Reivers interrupt MCC’s win streak, 81-72

Brynjar Brynjarsson couldn’t second-guess his squad’s shot selection.

The ball just wouldn’t drop.

And against a potent Reivers’ offensive attack, it was more than enough to keep the Marshalltown Community College men’s basketball team from pulling the upset.

Tavian Pomlee, Devin Brooks and Dinjily Walker shot a combined 25-of-42 from the field for 65 points as NJCAA Division I No. 9-ranked Iowa Western snapped the Tigers’ six-game win streak with a 81-72 victory on sophomore night at the Student Activity Center Saturday.

“The difference in the game was Travis Pomlee,” Coach Brynjarsson said.

“He hit three really big shots for them. I though we did a pretty decent job on him, but he made the shots.”

Pomlee, who finished 8-for-10 from the field and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, buried his last 3-pointer to counter one from Delinac that brought the Tigers within 70-64 with just over three minutes to play. MCC trimmed the deficit to six one more time on a Troidell Carter jumper with 38 seconds left before Pomlee put the finishing touches on the win with a breakaway dunk.

Brooks poured in a game-high 25 points, while Pomlee and Walker scored 20 apiece for the Reivers (26-2, 5-2). Tyrone Haughton used his 6-foot-9 frame to block four shots and alter many more, while grabbing nine boards.

The Tigers (21-8, 2-5) found themselves playing catch up early as Iowa Western drilled six three pointers in just over seven minutes from the outset to lead 24-16. Brooks, Pomlee and Walker each hit two triples in the first half as Iowa Western shot 6-for-12 from deep in the opening stanza and made 30-of-56 field goals in the contest.

Despite a 32 percent shooting effort in the first half, MCC trailed by just four at the break, making 8-of-12 at the line. MCC never found its stroke in the second half either connecting on just 35 percent (25-of-72) in the game, though Brynjarsson couldn’t question the shot selection.

“I didn’t think we were taking bad shots they just didn’t go in,” Brynjarsson said.

“If we throw a couple more of those in there, it’s a ball game.”

That same circumstance carried over for Chris Caird who finished with 17 points and found some better looks, but struggled to find his rhythm for the second game in a row finishing 3-of-15 from the field.

“Whether it goes in or not, he’s the guy that we have to count on a little bit when he is open,” Brynjarsson said.

Out of the (12) he misses, I can’t think of one I wouldn’t want him to shoot.”

Delinac paced the Tigers with 19 points including five 3-pointers, while Carter had 14 points and seven rebounds. Delinac hit back-to-back triples early in the second half to pull the Tigers within 45-42, though the Reivers retaliated with eight unanswered and kept allowed MCC at arm’s length the rest of the night.

Jamal Gatali corralled a team-best nine boards and scored seven points. Raheim Holloway added seven points and four assists, while Delinac had three steals.

After losing the battle of the boards by 20 (56-36) and allowing 24 offensive rebounds in their first meeting, the Tigers held their own this time as the Reivers had a 39-37 edge on the glass and only five offensive boards.

The Tigers close the regular season against third-ranked Indian Hills (26-2, 7-0) on the road Saturday at 7 p.m. The Warriors won the first affair 80-77 at the Student Activity Center Jan. 26.