Broncos Sports First Blog

  • Broncos advance to next round of MAC Tournament, beat Northern Illinois 71-54

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    CLEVELAND, OH (WKZO) --   Mike Douglas had 19 points and 7 assists to lead the Broncos past the Northern Illinois Huskies 71-54 to advance to the next round of the MAC Tournament.

    This is the 3rd time this season the Broncos have beaten the Huskies.

    “The first 20 minutes of the game we looked like a lot of teams that take the floor for the first time in Cleveland, even though we’ve been here before”, Broncos head coach Steve Hawkins said. “I don’t know if it was jitters but we weren’t as aggressive as we needed to be. We settled down in the 2nd half and our rebounding and our defensive really picked up.”

    The Huskies started the game with an early 7-2 lead but that lead was short lived.  WMU chipped away at the early deficit and by the halfway mark of the first half the Broncos had tied the game at 16 after Brandon Pokely drilled a 3 pointer.

    Two free throws from Flenard Whitfield put Western up 24-22 with 5:29 remaining in the first half and after that point the Broncos never trailed. However, Tony Nixon made a 3 pointer as the buzzer sounded ending the 1st half, giving the Broncos just a 3 point lead, 31-28.  

    “We knew we didn’t play the best we could during the 1st half”, Mike Douglas said. “Coach got on us in the locker room and we just turned it on.”

     The Broncos turned it on hardcore in the 2nd half and put the game out of the way, after going on a 17-1 run over a 6 minute period to put themselves up 56-38 with 10:06 remaining.

    In the second half, Demetrius Ward became the 2nd Bronco this season to eclipse the 1000 point plateau for his career. Flenard Whitfield also topped 1000 career points earlier in the season. Ward finished with 13 points.

    The Broncos will now face Kent State on Thursday in the quarterfinals. Kent St. finished the season 20-10 and 10-6 in MAC. The Golden Flashes defeated WMU 78-73 on February 4th in overtime.

    GAME NOTES: WMU shot only 34.5% in the 1st half, but improved in the 2nd half shooting 14-24 (58.3%)…Brandon Pokely had 12 points, all in the first half. Pokely was in the starting lineup for the 2nd straight game…Matt Stainbrook was 1 point and 1 rebound away from a double-double…Tony Nixon scored 11 points for the Huskies…With the win WMU improves to 14-19 and NIU falls to 5-26.

  • Broncos Cleveland bound, advance to quarterfinals of MAC Tournament with 69-63 win over Ball State

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) -- It wasn’t the prettiest of games but at this point in the season, an ugly win is better than a season ending loss.

    Behind a balance scoring attack from the Broncos, which saw 5 players finishing in double-figures, the Western Michigan men’s basketball team advanced to the quarterfinals of the MAC tournament with a 69-63 victory over Ball State Monday night at University Arena. With the win the team is now headed to Cleveland for the next round of action.

    “Interesting game,” Coach Steve Hawkins said. “We started off slow, they started off hot. We had to battle back and dealing with foul trouble, that become an interesting game to manage. We had to start juggling things and I thought our bench was excellent tonight.”

    Flenard Whitfield led the team in scoring with 12 points but was limited to only 1 rebound as he battled foul trouble in his final home game as a Bronco.

    “He’s (Whitfield) is a difference maker,” Hawkins said. “We were pretty happy with being up 3 at halftime with Whitfield being in foul trouble.”

    WMU did lead at halftime 33-30 but it was the Cardinals who looked sharp early as they opened the game on a 6-0 run and increased their lead to 15-6 WITH 12:55 remaining in the first half.

    It didn’t help the Broncos that in addition to Whitfield’s foul trouble that Mike Douglas also picked up 3 early fouls and was limited to only 9 minutes in the first half.

    After Whitfield and Douglas departure to the bench, it was the Broncos turn to make a run. Behind a productive Broncos bench, with much of the scoring coming from Shayne Whittington, WMU responded by going on a 17-4 run to take the lead 23-19. The team teams traded the lead the rest of the 1st half and the Broncos entered halftime up 33-30.

    The beginning of the 2nd half saw much of the same, as the Broncos continued to pour it on Ball State, scoring the first 6 points of the half and eventually increasing their lead to 45-35.

    Ball State then scored 10 straight points to tie the game at 45 with 10:14 remaining.

    WMU increased their lead back up to 7 with 6:19 left in the game. Ball State chipped away at the lead but never got it any closer than 2 and as the final horn sounded ending the game, so did the Cardinals season.

    Jesse Berry had 19 in 27 minutes off the bench for the Cardinals. But it was the Broncos defense on Ball State’s leading scorer and rebounder Jarrod Jones who was held to only 8 points and 6 rebounds that made the difference.

