KENT, Ohio - Matt Stainbrook notched a three-point play with a minute to go in regulation to send it to overtime, but the Western Michigan men's basketball team was unable to keep up with the Kent State Golden Flashes in the extra period, as the Broncos fell 78-73 in overtime at the M.A.C. Center in Kent on Saturday. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 10-13 on the season, with a 4-5 record in Mid-American Conference play.
The Broncos had two players record double-doubles, the first time this year that the feat has occurred; Demetrius Ward finished with a game high 21 points to go with 10 rebounds, and senior Flenard Whitfield netted 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Also reaching double figures was Nate Hutcheson, who finished with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting, and Stainbrook, who came off the bench to provide 11 points.
The Broncos led as late as the 2:11 mark in the second half, but the Flashes' Randal Holt hit back-to-back three-pointers late in the second half to give Kent State a 64-61 lead. Stainbrook drove baseline at the 1:05 mark made the lay-up, drawing a foul from Justin Greene to earn the free throw. Stainbrook made the shot to tie the game at 64-64, which carried over into overtime.
The Golden Flashes would score the first eight points of the overtime period, but the Broncos still had an opportunity to send the game to a second overtime period. Trailing 76-70 with 15 seconds remaining, Ward hit a three-pointer from just beyond the head of the key to cut Kent State's lead to just 76-73. Ward fouled KSU's Chris Evans with eight seconds remaining, and Evans proceeded to miss both free throws to give the Broncos a chance to tie the score. However, KSU's Michael Porrini made a diving play to save a loose ball and maintain possession for KSU, who wrapped the game 78-73.
WMU came out strong against the Flashes and hung tight with them throughout the first half. KSU got out to a 21-14 lead with 8:16 remaining in the first half when Patrick Jackson made a lay-up; Whitfield countered on the next possession with a lay-up of his own and the comeback was on. Hutcheson hit a three from the corner at the 5:36 mark to tie the score at 23-23, and would tie it again at the 3:42 mark on a Brandon Pokley trey. The Broncos entered the locker room at half with a one-point lead when Hutcheson buried another three, this one from the corner, to make it 33-32 at the break.
The Broncos will be back in action on Wednesday, February 8, when they host the MAC-leading Akron Zips at University Arena. The game will be aired on SportsTime Ohio.