PHOENIX, Ariz. - A great defensive effort and a career-high 27 points from Zach Barrigan helped propel Simpson of Iowa to a 68-58 win over Linfield Monday evening in the opening game of the 2010 Cactus Jam Phoenix Hoop Classic at South Mountain Community College.
Simpson (4-6) got out to a fast start, holding Linfield (5-4) to just five points over the game’s first 11 minutes. The Storm ran past the Wildcats in the first half, building a comfortable 32-10 lead on Barrigan jumper with 3:55 remaining in the half.
A late first half spurt from the ‘Cats shrunk the deficit to under single digits, allowing Linfield to slim the lead to 35-27 less than two minutes into the second half.
Three-straight 3-pointers from Simpson stopped the bleeding, as the Storm took hold of a 44-29 lead on a Matt Fouch triple with 14:12 remaining.
Linfield would get no closer than nine the rest of the way.
After shooting a modest 47.1 percent from the floor in the first half, the Wildcats went cold over the final 20 minutes, shooting 32 percent. The Storm neutralized K.C. Wiser, holding Linfield’s leading scorer to seven points on 2-of-7 shooting.
Simpson controlled the backboards all evening, outrebounding Linfield 37-29. The Storm handled Linfield’s pressure with ease, committing only six turnovers.
Barrigan was the only Storm playing in double figures, knocking down 6-of-13 3-pointers and 9-of-17 attempts from the field.
Zach Anderson paced the ‘Cats with 12 points, while Sergio Rosario added 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting.
NEXT: Linfield returns to action Tuesday for a 7 p.m. contest against Immaculata.
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