KALAMAZOO, Mich -- The Mid-American Conference’s hottest team rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to win as Western Michigan fought off a Miami RedHawks challenge 61-57 in MAC tournament action Monday at University Arena.
It was the ninth straight victory for the No. 5 seeded Broncos, who moved to 16-15 (11-7 MAC) on the campaign. They will meet No. 2 seed Ohio at 6:30 p.m. ET Thursday in a quarterfinal matchup.
Miami, playing under . . .
Tucker Hamond led WMU with 16 points, including a 6 of 8 performance at the free throw line, where Western Michigan connected on 14 of 23 tosses. While that was just 60.9 percent, the 14 made throws nearly tripled Miami’s total from the line. The RedHawks made 5 of 8 charity toss attempts.
Joining Haymond in double figures for WMU were Thomas Wilder (15), Reggie Jones (13 off the bench) and Bryce Moore (11). Wilder, a junior guard who was named to the All-MAC First Team earlier in the day, came up one short of a double double after pulling down nine rebounds. The Broncos out-rebounded Miami 40-29.
Abdoulaye Harouna led Miami with 15 points, followed by Michael Weathers (14) and Logan McLane (10).
A quick basket by Michael Weathers to start the second half gave Miami a nine point lead at 37-28. The Broncos, however, went on a 12-2 run.
The lead then went back and forth until Jones hit a floater in traffic with 8:45 left. That put the home team up 50-49. Wilder nailed a triple from the corner and Haymond added a layup off the break to give Western some room.
Miami pulled within three a couple times before Michael Weathers scored on a layup to make it 63-61 with four seconds left. Jones, who had missed a pair of free throws on WMU’s previous possession, sealed the Broncos win by knocking down two tosses with four seconds left to close scoring.