Sterling, CO -- Forty minutes, that is the length of a regulation college basketball game; and it took all forty minutes to decide the tussle between Iowa Western and the homestanding Plainsmen of Northeastern Monday (11/19/18) night at NJC Bank of Colorado Arena. When Northeastern's Mohamed Diallo's half court shot hit high off the backboard and to the floor as the buzzer sounded and the scoreboard hit zeros, the Reivers had finally secured a well earned 82-79 road victory. The win moves Iowa Western to 6-1 on the season.
The game saw six lead changes and three ties, but it was the back and forth "runs" by both teams that made this contest a quality game. Both teams had leads of more than seven points twice during the game, only to see the opponent reel their counterpart back in. It was the Reivers whom first showed that resolve late in the first half, after Northeastern got the first relatively large lead with just under two minutes to play, Iowa Western closed out the half with a mini five point run of their own to trail only by one at intermission.
In the second half Northeastern played their best five minutes of the game and once again seemed to regain control; jumping out to an eight point lead, with a series of three point shots, making four of their seven game total three point baskets during that time frame. Facing a deficit once again and on the road, the Reivers went to work. Behind the torrid shooting of Christian Bentley; the Reivers went on a 17-2 run giving the visitors a seven point lead with six minutes to go. During that stretch, Bentley hit on 4/5 shooting from behind the three point arch including a four point play as he was fouled on one of the made three point goals. Two other Reivers would end the night in double figures; Travon Broadway scored 18 points, while Emmanuel Ugboh also added an 18 point - 16 rebound "double-double" effort.
The final six minutes was a back and forth affair as the Plainsmen made one final push in front of their home fans. Broadway, Ugboh, Marques Watson, and Parker Hazen converted on several key plays and free throws down the stretch to keep the Reivers on top. However, Northeastern still found themselves with the ball with 12.4 secs left trailing by just two; but when Terae Johnson's shot came up short into the arms of the Reivers' Ugboh the host team's chance for overtime or a regulation win was all but doused. Ugboh converted on the first free throw giving the Reivers a three point cushion, and following a miss, Diallo's aforementioned half court heave went begging; as the Reivers collected a quality road win.
Iowa Western continues one of their toughest stretches of the non-conference portion of their schedule when they travel to play unbeaten (7-0) Pratt (KS) Friday evening (11/30/18) and then the host team Cloud County Saturday (12/1/18) as part of the Cloud County Thanksgiving Classic in Concordia, KS. Tip-time Friday, between the Reivers and Beavers is slated for 5:00pm.