Broncos Ground the Falcons

Saturday afternoon the Western Michigan University Broncos men's basketball team extended their home winning streak to 15 games with an 88-73 win over the Bowling Green State University Falcons. The Broncos finished with three players scoring 10 or more points and once again the bench played a big role in the Broncos victory.

Early in the second half with the Falcons chipping away at the lead Head Coach Steve Hawkins substituted the entire starting five. He felt they were not playing the way he thought they should so he decided to bring them to the bench to talk to them together and let them know they needed to pick it up some.

With the starters on the bench and the lead down to 15 points Jeremy File scored his first collegiate basket on a lay-up. Fouled on the play by Isaac Rosefelt, File was able to convert the three-point play by draining his free throw to give the Broncos a 49-31 lead. Bobby Madison increased the lead to 20 by converting two free throws himself.

The Falcons were still able to chip away at the Broncos lead and eventually got back to within 9 points with 3:58 left in the game when John Reimold converted both of his free throw attempts. The Falcons comeback was led by the hot shooting from Ron Lewis who finished with a game high 26 points and Kevin Netter added 17 points.

With the score 75-66 the Broncos took over at the free throw line. In the last 3:41 of the contest the Broncos made only one basket from the floor but converted on 11 out of 14 free throws. Mike Williams went 6 for 6 in that stretch including 4 in a row following a foul on Reimold that ended with Falcons Head Coach Dan Dakich receiving a technical foul for disputing the call that resulted in Reimold's 5th foul of the game.

Wes DeVries capped off the scoring when he split from the free throw line following a foul on Rosefelt. In the second half the Falcons out-shot the Broncos 50.0% to 42.9% from the floor and 53.3% to 28.6% from three-point range. The Falcons also out-shot the Broncos 81.3% to 76.5% from the charity stripe but the strong first half the Broncos had helped seal the victory as the Broncos led by 18 at the half.

The 4,528 fans in attendance were brought to their feet twice in this game on plays that involved Ben Reed and Mike Williams. In the first half Williams got one of his 3 steals and fed a wide open Ben Reed. Reed slammed the ball home to give the Broncos a 34-20 lead with 7:20 left in the half. Reed returned the favor in the second half when he recorded his only steal of the game and fed Williams who slammed it home. Williams' dunk gave the Broncos a 24-point lead (61-37) with 12:51 left in the game.

The Broncos limited the Falcons to just 32.1% shooting in the first half and 30.0% shooting from 3-point range. The Broncos shot 50.0% in the first half from both the field and 3-point range. For the game the Broncos out-shot the Falcons 46.9% to 41.1% from the floor but the Falcons shot 44.0% to the Broncos 40.0% from the arc and 76.2% to 75.0% from the charity stripe.

The Broncos (17-2, 10-1 MAC) have extended their home winning streak to 15 games. The 15 game home winning streak is the longest in school history since the school started to keep track of home and away contests. The Broncos travel to Muncie, Indiana on Wednesday to take on the Ball State Cardinals. Tip-off for the game at the John E. Worthen Arena is scheduled for 7:00pm.

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