Men's Hoops Hits the Road to Take On NIU
Western Michigan Broncos (9-7, 1-2 MAC) at Northern Illinois Huskies (3-12, 1-2 MAC)
Saturday, January 19 // 8 p.m. ET
DeKalb, Ill. // NIU Convocation Center
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 7:30 p.m.
• This will be the 81st meeting between the Broncos and the Huskies, with WMU holding a 51-29 advantage in the series
• The Broncos are 17-18 in games played in DeKalb in the rivalry
• The Broncos are 14-5 against the Huskies under head coach Steve Hawkins, including six straight victories against NIU
• The Broncos have not lost to the Huskies since falling in DeKalb on Jan. 13, 2010
• Hawkins is 66-29 (.695) against MAC West opponents since taking the reins of the program
• Nate Hutcheson made his 100th career start in the game against Ohio, making him the eighth player in program history to reach the century mark in starts
• Hutcheson needs just 76 points to reach 1,000 points for his career
• Jared Klein made his first career start on Wednesday, posting six points, three rebounds, and two assists against Toledo
• Shayne Whittington recorded his fifth double-double of the year against Toledo, posting 12 points and 13 rebounds
• It is the second time this season Whittington has posted back-to-back double-double performances
• Whittington's five double-doubles ties the most for a Bronco since Joe Reitz had six during the 2007-08 season
• David Brown is averaging 8.3 points per game off the bench this season, including a career-high 15 points against Toledo
• The Broncos spread the ball around well against Toledo, with five players taking eight or more shots in the victory
• WMU's 23-point victory over Toledo is the highest margin of victory over a Division I opponent since they beat Northern Illlinois 78-53 on February 15, 2011, a span of 24 games
• Darius Paul leads all freshmen in the MAC in scoring (11.3 ppg) and rebounds (6.1 rpg)
BRONCOS VS. THE HUSKIES
This will be the 81st meeting between these two teams, with the Broncos holding a 51-29 advantage in the all-time series against the Huskies. The rivalry dates back to Feb. 13, 1948, when the Broncos beat the Huskies 59-57 in Kalamazoo. WMU is 14-5 against the Huskies under head coach Steve Hawkins, including six straight victories in the series. WMU has not lost a game in DeKalb since the 2009-10 season, when they fell 87-77 on Jan. 13, 2010. The Broncos have won 11 of the last 13 meetings between the teams.
Tonight marks the second MAC West division game for the Broncos in 2012-13, and history says that the Broncos should be more than ready for the challenge. Since Steve Hawkins became head coach of the Broncos, they have posted a 66-29 (.695) record against MAC West opponents.
PINE (NOT SO) BARRENS
Over the course of the last sevens games, the Broncos' bench has been as good of shape as it has been all season. Western Michigan is averaging 19.1 points per game off the bench over the last seven games.
David Brown was part of an offensive flurry against Toledo on Jan. 16, knocking down shots from long range to light the Broncos' fires in their 79-56 win. Brown went 5-of-7 from three point range in the game to produce a career-high 15 points in the victory, the most three-pointers made by a Bronco in a game since Nate Hutcheson hit six triples against Loyola-Chicago on November 16, 2012.
Senior Nate Hutcheson has been an integral part of the Broncos' program in his four years at Western Michigan, and Saturday against the Bobcats marked one of the more notable achievements of his career. Hutcheson made his 100th career start in the game against the Bobcats, becoming just the eighth player in program history to start 100 games for the Broncos. With his start against Toledo on Jan. 16, he passed Paul Griffin for sole possession of seventh place on the career starts list.
Next up for Hutcheson will be a crack at the all-time scoring leaders; he has 924 career points, and is looking to become the 37th player in program history to eclipse the 1,000 point barrier.