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Falcons Spoil Hutcheson's Milestone, Broncos Fall

Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
Release: 02/13/2013
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Nate Hutcheson scored a team-high tying 14 points and reached 1,000 points for his career, but the Western Michigan men's basketball team was unable to complete a comeback as they fell 70-60 to the Bowling Green State Falcons at the Stroh Center on Wednesday.  With the loss, the Broncos fall to 15-9 overall, 7-4 in Mid-American Conference play.

Hutcheson became the 37th member of the 1,000-Point Club at Western Michigan on a pretty fadeaway shot at the end of the first half, beating the buzzer to do so.  Hutcheson took a feed at the head of the key and worked his way to the left, spinning around and making the high-arcing shot as the first half ended to tie the game.  However, the Broncos hit a rough patch in the middle of the second half, falling behind by as many as 15 points, and were unable to make up the difference despite pulling to within six in the final minutes.

Hutcheson tied for the team high in scoring with 14 points, joining Austin Richie; the two went a combined 9-of-16 from the field.  Shayne Whittington recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 13 points and 15 rebounds.

Bowling Green was hot from the field in the second half, with their 63.6 shooting percentage in the final 20 minutes exacerbating the Broncos' problems.  The Falcons opened the second half on a 12-4 run, capping it when Jordon Crawford scored in transition on a fast break three-pointer.  Whittington sparked a 7-0 run with a jump hook at the 15:41 mark, and Richie followed it with a jumper on the next possession.  Richie scored on the very next trip down the floor as well, slashing to the hoop and converting a feed from Whittington into a lay-up to make it 42-40 with 14:18 remaining.

The Falcons counter-punched with a 14-3 run, though, taking a 58-43 lead with just more than six minutes remaining.  Hutcheson broke a long shooting slump from the floor at the 6:23 mark to make it a 13-point game, though, and the Broncos took one last swing at the Falcons.  Full court pressure enabled the Broncos to turn a 62-47 deficit into 66-60 with 57 seconds remaining, but the Broncos got no closer as the Falcons closed the game on the free throw line.

The Broncos got off to a slow start for the second game in a row, but this time they closed the gap entering the halftime break, using a late flourish to pull even with the Falcons entering the locker rooms.  Bowling Green opened the game on an 8-4 run, and led by as many as seven points when Jehvon Clarke make a lay-up with 8:29 remaining, making it 19-12. 

The Broncos turned the tide after that play, though, out-scoring the Falcons the rest of the way by working the paint.  Hutcheson made a pair of free throws to cut the lead to five points with under seven minutes remaining, and Austin Richie scored three straight points on a free throw and slashing lay-up to the hoop, making it a 21-17 game.  Taylor Perry got in on the act as well, driving baseline and making a reverse lay-up to make it a one-possession ball game.

Whittington scored on a slick feed from Perry at the 3:58 mark to pull the Broncos within two points again, and Whittington tied the score on the next trip down the floor with a pass from Connar Tava in the paint.  Tava made the play on the opposite end of the court the next time down, stripping Jordon Crawford and throwing down a fast break dunk with 2:25 left to give the Broncos the lead.

Crawford later converted on three free throw attempts to again put the Falcons on top, but Hutcheson made one of two free throws at the 44-second mark to cut the lead to two points.  Hutcheson reached his milestone less than a minute later, hitting a long fadeaway as time expired in the half to tie the score at 30 entering the locker rooms.