Lady Broncos Win Streak Halted

Saturday afternoon in front of one of the largest crowds of the season the Western Michigan University women's basketball team saw the seven game winning streak come to an end against in-state rival Eastern Michigan. In a game that saw Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard and Senior Associate Athletic Director Dave Corstange present Head Coach Ron Stewart with the game ball from Akron during a pregame ceremony the Broncos fell to the Eagles 74-85.

The Broncos stared the game looking like they would go on to win the game with jumping out to a 10-point lead with less than 8 minutes remaining in the first half but the Eagles were able to chip away at the lead and ended of going into the locker room with a 37-36 lead at the half. In the process of losing the lead the Broncos were out rebounded in the first half 23-15 with the Eagles grabbing 8 offensive rebounds to the Broncos 2 offensive boards.

Nikki Knapp pace the Eagles in the first half hitting 6 out of 8 of her field goal attempts and converting both free throw attempts. She led all scorers at the half with 14 points. Kelly Koerber led the Broncos with 12 points and 3 blocks.

The second half was a different story all together. The Broncos saw their point deficit increase to as much as 18 points with just over 12 minutes left in the game. However the Broncos didn't give up. They continued to fight and chip away at the Eagles lead but suffered a huge blow when Maria Jillian took an elbow to the head at center court and fell to the court. She laid face down on the court for several moments before getting up and being taken to the training room. It was reported later on that she did sustain a concussion but the extent of the concussion was not know at the time.

For the Eagles however the story of the second half was Ryan Coleman. Coleman who only scored 5 points in the first half finished with 25 points for the game. It was her outside shooting that ended up halting the Broncos 7-game winning streak. Coleman hit 4 of her game high 5 3-point baskets in the second half missing only one attempt all game and she converted all 4 of her free throws.

Knapp finished with 22 points for the Eagles and a team high 8 rebounds for the Eagles. For the game the Eagles finished with 38 rebounds (14 offensive). The Eagles shot 47.8% from the floor, 45.0% from behind the arc and 76.9% from the charity stripe.

Koerber led all Broncos with 21 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. She had twice as many blocked shots as the Eagles did as a team. Carrie Moored added 18 points and Jillian and Lori Crisman each had two steals. The Broncos shot 45.8% from the floor, 44.4% from three-point range and 88.9% from the foul line.

The Broncos (12-7, 7-1 MAC) travel to Northern Illinois on Tuesday for a 7:00pm contest at the Convocation Center in DeKalb, Illinois. Earlier this season the Broncos defeated the Huskies 80-73 at University Arena.

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