The Broncos took advantage of OU’s 20 turnovers, converting them into 15 points. WMU, meanwhile, committed . . .
WMU has now won back-to-back contests and four of the last five to improve its overall record to 15-10 and 7-5 in Mid-American Conference play. Ohio lost its fifth game in the last six outings, falling to 10-14 overall, 3-9 MAC.
Freshman Teyvion Kirk led four Bobcats in double figures with 14 points. Gavin Block and Jordan Dartis tallied 13 apiece, while Mike Laster added a dozen markers.
It was a balanced offensive attack for Western. Senior guard Thomas Wilder led the way with 19 points. Wilder was 50 percent (7-of-14) from the field while recording six rebounds and six assists. The Montgomery, Ill., native exploded in the second half, scoring 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor.
Meanwhile, the sophomore duo of Reggie Jones and Brandon Johnson each reached double figures, with Jones recording 13 points off the bench while Johnson collected 10. Junior Josh Davis scored five of his seven points in the first half to go along with six rebounds.
On the boards, WMU narrowly out-rebounded Ohio, 41-39 as Davis, Wilder, Johnson and junior Seth Dugan each corralled six rebounds.
As a team, the Broncos shot 37.9 percent from the field compared to Ohio’s, 43.4 percent. However, WMU’s offense came to life in the second half, shooting 48.3 percent from the field compared to 29.7 percent in the first stanza.
From long distance the Broncos connected on six three-pointers and went 13-of-21 from the free-throw line. WMU scored 32 of its 69 points in the paint and made the most of another opportunity with 13 second chance points to Ohio’s six.
Ohio had four players score in double figures with Teyvion Kirk leading the way with 14 points. Jordan Dartis and Gavin Block each had 13 points while Mike Laster rounded out the double digit scoring with 12 points for the Bobcats.
In the first half, both teams started a combined 2-of-14 from the floor and the Bobcats led just 3-2 through the first five minutes of play. Ohio kicked it in after the first media break, racing out to its largest lead of the game – five points -- with 10 minutes left in the first half.
After tying the game at 16-16 with five minutes remaining, WMU embarked on a 9-0 run. Four of the points came from Jones. During the final two minutes of play, WMU held Ohio scoreless from the field and the Broncos took a 26-21 lead into halftime despite shooting just 29.7 percent.
Wilder began the second half with a bang, scoring eight straight points to give WMU its first double-digit lead of the game. However, Ohio rallied back, making seven of its next nine shots to take a one-point lead with five minutes remaining.
Western Michigan countered with a 9-0 run to regain the upper hand and never looked back as the Broncos made four of their final five shots to secure the 69-60 victory. Ohio made just two field goals during the final four minutes of play,
The Broncos are on the road for three of the next four beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at Bowling Green.
(Courtesy of WMU Athletics)