Broncos Open Regular Season with Win over Siena Heights
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Western Michigan men's basketball kicked off its 2017-18 campaign on Saturday afternoon with a total team effort as six Broncos scored in double figures en route to a 103-72 victory over Siena Heights inside University Arena.
The Bronco offense was clicking on all cylinders against the Saints, shooting 52.2 percent from the floor and connecting on nine three-pointers. WMU totaled 23 assists on 36 made shots while outrebounding Siena Heights, 42-26.
Preseason All-MAC West selection Thomas Wilder registered a game-high 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field with six assists in 23 minutes played.
Sophomore Brandon Johnson scored 14 points while grabbing three rebounds, two assists and one steal. Fellow sophomore Adida Ikongshul scored in double figures for the first time in his career with 12 points.
Sophomore Reggie Jones poured in 11 while senior Drake LaMont and freshman Michael Flowers each had 10. Junior Seth Dugan dominated the glass for
WMU, collecting a game-high seven rebounds while scoring eight points in just 11 minutes of play. Off the bench, the Broncos scored 52 bench points.
Defensively the Broncos outrebounded the Saints, 42-26 with the Broncos grabbing 16 offensive rebounds. The Brown and Gold forced Siena Heights to commit 19 turnovers scoring 31 points off those turnovers.
It's a quick turnaround for WMU as the Broncos travel down south to take on 2017 Final Four participant South Carolina as part of a non-bracketed game of the 11th annual Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Through the first five minutes of action, the Saints were hanging tough with the Broncos, trailing by just three at the 13:02 mark. WMU responded with a 7-0 run in just under two minutes to extend their lead to double digits at the halfway point of the half.
Late in the first half, junior Josh Davis sparked the WMU offense with nine points, sinking back-to-back threes to give WMU a 40-27 lead. At the end of the half, WMU made five of their last six field goals to have a 47-29 lead at halftime.
WMU cruised out of the gate to start the second half going 4-of-5 from the field to extend their lead to 20. The hot shooting was highlighted by a behind the back pass from junior Bryce Moore to Reggie Jones for the fast break lay-up and a 63-41 lead.
Midway through the half, Siena Heights made a run of their own scoring 13 of the next 15 points and a 6-0 run to bring the WMU down to 19. During the Saints run, the Broncos went 0-of-5 from the field before Flowers knocked down a three from the left wing.
In the last five minutes, the Broncos ended on a 27-13 run with three separate runs of at least six points to earn the 103-72 victory.
The Broncos improve to 1-0 on the season and are now 4-1 in season openers since 2013.