Article Image
Courtesy: GS Photo

Broncos Host Tigers on Bracketbuster Saturday

Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
Release: 02/22/2013
Print RSS

Western Michigan Broncos (16-9, 8-4 MAC) vs. Pacific Tigers (15-11, 9-5 Big West)
Saturday, February 23 // 1 p.m.
Kalamazoo, Mich. // University Arena


Radio • Bronco Radio Network
Announcers • Robin Hook
Stations • WKZO - 96.5 FM: (Flagship) Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan; WMAX - 96.1 FM: Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon; WVIC - 94.1 FM: Lansing, Jackson, Battle Creek
Broadcast • Pre-game show begins at 12:30 p.m.

Television • ESPN3 (stream)
Talent • Dan Gutowsky and Nate Ross



• This will be the fifth all-time meeting between the Broncos and the Tigers, with Pacific holding a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series
• The Tigers are 1-0 all-time in games played in Read Fieldhouse, with the win coming during the 1969-70 season
• The Broncos are 0-1 against Pacific under head coach Steve Hawkins, losing 90-76 in the 2007-08 season opener at the World Vision Invitational hosted by Oregon
• The Broncos are 4-5 all-time in Bracketbuster games, including a 3-2 record in home Bracketbuster games
• The Broncos won their last home Bracketbuster game, defeating Illinois State 68-65 during the 2010-11 season
• The Broncos received five votes in the Feb. 18 Mid-Major Top 25 Poll
• If the season ended today, the Broncos would rank as the third seed in the MAC Tournament
• The regular season finale against Central Michigan has been selected to appear on SportsTime Ohio on Saturday, March 9. Tip-off is schedule for noon.
• The Broncos boast a 39-11 (.780) home winning percentage against non-conference opponents under Steve Hawkins
• The Broncos are 70-30 against MAC West competition under head coach Steve Hawkins
Nate Hutcheson has 1,018 points, placing him in 34th place on the career scoring list at Western Michigan
• Today will mark the 126th game played in Nate Hutcheson's career; tying him with Shawntes Gary for third on the career list at WMU
• Should Hutcheson play the rest of the schedule, he will surpass Demetrius Ward for the program's all-time games played leader
• Today's start gives Hutcheson 111 career starts, placing him fourth on Western Michigan's career list
Shayne Whittington was named MAC West Player of the Week for Feb. 18, the fourth time he has won the award this year
• Whittington is tied with Rian Pearson (Toledo) for most MAC West weekly awards this season
• Whitington is tied with Pearson and Chris Evans (Kent State) for most MAC weekly awards this season
Shayne Whittington has eight double-doubles this year, tied for most in the MAC by a single player
Austin Richie is averaging 12.5 points per game in his last two contests
Connar Tava made his first career start against Northern Illinois on Feb. 16, recording career-high points (12) and rebounds (8)
• Western Michigan is 7-3 this season in games decided by two possessions or fewer
• Western Michigan is 106-28 (.791) in home games under head coach Steve Hawkins

This will be the fifth meeting between the Broncos and the Tigers, with Pacific holding a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series. The first time the teams played was in the 1969-70 season, with Pacific defeating WMU 77-75 at Read Fieldhouse. The Broncos lost the sole meeting in Stockton, an 87-47 drubbing in the next meeting. The Broncos' sole win over Pacific came on a neutral court; Western Michigan defeated the Tigers 63-56 on Dec. 11, 1992, at the Indiana Classic hosted in Bloomington.

The Broncos are 0-1 against Pacific under head coach Steve Hawkins, with the sole previous meeting coming on Nov. 10, 2007, in the Broncos' season opener. The Tigers defeated the Broncos 90-76 in the first game of the World Vision Invitational hosted by Oregon.

Nate Hutcheson reached a major personal milestone in the game against Bowling Green, becoming just the 37th player in the history of the program to reach 1,000 career points. Hutcheson achieved the feat with time expiring in the first half, making a long jumper at the buzzer to reach 1,001 career points. Hutcheson currently sits at 1,018 points, and needs four to pass former teammate Demetrius Ward for 33rd on the list.

Shayne Whittington was named the MAC West Player of the Week for February 18, the fourth time this season the junior center has won the award. The four weekly awards for Whittington ties him with Toledo's Rian Pearson for most MAC West weekly awards won this season, as well as with Kent State's Chris Evans for most MAC weekly awards.

In addition, a member of the Broncos has now won the MAC West weekly award five times this season (Whittington - four, Nate Hutcheson - one). That times Western Michigan with Ohio and Toledo as the schools with the most MAC weekly awards this season.

Shayne Whittington continued his assault in the paint against Bowling Green, notching his eighth double-double of the season with 13 points and 15 rebounds. Whittington's eight double-doubles are the most for a Bronco since Joe Reitz had 10 during the 2006-07 season, and rank as the most for any player in the MAC this season. Buffalo's Javon McCrea and Ball State's Majok Majok are the only other two players in the MAC with eight double-doubles.

After breaking a streak of games without reaching double figures in scoring against Bowling Green, Austin Richie broke the mark for the second time in as many games against Northern Illinois. Richie notched a team-high-tying 14 points against the Falcons on Wednesday, and responded with 11 points in the Broncos' victory over the Huskies on Saturday. Amazingly, it is the first time this season he has reached double figures in scoring in two straight games.

David Brown has shown the ability to come off the bench and spark the Broncos to quick points so far in 2012-13, providing them with punch from the bench. Brown is averaging 10.4 points per game since returning from injury this season, and has recorded 13 or more points in six different games. He had his first career 20-point effort against Kent State, dropping 22 on the Golden Flashes in the win.