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December 4, 2012

3rd ranked Wolverines dominate Western Michigan 73-41

Michigan's Jordan Morgan won the opening tip and converted a lay-up during the first possession of the game, and the Wolverines never trailed the rest of the way.

The Michigan Wolverines opened up the game on a 6-1 run, as the Broncos looked somewhat tentative early at Crisler Arena, which seats 13,571 people. Senior center Shayne Whittington picked up two early fouls just 2:04 into the game, which forced the Broncos to go small early, subbing in freshman Connar Tava.

Freshman forward Darius Paul kept the Broncos in the game, scoring 5 consecutive points for Western Michigan to tie the game at 9 apiece. However, with 12:43 left in the first, Tim Hardaway Jr. threw down a monsterous dunk that ignited the crowd as the Wolverines regained a two-point lead.

Following the second media timeout, the Wolverines came out on fire as freshman Mitch McGary and sophomore Trey Burke scored consecutive baskets to take a 7-point lead, and forcing Steve Hawkins to call a timeout.

Western Michigan continued to persevere through a tough stretch mid-way through the first half, as Shayne Whittington re-entered the game and quickly made an impact on the defensive and offensive end, grabbing a couple of rebounds and hitting two free-throws. After a Nate Hutcheson mid-range jumper, the Broncos trailed just 20-15 with 7:09 left.

Just when it appeared the Broncos were poised to make a run, the Wolverines gashed open an 18-point lead on a 13-2 run, thanks to contributions from Glenn Robinson III, Jordan Morgan, Nik Stauskas, Caris LeVert, and Mitch McGary.

Despite an alarming thirteen first-half turnovers, the Broncos closed the half on a mini 4-0 run, to narrow the gap to fourteen after Darius Paul and Connar Tava buckets.

The Broncos started the second with an Austin Richie three right out of the gates to trim the Wolverines' lead to just eleven. However, the Wolverines responded with a Nik Stauskas three-pointer of their own en route to another 7-2 run.

Michigan continued to grow their lead to 23 points with sharp-shooting from behind the arc, paired with several uncharacteristic Bronco turnovers, as they led 51-28 with just over thirteen minutes remaining.

From there, Michigan comfortably closed out the game, eventually defeating the Broncos 73-41. Darius Paul led all Broncos with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Nate Hutcheson and junior Austin Richie each contributed six points and five points respectively.

The Broncos are now 6-2 overall, and resume action on the road this Saturday, December 8th at 8:00 p.m. against a tough Illinois State squad that was once receiving votes in the polls.

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