In their second straight home game, the Bronco men’s basketball team extended their winning streak to six games with a victory over Oakland University.
They had beaten High Point two days earlier in their first game since returning home from a successful tournament that South Florida hosted.
The Broncos were impressive offensively in the first half, shooting 50 percent and making an efficient 10 of 12 from the free throw line, but they shot only two for nine on three pointers. Defensively, the Broncos played well, holding Oakland under 40 percent shooting in the half.
The Broncos were led by Darius Paul and Shayne Whittington with eight points apiece in the half. Western also got solid bench production as their bench outscored Oakland’s ten to 2 in the half. Even with Western’s offensive outburst, they led by only four at the half, 40-36.
In the second half, Western Michigan led early before Oakland went on a 10-2 run to take a three point lead with about two minutes remaning in the game at 70-67. The Broncos answered with an Austin Ritchie three pointer to tie the game, and then finished off the game to preserve their winning streak.
Nate Hutcheson led the way with eight second half points, Shayne Whittington contributed with six more points, six rebounds and three blocks before fouling out. All nine dressed Western Michigan players played and scored at least two points in the half.
The Broncos did not shoot as well, but held their own at 44 percent, and their free throw percentage dropped as they went 12 of 18 from the line in the half. They were staunch defensively, holding Oakland down at 33 percent from the floor. Oakland did not help their cause from the free throw line either, shooting 14 of 20 from the line, and leaving critical points on the floor.
For the game, Whittington finished with 14 points to lead the team, eight rebounds and six blocks, Hutcheson finished with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists, and Darius Paul finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. Western’s bench also put in a strong performance, outscoring Oakland’s reservers 21-2.
The Broncos now head onto the road for four straight games. Their next two games are against the currently undefeated and No. 3 ranked University of Michigan on Tuesday, Dec. 4. Then they will play Illinois State on Saturday, Dec. 8.