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Broncos hold off Chips, win 75-72

by Colin Windecker

Kalamazoo, MI (WKZO) – In the 131st all-time meeting between arguable the two biggest rivals in the Mid-American Conference, the Western Michigan Broncos were able to hold off a late charge from the Central Michigan Chippewas to defeat their in-state rival 75-72 at University Arena on Saturday afternoon.

David Brown scored a team high 20 points, while making some clutch free throws in the final minutes for the Broncos 12th win of the year, and improving their MAC record to 5-3. Brown’s double digit scoring performance also increased his consecutive games streak of 10 or more points to 25.

The Broncos jumped out of the gate early, scoring the first eight points of the game and increased their lead to as much as 23 in the first half before ending the half ahead 42-25, in large part to holding the Chips to just 23.8% shooting (5-21) and dominate inside play from MAC West Player of the Week Shayne Whittington, who had 12 points and six boards in the first 20 minutes of play.

After the break, the Chips started the second half looking like a differenet team. They made nearly three times as many shots while attempting only four more than they did in the first half, while finally taking their first lead at 69-68 with 2:30 remaining in the game.  But down the stretch the Chips couldn’t hold off the Broncos and suffered their eighth loss in eight MAC games.

Game Notes: Whittington finished the game with 14 points and eight rebounds…Connar Tava also scored in double figures with 10…Chris Fowler scored a career high 27 points for the Chips and made all of his 13 free throw attempts…WMU shot 52% for the game (26-50) and missed just one free throw (18-19)…The Broncos return to action on Wednesday night as they welcome the Ohio Bobcats to University Arena. Tip-off is set for 7pm.