WESTERN MICHIGAN 90, HOUSTON CHRISTIAN 84
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands – Buffalo (1-3, 0-0 MAC) fell to the Missouri Valley Conference preseason favorite Drake Bulldogs (3-0, 0-0 MVC) by an 80-72 count on Friday afternoon.
The Bulls trailed early but then went on an 11-0 run to take the 13-9 lead. That would be their best run on the afternoon. There were six lead changes and five ties in the game. Buffalo's largest lead was nine and Drake's was eight.
LaQuill Hardnett had a career game against the Bulldogs. He led all players with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Both of which set new career-highs for the forward. He also drew seven fouls, which also was a game high. Zid Powell and Armoni Foster were Buffalo's two other scorers to reach double-figures. Powell scored 15 and went 5-for-8 from the floor. Foster scored 16 as seven points came from the free throw line.
Buffalo led for almost 29 minutes of the game. Heading into halftime, the Bulls led 40-33. Halfway through the second half, Buffalo still held a consistent seven-point lead, but the Bulldogs kept battling. Drake, a very disciplined team, only turned the ball over nine times. Drake was able to hit 8-of-19 from three-point range compared to the Bulls' 4-for-15.
With Buffalo up by five with 3:55 remaining in the game, Hardnett received a technical. Drake made both free throws and banged in a three to tie the game at 70. Drake outscored Buffalo 15-2 in the final four minutes of the game.
HOUSTON, OH – On the night when he went over 1,000 points for his collegiate career, Western Michigan senior guard Lamar Norman Jr. tallied a career-high 36points, 23 of which came in the second half, to help the Broncos begin the Owl Invitational with a 90-84 victory at Houston Christian on Friday night.
Norman's 36 points came on 10-of-16 shooting and a perfect 12-of-12 at the free throw line. The 12 free throw attempts and makes were both career highs for the senior. The 12-of-12 performance at the free throw line marked the 13th time in Western Michigan program history a player has been perfect from the free throw line on a minimum of 12 attempts.
Just past the midway point of the second half, Norman connected on a three-pointer to surpass the 1,000-point mark for his collegiate career. He finished the night with 1,011 points as a collegian, with 331 coming at Duquesne and 680 at WMU.
Three other players scored in double-figures for Western Michigan (2-2), with Seth Hubbard and Tafari Simms each contributing 13 points off of the Bronco bench, while Titus Wright picked up 11 points. JaVaughn Hannah chipped in nine points and led WMU with a career-high eight rebounds.
Trailing 39-33 with just under two minutes left until the break, the Broncos rattled off the final eight points of the period, capped by a Shemani Fuller dunk just before the clock expired, to take a 41-39 edge into the locker room.
The Huskies tallied six of the first eight points after halftime to regain a 47-43 edge. The two teams traded baskets for much of the opening 10 minutes of the second half, with Houston Christian maintaining a lead of between one and six points.
HCU held a 68-64 advantage entering the final 10 minutes. At the 9:36 mark, Norman buried a three-pointer to jumpstart a 9-2 run which put WMU back on top, 73-70, with 7:32 to play. Back-to-back Houston Christian baskets briefly gave the hosts' a one-point edge, 74-73, but an 8-2 spurt pushed the Broncos back into the lead, 81-76, with 5:44 on the clock.
Houston Christian drew to within two multiple times in the final minutes, including 86-84 with 34 seconds left. Two points was as close as the Huskies got however, as Norman iced the game from there for WMU with four more free throws.
Both teams were above 50 percent from the floor for the evening, with Western Michigan connecting on 31-of-54 (57.4 percent), of its field goal attempts, while HCU made 31-of-59 (52.5 percent) from the field. The Broncos were especially hot in the second half, hitting 15-of-23 (65.2 percent) in the second half, including 6-of-7 three-point attempts. WMU also converted 20-of-22 (90.9 percent) at the free throw line.
For the third time in its first four games, Western Michigan had the advantage on the glass, as the Broncos outrebounded the Huskies, 34-24.