by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
The best thing to come out of Kansas City Kansas Community College’s 100-42 loss to Iowa Western Tuesday night – the Blue Devils aren’t likely to play a better team.
Ranked No. 20 in the NJCAA Division I preseason poll, the lanky and athletic Reivers (7-1) broke the century mark in scoring for the third straight game, netted 99 or more points in five of their eight games and are averaging 98.1 points a game. Their lone loss came at the hands of Missouri State-West Plains, 99-85.
The loss dropped the Blue Devils to 4- heading into three straight road games – at Penn Valley Saturday at 4 p.m.; Washburn next Monday at 7 p.m.; and Park University junior varsity Wednesday, Nov. 29. They’ll return home for a women-men’s doubleheader against North Arkansas Friday, Dec. 1.
The Blue Devils stayed with the Reivers early. Tied 8-8 with 16:08 left in the first half, KCKCC did not score again until the 8:12 mark – a drought of nearly eight minutes during which time Iowa Western built a 29-8 lead. Leading 48-20 at the half, the visitors shot 60.6 percent the second half and finished at 54.5 percent overall.
Iowa Western had five players score in double figures and all 15 Reivers got into the scoring column. But it was the Reivers’ aggressive man-to-man defense that was most decisive, limiting the Blue Devils to 10 first half goals, seven the second half and just 42 points for the game – all season lows. The Reivers also shot the ball well from 3-point from where they were 12-of-22 for 54.5 percent
Limited to 30.9 percent shooting, the Blue Devils were led in scoring by guards Solomon Thomas and Dion Union with 9 and 7 points. Josiah Laws led in rebounding with five as the Reivers controlled the boards 46-30.
Guard Patrick Dembly, who has committed to Boise State, led Iowa Western with 18 points including 4-of-7 three-pointers. Emmanuel Ugboh, a 6-11 freshman from Lagos, Nigeria, and 6-8 sophomore Isaiah Wade, dominated inside. Ugboh had 11 points and five rebounds while Wade led all rebounders with 12.