Western Michigan (16-8) at Ohio University (18-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 19, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (13,080) -- Athens, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Western Michigan 11-2, Ohio 11-3. Away Record: Western Michigan 3-6, Ohio 7-4. Neutral Record: Western Michigan 2-0, Ohio 0-0. Conference Record: Western Michigan 9-3, Ohio 8-4. Series Record: Ohio leads, 65-60.
GAME NOTES: The Western Michigan Broncos have been on a push toward the end of this season, and have won five consecutive games. They'll look to continue that streak as they travel to face the Ohio Bobcats in Mid-American Conference action at the Convocation Center.
Western Michigan has won five in a row and seven of its last eight games. The Broncos defeated Miami-Ohio, 68-57, on Saturday to improve to 9-3 in the MAC - tied for first place in the West Division with Toledo.
Ohio has won two of its last three games overall, and five of its last seven contests. That includes a narrow 73-70 victory over Buffalo in conference play on Saturday. Ohio is 8-4 in the East Division, tied for second with Buffalo and a game behind Akron.
The Bobcats hold a slim all-time series lead over Western Michigan, 65-60. However, the Broncos took a 90-74 decision in Kalamazoo back on Feb. 5.
Western Michigan turned in a solid all-around performance against Miami-Ohio Saturday, forcing 19 RedHawks turnovers and getting solid scoring contributions from multiple outlets in the contest. Austin Richie turned in a team-high 20 points for the Broncos, hitting 4-of-7 from the floor and connecting on 10-of-12 from the free-throw line. Shayne Whittington turned in a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, adding four blocked shots. David Brown tallied 11 points, including nine from the free-throw line, and 10 from Connar Tava.
Brown has turned in a solid season so far for the MAC West Division-leading Broncos, netting 18.4 ppg on 41.6 percent shooting from the floor. His 33 steals is also a team high. Whittington checks in at second on the squad in scoring with 15 ppg, and a team-best 8.6 rpg with 27 blocked shots. Tava comes in at third in scoring with a 12 ppg average and another team-high 2.9 apg.
Ohio had to make a late run if the team wanted to defeat Buffalo on Saturday, and the Bobcats did just that. Trailing by 10 points with under 10 minutes to play, Ohio chipped away at the lead until the Bobcats were able to secure the lead and complete the comeback. Maurice Ndour and Nick Kellogg each netted 17 points, with Ndour registering five blocked shots. The Bobcats connected on 48.2 percent of their shots in the win.
Kellogg and Ndour are the two top scorers for Ohio this season, each netting 15.3 ppg for the Bobcats through 25 games played. Ndour tops the squad with 7.5 rpg and is tied for the lead in blocked shots, recording 48 on the year. Kellogg is second on the team in assists with 72, and has made 60 3-point attempts this season.
Like the Akron-Buffalo matchup, this is one of the more intriguing clashes between MAC powers this season. The Broncos already have a head-to-head win over Ohio this season, but now must travel to Athens. The Bobcats own an 11-3 record at home, but this may be the toughest matchup they've had this season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Michigan 75, Ohio 72
02/19 10:43:14 ET