    The Broncos now head to Cleveland for the quarterfinals of the MAC Tournament. They will play Northern Illinois at 7pm on Wednesday. WMU beat Northern in both meetings this season, 77-68 on January 11th in Kalamazoo and 78-53 on February 15th in DeKalb.

    GAME NOTES: Brandon Pokely made his 2nd start on the season for Nate Hutchenson, who was out due to team reasons, finished with 5 points and 6 rebounds in 33 minutes. Hutchenson will be available for the next game against Northern Illinois…Coach Hawkins picked up a technical foul in the first half. Matt Stainbrook also picked up a technical in the 2nd…Stainbrook finished with 10 points and 9 rebounds…WMU out shot Ball St 49%-37% and outrebounded the Cardinals 35-26…Austin Richie had 10 points for the Broncos off the bench…Dan Loney had 6 points and 5 boards for the Broncos as well…With the win WMU improves to 13-19 on the season. 

  • Broncos basketball opens MAC Tournament at home against Ball State.

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) --  On Monday night at University Arena the Western Michigan Men’s basketball team opens the MAC Tournament in first round play against Ball State. The Broncos enter the tournament as the 8th seed after finishing the regular season with a 6-10 conference record.  

    This is the first season under the new tournament format that has been widely unpopular throughout the MAC. In previous seasons the top 2 teams in each division would receive automatic byes to the quarterfinals. This year all teams are seeded based on conference record with the top 2 teams receiving byes all the way to the semifinals. The 3rd and 4th seeds receive byes to the quarterfinals.  Teams that do not receive a bye will have to win 5 games in 6 days to become MAC Champion.  

    If the Broncos beat Ball State on Monday, they would face the winner of Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois in Cleveland on Wednesday at 7pm.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Broncos fall to rival Chips, CMU wins 76-70 to end regular season

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    MT PLEASANT, MI (WKZO) --  Central Michigan held the Broncos to 3 points over the final 6:43 en route to a 76-70 victory Friday night.

    Trey Zeigler had 22 points for the Chips, who trailed 67-60 before ending the game on a 16-3 run. All 3 of the Broncos points during the run came from the free throw line.

    Four Broncos had 10 or more points, led by Flendard Whitfield’s 15 points, 5 rebounds and 4 blocks. Matt Stainbrook was dominated in the first half grabbing 10 rebounds and finished the game with 11 boards to go along with 12 points.

    WMU scored the first 9 points of the game and took a 36-33 lead into halftime. Central outscored the Broncos 43-34 in the second half.

    With the loss Broncos fall to 12-19 (6-10 MAC). Western will play either Ball State or Miami (OH) in the first round of the MAC Tournament on Monday at University Arena. 

  • Eagles ruin Senior Night, defeat Broncos 54-53

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) – Darrell Lampley’s layup with 1 second to go was the difference as the Eastern Michigan Eagles defeated Western Michigan 54-53 on Senior Night in Kalamazoo.

    For the 5 Bronco seniors Flenard Whitfield, Demetrius Ward, Mike Douglas, Muhammed Conteh and Caleb Dean, this wasn’t the way they wanted to go out at their final home game at University Arena, but they know they have more important things to focus on now, like Central Michigan on Friday and the MAC tournament next week.

    “You have to have a short memory”, Broncos forward Flenard Whitfield said. “We have practice tomorrow, then we go to Central, our rivals, at their place and we have to beat those guys.”

    The Broncos trailed 26-25 at halftime after J.R. Sims made a 3 pointer as time expired in the first half.

    During the 2nd half, the Eagles pulled out an 8 point with 16:16 remaining in the game, but the Broncos stayed resilient and were able to tie the game at 50 with 1:03 left. EMU then regained the lead 52-50 with a Derek Thompson layup.

    But with 16 seconds left Whitfield made a basket and was fouled. After making the foul shot the Broncos were up 1 before Lampley made the winning shot.

    GAME NOTES: Mike Douglas topped the scoring charts for the Broncos finishing with 15 points. Whitfield had 14, Ward 5, Conteh 4, and Dean did not play…The Broncos shot the ball 47.5% from the field but were only 4-18 (22.2%) from 3 point land…Lampley had 15 points for the Eagles…WMU struggled from the free throw line, making only 11 of 20 attempts…After only turning the ball over 5 times in the 1st half, WMU turned it over 10 times in the 2nd half…The Broncos next game is Friday night in Mt. Pleasant against Central Michigan. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday but was changed last week. Tip-off is set for 7pm.  

  • Broncos look to send seniors off in style as they host EMU on Senior Night

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    Wednesday night at University Arena is Senior Night, as the Western Michigan men’s basketball team takes on the Eastern Michigan Eagles in a MAC West showdown. Flendard Whitfield, Demetrius Ward, Mike Douglas, Caleb Dean and Muhammed Conteh will suit up for the final time at home as members of the Broncos basketball team.

