The Broncos (6-10, 2-2 MAC) have been . . .
"Tucker is a senior and he is playing like a senior," said WMU head coach Steve Hawkins. "There are so many other things he does away from the ball and defensively that make us so much better. There is a comfort level with him on the floor."
Junior Thomas Wilder and freshman Reggie Jones also took their turns being playmakers. Wilder's final stat line was 24 points, six assists, four rebounds, two steals and just one turnover. Jones had 15 points, eight assists, three rebounds and three steals.
Western Michigan led by 11 with 6:32 remaining in the contest and the Golden Flashes did everything they could to try to pull off a comeback. Kent State hit three 3-pointers over the next three minutes and cut WMU's lead to two with 4:43 left to play. Jones stopped the bleeding for WMU, stepping up to hit a three of his own that pushed WMU's lead back up to five, stunting Kent State's momentum.
Sophomore center Seth Dugan had a solid game in the post, battling against KSU First Team All-MAC selection Jimmy Hall. Dugan played 19 minutes and recorded 11 points and four rebounds.
"Seth is happy, he's upbeat and he is playing free and playing loose," Hawkins said. "He's been huge for us, great defensively. He and Drake (LaMont) both were really helping out on ball screens and staying between the guard and the basket.
"That is a talented team," Hawkins said referring to Kent State. "They shot the ball better tonight better than they normally shoot it. They had guys knocking down shots we had to make adjustments on."
Kent State only missed six shots in the second half and had a 62.3 field goal percentage for the game. The Golden Flashes were 13 for 17 at the free throw line.
Western Michigan shot 54 percent for the game and went 15 for 23 from the line. Both teams made nine 3-pointers.
Hall led the Flashes with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Jaylin Walker scored 15 points in the first half and finished with 17. Deon Edwin was 5-for-5 with three 3's for 16 points.
Kent State outrebounded WMU by two, 26-24, but the Broncos held a 10-4 advantage on the offensive glass. WMU was able to outscore KSU in second-chance points, 12-5.
WMU is on the road for its next two games, heading to Eastern Michigan Tuesday for a 7 p.m. tipoff against the Eagles. The Broncos take on Buffalo in New York on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Kent State will enjoy home cooking all week as it hosts Buffalo Tuesday and Toledo Saturday -- both with 7 p.m. starts.
(Courtesy of WMU Athletics)