Columbus, NE -- It had been 85 days since Iowa Western last played Central (NE), having not seen the Raiders since their November 14th tilt in Council Bluffs. That amount of time marked the largest gap in game dates on the Reivers schedule, but the wide margin-of-score result was similar to it's fall semester counterpart; as the Reivers claimed a convincing 88-65 victory enroute to their 21st win of the season.
The homestanding Raiders however were up for a fight, and after closing the first half on a 14-4 run, led the visitors 39-35 heading into the locker room. After four minutes of back-and-forth play, the Reivers began to surge ahead. Spurred by the athletic interior finishes of Jevon Smith, Emmanuel Ugboh, and Isaiah Wade; Iowa Western began to dominate the paint which then triggered the Reiver offense. With Central's defense now having to content and focus on clogging up the paint; Iowa Western began to score the ball from the outside. Decardo Day, Jevon Smith, Rhyss Lewis, and Patrick Dembley all scored multiple three point shots as the Reivers ran away from Central in the game's final 12 minutes of play. Iowa Western's defense then closed the show, relinquishing just a mere 26 points to Central in the game's second half of play.
Iowa Western (21-5) was led by Jevon Smith's 25 point effort, Decardo Day added 15 points and 3 assists, Emmanuel Ugboh had one of his finest performances in the paint scoring 12 points on 5/8 shooting along with grabbing 8 rebounds and rejecting 6 Raider shots. Isaiah Wade brought down a team high 9 rebounds along with 10 points, and Patrick Dembley also added 10 points to go along with his team high 5 assists.
Central was paced by Malik Mooving's game high 31 point performance. Unlike the Reivers balanced attack that saw all five starters score in double figures; Mooving was the lone Raider to score double digits.
The Reivers return home this Saturday (2/10/18) evening against State Fair at Reiver Arena. The Roadrunners (17-6) handed the Reiver just their third loss of the season back on January 20th in Sadelia, MO. Tip time for the "pink out" game against State Fair is slated for 7:00pm.