Make it Twenty-One

The Bronco basketball team extended the fourth longest home winning streak in the NCAA to 21 games with a 64-48 win over the University of Detroit Mercy at University Arena.

Some sharp shooting by Ben Reed and Rickey Willis midway through the second half brought the 3,118 fans in attendance to their feet several times starting with a key 3-pointer by Reed after the Titans pulled to within one point. The Broncos would eventually put the game out of reach leading by as many as 18 points three times before the reserves were sent in for mop-up duty.

"That was just Rickey," said a humble Reed of Willis breaking out of his shooting slump. "We've been telling Rickey to relax and shoot all season long. In preseason and in practice he shot consistently and we just told him to keep shooting and it will come to him."

The shooting started out cold for both teams as the Broncos only shot 21% from the field in the first half but built a halftime lead of seven on a string of free throws and a dunk by redshirt freshman Andrew Hershberger.

The Titans suffered from 16 first half turnovers on top of their own cold shooting (28%). "It put us on our heels," said Detroit head coach Perry Watson. The difference in the game came as the Titans continued to go cold shooting in the second half (38%) while the Broncos hit over 60% of their second half shots including going six for eleven from three-point range.

Hawkins also attributed the big win to a solid defensive effort. "This time of year defense is ahead of offense… I didn't feel like we played with great intensity on the defensive end [this season], but we got back to that tonight. Our ability to defend is what really took us out to the lead."

The Broncos will head on the road for five straight starting with the MAC opener at Buffalo on Saturday December 4. The remainder of the road trip will follow a week off for final exams and then games with College of Charleston, IUPUI, USC and Virginia Tech before returning home for a December 28 contest with South Alabama.

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