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November 14, 2012By: Sean Fagan
The Western Michigan men's basketball team had a dominating night on the glass, as the Broncos won their 2012-13 regular season home opener 85-40 over the Marygrove Mustangs at University Arena on Tuesday. With the win, the Broncos improve to 1-1 on the season.
Four Broncos reached double-digits in scoring, including Brandon Pokley, who finished with a game-high 16 points, and Shayne Whittington recorded his second straight double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Nate Hutcheson scored 13 points on 4 of 8 shooting, and Darius Paul recorded his first double-digit scoring game with 11 points.
The Broncos controlled the glass from the outset, out-rebounding the Mustangs 47-20 and outscoring them 40-4 in points in the paint. Also impressive was the Broncos' unselfishness; WMU recorded 16 assists on 29 made baskets, and recorded just eight turnovers for a 2:1 assist-turnover ratio.
Western Michigan opened the second half on a 22-3 run, as the Broncos imposed their will on the Mustangs to put the result out of question early in the evening. Pokley drained a three-pointer at the 18:11 mark to make it 41-23, and the Broncos built their first 20-point lead of the night when Pokley knocked down another triple at the 16:06 mark, making it 47-25. Hutcheson scored a pair of free throws with 14:09 remaining, giving the Broncos a 52-26 lead, and the run was capped when Jared Klein swiped the ball from Marygrove's Darryl Foster at the 12:33 mark and threaded a pass to Connar Tava, who notched the fast break lay-up to make it 57-26.
Klein kept the pressure on the Mustangs in the second half, scoring seven of his nine points in the final 20 minutes, including lay-up at the 9:42 mark to give the Broncos a 63-29 lead. Tava made it a 40-point game with a lay-up at the 2:35 mark, and the Broncos reached their high water mark for the game when Dan Loney made a pair of free throws with under a minute remaining to set the final score.
The Broncos were in charge through the first media timeout, taking a 12-8 lead on the strength of a strong start from Hutcheson. Hutcheson recorded five of the first eight points in the contest and grabbed three rebounds as WMU took it to Marygrove. A.J. Avery stretched the lead to six points with a pair of free throws at the 12:42 mark, and the Broncos built up a 16-8 lead when Charles Harris recorded a steal and threaded a pass to a streaking Connar Tava, who laid it into the hoop at the 12:13 mark.
The Broncos continued to keep the Mustangs at bay, taking a 28-17 lead at the 5:16 mark when Darius Paul knocked down a jumper from the head of the key. The Mustangs cut the Broncos' lead to six points, but Pokley pushed Marygrove back with seven straight points, including four free throws and a three-pointer, and Whittington closed the scoring in the half with a thunderous two-handed dunk to make it 35-23 at the break.
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