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December 21, 2013
Game preview and staff predictions: Prairie View A&M
This will be the first ever meeting between the Western Michigan Broncos (5-5) and the Prairie View A&M Panthers (2-8). The Broncos are 2-0 all-time against teams from the SWAC, including a 73-69 win over Alabama A&M earlier this season.
Taylor Perry has started each of the last two games and is averaging 11.0 rebounds per game in that span; he recorded the game-high in rebounds in both contests.
Shayne Whittington ranks first in the MAC with an average of 10.0 rebounds per game Whittington's average of 10.9 rebounds per game entering the week ranked 10th in NCAA Division I.
David Brown ranks first in the MAC with an average of 20.2 points per game. Brown's average of 19.9 points per game entering the week ranked 39th in NCAA Division I. Brown scored a game-high 23 points against Drake, his fourth 20-point performance of the season.
Western Michigan is 112-30 (.789) at home under head coach Steve Hawkins, and are 44-12 (.786) against non-conference foes at home in that time.
This is a matchup on the schedule that I think most people had targeted as a nearly guaranteed home win. The Broncos had a little bit of unexpected trouble with SWAC opponent Alabama A&M earlier in the season, but I don't expect WMU to get caught off guard this time. After three tough road losses, I expect them to come out ready and dominate from the opening tip.
Prairie View A&M is coming off a couple of tough road games themselves, getting absolutely destructed by BYU and UCLA. The Panthers will get their fair share of points in this game, probably from junior shooting guard Montrael Scott and Flint, Michigan native Demondre Chapman. It sounds like a broken record at this point, but Shayne Whittington and Connar Tava will be too much offensively and defensively for A&M to handle.
Score Prediction: Western Michigan 76, Prairie View A&M 61
Western Michigan has to be looking forward to returning home after a tough road trip in which they posted an 0-3 record despite competitive showings against a difficult slate. Prairie View, meanwhile, is just continuing a road-heavy non-conference schedule with little chance for success.
Despite a 2-8 record, the Panthers do boast a competent offense averaging 73 points per game with four players averaging double figures. Unfortunately, they've given up at least 100 points three separate times and over 90 three more, averaging 91.1 given up in total.
The Broncos have shown an ability to score plenty of points against lower tier defenses, so expect plenty of fireworks in this one with WMU winning fairly comfortably heading into the holiday break.
Score Prediction: Western Michigan 89, Prairie View A&M 69
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