WMU Wins Thriller over Miami, 68-64

By Published: 2/7/2018 6:48:31 AM Custom Tag

Courtesy: Western Michigan Athletics

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – In a thrilling back and forth contest, Western Michigan men's basketball held Miami scoreless the final two minutes of play while making four of its final five shots to defeat the RedHawks, 68-64 inside University Arena on Tuesday night.

Miami had an opportunity at the end of the game as they trailed by two with 20 seconds left. After a missed free-throw by the Broncos, the RedHawks stormed down the court and shot a three-pointer that rattled in and out of the rim and into the hands of senior guard Thomas Wilder. Wilder was fouled and made both free-throws to secure the Bronco victory.

Western Michigan trailed by as many as seven at the midway point of the second half and trailed by six with four minutes to play. Down the stretch, the Broncos went on a 6-0 run and made four of their final five shots highlighted by a three-pointer by junior Josh Davis to give WMU its first lead since 19:47 of the second half.

The win improves WMU's overall record to 14-10 and 6-5 in Mid-American Conference play The Broncos continues their two-game homestand on Saturday, Feb. 10 versus Ohio at 4:30 p.m.
Leading the way for the Broncos was sophomore Reggie Jones with 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 35 minutes played. Jones went 7-of-13 from the field while knocking down three from long distance.

Davis was right behind Jones with 17 points, 12 of which came in the second half. Davis shot a staggering 60 percent (6-of-10) from the field while also corralling six rebounds. Wilder was the third Bronco to score in double figures with 12 points with eight coming in the first half.

Western Michigan shot 43.6 percent from the field compared to Miami's 46 percent and the RedHawks outrebounded the Broncos, 32-29. WMU forced Miami to commit 16 turnovers on the night resulting in 17 points for the Brown & Gold.

The Broncos held Miami guard Darrian Ringo to just six points and four assists while forcing five turnovers. Ringo ranks third in the NCAA in assists per game at 7.6. Sophomore Brandon Johnson missed Tuesday's contest due to illness, snapping his streak of 55 straight starts.

It was a back and forth battle in the first half as neither team led by more than five. WMU held a 28-23 lead with four minutes left in the first half thanks to back-to-back three-pointers by Davis and Jones. Miami countered with a 9-0 run to regain the lead with just under two minutes to play in the first half. The RedHawks made their final five field goals to take a narrow 38-36 lead into halftime.

Jones buried a three from deep to give WMU the lead to open up the half before the RedHawks made six of their next eight shots to take a seven-point lead with 10 minutes remaining. Western Michigan clawed its way back to make it a one-point game before two straight baskets and a technical foul gave Miami a six-point lead with four minutes remaining.

From that point on the Bronco offense came to life as WMU scored four straight fast break points to cut the lead back to one. After a Miami turnover, Davis drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key to give WMU its first lead since the 19:47 mark of the second half.

With under a minute left, Miami forced a three-pointer that missed the rim and fell out of bounds and gave possession back to the Broncos. After Jones made 1-of-2 from the free-throw line, Miami got off another three-pointer with 20 seconds left that rattled in and out of the rim. Wilder recorded his fourth rebound of the night and made both free-throws after being fouled to secure the 68-64 victory.

Published: 2/7/2018 6:48:31 AM Custom Tag