Berry's Career Day Sparks the Broncos

Wednesday night the Western Michigan University Broncos took their winning steak to 10 games with an 77-48 win over the IPFW Mastadons. The winning streak is tied for the fourth longest is school history. The 2,964 fans in attendance was treated to a strong performance from the Broncos bench in a game where only Brian Snider was the only player to play twenty five minutes. In fact only four players were held to under 10 minutes of playing time.

With opponents starting to focus more and more on guarding against Ben Reed and Mike Williams, Reggie Beery picked no time like the present to have a strong game. He came in off the bench, registered 24 minutes of playing time, was 5 of 8 from the 3 point line and finished with a game high and a personal career high 19 points. Of course the Broncos know what Berry can do and when asked about Berry's performance Anthony Kann said, "We know Reggie is a great player." Berry also said that, "I just want to do anything to help our team win."

Kann himself had another good game offensively including hitting his second and third 3-pointers of the season, "I've always shot a few a year," Kann Said. Kann finished with 17 points. Kann was 2-3 from behind the 3-point arc and his is 3-5 on the season. Coach Hawkins who was able to see Kann play in high school knows what the big man can do, "Anthony was a very, very good three-point shooter in high school," he said. It was after coming to Western Michigan University that Kann was able to develop a big enough inside presence that he didn't need to shoot from the outside. But if a team is going to give him the open looks expect Kann to take them.

Since the Arizona State game only 2 players have logged in more than 30 minutes of playing time; Ben Reed played 34 minutes against Akron and Berry came off the bench to play 31 minutes against Akron and 31 minutes against Buffalo. That's four straight games with 2 or fewer players playing over 30 minutes in only 2 of those games. Wednesday night only Silver Laku (4 minutes), Jeremy File (4 minutes), Wes deVries (4 minutes) and Steve Green (4 minutes) played fewer than 10 minutes. The bench with Berry's effort combined for 34 points in the Broncos win with File being the only Broncos to not attempt a shot. "The bench was the bench again," Coach Hawkins said following the game.

Defensively the Broncos continue to get stronger. In the last to games combined the Broncos have held there opponents to a 35% shooting percentage. "Defensively I still thought we played well," said Coach Hawkins. Despite committing 17 turnovers the Broncos were able to steal the ball 10 times with Kann coming away with 4 steals for a game high. On the defensive glass the Broncos out rebounded the Mastadons 32-24 and the Broncos held the game advantage for total rebounds 44-35.

Mike Williams was held to under 10 points for the first time this season scoring just 9 points but he had a team high 10 rebounds. Even though Reed didn't have much time to get his shots off he hit 2 out of 6 3-point attempts and finished with 14 points. Brian Snider was his usual self on Wednesday night. He came away with only 2 points, but his 6 assists and 2 steals went further than anything else he could have done.

The Broncos are setting their sights on bigger and better targets but at the same time they are taking each game one game at a time. "We have to keep doing what we're doing," said Kann. The Broncos are of to their second best start in school history. They are now tied with the third longest in season winning streak but in the history of the school they are tied for the fourth longest winning streak.

With the Broncos (11-1, 4-0 MAC) returning to conference play on Saturday the students, alumni and fans are all getting excited about the outlooks for the men this season and the Broncos can expect a strong showing of fan support in a hostile arena on Saturday. The Broncos resume MAC play by taking on in-state rival Eastern Michigan at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The Eagles (6-6, 1-3 MAC) consider the Broncos their main rivals and will be up for this game. Last year the Broncos lost to the Eagles at Eastern Michigan 72-80. Eastern Michigan also owns the series record against the Broncos 39-37. Saturday's game is also a competition between the two schools to see which school can draw the most student support. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm but depending on how long the Broncos women's game goes against the Lady Eagles the start time could be pushed back a bit.

Broncos Illustrated Top Stories