West Burlington, IA -- The Iowa Western men's basketball season concluded Wednesday evening (2/27/19) in the Semi-Final round of the ICCAC Region XI Playoffs; with a 91-74 loss to Southeastern.
Unlike in the first two meetings against the Blackhawks, where the Reivers fell into early double-figure deficits, Iowa Western opened up the first ten minutes of play with a concerted defensive effort, holding Southeastern to just ten points in the game's first eight minutes of play. Iowa western led at the game's first media timeout 12-10; but from there the host team went on a 12-2 run and began to change the pace of the contest in their favor. A Tyler Maye contested jumper on the last possession of the first half bumped the Blackhawks advantage up to a 45-33 halftime lead.
In the beginning of the contest's second frame, both teams traded baskets for the fist seven minutes. Iowa Western was able to settle down following halftime and attacked the Blackhawks' full court pressure defense that had given the Reivers issues in the game's first 20 minutes; breaking the pressure and getting lay-ups much of the starting moments of the second half. However, the Reivers couldn't capitailze on those initial baskets of the second half, as they could not find the strong defense they showed throughout much of the first half, gaining no ground as the two teams shared baskets. The Reivers, ever competitive until the bitter end, drew within ten points with 3:50 to play, but would come no closer.
Travon Broadway (22pts), Parker Hazen (17 points), and Emmanuel Ugboh (10 points) concluded their Reiver playing careers in double figures, while freshman Caleb Huffman contributed a quality 15 point effort; rounding off the Reivers double figure scorers. Emmanuel Ugboh once again earned one final double-double performance, adding a game high 16 rebounds with his 10 point effort. AJ Cox led the hosting Blackhawks with his 17 point evening.
Iowa Western concludes the 2018-19 season at 21-9, marking the 8th straight season the Reivers have reached at least the 20 win mark. It also marks the 19th time in the past 20 seasons that the Iowa Western men's basketball program has reached or eclipsed that 20 win standard of basketball excellence.