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Courtesy: GS Photo

Broncos Throttle Mountaineers at Home

Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
Release: 12/22/2012
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Shayne Whittington broke the 20-point scoring barrier for the second straight game, and the Western Michigan men's basketball team defeated the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers 87-66 at University Arena on Saturday.  With the win, the Broncos improve to 8-4 on the season and a perfect 4-0 record at home.

Whittington set a career-high with 24 points against the Mountaineers, going 10-of-11 from the field and adding four free throws to bump his total.  Freshman Darius Paul also set a career-high in scoring, posting 19 points to go with four rebounds, two assists, and a steal.  Brandon Pokley also reached double-digits, scoring 15 points.

The Broncos were on fire from the floor against the Mountaineers, breaking their opponent's press to go 32-of-53 (.600) from the floor.  WMU recorded 21 assists, tied for third-most in a single game in school history.  Austin Richie led the Broncos with eight helpers, a career-high for the sophomore.

The first half of the game saw the Broncos lighting it up from the floor, making 16-of-24 shots from the field and getting to the free throw line 12 times as WMU put the screws to the Mountaineers early.  The Broncos opened the game on a 9-3 run, with Richie starting things up with a steal and a fast break lay-up, and Pokley capping the run with a wide-open three-pointer at the 18:05 mark.  The Mount cut the lead to just one point at the 15:40 mark, but Whittington stretched it out with a tip-in and a jumper on consecutive possessions to make it 17-12 at the 14:49 mark.

The lead continued to expand, hitting double-digits for good when Nate Hutcheson scored on a fast break lay-up at the 9:04 mark, making it 31-21.  Jared Klein notched a fast break lay-up of his own at the 5:26 mark, and Whittington added a pair of free throws to make it 41-24 with 3:10 to play.  The lead would stretch to 18 points with under a minute to play in the half, but a Mount St. Mary's lay-up with 12 seconds remaining gave the Broncos a 16-point edge at the break.

Things improved steadily over the course of the second half, with the lead reaching 20 points on a Paul lay-up with 17:49 to play.  Paul scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half, including the first six points of the second half, and Pokley drained another triple to give the Broncos a 23-point lead.  The high water mark came with 14:16 to play, when Klein picked up a loose ball and scored on a fast break to make it 61-32. 

The Broncos' lead would dip below 20 points for just 88 seconds for the rest of the game, with Paul converting an "and-1" opportunity at the 6:09 mark to make it a 20-point game again.  Connar Tava scored five points in a row for the Broncos late in the half, and Charles Harris set the final margin of victory with a free throw make at the 1:19 mark, making it 87-66.