Muncie, IN (WKZO) – The old saying goes it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
The Western Michigan men’s basketball team trailed for all but 35 seconds during regulation time, but were able to force overtime and outscored the Ball State Cardinals 13-6 during the extra five minutes to win their eighth game in row 88-81 on Wednesday night in Mid-American Conference play.
Shayne Whittington, David Brown and Connar Tava all scored over 20 each, combining for 76 of the Broncos (19-8, 12-3 MAC) points, who are currently up a half game over Toledo for the MAC West and Conference lead with a pivotal showdown between the Broncos and Rockets on Saturday. Winner of that game will most likely be the MAC regular season champion and hold the overall #1 seed heading into the MAC Tournament in two weeks.
WMU trailed by nine at halftime, but outscored the Cardinals 21-12 to take their first lead 51-50 on a Brown layup with 11:12 left in the game. While the Broncos only held the lead once more in regulation time, the momentum that had from coming back was clear in overtime.
Whittington put the Broncos up two 79-77 and Tava added back-to-back layups to put WMU up for good and they never looked back. Whittington also grabbed 14 rebounds for his fourth-straight double-double and hit 1000 points for his career in the second half.
WMU and Toledo battle for first place in the MAC on Saturday night at 6pm at Toledo.