WMU trailed by as many as eight with 9:09 to go, but a pair of three pointers by junior Tucker Haymond helped the Broncos get back in the game.
Two free throws by sophomore guard Thomas Wilder with 1:33 remaining made the score 71-70 in WMU’s favor and put the Brown & Gold ahead for good. With 30 seconds left . . . ,
On Jacksonville’s next possession, WMU’s defense was able to eat seconds off the clock with fouls, as the team had three to give before sending the Dolphins into the bonus. With five seconds remaining, JU’s Darius Dawkins was finally sent to the line and made a pair of free throws.
On the ensuing WMU inbounds, LaMont was fouled and buried two free throws to seal the Bronco victory.
LaMont was in the starting lineup for the first time this season and had his best game of the year, producing 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal. He shot 6-for-8 from the field and 9-for-10 from the free throw line. One of his two blocks was a huge defensive stop and resulted in a WMU possession with just over a minute left to play.
Haymond tied Jacksonville’s Kori Babineuax for a game-high 24 points and had five rebounds and a season-high six assists. Haymond scored 15 of those points in the second half. Sophomore point guard Thomas Wilder also scored in double figures, totaling 18 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Western Michigan outrebounded Jacksonville 39-27, largely in part to the effort of senior Anthony Avery Jr., who finished with a career-high 14 rebounds, grabbing 10 of those in the second half. Avery also had six points and two assists.
Western Michigan and Jacksonville both shot right at 46 percent from the floor for the game. The Broncos however got to the free throw line 27 occasions and connected on 22 chances. Jacksonville was just 7-for-9 from the line.
The Broncos turned the ball over 15 times and forced the Dolphins into nine turnovers. WMU led by two at the half, 32-30.
The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for Western Michigan and improved the Broncos’ record to 6-7 on the season. The team is 5-1 at home.
Jacksonville’s record slipped to 7-9.
Western Michigan now turns it focus to Mid-American Conference play which begins Tuesday, Jan. 5. The Broncos host Kent State at home at 7 p.m. to kick off the conference schedule. WMU is at Akron three days later for its first MAC road game, taking on the Zips Friday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. That game will be aired on ESPNU.
(Courtesy of WMU Athletics)