Estherville, IA -- The #19 Iowa Western Reivers concluded the opening semester of the 2017-18 men's basketball schedule with a program record tying 15th victory for the first half of a season by handling Iowa Lakes on the road with a convincing 105-85 win.
The Reivers defense held Iowa Lakes, who came into the game averaging 96 points per contest, to just 35 points in the games first half; which concluded with a 48 foot half-court shot at the buzzer by Shadeed Shabazz giving the Reivers a commanding 53-35 lead heading into the locker room. Iowa Western, who passed the 100 point century mark for the eighth time in 17 contests, had five Reivers in double figures. Patrick Dembley led the Reivers with 22 points, but it was his uptempo pushing of the basketball down the floor to teammates that spearheaded the Reiver balanced attack. Jevon Smith scored 20 points as did Shadeed Shabazz, Shaun Doss added 15 points, and Isaiah Wade collected his third straight "double-double" with a 10 point - 14 rebound effort. Decardo Day was one point shy of double figures with nine points, but reflected the Reivers unselfish play; leading Iowa Western in assists for the contest.
The 15-2 start to the year concludes a historic first semester for the 2017-18 Reivers. The 15 wins puts this season's Reivers along side some select company; as it matches the 2012-13 and 2015-16 Reivers for the most wins in the first half of a season in the program's proud history. The 2012-13 team ended the first half of the season at 15-0; eventually reaching the NJCAA Elite Eight with a 32-3 record. The 2015-16 squad, that was Reiver Hall-of-Fame Head Coach Jim Morris' final team at Iowa Western; started off 15-1 in the season's first two months and ended the season in the Region XI Finals with a 25-6 record.
Iowa Western will return to the hardwood with a home contest against Iowa Central at Reiver Arena on Wednesday, January 10th. Tip time slated for 7:00pm.