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Backed by big second half, Broncos beat Ball State 62-53

by Colin Windecker

Kalamazoo, MI (WKZO) – Entering Sunday’s contest, the Western Michigan men’s basketball team had been 0-5 this season when behind at the half, but backed by 13 each from Shayne Whittington and David Brown in the final frame, the Broncos won for the first time when trailing after 20 minutes, defeating the Ball State Cardinals 62-53 on Sunday afternoon at University Arena.

Whittington recorded his 7th double-double of the season, finishing with a game high 21 points and 15 rebounds while chipping in a team high three assists, three steals and two blocks. But what was most impressive from the Paw Paw native, was the fact he didn’t commit a turnover or foul until 2:52 left in the game. The 15 boards for Whittington were his second highest total this year, falling just two short of his 17 board performance against Alabama A&M.

WMU trailed at the half 26-25 and were down by as much as five in the first half despite holding the Cardinals to just 34.8% shooting. The Broncos were hampered with 10 first half turnovers, in addition to their own struggles from the floor, making just 8 of 21 first half shots.  The Broncos started the second half with a 17-5 run before the under 12 media timeout, and then increased their lead to its highest peak of 13 at 47-34, with 9:30 left in the game.

The Broncos had a familiar face in the starting lineup as Tucker Haymond regained his starting spot after averaging over seven points per game since returning from an ankle injury. The freshman had trouble staying on the floor after picking up his fourth foul midway through the second half. Haymond played just 20 minutes but scored six and hauled in six boards as well.  

David Brown reached double figures for the 23rd consecutive game with this 17 point contribution. Connar Tava was the only other Bronco to score in double figures with 11.

Majok Majok had 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Cardinals (4-13, 1-5 MAC).

The Broncos (11-7, 4-2 MAC) trail Toledo currently by a half game for the MAC West lead. The Rockets are in action Sunday night with Kent State. WMU returns to action on Wednesday night at Buffalo. Tip is set for 7pm.