Even though WMU fell 77-70 to Akron, it was a night to remember for David Kool and the Bronco basketball program. He became the career scoring leader with 30 points now holds the mark at 1,790.
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6:40 p.m. - And we're off. This is the first time we doing a diary for a game. We figured it works so well for ESPN.com's Bill Simmons, we wanted to try it. Imitation is the truest form of flattery. What a momentous game it is. David Kool has a shot (no pun intended) to break Manny Newsome's career points record. He needs just 28 points.
6:42 p.m. - This is the first game of the year with the Bronco Marching Band (smaller version of course) and what a difference a band makes to the atmosphere of University Arena.
6:44 p.m. - David Kool looks, well, cool. Shaved his head prior to the Central Michigan game. Looks sleak. Good student crowd so far but with the "Jet to the Gym" promo running I am sure there are more on the way. Get to the Game - oh wait, that's football - I get confused sometime.
6:46 p.m. - It may be just me but Keith Dambrot looks like Al from Quantum Leap. I loved that show.
6:55 p.m. - With the court empty, we should provide some preliminary info. This begins WMU's East Division swing with tonight's game against MAC favorite Akron and then tough road tests at Kent State and Buffalo before returning home to face Miami on Feb. 4. Many think this stretch will determine the Broncos' placing in the 2010 MAC Tournament. We'll see. Side note: WMU is 11-4 against the Zips in the 'Zoo.
6:59 p.m. - Here come your Broncos!
7 p.m. - Almost tip time, we'll step away for the National Anthem and then - game time!
7:04 p.m. - WMU's starters: McLemore, Mike Douglas, Nate Hutcheson, David Kool and Donlad Lawson
7:06 p.m. - A fist pump from Kool for everyone at the scoring table and we are off.
7:07 p.m. - Kool's first three attempt is short, shot it right in front of me. Good look but Akron draws first blood (0-3). Great crowd for a snowy Wednesday night. Side note - Bacari Alexander (the nation's best dressed coach) is looking dapper.
7:10 p.m. - Kool creates his own shot, driving to the right side of the hoop for a lay in and his first points - 26 pts to go.
7:12 p.m. - As of this post, I am switching to game time at the beginning of every entry. Seems more dramatic and darn it, I feel like it. For those of you following at home, Kool's lay in happend at the 18:18 mark of the game.
15:27 - (smooth transition) Kool missed his third shot of the game, a lay up but Lawson was there for the put back: WMU 6, Akron 7. First media time out. The prize: a Sonic combo meal. The winners: Marcus Jackson, Kathryn Matteson, Jessica O'Neal, Emily Bringer and David Stout. Western Michigan - helping to feed college students all year long!
14:41 - Another trey try for Kool that rimmed out but he comes back with a driving lay in one possession later - 24 points to go.
11:39 - Another lay in for Kool, all six points are on the fast break so far - game note - 22 points to go.
10:04 - Another media time out and another prize. Planet Beach & U Tan gift cards for Kathryn DeWolfe, Nicole Frymier and Cari Puska. Spring break is just around the corner. Broncos trail 17-12 but have had their chances with an 8-4 advantage on the offensive glass.
9:25 - Kool is 0-3 from behind the arc but he is a shooter and do shooters do? They keep shooting.
(Side note: Hutcheson just reentered the game and I like this kid. He has a lot of confidence for a freshman and could be a special player. Plus is literally 2 1/2 times as tall as I am.)
7:41 - I know this is supposed to be a diary about Kool's offense but on an errant pass he found himself alone on the defensive end with Chris McKnight and picked his pocket clean. Another side note: PA Announcer Tom Chalker is on his game tonight. High energy.
6:15 - Kool tried to step to the free throw line to shoot when the McLemore was fouled - crafty.
DIRECT AIR "Jet to the Gym" - Tonight's winners are Claire Dulin (four round trip tickets to anywhere Direct Air flies) and Robert Byrum (two tickets). Students had to make paper airplanes and then throw them at a target at center court. Hopefully none of these kids are in the engineering college at WMU.
5:44 - Kool's first jumper made tonight and his first points not on the fast break. That might take the lid off the rim for the Broncos - 20 points to go.
3:46 - Donald Lawson just threw home an emphatic dunk. I think he dented the floor. Media time out and Jerrell Kelly, Claire Dulin win Schafer's Flowers gift cards, Gregory Lee Adams wins Rave tickets and Scottie Miller wins dinner for two at Mangia Mangia.
1:28 - Kool was just called for an offensive foul on a fast break lay in. Wipe away the bucket.
0:00 - Akron's Brett McClanahan hits a jumper at the top of the key as time expires to give the Zips a 35-27 lead at the break. Kool ends the half with eight points with all but one score coming via the lay up. Still looking for his first made 3-ptr.
