WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa -- During a team shootaround the day before their road game against Southeastern, No. 5 Iowa Western's shooters found Loren Walker Arena to their liking.
"The gym is definitely a good place to shoot," guard Dinjiyl Walker said. "At practice, a lot of our players were shooting really good. We like the gym. We might as well have it as our home gym."
Perhaps that's not a bad idea. Iowa Western (23-1) knocked down 15 3-pointers against the Blackhawks on their home court Wednesday during its crucial 92-81 Region XI victory.
The win gave the Reivers, 4-1 in league play, a two-game cushion over Southeastern (19-6, 2-3) for second place behind Indian Hills in the Region XI standings. The top two teams during the regular season will be the hosts of the regional semifinals in the postseason.
"This game was going to be a separation game," IWCC coach Jim Morris said. "If we got this game, it was going to separate it out to 1 and 2, then 3-4-5. It kind of gives us a little cushion.
"I thought we played together well, and we shot the ball really well."
The Reivers got 15 first-half points from Tavian Pomlee and had an 11-point lead with 2:11 to play before the intermission. However, Southeastern closed the half with seven-point surge then tied the score at 44-all on a 3 by Joe Scott on its first possession after the break.
The lead changed hands six times after that before IWCC scored 11 straight points to move in front for good.
Ryan Bowie had a pair of his five 3s during that stretch. He and Walker went a combined 9 for 9 from the field after halftime, including 6 for 6 from outside the arc.
Walker had 14 second-half points and led all scorers with 22.
Five of the six Reivers that scored finished in double figures. Devin Brooks had 21, Pomlee finished with 17 and Bowie recorded 15. Josiah Coleman added 10 points, including two 3s during a 48-point second half.
"It was really important for us," Walker said. "At the end of the first half, we were losing our defense. When we came out in the second half, our point guard, Devin, got us some open shots."
They knocked them down, too. Five of the Reivers that scored hit multiple 3s.
Southeastern hit 11 of them as well. Jordan Stevens had four during his 20-point effort. Scott and Dontay Jackson finished with 18 and 14 points, respectively, for the Blackhawks.