West Plains, MO -- Iowa Western faced off once again in a weekend classic championship match-up for the second straight Saturday. However, unlike their 84-73 win over Northwest Kansas Tech to claim their own Reiver Classic one week ago; the #16 Reivers fell just short in the MSU-WP Grizzly Classic in a highly competitive battle between two teams with mirror 13-1 records, 96-91.
The level of play reflected both teams excellent records on the season, as both teams battled throughout the high scoring contest. The home team lead 51-41 at the intermission break, and both teams stayed on the offensive pedal throughout most of the second frame. The Grizzlies, who gave Iowa Western their only previous loss of the season, extended their lead to 14 points when the Reivers once again began to claw back into the contest, getting within one point with 4:25 to play. But the visitors from Council Bluffs would never claim the lead as the game continued to be a one or two possession lead for West Plains the remainder of tightly contested game. Ultimately the host team would capture their tournament title as the horn sounded.
Iowa Western had balanced scoring, having six members of the roster score in double figures: Dembley (21), Wade (13), Diaz (12), Smith (12), Day (11), and Shabazz (11). Missouri State University - West Plains, who now moves to 14-1, had four Grizzlies in double figures led by Brown (21) and Davis (19).
Iowa Western (13-2) returns to action this Tuesday night (12/12) against Kansas City-Kansas for the final home game of the first semester. Opening tip between the Reivers and Blue Devils is slated for 7:00pm at Reiver Arena.