KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) – The Broncos improved to 8-0 at home after holding on to beat rival Central Michigan 64-61 Saturday afternoon at University Arena.
Western was once again doomed by turnovers as they had 20 but they were able to outrebound the Chips 42-27 and attempted almost twice as many free throws, which helped secure the victory.
“I thought it was a typical Western/Central game,” Coach Steve Hawkins said. “Central did a terrific job of not getting down but they took the punch and stayed in there.”
Nate Hutchenson had a team high 17 points for the Broncos, his second consecutive game leading the team in scoring, but he refuses to feel like he’s the go to guy for the Broncos.
“I don’t know about that,” Hutchenson jokingly said when asked about being the go to guy. “I’m just putting the ball up. We had a bunch of people in double digits, and that’s how we try to play.
The Broncos had 4 players in double figures. Along with Hutchenson, Mike Douglas, Flenard Whitfield and Matt Stainbrook all had 11 or more points.
Central held the early advantage leading by as much as 5 until the 10:42 mark when the Broncos took their first lead 16-14.
The Broncos extended their lead to 8 at 24-16 backed by an 8-2 run. Central responded with their own 8-0 run to tie the game at 24.
Western pulled away for a brief moment, but Central ended the half scoring 7 of the final 9 points to take a one point lead at the half.
The beginning of the 2nd half was dominated by the Broncos as the opened with a 12-1 run to put themselves up 44-34. Western continued to own the 2nd half until the Chips put together an 11-3 run to bring the Broncos lead down to 3. Trey Zeigler missed a 3 pointer with 5 seconds left that would have taken the game into overtime. Neither team was able to score the final 2:21.
GAME NOTES: Stainbrook lead the team in rebounding with 9…This is the 2nd straight game the Broncos had more than 20 turnovers…Mike Douglas played 39 of 40 minutes…WMU shot the ball 43% and CMU shot 34%...The Broncos return to action on Wednesday at Ohio. Game time is set for 7pm.