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February 23, 2013

Game Preview & Predictions: Pacific

Game Information

Pacific Tigers (15-11, 9-5) at Western Michigan Broncos (16-9, 8-4)
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Venue: University Arena
Saturday, February 23 at 1:00 p.m.
All-time series record: Pacific leads 3-1

Opponent Location: Stockton, CA
Enrollment: 6,200
Key wins: at Xavier, St. Mary's, Hawaii
Key losses: California, at #12 Gonzaga, at St. Mary's, at Long Beach St.

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 12:30 p.m.
Stream: ESPN3
Talent: Dan Gutowsky and Nate Ross

Bob Thomason's record at Pacific: 429-(unk.) (25th season)
Steve Hawkins' record at Western Michigan: 175-14 (10th season)

Additional Information

- Nate Hutcheson has 1,018 points, placing him in 34th place on the career scoring list at Western Michigan.

- Today will mark the 126th game played in Hutcheson's career; tying him with Shawntes Gary for third on the career list at WMU. Should Hutcheson play the rest of the schedule, he will surpass Demetrius Ward for the program's all-time games played leader.

- Today's start gives Nate Hutcheson 111 career starts, placing him fourth on Western Michigan's career list.

- Shayne Whittington was named MAC West Player of the Week for Feb. 18, the fourth time he has won the award this year. Whittington is tied with Rian Pearson (Toledo) for most MAC West weekly awards this season. He's tied with Pearson and Chris Evans (Kent State) for most MAC weekly awards this season.

- Shayne Whittington has eight double-doubles this year, tied for most in the MAC by a single player.

- Austin Richie is averaging 12.5 points per game in his last two contests.

Staff Predictions

Brian Persky: I've been teetering back and forth with this game all week. Ultimately, the two factors that I just can't get over are: 1) The Tigers are a poor rebounding team (huge advantage WMU). 2) Pacific's travel schedule having just played on the road Wednesday and then the quick turnaround to Kalamazoo today (huge advantage WMU).

The Tigers have very little time to adjust and with both teams likely with their sights on their own respective conference battles, I think the Broncos hold a significant advantage today at home with the one week break.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 71, Pacific 56

David James: These are two extremely evenly-matched teams, but to take a long trip like this late in the season has to be tough on Pacific. Western Michigan continues to roll at home, and that won't change on Saturday.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 73, Pacific 65

Brandon Fitzsimons: I know nothing about Pacific. So, WMU wins at home with a 3 time-zone advantage.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 76, Pacific 70

D.J. Duckett: The Broncos have slowed down as of late, as maybe their inexperience starts to show. Jared Klein and Austin Richie both need to be better distributors of the ball in order for them to handle a tough Pacific squad. If Shayne Whittington can make an impact down low, and defend the basket, I like the Broncos chances of winning.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 74, Pacific 68

Additional Links

BroncoBlitz.com: MAC Commissioner talks ESPN BracketBusters with BroncoBlitz ($)

BroncoBlitz.com: BroncoBlitz Picks the MAC: College Basketball Week 16 (includes bracketbuster picks)

WMU Athletics: Broncos host Tigers on Bracketbuster Saturday

WMU Athletics: Official Game Notes

MLive.com/Kalamazoo Gazette: In the paint: Western Michigan basketball aims to stay sharp in today's BracketBusters home game vs. Pacific

MLive.com/Kalamazoo Gazette: Break in schedule allows Western Michigan basketball to recharge, heal for stretch run

Pacific Athletics: Tigers Face Western Michigan Saturday on ESPN3


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