The Broncos were led by the quartet of redshirt junior Brandon Johnson, junior Michael Flowers and . . .
Leading the way for WMU was the duo of White and Johnson who each poured in 18 points. White in his first career conference game was 4-of-10 from the field to go along with three three-pointers and a perfect 7-of-7 mark from the free-throw line. The Canton, Mich., native also recorded three rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Johnson matched White with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field with a team-high eight rebounds. The redshirt junior has scored in double figures in six of the last seven games and is averaging 14.2 points and 8.8 rebounds over the last five games.
In 28 minutes played Titus Wright collected a career-high 16 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field with five rebounds. Wright made the most of his opportunity at the free-throw line against Ohio going 8-of-9 and sinking his final seven free-throws.
After going scoreless through the first 20 minutes of action junior Michael Flowers exploded in the second half with 15 points while ranking second on the team with seven rebounds.
Flowers was 4-of-10 from the field and knocked down three from long distance. The Southfield, Mich., guard has now scored in double figures in 17 straight games dating back to last season.
Off the bench the Broncos got a solid performance from junior Rafael Cruz Jr., with four points and five rebounds in 22 minutes of action. Redshirt sophomore Jason Whitens also scored four points to go along with three rebounds and two assists.
As a team Western Michigan shot 42.6 percent from the field and connected on seven three-pointers while holding Ohio to just 33.8 percent from the field. Ohio outrebounded WMU, 42-38 while WMU dominated the paint outscoring the Bobcats 30-26. The Bronco defense forced Ohio to commit nine turnovers on the night with WMU scoring 15 points off those turnovers.
Western Michigan led for nearly 37 minutes against Ohio with the lead changing just four times. Ohio never led by more than two and held the lead just twice in the second half.
With the win the Broncos improve their overall record to 8-6 and 1-0 in MAC play. Securing its eighth victory in 14 games, WMU has matched is win total from a season ago. WMU hits the road for its next two games beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at Akron. The Broncos follow up their trip to Akron with a MAC West showdown at Toledo on Saturday, Jan. 11.
The Broncos got off to a fast start against the Bobcats, racing out to a 13-0 lead just five minutes into the ball game. However out of a timeout Ohio rallied with 11 straight points to cut the Bronco lead down to two with 11:30 remaining in the first half.
Midway through the first half both teams went a combined 1-for-14 from the field as WMU held on to a slim 15-14 lead with 8:25 to play. Ohio took its first lead of the game at the 7:25 mark after a lay-up from Sylvester Ogbonda before Wright split a pair of free-throws to even the game at 16 just 25 seconds later.
Western Michigan regained and extended its lead late in the first half thanks to Wright who scored six straight points to give the Brown & Gold a 29-22 advantage. Down the stretch Ohio made just one of its final nine field goals as WMU took a 33-24 lead into the locker room.
Ohio began the second half with five straight points to cut into the Bronco lead before back-to-back three-pointers from B. Artis White propelled the WMU lead back to double digits. During the first five minutes of the second half, both teams went a combined 9-of-11 from the field as WMU held a 39-29 advantage.
The Bobcats once again rallied back making five of their next seven field goals to cut the Bronco lead down to two at 53-51 with eight minutes remaining. Ohio tied the game at 53 after a dunk from Connor Murrell before Wright made two free-throws to propel WMU back in front.
With 5:27 remaining Ohio's Jordan Dartis converted an and-one to give the Bobcats their first lead since the 6:58 mark of the first half before Flowers knocked down back-to-back three's to surge the Broncos back in front.
Leading 69-63 with 1:03 to play, Cruz Jr. found Wright off an inbound play for a dunk to give the Broncos an eight-point advantage. On the ensuing possession, fellow freshman B. Artis White registered his lone steal of the game to halt the Ohio comeback.
During the final two minutes of play the Broncos made its final six free-throws to secure the 77-65 victory. The Bronco defense came through in the clutch as Ohio down the stretch went just 1-of-7 from the field and was held scoreless the final 2:45.