MCC Men's and Women's Basketball hosted a conference double header on Wednesday, January 23 as Iowa Western came to town. The women tipped off the action with a 5 PM showdown. Following the women, the men's game got underway at 7 PM.
The Tigers entered the women's contest at 5-12 and on a five game losing streak. Meanwhile, after a slow start to the season, the Reivers were riding a six game winning streak and entered at 14-7. By the end of the contest, both steaks would be extended.
After trading buckets to start the game, the Tigers struggled to stay in the game. Rebounding and three-point shooting proved to be difference makers as the Reivers outrebounded the Tigers 34-15 and went 9-14 from beyond the arc while the Tigers shot 8-22 from deep. The Reivers opened up a 25-11 lead in the first quarter and never looked back as they went on to win 89-52.
Clara Solsona was the lone bright spot for the Tigers. Solsona, who played just 19 minutes, led the team with 22 points on 8-11 shooting while going 6-8 from three-point range.
After the women's game ended up not being close, it appeared the men's game was on the same course. During the first half, the Tigers struggled to get anything going while the Reivers were hitting on all cylinders. At halftime, the Tigers trailed 24-48 and the game felt all but over.
Nobody told the Tigers the game was over though. After spending nearly every second of halftime in the locker room, the Tigers came out looking for a way to get back into the game. The Tigers turned up the pressure defensively and slowed down the Reiver offense. A series of defensive stops, a few forced turnovers, and some made buckets saw the Tigers cut the Reiver lead to just ten at 53-43 with thirteen minutes still to play in the half.
From that point on, it was a game again. Both teams made mini runs. Each time, the Tigers would manage to extend theirs just a little bit longer. As the score got closer, the home crowd got louder. The crowd was electric as the Tigers tied the contest at 65 on a tough bucket by Eduardo Lane with 3:42 left.
The Reivers immediately answered with an and-one by Caleb Huffman to move the score to 68-65. Again, the Tigers got a big bucket by Eduardo Lane after he forced a turnover and made an impressive one-on-one move in the lane. A single made free-throw by Travon Broadway extended the Reiver lead to 69-67.
Needing a bucket, the Tigers ran a set play that resulted in a lob dunk by Kelton Edwards that brought the score to 69-69 and the crowd to their feet with 1:22 left.
Unfortunately, that was the last field goal the Tigers would manage as the Reivers went on to close the game out 77-70.
Both Tiger squads are back in action when they travel to Northeast Community College for a double header on Saturday, January 27.