play on Saturday, Jan. 16 when they head to Dubuque to take on the University of Dubuque at 2 p.m.
Wartburg took a convincing 39-28 lead after the first half and held onto that 11-point advantage for much of the second. A late rally from the Storm was not enough as senior guard Max Smith Drahos knocked down a pair of clutch free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
It was a collective effort from the Knights that led them to the win as 11 out of the 12 players recorded a basket. Juniors Drew Olson and Keagan John and freshman Trent Allard played key minutes off the bench as each tallied eight points and were a combined 11-of-16 from the field. Wartburg was led offensively by junior forward Mitch Gehling who scored nine points and recorded seven rebounds. The Knights’ size was too much for the Storm as Wartburg outscored Simpson 42-20 in the paint and held a 20-5 advantage in second-chance points. The supporting cast for Wartburg also made an impact as they outscored the Simpson bench 32-16.
Defensively, Wartburg held the Storm to just 35.4% from the field and 38.2% from 3-point range. The Knights forced 16 turnovers to go along with four blocks and 10 steals.