Norfolk, NE – The Iowa Western women's basketball team opened conference play 0-1 as they fell to the Northeast Hawks 63-70 on Saturday, January 11, 2020.
The Reivers, who have been unbeaten since December 15, had a strong start to the game going on a 12-4 run during the first 6 minutes of play. Despite their defensive efforts and momentum to start, the Hawks would tie it up at the 8-minute mark in the second quarter. The remainder of the first half saw a battle on both ends of the ball, as there were multiple scoreless minutes and lead exchanges. Despite shooting woes, the Reivers trailed by only one heading into half time, 32-33.
The second half would see the Reivers continue to fight but the Hawks would extend their lead 51-62 at the 8-minute mark in the fourth quarter. The Reivers, however, were sparked by a layup from Ladun Akako, a defensive stop after, and a three-pointer by Nyah Morris-Nelson assisted by Sommer Blakemore would even the score back to 58-62.
With just 1:38 left to play the Reivers trailed 63-65. A miscommunication on the offensive end would lead to a Reiver turnover and the Hawks converted to bring the score to 63-67. The remaining minute of play was critical, as the Reivers committed 2 turnovers and 3 personal fouls. After the final foul the Hawks would finish the game with 70 points, of which 17 came from the free throw line. The Reivers would only see 6 trips to the free-throw line in comparison, and would finish the game with 63 points, shooting just 37.9% from the field.
The Reivers were once again led offensively by Sommer Blakemore, who finished with 17 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Hayley Berfield was also key for the Reivers, scoring 13. Dustie Obah was outstanding in the paint, leading all players with 12 rebounds and chipping in 6 points.
The Reivers will continue ICCAC conference play this Wednesday, January 15, as they travel to play Marshalltown. Tip off is set for 5:00 p.m. For more team news follow the Reivers on social media @ReiverWBB.