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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 13, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stroh Center (4,280) -- Bowling Green, Ohio. Television: BCSN. Home Record: WMU 8-1, BGSU 7-3. Away Record: WMU 5-7, BGSU 1-9. Neutral Record: WMU 2-0, BGSU 1-2. Conference Record: WMU 7-3, BGSU 4-6. Series Record: Bowling Green leads, 67-45.
GAME NOTES: The Western Michigan Broncos look to bounce back as they close out their two-game road trip at the Stroh Center with a Mid-American Conference bout against the Bowling Green Falcons.
BGSU is 67-45 all-time against Western Michigan, including a 72-48 road victory a year ago. The Broncos though, won in Anderson Arena in 2010-11 and the Falcons have not beaten Western Michigan in Bowling Green since the 2008-09 season.
The Broncos had a seven-game winning streak end on Saturday as they dropped a 65-62 decision at Ball State in a shocker. The loss dropped WMU to a 15-8 overall record and placed it in a tie for first-place in the West Division standings with Toledo, which is also 7-3 in MAC action. The Broncos are averaging 25.3 points per game from their bench in conference play, and are outscoring opponents by an average of 11.9 points per game. Coach Steve Hawkins runs his offense through junior center Shayne Whittington, who posts team- leading marks of 12.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per contest. Whittington needs just five points to reach the 1,000-point milestone for his career.
In the loss to Ball State, Darius Paul recorded a double-double for Western Michigan with 13 points and 11 rebounds. David Brown also tallied 13 points to go with three steals while Nate Hutcheson added 12 points and eight rebounds. Whittington came close to a double-double of his own in the contest with 12 points and eight boards. Defensively, WMU allowed the Cardinals to hit on 51.1 percent of their field goal tries while it managed to make only 43.8 percent of its own attempts. Despite the rare loss to a league foe, the Broncos still own the fifth best scoring offense with 67.4 ppg in the MAC. They are also fourth in scoring defense with only 63.0 points allowed per tilt.
Bowling Green had its brief two-game winning streak snapped over the weekend with a 72-63 loss to Ohio in Athens. The setback put the Falcons at 9-14 overall and dropped their record in away games to 1-9. BGSU now returns home where it owns a 7-3 record for this one. Against the Bobcats, A'uston Calhoun finished with a game-high 19 points and added eight rebounds. Senior point guard Jordon Crawford had 17 points, four rebounds and four assists.
The Falcons rely heavily on the one-two punch of the 5-foot-6 Crawford and Calhoun, who leads the team in both scoring (15.7) and rebounding (7.8). Crawford's lightning quick first step has helped him run the show for BGSU as he scored 15.5 ppg, deals out 4.3 assists and records 1.9 steals per contest. Richaun Holmes rejects 2.5 shots per tilt to make an impact in the paint as well. Bowling Green is one of the better defensive teams in the MAC, limiting their opposition to 62.7 ppg. However, it is only 10th in scoring at a mere 61.8 ppg.
WMU will need to get back on track against a dangerous Falcons squad. BGSU has the ability to play with anybody when Crawford is being efficient and productive. However, the Broncos' interior play and equally strong defensive capabilities should be enough to push them back in the right direction.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Michigan 68, Bowling Green 63
02/13 10:32:35 ET
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