Broncos Roast the Hokies

Coming off a 72-54 victory over the Auburn Tigers of the South Eastern Conference on Tuesday, the Broncos played host to the Virginia Tech Hokies on Saturday in front of 3,159 fans. The Hokies came into Kalamazoo after having some travel problems when their flight from Chicago to Kalamazoo was cancelled due to the weather in Kalamazoo.

The Hokies then had to catch a bus from Chicago to Kalamazoo and did not get to the hotel until after 2:00am. Saturday's game marked the first time the Hokies have come to Kalamazoo to play a basketball game.

After the Hokies won the opening tip-off and missed a baseline jumper for three, Anthony Kann got the rebound and Robbie Collum got the scoring underway with a jumper from the free throw line. On the Broncos next possession Collum was put on the floor by a Hokie defender. To the displeasure of Bronco fans no foul was called and Collum remained on the floor for several minutes.

It wasn't until halfway through the first half that the pace of the game started to pick up. Mike Williams sparked a 12-3 run with a basket and Robbie Collum capped off the run. Collum drained two three-point baskets with a steal sandwiched in between. The Broncos led 17-7 at the ten-minute mark of the first half.

The Hokies were then able to drain their next basket to cut the Broncos lead to 17-9, but the Broncos then went on another run, scoring seemingly at will. Kann hit a three-point basket, Robbie Collum drained a couple free throws, Mike Williams made a great steal, but the Hokies were able to get back in time to prevent Williams from making an uncontested basket. However, the play of the 13-0 run was a tic-tac-toe pass from Reed to Collum to Mike Williams under the basket for the easy two-points. Kann capped off the run on a basket that gave the Broncos a 31-9 lead.

The Hokies however were not finished for the half. They were able to fight their way back into the contest with the help of an Allan Calloway dunk and a Carlos Dixon three-point shot in the waning seconds of the half; the Broncos went into the locker room with a 38-23 lead.

Collum led all scorers with 14 points at the halfway point. As a team the Broncos shot .536 from the floor compared to Virginia Tech's .370 shooting percentage. From the free throw line the Broncos were 4 for 8 while the Hokies converted 1 of 7 free throw opportunities. The Broncos also shot .500 from three-point range compared to the Hokies .400 from behind three-point line.

The second half started the same way the first half finished with both teams moving up and down the court. Kann opened up the scoring making two free throws after being fouled by Luke Minor. Carlos Dixon then hit a three-pointer and following a Hokies steal Allan Calloway slammed it home. Kann then scored 4 of the Broncos next 6 points.

Bryant Mattews then converted another dunk for the Hokies. Reggie Berry provided the answer for the Broncos connecting on a three-point shot and then making a soft dunk. Mike Williams then scored the Broncos next four points before both teams settled to playing defense. At the 11:43 mark of the second half the Broncos held a 55-30 lead.

In the second half the Broncos just systematically pulled away from the Hokies. Bobby Madison, Williams, and Rickey Willis helped the Broncos build up a 71-46 lead with 3:29 left in the game. However Brian Chase ensured that the Broncos would not make the Hokies the fifth consecutive team to be held under 20 points in at least one half; Chase hit a three-pointer.

With 49 seconds left in the game Reggie Berry drained another three-point basket the gave the Broncos a 75-53 lead. The Broncos finished the game with Pat Cleland, Rickey Willis, Brian Snider, Antwan Joseph and Steve Green on the court. Green was called for a foul on Fabian Davis who missed his first attempt but hit the second attempt to make the final score a 75-54 Bronco victory.

Mike Williams led all scorers with 18 points he also accounted for 2 of the Broncos 8 blocked shots. Williams, Kann and Ben Reed each recorded 6 rebounds, which was also the game high in rebounds. As a team the Broncos recorded a better shooting percentage (.500) than the Hokies (.422). The Broncos also led in three-point shooting (.348 - .308) but the Hokies had a better free throw shooting percentage (.632) than the Broncos (.600).

The win improved the Broncos record to 7-2 while the loss dropped the Hokies to 5-5. The win also marked the third victory this season for the Broncos over a school from a "major" conference. The Broncos defeated Michigan of the Big Ten 56-52, Auburn of the SEC 72-54 and the Hokies out of the Big East Conference. The Broncos are in action again on December 30th when they tip-off against IUPUI at 7:00pm at IUPUI.

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