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Broncos Clamp Down on Huskies For Road Win

Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
Release: 01/19/2013
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DeKalb, Ill. - The Western Michigan men's basketball team posted one of the best single-game defensive efforts in the history of the program, and the Broncos defeated the Northern Illinois Huskies 71-34 at the Convocation Center on Saturday evening.  With the win, the Broncos improve to 10-7 on the season, and even their Mid-American Conference record at 2-2.

The Broncos held the Huskies to 11-of-55 (.200) from the field in the game, and the 34 points allowed by the Broncos is the lowest single-game total since a 53-33 victory over Olivet on Nov. 27, 1948.  The 37-point margin of victory is the most since a 109-50 win over Alma on Dec. 4, 2010, and the best against a Division I opponent since an 84-39 victory over Central Michigan on Jan. 29, 2005.

David Brown came off the bench for his second straight double-digit scoring effort, notching 13 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field and a 5-of-7 performance from the free throw line.  The Broncos shot 19-of-35 (.543) from the field, with Taylor Perry, Austin Richie, and Shayne Whittington each contributing nine points.  Whittington posted 10 rebounds, his third straight double-digit rebounding game.  Connar Tava had a full stat line as well, posting six points, five rebounds, six assists, and one steal.

Brown continued his torrid pace from beyond the three-point line to start the game, giving the Broncos a lead by draining a pair of threes from the right corner.  Brown gave the Broncos a 4-2 lead at 17:59 of the first half when he buried an NBA-range three-pointer from the right side, and hit one on the next trip down to make it 7-2 in favor of the Broncos.  A.J. Avery scored on a lay-up at the 16:22 mark to maintain the five-point lead, and Brown pulled the trigger on a step-back jumper with 14:34 remaining to expand the lead to seven points.

More impressively, though, was the fact that the Broncos shut down the offensive attack of the Huskies for much of the first half, holding NIU without a field goal from the 12:56 mark of the first half until there was 5:21 remaining in the first.  In that time, the Broncos expanded their lead considerably; the deficit reached double-digits at the 9:55 mark when Nate Hutcheson drained a three-pointer from the left corner, and Darius Paul tacked on a pair of free throws to make it 21-8 with 8:26 remaining.  

The largest lead of the half came with 4:36 remaining, when Whittington took a deft post pass from Connar Tava and laid it in to make it 27-11.  Austin Richie drilled a triple from the left corner to make it 30-14 with 1:42 remaining, but the Huskies would cut the lead to 11 points before entering the half.

Whittington took control of the beginning of the second half, scoring four points in the first two minutes and notching a block as the Broncos opened on a 7-0 run.  He grabbed an offensive board at the 19:04 mark and fed Paul in the post, who drew a foul and made the ensuing free throws to make it 33-20.  Whittington would go on to block Antone Christian's lay-up attempt at 18:45 and took it the other way, scoring the lay-up to make it a 15-point game.  Richie capped the 7-0 run for the Broncos when he drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key, making it 38-20 with 17:29 to play.

Brandon Pokley extended the lead to 19 points at the 14:42 mark with a three-pointer from the left corner, and Whittington made it a 20-point game for the first time when he made the first of two free throws.  Perry went on a tear midway through the half, capping his hot streak with a dunk at the 9:19 mark, and Whittington gave the Broncos a 59-28 lead with 6:24 remaining.  Perry tied the Broncos' largest lead of the night with a lay-up with 2:06 remaining, and Avery capped the team's scoring with a lay-up on a slick pass from Tava.