Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers (4-5) at Western Michigan Broncos (7-4)
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Venue: University Arena
Saturday, December 22 at 2:00 p.m.
All-time series record: 0-0 (first meeting)
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 1:30 p.m.
Jamion Christian's record at Mount St. Mary's: 4-5 (1st season)
Steve Hawkins' record at Western Michigan: 166-136 (10th season)
- The Broncos are 3-3 all-time against Northeast Conference opponents, with wins over Fairleigh Dickinson and St. Francis (NY).
- The Broncos have never faced an NEC opponent under head coach Steve Hawkins.
- The Broncos received 20 votes in this week's CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll, 16 more than they did last week.
- Darius Paul leads all freshmen in the MAC in scoring (11.6 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg).
- The Broncos are 38-11 against non-conference opponents at home under head coach Steve Hawkins, and are 100-28 overall in University Arena in that span.
- Shayne Whittington recorded his third double-double this season with a career-high 20 points and 10 rebounds at Duquesne.
- The Broncos have recorded double-doubles in four consecutive games, two from Darius Paul, one from Nate Hutcheson, and
one from Shayne Whittington.
- Taylor Perry has scored five points in each of his last two contests, and set a career-high with 19 minutes played at Duquesne.
- The Broncos lead the Mid-American Conference in rebounding margin (+7.8).
- With a win on Saturday against the Mountaineers, the Broncos would become the first team in the Mid-American Conference to reach 8 wins. Ohio (7-4) hosts Maryland-Eastern Shore at 2:00 p.m. also.
Brian Persky: I expect Mount St. Mary's to show a lot of press and trap defense in this game (hence why two of their players average 2+ steals per game). It will assuredly give Western Michigan a little bit of trouble at times, but I expect them to eventually adjust and work through it.
This game has the potential to be a blowout since the Mountaineers are such a weak rebounding team. That will heavily work against them when facing a very good rebounding team like WMU. This should be a comfortable win for the Broncos as they return back to the home gym after a three-week hiatus.
Score Prediction: Western Michigan 75, Mount St. Mary's 64
David James: Mount St. Mary's is going to try to break up WMU's flow with constant pressure and a high tempo. WMU did a generally good job against Duquesne, who had a similar philosophy but a lot more talent. Mount St. Mary's shouldn't provide quite as stiff of a test, and it's at home.
I do feel this game will be closer than it could, as WMU gets a lead but looks ahead a bit to the winter break. Coach Hawkins will also get some extra playing time for some younger players and let the Mountaineers climb back in it a bit.
Score Prediction: Western Michigan 80, Mount St. Mary's 65
Brandon Fitzsimons: By virtue of bad weather, I will actually be at this game. (Sorry M-60 sign outside of Cass). WMU comes in with some momentum, but a lot of difficulties with road troubles. Luckily, this game is at home. WMU has the athleticism that wins this game.
Score Prediction: Western Michigan 75, Mount St. Mary's 65