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February 2, 2013

Game Preview & Predictions: Buffalo







Game Information

Buffalo Bulls (8-13, 3-4) at Western Michigan Broncos (13-7, 5-2)
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Venue: University Arena
Saturday, February 2 at 7:00 p.m.
All-time series record: WMU leads 10-8

Broadcast Information
Radio: Bronco Radio Network
Announcer: Robin Hook
Stations: WKZO - 96.5 FM: (Flagship) Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan; WMAX - 96.1 FM: Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon; WVIC - 94.1 FM: Lansing, Jackson, Battle Creek
Pre-game: Begins at 6:30 p.m.

Reggie Witherspoon's record at Buffalo: 191-218 (14th season)
Steve Hawkins' record at Western Michigan: 172-139 (10th season)


Additional Information

- The Broncos are 5-6 against the Bulls under head coach Steve Hawkins, including losses in each of the last three meetings.

- The Broncos received 14 votes in the Jan. 28 CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll.

- The Broncos have won five straight MAC games for the first time since winning five straight from Jan. 21 - Feb. 1, 2006.

- With a win, the Broncos will post their first six-game MAC win streak since winning six straight from Dec. 4, 2004 - Jan. 19,
2005.

- Western Michigan boasts the second-best RPI in the conference (90).

- The Broncos' win over Miami makes Steve Hawkins the only coach in Bronco history to win two games at Miami, and marks the
first time in program history the Broncos have won two straight games in Oxford.

- The Broncos remain one of the stingiest defensive teams in the MAC as well as the country, ranking 3rd in the conference and
48th nationally in field goal percentage defense (.394). WMU has allowed conference opponents to shoot just .354 from the field.

- The Broncos are shooting 50.4 percent from the field in their five-game win streak, while at the same time holding their opponents to just a 33.2 shooting percentage.

- Five players are averaging 9.6 points per game or better in the Broncos' five-game win streak.

- Brandon Pokley has made 30 consecutive free throws, which ranks sixth on the all-time list at Western Michigan. The program record is 41, set by David Kool from Jan. 19 - Feb. 12, 2008.

- Nate Hutcheson started his 105th game for the Broncos on Wednesday, passing Booker James for fifth on the all-time list.

- Hutcheson needs just 36 points to reach 1,000 points for his career.

- David Brown is averaging 8.9 points per game coming off the bench this season.

- Shayne Whittington's five double-doubles ties the most for a Bronco since Joe Reitz had six during the 2007-08 season. Whittington is one of only three players in the MAC with five or more double-doubles this season.


Staff Predictions

Brian Persky: It should be a great environment at University Arena Saturday night. Buffalo is certainly down from last year's team having lost some major pieces. However, every Reggie Witherspoon team is a dangerous team and they'll likely embrace the rowdy environment and bring it to the Broncos.

After having a couple of loosey-goosey games on the road (despite victories), I think the Broncos put things back together at home, feed of the home crowd, and runaway with it towards the end, winning their sixth straight game. I see a big night in store from our guards in particular in this match-up.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 74, Buffalo 62


David James: Buffalo comes in off an easy win over CMU, but they haven't been terribly impressive otherwise with a losing record in a reasonable non-conference slate and home losses to Miami and Kent State. With WMU's current hot streak, this game should be more than winnable for the Broncos.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 69, Miami 55


Brandon Fitzsimons: Buffalo should give Whittington and co. problems with Javon McCrea's talent. WMU uses the home crowd and a balanced attack to power past the Bulls.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 69, Miami 62


Additional Links

BroncoBlitz: Three weekend visitors for Western Michigan basketball ($)

WMU Athletics: Men's Hoops Hosts Bulls In Saturday Night Tilt

WMU Athletics: Official Game Notes

Buffalo Athletics: Bulls Back on Road to Play at Western Michigan on Saturday Night


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