Ottumwa, IA -- In a "deuces wild" affair of the nation's #2 and #22 ranked teams in the country, #22 Iowa Western (19-4) lost their first conference game of the season at #2 Indian Hills (23-0) 84-72.
Both teams played even basketball much of the first half as the 34-31 Indian Hills lead at the break indicated. In the final 20 minutes of action the home standing Warriors where able to bump the lead out to double digits and keep the Reivers at arms-length the rest of the way. Iowa Western stayed within 10 to 9 points several times, but could never get closer as the #2 ranked Warriors took the conference lead outright at 4-0 after the first half of games in the conference standings. Iowa Western dropped to 3-1 and second overall in the conference race, Southeastern (2-2), Marshalltown (1-3), and Northeast (0-4) rounds out the conference standings at the halfway mark.
Iowa Western was led by Shadeed Shabazz's 22 points. Three other Reivers scored in double figures: Jevon Smith scored 13 points, Decardo Day added 12, and Shaun Doss chipped in 10 points. Emmanuel Ugboh grabbed a team high 11 rebounds for the traveling team from Council Bluffs.
Indian Hills was led by Ivan Aurrecoechea's 25, and Shane Gatling's 23 points respectively.
Iowa Western was the first team all season to outrebound the Warriors (39 to 30); and both teams made the same number of field goals from the floor (29). The Reivers outshot Indian Hills from three point range as well, connecting of 6 three point filed goals to the Warriors' 2 baskets from behind the arch. The difference in the contest was two fold; first the Warriors defense forced 22 Reiver turnovers and secondly from the charity stripe as Indian Hills shot 24/30 from the free throw line compared to Iowa Western's 8/12 foul shooting.
Iowa Western begins the second half of the conference slate with a trip to Marshalltown, IA Wednesday night (1/31/18) to face the Marshalltown Tigers; who are coming fresh off their first conference win of the season with a dominant 69-49 victory over Northeast (NE). Tip time is set for 7:00pm.