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Courtesy: GS Photo

Broncos Strong in Exhibition Tilt with Roosevelt

Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
Release: 11/03/2012
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan men's basketball team used a 17-4 run at the beginning of the second half to pull away from a dangerous Roosevelt team, and the Broncos defeated the Lakers 81-60 in the final exhibition game of the 2012-13 season.  With the win, the Broncos finish their exhibition schedule with a 2-0 record, having defeated Kalamazoo College on Thursday night.

Austin Richie had a game-high 16 points for the Broncos, going 3 of 5 from the field and making eight of his 10 free throws to lead either team in scoring.  Shayne Whittington scored 13 points, Jared Klein notched 11, and Brandon Pokley posted 10 points to round out the double-digit scoring.  Nate Hutcheson recorded the game-high in rebounds for the second time in a row, grabbing nine boards just two days after his 10-rebound performance against Kalamazoo College.

The Lakers pushed the Broncos at the start of the second half, cutting the Broncos' lead to just three points two minutes into the half. Roosevelt's Jeremiah Jackson made a free throw at the 17:06 mark to cut the Broncos' lead to 38-35, but WMU got hot from the field and doused the Lakers' comeback hopes.  Richie sparked his team with a three-pointer at the 16:09 mark, while at the same time drawing a foul from the Lakers' Joe Harks.  Richie made his free throw to complete the four-point play and to extend the Broncos' lead to seven points.  Whittington took an inlet pass from Richie at the 15:29 mark and laid it in, and the Broncos eventually hit double-digits on their lead when Richie made the front end of a pair of foul shots at 12:28.  Darius Paul stretched the lead on the second free throw, cleaning up Richie's miss with a put-back tip to make it 51-39, and the 17-4 run was capped when Richie made a pair of free throws at the 11:30 mark, making the score 55-39.

Roosevelt never seriously challenged the Broncos for the rest of the game, with WMU stretching the lead to more than 20 points at the 7:44 mark and never looking back.  Whittington broke that seal with a pair of free throw makes, setting the score at 65-44, and Klein added a jumper at the 7:01 mark to make it a 23-point deficit.  Klein would later go on to give the Broncos their biggest lead of the night, when his free throw at the 4:11 mark made it 73-49.  The Broncos closed their scoring night with a three-pointer from Von Washington III, who drained one from the right wing on a slick kick-out from Nick Stapert.

The Broncos jumped out to a quick start against the Lakers, opening the game on a 12-4 run.  Whittington got things started with a lay-up on the opening possession, and Pokley made it a quick two-possession lead with a three-pointer from the right corner.  Whittington would knock down a jumper from 10 feet out at the 16:55 mark, and Dan Loney would take a slick inlet pass from Hutcheson 30 seconds later, making a lay-up to give the Broncos a 10-4 lead.  Whittington capped the run with a pair of free throw makes at the 15:34 mark.

The Broncos held a double-digit lead midway through the first half, reaching a 10-point advantage when A.J. Avery tipped in an errant Jared Klein shot at the 12:20 mark; Hutcheson would go on to extend the lead to 13 points with a lay-up at the 10:32 mark, making it 21-8.  Hutcheson helped keep the Lakers at bay with a lay-up at the 6:55 mark, and Darius Paul would again stretch the lead to 13 points with a jumper at the 5:08 mark to make it 29-16.  Austin Richie notched a lay-up with 2:27 remaining to keep the lead at 10 points, and Whittington scored with under a minute remaining in the half to make it 33-23.  The Lakers would begin to close the gap, though, and pulled to within eight points at the half.
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