INDIANOLA, Iowa — Kate Nielsen scored 22 points to lead four players in double figures as Simpson beat Wisconsin-Stevens Point 88-84 in the second round of the NCAA Championship on Saturday at Cowles Fieldhouse.
With the win, Simpson advanced to the Sweet 16 to face Wisconsin-Whitewater on March 8.
The Storm (27-2) led by as many as 16 in the second half, but had to hang on down the stretch as the Pointers (24-6) pulled within two on two occasions in the final minutes. The last came when Sam Barber hit a 3-pointer with 32 seconds left to make the score 86-84.
Kelsie Reeves left the door open by going 1 of 2 at the free throw line, but Brooke Allen missed the potential game-tying 3-pointer with 12 seconds left and Crisp put the game away at the free throw line, making 1 of 2 with eight seconds left.
“It’s kind of a dream come true, really,” Reeves said of making it to the round of 16. “In the four years I’ve been here, we’ve gotten so close but never quite got there. I’m really excited for the opportunity we have and really looking forward to see what we can do.”
Nielsen added eight rebounds, while Nicole Crisp had 19 points and five steals. Additionally, Kelsie Reeves had 16 points and Chelsie Rohrs had 12 to help the Storm to their third Sweet 16 appearance and first since 2008.
Barber finished with 24 points on 6-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Liz Althoff had 21 points and went 5-for-9 from downtown as the Pointers connected on 15 3-pointers in the game, tying an NCAA tournament record.
On the other side, Simpson’s attacking style yielded 40 free throw attempts – 35 of which the Storm made, just three shy of tying an NCAA tournament record.