WMU has now . . .
If the MAC Tournament started today, Western Michigan would be the No. 4 seed. Depending on the outcomes in the league on Friday the Broncos could move up to as high as the No. 2 seed.
"This one is sweet," said WMU head coach Steve Hawkins. "Playing on the road is so difficult, and I thought Northern had a great game plan. They really wanted to take the ball out of Thomas' hands. We had enough guys away from the ball really step up and make shots."
The Broncos had eight players contribute scoring against the Huskies. Senior Tucker Haymond led the way with 15 points, six rebounds and three assists. Junior Thomas Wilder had 13 points, five assists and four rebounds. Freshman Reggie Jones shot 4-for-5 from behind the arc for 12 points.
Freshman post Brandon Johnson and sophomore center Seth Dugan had each had a big first half. Johnson had nine points and five rebounds while Dugan totaled seven points and two boards.
The Broncos closed out the first half with a 13-4 run to lead by 10 at the break, 39-29. WMU went through a five-minute scoring drought at the beginning of the second half. That let the Huskies pull within two, 41-39. Wilder broke the drought with a layup and Bryce Moore hit a big 3-pointer to help restart the Bronco offense.
A pair of three's by Jones and another triple by Jarrin Randall helped Western Michigan build its lead back to double digits. Haymond and Wilder took over in the final seven minutes, combining to score WMU's final 13 points.
"Two things that were really big for us was holding them to 39 percent shooting and then out-rebounding them 38-31, which is really hard to come by at Northern Illinois. We had too many turnovers, but had the answer defensively and offensively to keep them at arms distance in the second half." Hawkins said.
Western Michigan shot 46.4 percent for the game and made nine 3-pointers. The Broncos dished out 19 assists on their 26 total field goals.
Central Michigan was led by Braylon Rayson’s 27 points. Marcus Keene tallied 21, but no other Chippewa player reached double figures. Forward Cecil Williams recorded nine points with five rebounds.