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Courtesy: WMU

Broncos Fall Just Short at Monaco

Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
Release: 08/26/2012
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MONACO - The Western Michigan men's basketball team nearly erased a 13-point deficit and were within striking distance of their professional opponents, but the Broncos' rally came up just short in an 81-77 loss at Monaco on Sunday. With the loss, the Broncos finish their European trip with a 2-2 record.

Playing their second high-level professional team in as many days, the Broncos showed no fear against Monaco, bouncing back from a first-quarter deficit to outscore their opponent in every subsequent quarter. Trailing by as many as 13 points in the game, the Broncos were able to cut Monaco's lead to 78-76 when Brandon Pokley's three-pointer bounced high off the rim and down through the net with 17 seconds remaining.

Monaco's Anthony Christophe made a pair of free throws to make it a two-possession game with seven seconds remaining, and though the Broncos were able to pull within three points on an Austin Richie free throw, they were unable to get a steal late and were forced to foul. Travarus Bennett sunk a free throw to maintain the two-possession lead.

Freshman Connar Tava recorded a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds in 36 minutes of play, including a game-high six offensive rebounds. Nate Hutcheson tied for the game-high with 18 points on 7 of 18 shooting and contributed eight rebounds, and Pokley added 13 points.

The Broncos trailed by a score of 41-28 with 45 seconds remaining in the second quarter, but Shayne Whittington would make a jumper with 36 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 11 points, and Jared Klein hit a three-pointer with one second remaining in the half to slice the lead to 41-33. After Monaco expanded the lead back to 12 points early in the second half, Hutcheson recorded a tip-in to cut the lead to 50-40, and Pokley drained a triple with 3:02 remaining in the quarter to make it 50-43.

Tava would make a three to make the score 56-49 with under two minutes to play in the quarter, and Klein would score on an isolation lay-up with four seconds remaining to bring the Broncos to within 56-51.

Monaco would again expand the lead early in the fourth quarter, leading 71-60 with under five minutes to play. Darius Paul recorded two of his eight points in the fourth quarter when he scored on a lay-up to make it 71-66, and Tava pulled the Broncos to within three points when he grabbed an offensive rebound, made a lay-up, and drew a foul to complete a three-point play.

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