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Courtesy: WMU

Broncos Fall to Antibes on European Trip

Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
Release: 08/25/2012
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ANTIBES, France - Playing against one of the premier European professional teams in the region, the Western Michigan men's basketball team started strong but couldn't keep up with Antibes as the Broncos fell 88-58 on Saturday. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 2-1 on their 2012 European trip.

Antibes plays in the Professional B level in France, which is the second-highest classification of professional basketball on the continent, and are considered by many to be the favorite to win their league in 2012-13. Despite that, the Broncos out-rebounded their opponents 52-51 and were able to keep pace with Antibes for much of the first half before the home team slipped away.

Nate Hutcheson and Austin Richie each a team-high with 11 points for the Broncos, while freshmen Connar Tava and Darius Paul recorded a team-high nine rebounds. Paul contributed nine points as well, and Brandon Pokley scored nine points in the third European game of the year.

The game was fast-paced from the start, with both teams looking to get into space and score quickly. Antibes opened the game on a 10-4 run, but the Broncos would cut into the lead and eventually over take their hosts. Shayne Whittington started things rolling with a lay-up at the 6:23 mark of the first quarter, and one minute later Tava would follow his own shot in and tip in the offensive rebound to make it 10-8. The Broncos would finally tie the score at the 4:32 mark with a lay-up from Hutcheson.

The Broncos would take the lead just before the end of the first quarter when Richie picked the pocket of Anthony Hilliard and lift a long lob pass to Paul. Paul ducked under a defender in the paint and slammed home a dunk to give the Broncos a 16-15 lead, though Antibes would tie the score before the end of the stanza.

The teams would trade the lead back and forth early in the second quarter, with the Broncos establishing a three-point lead at the 5:10 mark when Hutcheson made a pair of free throws to make it 25-22. Antibes, though, would go on a 15-3 run and establish a 40-28 lead late in the half. The Broncos cut into the lead with eight seconds left in the half, when Paul lifted a lob pass that was laid in by Hutcheson.

Antibes would find their groove for good in the second half, though, outscoring the Broncos 48-28 and making 7 of 14 (50.0) of their three-point shots. Taylor Perry would add six points in the second half, while Paul would contribute five points and four rebounds in just nine minutes of play.

The Broncos will close their European tour tomorrow when they face Monaco.