Broncos Rebound

The Western Michigan University men's basketball team (1-1) concluded play at the 2002 Sooner Invitational with a 73-62 win over UC-Irvine Saturday afternoon in the consolation game.

The Broncos were defeated 62-59 by Princeton Friday night in the season opener at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

Junior forward Mike Williams led all scorers with 25 points and also chipped in nine boards, three steals and a pair of blocks. Classmate Anthony Kann added 14 points and seven rebounds and senior guard Robby Collum netted 14 points of his own.

The game was tight early as both teams struggled to dominate offensively. UCI's Jordan Harris tied the score at 18-18 with 9:33 left in the opening half and three minutes later the game was knotted at 24-24. The Broncos led by four points with 3:40 left, but were unable to pull away following turnovers on back-to-back possessions.

A pair of Collum charity tosses allowed the team to enter the locker room with a 32-30 advantage, its second halfway-point lead in as many games. Williams had 10 points prior to the intermission, but WMU shot just 40.7 percent from the field as a team. The defense was the story, forcing 10 Anteater turnovers thanks in part to eight steals.

UCI netted the first basket of the second half to tie the score at 32-32, but a 3-pointer from Ben Reed seconds later would give his team an advantage it would never relinquish. A 3-point play by UCI's Jeff Gloger closed the gap to 48-47, but the Broncos responded with an 11-0 run to break the game open.

Williams had five points during the scoring outburst and Kann chipped in four points via the free throw line. The Anteaters hung around, however, and weren't fully put away until Terrance Slater drained a rainbow 3-pointer from the left corner as the shot clok was winding down with less than two minutes remaining.

The Broncos finished the game 48 percent (24-of-50) from the field and converted on 20-of-26 (76.9 percent) of their free throw attempts. Reed added five points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes of action. Western Michigan travels to Fordham for a 7 p.m. game on Nov. 25 from the Bronx, N.Y.

Broncos Illustrated Top Stories