Brown’s 35 points came on 11-of-20 shooting from the field, including a 7-of-11 mark from three-point range; those seven three-pointers tie the University Arena record set three times since 2002, most recently in 2005. Tava and Austin Richie each recorded 16 points, while Tucker Haymond tallied 15 points. The Broncos shot 11-of-23 from three-point range as a team, including a sizzling 9-of-11 from long range in the second half.
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The Broncos tried to ice things away by going to Haymond in the second overtime. Haymond scored WMU’s first four points of the period, including a sweet 12-foot jumper from the baseline as the shot clock wound down to make it 93-91.
Ball State tied it at 93, but the Broncos got a key offensive rebound with 35.2 seconds remaining that allowed them to call timeout and regroup. Richie got a shot off through traffic with a few seconds remaining, and Tava finished the play with a one-handed tip-in with 0.1 seconds remaining for the win.
Ball State held the lead for a good portion of the first half, but Tava put the Broncos ahead 20-19 at the 7:40 mark with a pair of free throw makes. Brown added on to the advantage with an and-one on the next possession, making a lay-up through contact from Francis Kiapway and sinking the ensuing lay-up to make it 23-19.
With 5:40 to play in the first half, Haymond hit a drifting 18-footer on the fast break to stave off another Cardinal rally, but Kiapway knocked down a three-pointer from the right corner to put the Cardinals ahead at 27-25. Zavier Turner made one from the head of the key to bump it to 30-25 with 3:49 to go.
Turnovers helped the Broncos cut into the lead, however. Thomas Wilder picked off a pass by Jeremiah Davis intended for Turner and took it the length of the floor for a lay-up to make it 30-27, and on the next possession Brown went coast-to-coast to slice it to one.
Richie kept the advantage at that mark with a trey from the head of the key, coming off a screen for a shot to make it 33-32 with 1:20 to play in the half. The Cardinals built the lead back up to 39-32 entering the break as Turner made a runner with no time remaining on the clock to end the period.
The Cardinals opened the second half on a 7-0 run, notching three baskets just 94 seconds into the half to up the lead. Tava answered back with six unanswered points, including a reverse lay-up on the baseline at the 17:40 mark to make it 46-36 and a spinning jumper from the block to bring the deficit back to single digits. He also had the assist on Brown’s three pointer from the left wing to make it 48-41.
Brown drilled another from the same spot a few minutes later, knocking one down to make it 51-44. Haymond made it a two-possession ball game with a steal and a make at the 15:00 mark to make it 51-46, and Brown whipped up the crowd with a steal on the defensive end and a shock three on the other, drilling it from the left wing to make it 51-49.
Richie completed the comeback at 13:10 when he took a feed in the paint from Tava and laid it in, making it 51-all, but the Cardinals responded with four straight points to re-take the lead.
Brown continued to fire away, and eventually gave the Broncos a 57-55 lead with 10:30 remaining after Tava kicked out a pass from the post for an open three-pointer. Taylor Perry re-captured the lead for the Broncos at the 8:10 mark, making a triple from the left wing as the shot clock wound down to make it 60-57. Ball State tied it at 62 thanks to a three from Turner, but Brown knocked down a three-pointer over Davis to again make it a three-point game.
Brown continued his barrage with two more triples going into the final media timeout, including one to make it 71-66 with 3:43 left on the clock. The Cardinals came back to tie it at 71 after Matt Kamieniecki made one of two free throws at the line with 2:02 remaining, but Richie bombed a long-range shot on the other end in response and followed up by stealing a defensive rebound from the Cardinals on their ensuing possession. Haymond quashed another Cardinal rally by hauling in a defensive rebound with 21.8 seconds remaining, drawing contact and making both ends of the 1-and-1 to make it 76-71. Ball State scored five unanswered to tie the score at 76 with 4.9 seconds remaining, but Tava couldn’t convert on the shot attempt as time expired to send it to overtime.
(Courtesy of WMU Athletics)