Broncos Out Pace the Express

Western Michigan University's men's basketball team returned to the hard wood Saturday night. The game against the Greater Toronto Express marked the start of a new era for the Broncos, the Steve Hawkins era.

In his first game as head coach, Coach Hawkins introduced his own style of basketball, a fast paced high scoring, businesslike approach brand that will excite the fans who come out to watch the Broncos this season. In front of 1,617 fans the Broncos held on to the lead from start to finish and defeated the Express 92-80.

The Broncos were led by a strong performance from forward Mike Williams who led all scorers with a game high 36 points. Williams scored 23 of his 36 points in the second half. Williams made 15 out of 23 shots from the field and drained 6 out of 7 shots from the free throw line. Williams also contributed with 10 rebounds.

The Express, a team made up of former collegiate players, was paced by former Eastern Michigan standout Brian Tolbert. Tolbert completed 10 of 18 field goals, a game high 6 our of 8 three point attempts and made 3 of his 5 free throw attempts for 29 points.

Guard Ben Reed put to rest any thoughts of any effects from his previous knee injury and subsequent knee scope. Despite starting out a little slow Reed's enthusiasm picked up and in the second half he was able to use it to his and the team's advantage scoring 8 of his 12 points in the second half. Reed converted all 4 of his free throws, was 2 for 5 from behind the 3-point line but only made 3 of his 12 field goal attempts. He also added 10 rebounds to give the Broncos two players with a double-double.

The Broncos trailed the Express in shooting percentages. The Broncos out rebounded (51-21) had more takeaways (22-12) and had more steals (9-5) than the Express. The Express shot 44.2% from the field compared to the Broncos 42.0%. The Express also shot 41.4% from 3-point range and 78.6% from the charity stripe while the Broncos shot 38.1% and 69.6% respectively.

The Broncos next game is Thursday against Marathon Oil in another exhibition game. Tip-off is set for 7:00pm.

Broncos Illustrated Top Stories