Broncos take Down the Titans

On Monday night the Western Michigan University Broncos played their first home game of the season against the University of Detroit Titans at University Arena. A crowd of 2,432 managed to make to University Arena despite snow and ice covered roads and were treated to a complete performance by the home team in a 71-55 home opening win.

Robbie Collum got the scoring going early on with a jumper at the 19:03 mark. However, the Broncos were able to put their best offensive performance of the young season and finished the first half with a 56% shooting percentage. The Broncos connected on 15 of 27 from the floor; they were 2 of 7 in 3 point attempts and 3 for 4 in free throw attempts. The Titans shot 21% making 7 of 34 from the floor. They connected on 2 of 10 3-point attempts and 0-2 from the charity stripe.

On this night it turned into Anthony Kann's night. Kann led all scorers in the first half shooting 6 for 8 from the floor. He had 10 rebounds, 3 on offense and 7 on defense giving him a double double in the first half, just the second time he has had a double double before halftime.

The Broncos defense practically shut down the Titans offense all game long taking away their inside game and forcing them to start shooting from the outside. The Broncos physical presence inside the paint was felt all game long. It wasn't until the Titans started shooting from the outside when they started making some baskets, but after the Broncos jumped out to a 12-2 lead on a Kann lay-up in the first half, the Broncos never looked back.

In the second half the Titans played a tighter game and were able to outscore the Broncos 39-36. However, halfway through the second half, Kann made his presence felt again. In a span of about 2 minutes, Kann stole the ball twice, made two free-throws, made a lay-up, and a tip-in. But it wasn't until he made a diving scramble to recover a loose ball that the fans in attendance jumped to their feet and became the loudest they had been the whole game. Shortly afterward, Coach McCullum sat Kann down for a breather and as he walked to the bench he was greeted with a standing ovation by the fans. On the night Kann led all scorers with 21 points. He was 9-12 from the field and 3-4 from the free throw line. He recorded career high 17 rebounds (5 offense and 12 defense).

In the second half the Titans shot 50% from the floor (14-28), 44% from behind the three-point arc (4-9) and they were 78% from the free throw line (7-9). Terrell Riggs paced the Titans tying Willie Green with a team high 11 points and tying Warren Elijah for a team high 6 rebounds. For the game the Titans shot 34% from the field, 31% in their 3-point attempts and 64% from the free throw line.

The Broncos completed 11 of 24 shots in the second half for a 46% shooting percentage. They also shot 43% from the 3-point line and 73% from the free throw line. Some other leaders in tonight's game include Mike Williams with a game high 6 blocked shots, Kann had a game high with 5 assists, Detroit's Elijah Warren led all players with 34 minutes played. Warren's teammate Willie Green converted 6 of 7 free throw attempts and the Broncos Ben Reed connected on 3 of 4 3-point attempts. The Broncos finished with a 51% shooting percentage from the field, a 36% 3-point shooting percentage and a 74% success rate from the free throw line.

The win halted a 5-game losing streak to the Titans and also marked the Broncos best start since the 1997-1998 season when the Broncos opened up with a 4-0 record before losing to the Detroit Titans 77-59 in Detroit. That season, the Broncos earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Broncos next game is on Saturday, December 7, 2002 when they open up MAC play against the Miami RedHawks in Oxford, Ohio. Tip-off is set for 4:00pm.

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