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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, February 23, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: University Arena (5,421) -- Kalamazoo, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: Eastern Michigan 11-3, Western Michigan 11-2. Away Record: Eastern Michigan 4-8, Western Michigan 4-6. Neutral Record: Eastern Michigan 0-0, Western Michigan 2-0. Conference Record: Eastern Michigan 7-6, Western Michigan 10-3. Series Record: Western Michigan leads, 56-45.
GAME NOTES: The Western Michigan Broncos will try to lengthen a six-game win streak when they host their intrastate rival, the Eastern Michigan Eagles, in a Mid-American Conference showdown at University Arena.
Eastern Michigan has a three-game win streak snapped on Thursday night with a heartbreaking 61-59 double-overtime loss to Northern Illinois. The Eagles are slightly above the .500 mark in the conference standings at 7-6.
Western Michigan has been hot in conference play, winning six games in a row and eight of its last nine. The Broncos took down Ohio, 73-63, Wednesday night in conference action. WMU is tied with Toledo at 10-3 for the MAC West Division lead.
Western Michigan has a hold of the all-time series lead with Eastern Michigan, 56-45. The Eagles closed the gap a bit earlier this year, though, with a 56-37 victory on Jan. 14 over the Broncos.
Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois were neck and neck at the end of regulation, the end of the first overtime period and toward the end of the second overtime period Thursday night. But it was Northern Illinois that got a tip-in layup with .8 seconds left in the second overtime that lifted the Huskies to victory. Mike Talley scored 17 points to pace the Eagles in the loss, while Karrington Ward added 13 points, and Raven Lee scored 10. Da'Shonte Riley brought down a team-high 13 rebounds for EMU.
Ward leads the Eagles in scoring this season with a 12.8 ppg average on 44.3 percent shooting from the floor. Ward leads the team in rebounding with a 6.7 rpg mark, and has a team-best 40 steals on the year. Lee is second in scoring behind Ward with 10.8 ppg, and Talley is third at 10.3 ppg. Talley leads the team with 86 assists on the year and a 3.3 apg average.
Western Michigan took a six-point lead over Ohio in the team's last outing at the half, and continued to build on it in the second period, eventually registering the 10-point victory in MAC play. David Brown led all Western Michigan scorers with 23 points, connecting on 4-of-10 from 3-point distance in the contest. Connar Tava added 18 points and five assists, while Shayne Whittington tallied a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Austin Richie contributed another 10 points to the winning effort.
Brown continues to build on his impressive season for the Broncos and in the MAC. He leads the team this year with 18.6 ppg on 41.9 percent shooting from the field, adding a team-high 35 steals to his stat line. Whittington is second on the Broncos in scoring with 14.8 ppg and a team-best 8.7 rpg, throwing in a WMU high 27 blocked shots. Tava rounds out the double-digit scorers for Western Michigan, with 12.3 ppg.
It's hard to ignore Western Michigan's dominance in the conference recently. The Broncos have consistency in Brown, Whittington and Tava that will be a very hard trio for EMU to slow down in Kalamazoo.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Michigan 78, Eastern Michigan 70
02/23 10:20:57 ET