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Men's Hoops Returns Homes to Face Mountaineers

Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
Release: 12/21/2012
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Western Michigan Broncos (7-4) vs. Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers (4-5)
Saturday, December 22 // 2 p.m.
Kalamazoo, Mich. // University Arena
First meeting


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 1:30 p.m.



• This will be the first ever meeting between the two teams
• The Broncos are 3-3 all-time against Northeast Conference opponents, with wins over Fairleigh Dickinson and St. Francis Brooklyn
• The Broncos have never faced an NEC opponent under head coach Steve Hawkins
Brandon Pokley scored what his still his career-high with 16 points in last season's win over the Dukes
• The Broncos received 20 votes in this week's Mid-Major Top 25 poll, 16 more than they did last week
Darius Paul leads all freshmen in the MAC in scoring (11.4 ppg) and reboundsing (6.6 rpg)
• This game represents the first at University Arena since the Broncos defeated Oakland 76-72 on Dec. 4, a span of four games and 18 days away from home
• The Broncos are 38-11 against non-conference opponents at home under head coach Steve Hawkins, and are 100-28 overall in University Arena in that span
Shayne Whittington recorded his third double-double this season with a career-high 20 points and 10 rebounds at Duquesne
• The Broncos have recorded double-doubles in four consecutive games, two from Darius Paul, one from Nate Hutcheson, and one from Shayne Whittington
Shayne Whittington is ranked second in the MAC West and ninth in the conference overall on John Hollinger's Player Efficiency Ratings; teammate Darius Paul rates as sixth and 18th, respectively
Connar Tava is averaging 8.0 points in his last two games
Taylor Perry has scored five points in each of his last two contests, and set a career-high with 19 minutes played at Duquesne
• The Broncos lead the Mid-American Conference in rebounding margin at +7.8

Today marks the first ever meeting between the Broncos and the Mountaineers, and is in fact the first time that a Steve Hawkins-led Broncos team has faced off against a school from the Northeast Conference. This is not, however, the first time the Broncos have taken on a foe from the NEC; the Broncos are 3-3 all-time against the conference, including two wins against Fairleigh Dickinson and a 1-0 record against St. Francis Brooklyn.

Freshman forward Connar Tava has helped the Broncos to two of their best games of the season in regards to bench output, and is adding more of a scoring touch to his repertoire. Tava has scored eight points off the bench in each of the last two games, with each of those games a career best. Tava also added a career-high eight rebounds in the Broncos' victory over High Point on Sunday.

Another young Bronco providing quality minutes off the bench has been Taylor Perry, providing strong on-ball defense and the ability to hit the open shot when the time comes. Perry is 4-of-4 in his last two games, adding five points each against Duquesne and High Point.

Darius Paul has made a name for himself throughout the conference as an impact player early in his career, and is currently among the league leaders in scoring and rebounds. Paul ranks first among conference freshmen in scoring (11.6 ppg) and rebounds (6.6 rpg).

Shayne Whittington recorded his third double-double of the season at Duquesne, notching a career-high 20 points to go with 10 rebounds. All told, a Bronco has recorded a double-double in four consecutive games (Darius Paul at Michigan, Nate Hutcheson at Illinois State, Paul at High Point, Whittington at Duquesne). The Broncos have not had four straight games with a double-double since before the 1998-99 season. More research is needed to determine the last time the feat occurred.