Broncos Continue Their Winning Ways

Two weeks ago the Western Michigan University Men's basketball team traveled to Eastern Michigan and came away with a 72-63 victory after withstanding a late run by the Eagles. On Saturday, except for a couple of minutes in the middle of the first half, the outcome of the Broncos 75-55 win over the Eagles was never in doubt.

The last time a Bronco team started a season with 15 wins and 2 or fewer losses was in the 1975-76 season when the Broncos started 19-0 and went on to finish with a 25-3 record. In front of the largest crowd of the season (5,128) and the third largest crowd in University Arena history since the 1994 renovations the Broncos treated the fans with strong presence on the boards and in forced turnovers.

Both coaches talked after the game about turnovers and rebounds. The Broncos out rebounded the Eagles 37-32 however the story was about offensive boards. The Broncos had an 18-6 edge in offensive rebounds. The Eagles also had over twice as many turnovers 21 to the Broncos 10 turnovers.

For the Broncos this game was all about the bench. With teams focusing more and more on the Broncos big shooters like Mike Williams, Ben Reed and Anthony Kann the Broncos have had to turn to their bench to help free up Williams, Reed and Kann and with Levi Rost and Reggie Berry their efforts are paying off.

Rost who struggled early on this season with his outside shooting and free throws has started to come along. He has led the team in scoring the last two games by scoring 26 against Ohio and 16 on Saturday against the Eagles. Rost was 5 of 8 from the floor and 3 of 4 from the charity stripe. Rost also finished with a team high 7 rebounds. Berry contributed with 10 points.

Kann only played twelve minutes due to taking a shot to the face but he made the most of his minutes by hitting 6 of his 10 shots from the floor and converting 2 out of 3 free throw attempts for 14 point in 12 minutes. Brian Snider also contributed with 7 assists before fouling out late in the second half. Jeff Bronson contributed with slamming home his only basket of the game half-way through the first half to give the Broncos a 19-15 lead. The Broncos finished the game shooting 40.9% form the floor, 33.3% from behind the arc and 70.6% from the free throw line.

The Eagles were led by James Jackson and James Douglas who contributed with 14 points a piece. Jackson added a game high 12 rebounds but had a team high 5 turnovers. Markus Austin was the only Eagle to hit from 3-point range and finished with 12 points but had a team high 2 blocked shots. For the game the Eagles shot 44.4% from the floor, 30.0% from 3-point range and 66.7% from the charity stripe.

The Broncos (15-2, 8-1 MAC) travel to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan on Wednesday to take on arch rival and defending MAC Champions the Central Michigan University Chippewas in a 7:00pm. contest at Rose Arena. The Chippewas (0-9, 3-16) have struggled so far this season with the loss of Chris Kaman who chose to forgo his senior season to test the waters in the NBA. All three victories for the Chippewas have been by a combined 31 points with the largest point differential being a 124-103 victory over Tri-State. The Broncos return to University Arena on Saturday to take on Bowling Green.

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