WMU knocked off by East leading Bowling Green
WMU Drops Hard Fought Contest to BGSU, 85-72
WMU had three players score in double figures vs. BGSU
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Squaring off with Bowling Green who owned the Mid-American Conference’s best record, Western Michigan men’s basketball battled until the end in a hard fought 85-72 loss on Tuesday night inside University Arena.
The Broncos outshot the Falcons from the field, shooting 46.2 percent to BGSU’s 41.3 percent and had three players score in double figures for the first time since Jan. 22. Both teams had 36 rebounds with BGSU holding a 14-8 advantage on the offensive glass.
Sophomore Michael Flowers led the Brown & Gold with 24 points on 7-of-18 shooting from the field. Flowers was 5-of-12 from beyond the three-point line, knocking down all five of his three’s in the first half. In his last four games the Southfield, Mich., native has made 20 three-pointers.
Flowers notched his 10th 20-point game of the season and has scored over 20 points in three of the last four contests. The sophomore guard was also a perfect 5-of-5 from the free-throw line and had a career-high four steals.
In his second career start freshman Patrick Emilien had a career-night, scoring a career-high 15 points while matching his career-high with nine rebounds. It’s the second straight game Emilien has posted nine rebounds. The Toronto, Canada native was 4-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 from long distance in 36 minutes played.
Over the past six games, Emilien is averaging 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Emilien has now scored in double figures five times this season and has had at least five rebounds in six contests.
For the ninth time this season senior Seth Dugan registered a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Dugan was 7-of-12 from the field and had a team-high four assists in 37 minutes played. It’s the second double-double in four games for Dugan and 14th game in which each has led the team in rebounds.
In conference play the Otsego, Mich., native is averaging 16.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Dugan has recorded four of his nine double-doubles during MAC play.
Fellow senior Josh Davis neared double-digits with nine points to go along with two rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal. Sophomore Kawanise Wilkins off the bench was 3-of-8 from the field with seven points and two rebounds in 19 minutes.
WMU committed 22 turnovers against the Falcons as BGSU capitalized scoring 21 points off of Bronco mistakes. It’s the second straight game the Broncos have committed at least 20 turnovers.
With the loss WMU drops to 0-9 in the MAC and 6-16 overall. The Broncos next game is on the road on Saturday, Feb. 9 at MAC West foe Ball State. Following it’s trip to Ball State, WMU returns with three home games in five days beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 12 against Northern Illinois.
It was a fast start for the Broncos as BGSU began the game with a three-pointer before WMU scored eight straight points to gain an 8-3 lead just two minutes into the game. The Broncos continued to hold the lead at 15-10 at the 12-minute mark as BGSU started the game just 2-of-11 from the field.
Midway through the first half BGSU embarked on a 20-4, making seven of its eight field goals to earn a double-digit lead at 30-20 with seven minutes remaining. BGSU ultimately went on a 24-4 run to earn its largest lead of the first half at 34-20 with five minutes to play.
The Broncos battled back to end the half, making their final three field goals to trail 43-36 at halftime. Prior to heading into the locker room, Wilkins knocked down a three-pointer with 4.1 seconds left to cut the deficit down to six.
Western Michigan made its first two shots to begin the second half to cut the deficit down to four before going scoreless the next three minutes as BGSU extended its lead back to double digits. During the first two minutes of the second half Emilien knocked down a three to cut the deficit to six before Flowers intercepted a pass and went the length of the court for the fast break lay-up.
With just under 10 minutes to play, Dugan corralled an offensive rebound and converted an and-one to cut the BGSU lead down to 57-52. The two teams traded baskets during a four-minute period as WMU made three straight field goals yet trailed 71-60 with 4:57 to play.
The Bronco offense was halted the next three minutes of play as BGSU extended its lead to 81-67 with 1:06 left. BGSU was held scoreless from the field the final three minutes of action but was 7-of-9 from the free-throw line down the stretch to earn the 85-72 victory.
BGSU improved its overall record to 16-6 and 8-1 in conference play. The Falcons had three players score in double figures and two earn double-doubles. BGSU was led by Antwon Lillard with 27 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.