Brown was 3-of-5 from three-point range in the second half to help hold off the Tigers late in the period. His three-pointer from the right wing made it a nine-point game with 6:35 remaining, putting the Broncos ahead 66-57. The sixth-year senior later quelled another Tiger rally with a triple at the 2:25 mark to make it 73-68. Brown was good for one more dagger, draining one from the corner with 1:40 remaining to give WMU a 76-70 advantage.
With a lead firmly in hand, the Broncos broke Pacific’s press and put the ball in the hands of Austin Richie. One of the team’s best clutch free throw shooters, Richie went 4-of-4 at the charity stripe in the final 30 seconds to seal the 80-72 win over the Tigers.
The Broncos had an excellent shooting night against the Tigers, going 28-of-50 from the field for a 56.0 field goal percentage. The majority of those easy points came as a result of forcing turnovers; WMU pressured Pacific into 20 turnovers and turned them into 33 points, compared to just 12 points off turnovers for the Tigers. The Broncos had 21 assists on their 28 made baskets, marking the fourth-highest single-game assist total in program history.
A key point of the game came late in the second half after the Tigers pulled to within four points thanks to a three-pointer by Dulani Robinson at the 8:57 mark. Tava hit a running hook shot with his right hand to up the lead to 58-52, but Robinson struck again with a three-pointer to make it 60-57 with 7:23 remaining. Richie buried a trey from the deep left corner on the next possession to make it 63-57, and Brown followed it up with another on the fast break to give his team a nine-point edge.
Pacific tied it with a 9-0 run of its own, capping the rally with a pair of free throw makes by TJ Wallace to knot it up at 66. Tava drew a foul from Lampkin on a lay-up attempt and made both tosses to re-take the lead. The advantage stayed at two points with 3:06 to go in the half.
It seemed as if the Tigers were going to re-take the lead when Wallace pulled down a rebound on an errant three-pointer by the Broncos, but the tables turned thanks to a defensive play by Brown. He rushed to a spot in the paint and drew a charge from Wallace to force a Pacific turnover with 2:44 to play. Just 19 seconds later, Brown drilled a three-pointer to make it 73-68, and the result was decided.
WMU trailed in the game for all of 43 seconds, with David Taylor completing an old-fashioned three-point play on the Tigers’ first possession to make it 3-1. Brown made his first triple of the night on the next possession to make it 4-3 at the 18:51 mark of the first half, and Tava capped an 8-3 run for the Broncos with a jumper off the glass at the 16:36 mark.
Wilder contributed all eight of his points in the first half, giving the Broncos their second-largest lead of the period with 12:43 to play with a spinning jumper in the paint to make it 16-9. AJ Avery produced the largest lead of the period for WMU with 6:36 to go in the half, connecting on a baseline 15-foot jumper to make it 27-19.
(Courtesy of WMU Athletics/MRO Edit)