HALFTIME - A time to reflect on what has just occurred. The Broncos are shooting just 32.3 percent and Akron is making half the shots they took. Down only eight isn't so bad. But need to shoot better to get this win. Hugh Johnson and Mary McCormick were selected out of the crowd and also won 2 round trip tickets.
18:53 - Kool at the free throw line (legitimately) for the first time tonight. Hits both and we are in the teens - 18 points to go.
17:38 - Back to the free throw line for Mr. Kool and he hit hits both - 16 points to go.
17:05 - Almost a fracus (great word) on a hard foul on Mike Douglas. Akron gets two shots and the foul. Cooler heads prevailed but Anthony "Humpty" (real nickame) Hitchens made only one of two and Akron missed the trey try.
15:52 - Now the best in-game promotion at WMU. The Belle Tire shoot out. Make a lay up, make a free throw, make a trey for cash and then get one chance for free tires from half court. And my man banked in the half court shot tonight. Crowd erupts and so on and so on. Back to the game.
14:56 - WMU may be 0-for-8 from behind the arc but Kool attempts three points the old fashion on a hard drive to the hoop. Missed it - 14 points to go.
12:09 - Baseline jumper for Kool (after Ward hit the team's first trey of the game) bringing the Broncos to within 10 (49-50) - 12 points to go. If WMU is going to pull this out Kool will put the team on his back. This could get interesting.
11:32 - Media time out after an over the back call on McLemore. Michelle Bendewald (member of the WMU softball team) wins Olde Penninsula gift card, Marlies Hagge wins a gift card to Harvey's and James Chelone wins a gift card to Carrabbas.
11:16 - FINALLY!! Kool hits a three pointer to pull WMU to within single digits on the scoreboard and he is now within single digits away from Newsome's mark that has stood since 1964 (I was not alive) - 9 points to go.
(Side note: our marketing director was just informed that Kool is 9 points away and said "Hey, that is only three, three's." She did not go to MIT).
9:17 - Kool nails another three, this time from the wing. He is feeling it - 6 points to go.
(Another side note - associate director of media relations Matt Holmes had an indepth conversation with Manny Newsome this week. Great read.)
(Marketing director: "He needs two more threes" - Thanks Elaine)
7:37 - Despite the excitement of Kool's pursuit, the Broncos still find themselves down by eight (58-50) at the under-eight media time out. Stephanie Spall, Lee Miller and Shelley Lavar each won gift certificates to Fire Bowl Cafe'.
6:36 - Ok, Broncos down 10. Right now I am saying Kool gets the record tonight. I don't want to jinx anything but I really feel it.
4:35 - Down 11, crowd is getting restless. And the band plays the theme to Rocky. Is it a must that the Rocky theme must be played once during every collegiate basketball game in the entire country? Can we get governmental funding for this?
3:19 - A fade away jumper (off a slight bump from the defense) and Kool has 24 points and WMU is back to within nine (68-59) - 4 points to go. In final media time out of the night Meghan Mattson, Mary Adams, Kyle Looney, Kevin Ruane and Jessica Wolfe win gift certificates to Bilbo's and Rosie Capps (great name) and Sarah Rivard win gift certificates to Big Apple Bagels.
(Side note: Director of football operations Tim Knox, who is in attendance, just told me Kool needs four points. The fever is spreading.). Broncos with the ball.
2:47 - Broncos without the ball after McLemore's fifth foul of the game. Mike Douglas enters for McLemore who leaves with six points and five boards.
2:07 - Broncos miss a jumper and Kool has not had a touch in the past three possessions. Still trail 70-59.
1:54 - Kool has a touch and a make. Broncos back to be within 10 points and Kool has 26 on the night - 2 points to go. The next one does it.
(Side note: What does he break the record on? A three-pointer, jumper, lay in or free throws?) I say free throws.
1:10 - Broncos are down 11 points and probably won't win this game but fans have a chance to witness history.
0:48 - Kool at the free throw line made one.
0:48 - Made the second. That is the record. Congrats David Kool. You are new career scoring king at Western Michigan with 1,788 points. Too bad it likely occurs in a loss but what a moment.
(Side note: I did say it would be on free throws. I am no svengali but it is nice to guess right some of the time. Great ovation for Kool from the crowd. Band plays a rousing rendition of the WMU Fight Song.)
(Another side note: Not many people ever get the chance to say they were the best at something and who know how long this record will be in David's possession but on tonight and for the foreseeable future, it's his.) - As I wrote that he hit another jumper. Record now stands at 1,790 points.
0:08 - Alex Wolf hits a trey. Broncos down by seven (77-70).
0:00 - The final buzzer sounds and it is a loss for the Broncos. WMU falls to 11-8 and 3-3 in the MAC. For all of the fans that followed this diary, we appreciate it and we appreciate the support of every Bronco fan. This was fun. I think we should do it again sometime.