Concordia, KS -- With Iowa Western's 109-105 overtime victory over previously unbeaten Pratt (KS) and Cloud County's (KS) 81-76 win over North Platte (NE) the previous day, the stage was set for a championship match-up between the Reivers and the hosting Thunderbirds in the 2018 T-Bird Thanksgiving Classic.
From the opening tip the Reivers executed on both ends of the floor, and most importantly slowed down a Thunderbird team that had initially blitzed the Knights from North Platte one night earlier in the game's opening moments. With the tempo under control, the Reivers controlled the opening frame with solid unselfish basketball. At intermission the Reivers has only four turnovers and outshot the home team by 12 extra shots, en route to a solid 37-32 lead.
The second half remained the same as Iowa Western continued to keep the T-Birds at arms length; recording their best forty minutes of basketball played to date this season; controlling the lead virtually "wire-to-wire", and earning a well deserved 82-70 road victory. The Reivers were paced by Travon Broadway (22pts), Emmanuel Ugboh (14pts), and Christian Bentley (10pts). Ugboh recorded yet another "double-double" on the young season with 11 rebounds to go along with those 14 points.
The win marked a successful completion of a one of the toughest stretches of the non-conference portion of the Reivers schedule. Starting in Colorado the previous Monday, with a hard fought 82-79 win over Northeastern; and continuing with the aforementioned 109-105 OT victory over Pratt in Kansas on Friday (11/23/18), before beating Cloud. The T-Bird Thanksgiving Classic is the second "classic crown" the Reivers have captured this season; with the other being their own Holiday Inn/Hampton Inn Reiver Classic (11/10/18) over DMACC (IA), Dakota-Bottineau (ND), and Cloud County.
After that week on the road, the Reivers now return to Reiver Arena where they will play Kansas City - Kansas. Tip-off between the Reivers and Blue Devils is slated for 6:00pm Tuesday (11/27/18) evening.