    This will be the second matchup of the 2011-2012 season between the two directional in-state rivals. In their previous meeting on January 21st EMU came away with a 62-59 victory in overtime. Nate Hutchenson had a game high 21 points including a 3 pointer as time expired to send the game into overtime.

    The Broncos are coming off an 83-74 defeat at the hands of the Toledo Rockets this past Saturday. The loss dropped their record to 12-17 and 6-8 in MAC play on the season.  With a win over EMU on Wednesday, the Broncos would secure themselves of at least an 8 seed in the upcoming MAC tournament, guaranteeing them a 1st round home game.  WMU would need to win their final game of the season at Central Michigan and need a loss by EMU at Toledo for a share of the MAC West Title.

    The Eagles (13-16, 8-6 MAC) are led by senior guard Darrell Lampley (13.3 points per game). Game time on Wednesday is set for 7pm.  

  • Rockets explode in 2nd half, beat Broncos 83-74

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    Toledo, OH (WKZO) – A strong start to the  2nd half put the Toledo Rockets up 12 points, and despite a late run which closed the Broncos gap to 1, the Western Michigan men’s basketball team was unable to overcome the deficit, as they were defeated Saturday night by the Rockets 83-74.

    Flenard Whitfield topped the scoring charts for the Broncos with 15 points and 8 rebounds and Matt Stainbrook added 14.

    WMU trailed by only 3 points at halftime, but the Rockets came out of the break on fire, scoring 15 of the first 21 points in the 2nd half to extend their lead to 12. The Broncos responded cutting the lead to 1 with 3:46 left after Demetrius Ward drilled a 3 pointer.

    Ward and Mike Douglas were the only other Broncos to finish in double figures as they each had 10 points. With the loss the Broncos fall to 12-17 and 6-8 in MAC play. WMU continues to hold down the 7 seed, if the MAC tournament were to start today.

    WMU returns to action on Wednesday for Senior Night against Eastern Michigan. Tip-off is set for 7pm at University Arena.

    GAME NOTES: Whitfield led the Broncos in assists with 6…Five rockets scored in double figures, with Dominique Buckley leading the pack with 16…WMU outshot the Rockets 49.2% to 48.4%...The Broncos also outrebounded Toledo 33-30… Brandon Pokley had 8 points for Western off the bench…The win was Toledo’s 4th in a row…Western falls to 2-11 in road contests.

  • Broncos pull away in 2nd half, beat Ball St 78-61

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) – After 2 weeks on the road, the Western Michigan Men’s basketball team returned to their home court and returned to their winning ways in Kalamazoo, as they pulled ahead in the 2nd half to defeat the Ball State Cardinals 78-61 Wednesday night.  

    “Obviously a much needed win, that’s an understatement”, Head Coach Steve Hawkins said. “We played very well offensively. Defensively we didn’t play well, especially in the first half”

    Demetrius Ward had a game high 20 points. All 6 of Ward’s baskets came from 3 point land as he made 6-9 attempts from behind the arc. Ward is now 16-28 from 3 point range over his last 4 games.

    The Broncos pulled out to a 22-10 run in the first half, but the Cardinals responded with a 12-0 run of their own and the two teams were tied at 35 at the end of the first half.

    During the 2nd half, WMU shot the ball 65% en route to outscoring Ball State 43-26 in the final 20 minutes of play.

    Nate Hutchenson and Flenard Whitfield each scored 15 points for the Broncos.

    With the win WMU improves to 12-16 and 6-7 in the MAC. The Broncos remain 1 game behind Eastern Michigan for the MAC West Division lead. Western returns to action on Saturday at Toledo at 7pm.

  • Broncos end losing streak, crush Huskies 78-53

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    DeKalb, IL (WKZO) – After going winless in their last 4 contests the Western Michigan men’s basketball team was looking for someone to take their frustrations out on.  Unfortunately for the Northern Illinois Huskies they were next on the Broncos schedule.

     The Broncos made a season high 13 three pointers en route to their largest margin of victory, demolishing NIU 76-53 Wednesday night. Demetrius Ward had a game high 18 points and Flenard Whitfield had 17 as the Broncos improved their record to 11-15 and 5-7 in MAC play.

    WMU outscored the Huskies by 15 in the 2nd half after leading 34-24 at halftime.

    NIU’s starters managed only 25 points and shot only 33% from the floor. Tony Nixon scored 12 points for the Huskies (3-21, 2-10 MAC) in 18 minutes off the bench.

