Broncos Close Rainbow Classic With Win Over Tigers
NOTE: By virtue of allowing the fewest points among the teams to go 2-1 at the tournament, the Western Michigan Broncos are the 2013 Rainbow Classic Champions. This marks the second year in a row the Broncos have won an in-season tournament.
2013 Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Rainbow Classic Champions: Western Michigan Broncos
David Brown, Western Michigan
Patrick Miller, Tennessee State
Daniel Mullings, New Mexico State
Tshilidzi Nepahwe, New Mexico State
Christian Standhardinger, Hawai'i
MVP: Isaac Fotu, Hawai'i
HONOLULU, Hawaii - The Western Michigan men's basketball team led from post-to-post in the final game of the Rainbow Classic, taking an early lead on Tennessee State and never letting go in winning 63-52 over the Tigers. With the win, the Broncos improve to 2-1 on the season.
Shayne Whittington made his return to the Broncos' line-up and immediately paid dividends, finishing with 14 poitnts and a game-high 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. David Brown tied for the game-high with 17 points while also adding three assists and two steals, and Connar Tava finished just behind him by scoring 16 points of 7-of-11 shooting. The Broncos held the Tigers to just 31.7 percent shooting from the field, including a 3-of-23 (.130) mark from three-point range.
The tone was set early in the first half, with the Broncos opening on a 7-0 run to take the lead for good in the game. Whittington notched the first four points of the game, scoring on a right-handed hook shot to give WMU a 4-0 lead at the 18:48 mark. Brown drilled a three-pointer from just outside the key to cap the run, giving the Broncos a 7-0 lead at the 16:48 mark of the first half. Brown nailed another three at the 13:01 mark to extend the lead to 10-3, and Von Washington stretched it out to eight points with a trey from the right corner to make it 17-9 with 8:00 remaining.
The Tigers pulled to within four points when M.J. Rhett scored on a lay-up to make it 23-19, but Tava scored on a lay-up with 3:47 remaining in the first half to stop the bleeding. Richie sunk a pair of free throws with 3:28 remaining to make it an eight-point game, and Tava made a lay-up with 47 seconds remaining to give the Broncos a 31-21 lead entering the locker room at half.
WMU did not let up entering the second half, with Whittington throwing down a dunk to open the scoring in the period and Brown scoring foru straight points to put the Broncos' ahead 42-25, their biggest lead of the game. The Tigers went on a 12-0 run to pull within five points with 10:29 remaining and looked to be seizing momentum, but Richie drilled a three to make it 47-37 with 8:53 remaining. Richie scored six straight points, in fact, and Brown hit a pair of free throws with 5:03 remaining to give WMU a 54-41 lead in the game. The Tigers had one more good run in them, though, pulling to within four points with 2:07 remaining on a Ugo Mmonu lay up. Tava scored on a three-point play on the and-one to make it 59-52, and Richie scored three straight points down the stretch to give WMU a 63-52 win.