Broncos Win on Whitfield's Layup with :00.6 on the Clock
GSU's Brandon McGee hit a three from the right baseline with 0:13 remaining to tie the score at 59, the Broncos advanced the ball to half court and called a timeout to set up a final offensive play. Ward received the ball and went around the left side of the defense looking to draw a foul. Whitfield was set up on the right block waiting for a possible offensive rebound. Ward wrapped around the defense and saw his teammate wide open under the basket. The ball it Whitfield in the chest and the junior put it up and in without much opposition. Georgia State had a last second full court pass but it was knocked away as time expired.
Whitfield led all scorers with 17 points, scoring 12 in the final 20 minutes. He was one of four Broncos to score in double figures, giving WMU four double-digit scorers in the third consecutive game. It also marked the eighth time to open the season that WMU has had at least three double-digit scorers.
The Broncos trailed for nearly the entire second half with the Panthers holding a 10-point lead at the 8:49 mark but from there it was all Western Michigan, scoring nine of the game's next 11 points to pull within three points, 54-51, on Mike Douglas' jumper.
Devonta White put GSU back up by five, 56-51, on a jumper with 4:42 remaining, but Western Michigan went on a 6-0 run to take a 57-56 lead. Whitfield scored a layup to start the run and a jumper to end it, giving the Broncos their first lead since 11-10 at the 11:37 mark of the first half. Between Whitfield's field goals, Ward hit a pair of free throws. WMU went 18-for-22 from the line on Saturday, including a perfect 10-for-10 during the second half. The Broncos outscored the Panthers 18-6 at the charity stripe.
Ward tied a career high, scoring 14 points, with seven coming from the free-throw line (7-for-7). Matt Stainbrook, who set a career high with two blocks, scored 14 points as well on 6-of-10 shooting. Mike Douglas was the final of four Broncos to score in double figures with 12 points. The trio of Douglas, Stainbrook and Ward combined to go 13-for-13 from the line.
Western Michigan used an 8-0 run early in the first half to take a 10-7 lead. Whitfield scored on a layup followed by Demetrius Ward hitting a pair from the charity stripe to give WMU its first lead of the game, 6-5, at the 15:25 mark.
After a nearly two minute scoring drought for both teams, Mike Douglas sank a jumper, stole the ball and scored again on a layup. Juwan Howard Jr. capped the run, making 1-of-2 from the free throw line. That would be the final lead for WMU until Whitfield's jumper late in the second half.
Georgia State built a seven-point lead at halftime, leading by 10 at one point of the first half, thanks in large part to a scoring drought that lasted 6:11 of game time for the Broncos. Brandon McGee led the Panthers with 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting followed by Jihad Ali's 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
This win comes just 10 days after the Broncos had traveled to another Colonial Athletic Association opponent, falling to Towson on a shot taken with 0:00.7 seconds remaining on the clock.
Western Michigan has a full week to enjoy this record-evening victory with the Broncos now at 4-4 before hosting South Dakota State at University on 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18.