    WMU returns to action on Saturday as their travel to Fargo, ND to take on Summit League member North Dakota State in the 2012 Bracketbuster Game. Tip-off is set for 8pm.   

  • Game Notes: Western Michigan Vs. Northern Illinois

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    Tonight in DeKalb, Illinois the Western Michigan University Men’s basketball team will take on the Northern Illinois Huskies in a MAC West divisional showdown. The two teams met earlier this season with the Broncos coming out victorious 77-68. This will be the 79th meeting between these two teams, with the Broncos holding a 49-29 advantage in the all-time series. The Broncos are 12-5 against Northern Illinois under head coach Steve Hawkins, including a 3-4 record in DeKalb. WMU enters the game with a record of 10-15 and 4-7 in MAC play. The Broncos have dropped 4 games in a row for the first time since opening the season 0-6. The last 3 games for the Broncos they have lost by a total of 10 points including 2 games that went into overtime.

    The Huskies (3-20, 2-9 MAC) are led by senior forward Tim Toler. Toler is averaging a team high 10.8 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per game. NIU has struggled offensively this year, averaging only 55 points per game, ranking them 340th in the NCAA. Defensively they are allowing 68 points per game to opponents.

    During the Broncos last game against Buffalo, Matt Stainbrook recorded his 3rd double-double of the season, finishing with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Flenard Whitfield and Demetrius Ward also scored in double figures against Buffalo.   

    WMU is currently 8th in the MAC and must remain in the top 8 to open the MAC tournament with a home game. NIU in last place in the MAC. The Broncos are an 8 point favorite. 

  • Stainbrook's missed free throws cost Broncos game, lose to Buffalo 59-57

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    BUFFALO, NY (WKZO) --With 1.1 seconds left in the game and Western Michigan trailing by a point, Matt Stainbrook stepped to the free throw line with 2 attempts to give his team a chance to tie or take the lead. But the sophomore missed both shot attempts and the Broncos have now lost four games in a row, falling to Buffalo Saturday night 59-57.

    While Stainbrook will be looked at as the scape goat for tonight’s loss, it was his effort that kept the Broncos in the game as he was the top scorer for WMU, finishing with 15 points and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes of action off the bench.

    WMU trailed at halftime 27-23 and trailed by as much as 10 points in the first half.

    Demetrius Ward and Flenard Whitfield also scored in double figures.

    Mitchell Watt scored 16 points for the Bulls.

    With the loss the Broncos drop to 10-15 and 4-7 in the MAC.

    The Broncos return to action on Wednesday as they travel to DeKalb, Illinois to take on the Huskies of Northern Illinois. 

  • Western Michigan drops 3rd straight game, fall in overtime to Zips 69-66

    Posted by Colin Windecker

    KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO) – Wednesday night had the potential to be a special night in Kalamazoo.

    University Arena had the feel of a playoff environment as the crowd was into the game from the opening tip and both teams battled as if it were their last game of the season. The Broncos knew what was at stake with a victory over Akron.  With Eastern Michigan and Ball State falling earlier in the night, a win for the Broncos would move them into a tie atop the MAC West and in position for that all important 1st round bye in next month’s MAC tourney. But just like numerous other games this season the Broncos missed key opportunities at important moments late in games. This time it was against Akron, as the Broncos dropped their third game in a row, falling in overtime 69-66 to the Zips.

    With less than 10 seconds to play and down by 2 points, Mike Douglas missed an 8 foot tear-dropper that would have forced a second overtime and as Akron big man Zeke Marshall came away with the rebound, it all but ended the Broncos chance of an upset.

    The ending put a damper on what should have been a special night for the Broncos and especially for Mike Douglas, as he became the all-time leader in assists at Western Michigan University. Douglas entered the game needing only 6 assists to move into 1st place all-time. But even with the assists record, the senior floor general would give them all away for a victory over the top ranked team in the MAC.

    The Broncos held a 9 point advantage over Akron at halftime and lead by as much as 11 in the first half. The Zips switched to a 3-2 zone in the 2nd half, forcing WMU into contested shots and holding them to only 25% shooting.

    The Broncos had the chance to end the game before it entered overtime but Flenard Whitfield missed the 2nd of 2 free throws and the game went to an extra period tied at 59.

    GAME NOTES: WMU is now 0-3 in overtime in MAC play…Douglas and Whitfield were the only Broncos to score in double figures, finishing with 15 and 12 respectively…Douglas finished with 8 assists…WMU out-rebounded Akron 47-37…Alex Abreu had 15 points to lead the Zips in scoring…Both teams struggled from behind the arc. Western went 3-17 and Akron 3-20…While the Broncos struggled from 3 point land, they only missed 4 free throws (23-27)…Western returns to action on Saturday as they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bulls. Tip-off is set for 6pm.