Broncos Rally Falls Short

Before a season high crowd of 4,472 fans at University Arena, the Western Michigan University Broncos came up on the short end of their third conference game of the season.

At the start of the Broncos game against arch rival Central Michigan the Broncos started the scoring on a free throw but after two 3-pointers by J.R. Wallace and two baskets including a dunk by Mike Manciel the Chippewas jumped out to a 10-5 lead. The Broncos clamped down on defense. It took a little bit for the Broncos offense to get warmed up, but when it did they were able close in on the Chippewas.

The Broncos then when on a 7-0 run to grab the lead at 12-13. Both teams kept exchanging the lead throughout the rest of the first half. However the Broncos defense forced the Chippewas to start shooting from outside.

The Chippewas were able to take a 40-35 lead into the locker room at halftime due in large part to the 8 three pointers the Chippewas made in the first half. From the three-point line the Chippewas were 8-13 for a .615 shooting percentage. The Broncos shot 3-8 from the three-point line.

Overall for the first half the Chippewas shot 50% while the Broncos only shot 40%. The Chippewas also shot 100% from the free throw line going 2-2. The Broncos went 8-13 from the free throw line for a .615 shooting percentage.

To start the second half the Broncos went on a 6-0 run to grab the lead at 41-40. The Chippewas however answered right back and went on a 14-5 run to take a nine-point lead at 54-45. In that run Kaman put in 8 points, two of which were on free throws that started the run.

Through most of the second half the Broncos couldn't get closer than 5 points to the Chippewas. Whenever the Broncos would make a basket the Chippewas would answer with a basket of their own. By the time there was 7:27 left in the game the Chippewas held a 9-point lead at 60-69.

The Broncos again try to close the gap and got the game to within three at 64-67 but the Chippewas would continue to answer back. However, the Broncos continued to chip away at the Chippewas lead but were never able to overcome the deficit. Robbie Collum fouled out with 54.8 seconds remaining. The almost packed University Arena crowd started heading for the doors. With 34.5 seconds remaining Ben Reed picked up an offensive foul with the Broncos down 70-77.

The Broncos late rally fell short as they dropped their first home game of the season 75-80. The Broncos record falls to 8-4 (0-3 MAC). The Chippewas record now stands at 8-3 (1-1 MAC). Despite the loss, the Broncos had some strong individual performances. Mike Williams who only practiced one day since injuring his hip was the only player to score a double double. Williams led all scorers with 24 points and rebounds with 11.

Robby Collum had a game high 4 assists and 5 steals. But the Chippewas held the advantage shooting .583 from the floor, .619 from 3-point range and .733 from the free throw line.

Next up for the Broncos is the Eagles of Eastern Michigan on Saturday, January 11. The Broncos men's basketball team tips off a Broncos triple-header on "Blackout Saturday" when tip-off is at 2:00pm at University Arena.

Women's Basketball Update

The Broncos women's basketball team traveled to Kent State and came away with a 73-58 win. The women's team now owns a record of 7-4 (1-0 MAC). The women return home to play host to the Miami RedHawks at University Arena in "Blackout Saturday". Tip-off for the women's contest is at 4:00pm.

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