The 2,718 fans at University Arena were treated to an exciting comeback in a game where the broncos had the lead only once in the first 34 minutes of the game. Stane's Bufford would tie the game twice midway through the second half bringing the home crowd to its feet before Rickey Willis finally secured a lead on a three-pointer with 5:57 left in the game.
"This was a quality team," said Loyola head coach Jim Whitesell on the loss to Western Michigan. Whitesell – formerly head coach of Lewis University – is familiar with WMU coach Steve Hawkins as the two faced each other as conference rivals when Hawkins coached at Quincy.
The Broncos struggled in the first half allowing the Ramblers to hit 53% of their shots including four of six from three-point range.
"We were letting [Loyola] get looks we don't normally let teams get," said senior forward Levi Rost. "That's not what Broncos do. We needed to play better defense."
The Broncos came out with more intensity in the second half and held Loyola to just 25 second-half points while taking control of the rebounding battles.
"They were posting up their guards," said Hawkins. "We learned how to deal with that and at halftime we challenged our guards to not allow their guards to make plays off the post in the second half."
The Highlight Reel:
Both Bufford and Rost had highlight reel type dunks for the Broncos in the first half. Rost's, early in the game, came on the fast break while Bufford's came off the baseline on a seemingly broken play.
"Stane's is extremely athletic," said Rost. "He's shown us how athletic he is ever since he came to campus."
Wes Devries almost had a dunk of his own on the fast break, but an apparent missed step forced him to settle for the easy lay-in.
Broncos Continue Streak
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