LAS VEGAS — Freshman forward Kelli Dixon scored a career-high 20 points, but it wasn’t enough as No. 25 Thomas More fell 79-66 to Simpson, Friday on the final day of the D3hoops.com Classic.
With the loss the Saints fell to 8-3 and with the win, the Storm improved to 9-3.
Thomas More raced out to an early 9-0 lead when junior guard Allison Long made a 3-pointer with 17:06 to play in the half. Simpson answered with a 26-8 run capped by an Ali Sokol tip-in to give the Storm a 26-17 lead at the 7:45 mark of the first half.
The Saints used a 7-2 run to cut the lead to 28-24 when sophomore guard Katie Kitchen made two free-throws. The Storm responded with a 6-1 run to increase the lead to 34-25.
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Thomas More came right back with a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 34-30 on a Kitchen tip-in. Simpson extended the lead to 36-30 at halftime when Katie Nielsen made two free-throws with 35 seconds to play in the first half.
Thomas More opened the second half on a 4-0 run to cut the lead to 36-34 when Dixon made a lay-up. Simpson answered with a 19-10 run capped by a Sokol 3-pointer to extend the lead to 55-44 with 9:29 to play in the half.
The Saints used a 10-4 run cut the lead to 59-54 when Long made a 3-pointer. That would be as close as the Saints would come as Simpson closed out the game on a 20-12.
Sokol was the leading scorer for the Storm with 20 points of her own. Nielsen dominiated in the paint, grabbing 14 rebounds.
Joining Dixon in double-figure scoring was Long with 15 points. Sophomore forward Moriah Corey led the Saints on the boards with 12 rebounds, while Kitchen added 11. Long led the team in steals with three and Kitchen had the most assists with four.