Lady Broncos Extend Winning Streak

Wednesday night, the Western Michigan University Broncos women's basketball team extended their current winning streak to 5 games with a 76-67 win over Kent State. The win also gave the Broncos a 5-0 record in MAC play an achievement that the Lady Broncos have only accomplished 3 other times since joining the MAC in the 1982-83 season.

This year's team is only one win away of tying the best conference start in school history which was set last season when the team started the conference schedule going 6-0 enroute to their MAC Tournament Championship.

For the 938 fans in attendance on Wednesday night they saw two of the best teams in the conference run a high tempo and extremely physical game. The game was so physical that late in the second half Maria Jillian was literally run over causing her face to hit the court bringing her to tears and yet no foul was called. Following the contest it was felt by certain member of the team that other teams are being given liberties of elbowing, running over and just beating up Jillian and the team's leading scorer Casey Rost.

With the extra physical contact that Jillian and Rost have to face game in and game out it is no wonder that the team has a tendency of tiring and sitting back for about 8 to 10 minutes late in the second half of most of their games. The problem with them doing this is it tends to allow their opponents the opportunity to get back into the game as was the case last night.

With just under ten minutes to go in the game Rost made 2 of her seven free throw baskets on the evening to give the Broncos a 19-point lead. 9 minutes later with 54 seconds on the clock Lindsay Shearer drained a basket to put the Golden Flashes to within 7 points. Two more free throws by Rost sealed the Broncos victory with 33 seconds left in the game.

Because of the Broncos not being able to pull away from Kent State Jillian, Lori Crisman and Carrie Moore played the full forty minutes. Just four Broncos came in off the to give Kelly Koerber and Rost some rest and Nicole Watkins made the most of the 2 minutes she played by picking up where she left off at Eastern Michigan last Saturday. Watkins hit a 3-point basket with 3 seconds left in the first half that gave the Broncos a 41-27 halftime lead.

The Golden Flashes 6'6" junior center Andrea Csaszar found her shot in the second half and her team high 20 points along with her game high four blocks had a lot to do with the Golden Flashes comeback. Sophomore forward Lindsay Shearer was also another second half weapon for the Golden Flashes finishing with a double-double (15 points and 10 rebounds).

The Broncos have noticed the trend to be more of a first half team and have addressed the issue of tiring in the second half. The next two games could possibly help them work on it with the Broncos scheduled to play two teams that are a combined 0-10 in the MAC and 9-23 overall.

In the end however the Broncos were to much for the Golden Flashes to overcome. With Rost and Moore pushing each other along they both finished one and two in scoring. Rost had a game high 25 points and Moore finished with 23 points. Kelly Koerber appeared to have 3 steals but was only given 2 steals on the game. Crisman had a difficult time getting her shot to go but her defense was as strong as ever. She finished with a game high five steals and one block.

Against the Golden Flashes the Broncos out shot them from the field and from behind the arc but the Golden Flashes was a bit more accurate from the charity stripe. The Broncos shot 47.3% (26 out of 55) from the floor and 75.0% (9 out of 12) from 3-point range compared to the Golden Flashes shooting 43.6% (24 out of 55) and 30.0% (6 out of 20) respectively. The Golden Flashes made 13 out of 15 free throw attempts for a shooting percentage of 86.7%. The Broncos were able to drain 15 out of 19 attempts from the free throw line giving them a 78.9% shooting percentage.

The Broncos (10-6, 5-0 MAC) travel to Akron Saturday to take on the Zips (5-11, 0-5 MAC) in a 2:00pm contest and Kent State (9-6, 2-2 MAC) travel to DeKalb, Illinois to take on the Northern Illinois Huskies (6-9, 2-3 MAC) at 2:05pm central time.

Broncos Illustrated Top Stories