Broncos Stampede the Eagles

On Saturday the Western Michigan University Broncos men's basketball team kicked off "Blackout Saturday" in conference action. The Broncos hosted conference and in state rival Eastern Michigan Eagles in front of 3,216 fans. Led by Anthony Kann and Terrence Slater, the Broncos were able to pull away in the second half and cruise to a 87-54 victory of the Eagles.

The Broncos came out strong in the first four minutes against the Eagles. Eastern Michigan won the tip off, but WMU went on a 9-0 run before Ryan Prillman made his second free throw tip. WMU led 9-1 heading into the first timeout.

Following the timeout Prillman put home a dunk and Jaquan Hart added to free throws before the Broncos added six straight points. Prillman than added 4 points including another dunk. The Broncos led 17-9 heading into the second timeout. Prillman accounted for 7 of the 9 Eagles points.

The Broncos slowly pulled away from the Eagles. By the 6:40 mark they had built an 11-point lead at 26-15. After James Jackson hit two free throws, Terrance Slater drained a bucket, Nick Evola hit two free throws and Rickey Willis sank a 3-pointer. Prillman added another basket to give him 9 points in the first half.

At the 3:36 mark of the first half the Eagles had cut the Broncos lead to 26-21 following an 8-0 run. Prillman led the Eagle in closing the gap. Prillman had some assistance from Steve Pettyjohn and Markus Austin.

At the half the however, the Broncos had regained an 11-point lead with the score 35-24. The Broncos held a .385 to .381 advantage in shooting hitting 15 of 39 shots compared to the Eagles hitting 8 out of 21 shots. The Broncos hit 3 of 12 three pointers compared to the Eagles 0-5 from the 3-point line however the Eagles were 8-15 from the free throw line while the Broncos went 2 out of 3 from the charity stripe. Ryan Prillman led all scorers with 9 points. Ben Reed and Nick Evola each had three rebounds.

Early in the 2nd half the Eagle was able to cut away the Broncos lead by going on a 14-5 run. Markus Austin led the comeback by scoring 10 of the Eagles' 14 points. However, following a timeout the Broncos came out and went on a 10-0 run.

Following the Broncos 10-0 run, they kept pulling away as they defense clamped down on the Eagles. Despite having three guys in foul trouble the Broncos had a 30-point lead at 80-50 with just over three minutes to go.

Anthony Kann and Markus Austin led all scorers with 19-points each. Williams, Kann and Robby Collum each had a game high of 3 steals. Steve Pettyjohn led all rebounders with 10 rebounds for the Eagles.

The Broncos finish shooting .493 from the field converting 15 of 39 baskets while the Eagles converted 18-43 for a .419 shooting percentage. From 3-point range the Broncos went 4-16 for a .250 shooting percentage and the Eagles shot 2-10 for a .200 shooting percentage. From the charity stripe the Broncos shot 13-21 for a .619 shooting percentage and the Eagles converted 16 out of 26 attempts for a .615 shooting percentage.

The victory improves the Broncos record to 8-4 (1-3 MAC) giving them their first conference victory. The Eagles fell to 6-5 (0-1 MAC). The Broncos are in action again on Wednesday, January 15 at Ball State.

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