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Preview: WMU Basketball vs. North Dakota State

by Colin Windecker

For the third time in as many seasons the Western Michigan University men’s basketball team will take on the Bison of North Dakota State as the two teams tip-off tonight at University Arena. The Broncos (3-1) are in search of their third straight win after holding off Alabama A&M 73-69 on Sunday  and will look to start the season with four wins in five games for just the third time under Coach Steve Hawkins.  

A lot of the Broncos early success can be attributed to the dynamic senior duo of Shayne Whittington and David Brown.

After missing the first two games of the season, Whittington has shown exactly why he was named to the Preseason All-MAC West Team. Against Alabama A&M Whittington hauled in a career high 17 rebounds to go along with 22 points in 33 minutes and is averaging 18 points and 14.5 rebounds in two games, both Bronco victories.

In his first full season in the starting lineup, Brown ranks fifth in the conference with a 19.3 ppg scoring average, and has already scored 20+ in two games this year.

However, WMU will have their hands full trying to contain the Bison’s top senior in forward Taylor Braun. Braun, 6’7, is averaging 13.7 points per game but led NDSU the last two seasons in scoring. Braun was limited by former Bronco Nate Hutchenson to just 10 points in the Broncos 71-70 overtime victory versus the Bison in the 1st round of the CBI Tournament last season.

The Bison are 1-2 on the season and lost their last game 70-69 to Southern Miss on Monday night.

This will be the fourth all-time meeting with WMU leading the all-time series 2-1. NDSU’s only win over WMU came on February 18th, 2012, an 86-73 victory in the ESPN BracketBuster Game.