The game remained close for the first 25 minutes of play, but the Eastern Michigan (12-6, 4-1 MAC) caught fire in the second half to hold off the Broncos (6-11, 2-3 MAC).
EMU used an oustanding . . .
Sophomore James Thompson IV had his finest game of the season, going 10-of-12 from the floor, scoring a season-high 26 points and pulling down 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season.
Senior Ty Toney had another solid game, scoring 16 points, while senior Willie Mangum IV scored 15, including a pair of big three-pointers.
Sophomore Baylee Steele also finished in double digits, chipping in 11 points and snagging five rebounds.
Thomas Wilder paced WMU with 26 points and seven assists. He hit 7 of 12 from the field, including 3 of 7 treys and went 9 of 10 at the line. That accounted for all but two of the Broncos 11 made free throws.
Also reaching double figures were Reggie Jones (17 points), Tucker Haymond (11 points, 7 rebounds) and Brandon Johnson (10 points).
Overall, WMU hit 51.9 percent (28 of 54) from the field and 50 percent (13 of 26) beyond the arc. However, the visitors got to the line for just 14 shots and made 10. Eastern Michigan converted 23 of 30 charity tosses.
Western jumped out to an early 9-2 lead before EMU regrouped to run off eight straight points for its first lead of the game.
The lead fluctuated several times and WMU enjoyed the biggest advantage -- seven points -- on several occasions.It was a 33-28 Broncos lead at the break.
Eastern Michigan chipped away in the second stanza, finally catching WMU at 42-all following a pair of free throws by Toney. Each team then enjoyed a small lead until they were again tied at 47-47 with 13:40 remaining.
Mangum hit a pair of treys to put EMU in front by six, and the hosts never trailed again. The lead was twice as high as 10 points but never dropped below five the rest of the way.
Eastern Michigan will next head to Akron for a matchup with the Zips, Friday, Jan. 20. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. inside James A. Rhodes Arena.
Western Michigan will be at Buffalo Saturday (2:30 p.m. ET).