Broncos Open Exhibition Season With Win Over Hornets
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan men's basketball team was able to get every active player on the roster involved in a dominating exhibition win on Saturday, as the Broncos defeated the Kalamazoo College Hornets 88-59 at University Arena. The Broncos will host their second and final exhibition game on Monday, Nov. 4 when they welcome Aquinas College to Kalamazoo.
The Broncos spread their minutes evenly, with 11 players staying on the floor for more than 10 minutes but none for more than 23 minutes, and five players reached double figures in scoring. David Brown led the Broncos with 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting, also adding four rebounds and two steals. Shayne Whittington and Jared Klein each poured in 12 points, and freshman Tucker Haymond impressed in his University Arena debut with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including a 3-of-5 mark from three-point range.
The Broncos shot 27-of-58 from the floor for a 46.6 percent night from the field, including a 6-of-13 mark from three-point range in the second half. WMU controlled the glass as well, out-rebounding the Hornets 41-24 and collecting 13 offensive rebounds.
WMU opened up the game on an 8-0 run against the Hornets, sparked when Connar Tava took a slick inside pass from Whittington and laid it in for the points. Tava snatched the ball from Adam Peters two possessions later and fed it ahead to Brown for a lay-up, and Tava capped the run at the 18:18 mark when he stole the ball from Aaron Schoenfeldt and dunked it home on the fast break. Kalamazoo College's Chase Baysdell cut the Broncos' lead to just 13-10 with a jumper at 13:07, but Brown responded with an and-one to put WMU ahead 16-10 one possession later. Klein knocked down a pair of jumpers, with the second one coming from the elbow and giving the Broncos a 23-10 lead with 10:58 left in the half, and Haymond made it a 17-point deficit when his three-pointer from the left wing made it 34-17 with 6:09 to play in the half. The Hornets pulled to within 13 at the end of the half, when Carter Goetz made a three-pointer with 1:30 to play to make it 39-26 in favor of the Broncos.
The Hornets started out the second half strong, pulling to within seven points when Peters finished off an and-one play to make it just a 46-39 edge for the Broncos with 16:18 to play. The deficit would hover around 10 points until the 11:29 mark of the half, when Brown knocked down a three-pointer to give the Broncos a 59-46 edge. Kellen McCormick grabbed an offensive board and put it back on the next possession to push the lead to 15 points, and the Broncos were on their way to a 25-4 run over the next five minutes; freshman Mario Matasovic capped the rally with a pair of free throws at the 6:26 mark to make it 74-50. Taylor Perry made it a 25-point game with a pair of free throws at the 4:14 mark, and Bishop Robinson put the cherry on top of the game with a three-pointer from the left corner to set the final deficit, giving the Broncos an 88-59 lead with 1:14 to play.