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March 25, 2013

WMU downs Wyoming in CBI thriller







For the second straight game, Western Michigan was pushed to the brink by a fellow mid-major program looking to extend their season. Once again, the Broncos came away winners.

Trailing most of the game, WMU was able to tie the game with 0.8 seconds left on a David Brown three pointer, then pull away in overtime for a 75-67 road win over the Wyoming Cowboys in the College Basketball Invitational quarterfinals.


It was the second straight overtime win in the CBI for the Broncos (22-12), who beat first-round opponent North Dakota State 72-71 in the final seconds of overtime in Kalamazoo.

Wyoming took a 31-29 lead into halftime sparked by a late 7-0 run, and looked in control of the game early in the second frame as they scored the first six points of the half to take their biggest lead of the night.

WMU would hang around, though, and stayed within striking distance of the Cowboys throughout the second half, but had not led since late in the opening twenty minutes.

The Broncos would, in fact, not lead for the entire second half, but David Brown, who led WMU with 17 points on the evening, was the hero in the final seconds.

Wyoming took a three point lead with eight seconds on the clock on a Josh Adams free throw, and elected to foul on the other end. Austin Richie, inbounding the ball on the sideline, found David Brown running the baseline into the corner. Brown took the feed in the corner off a curl, turned around and nailed the game-tying three with 0.8 on the clock.

The teams traded baskets for a bit in the overtime period before the Broncos pulled away with the help of four Brandon Pokley free throws down the stretch.

Larry Nance, Jr. led the way with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting for the Cowboys, whose season comes to an end at 20-14. The loss snaps a 23-game home non-conference winning streak for Wyoming.

Shayne Whittington added 16 points and Nate Hutcheson and Brandon Pokley reached double digits with 12 and 11 respectively for WMU, who now awaits word of their CBI final four opponent. The Broncos will play either George Mason, Wright State, or Santa Clara in the next round.

Also of note, Whittington blocked his 57th shot of the year in the second half, setting the new Western Michigan single-season mark in the category.

If WMU is able to advance into the final round, they will play a three-game series to determine the CBI champion.

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