Austin Richie snapped out of a short scoring funk with a team-high 21 points against the Bulls, going 5-of-8 from the field and 4-of-7 from three-point range. David Brown garnered 17 points and posted the team-highs in rebounds (9), assists (5), and steals (4).
Tucker Haymond and Connar Tava each recorded 12 points and combined for 12 rebounds between the two of them. Von Washington came off the bench for six points, while Taylor Perry contributed three points, two rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 16 minutes.
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Von Washington bumped the lead back up to seven points with three from the right side, firing the long bomb to make it 32-25. The Kalamazoo native added one more from the left side at the 1:08 mark, drilling a shot from in front of the Buffalo bench to give the Broncos a 35-25 lead. WMU maintained the edge, entering the locker room at halftime with a 37-29 advantage.
Richie started off the second half with an old-fashioned three-point play, rushing in from the left side for a lay-up through contact and making the ensuing free throw to make it 42-35. The senior point guard knocked down a three-pointer on his next trip down the floor, opening up a 10-point lead with 16:30 to play. Tucker Haymond then buried one from in front of the Bronco bench with 15:39 to go to make it 48-37 and cap a 9-0 run. He later tipped in an errant shot but the Broncos ahead by 12.
The Broncos kept the Bulls at arms’ length for much of the rest of the half, with Mario Matasovic sinking a pair of free throws at the 7:00 mark to make it 63-55. Tava added on during the next possession, taking a feed from Richie and spinning around Justin Moss to lay it in for a 10-point Bronco advantage. The run continued with a backdoor cut by Brown, with Tava bouncing a pass in on the run to make it 67-55. Haymond provided the Broncos with their biggest lead of the night by converting an and-one to make it a 15-point game. The sophomore wing player finished off the 11-run with a coast-to-coast rush down the court, laying it in to put the Broncos ahead 72-55 with 3:38 to go.
The Bulls scored seven of the next nine points to try and mount a comeback, but the Broncos held them at bay long enough to secure the win.
Western Michigan will host Ball State Wednesday (7 p.m. ET), while Buffalo entertains Northern Illinois (7 p.m. ET).
(Courtesy of WMU Athletics/MRO Edit)