WMU Suffers First Loss of the Season at South Carolina

By Published: 11/14/2017 7:13:11 AM Custom Tag

Courtesy: Western Michigan Athletics

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Western Michigan men's basketball had three score in double figures as the Broncos suffered their first loss of the season against 2017 Final Four participant South Carolina, 78-60 on Monday night.

In front of a crowd of over 12,000, senior guard Thomas Wilder put on a show collecting a game-high 23 points on 50 percent shooting from the field. Wilder also registered four assists with zero turnovers and grabbed six steals. In what was his 100th career game, the Montgomery, Ill., native eclipsed the 20-point mark for the 29th time while scoring in double figures for the 69th time.

Off the bench, junior Josh Davis recorded sixth career double digit performance with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field. Davis registered a career-high eight rebounds to lead the team and had three of the Broncos six blocks on the night.

Junior Bryce Moore reached double figures with 10 points with four points coming from the free-throw line. Sophomore Reggie Jones poured in seven points with four assists, two blocks and a steal. It's the second straight game, WMU has had at least three players score in double figures.

Defensively, the Broncos forced the Gamecocks to commit 14 turnovers to WMU's 11 and scored 13 points off those turnovers. The Broncos protected the rim
against South Carolina, blocking six shots compared to USC's three.

WMU will have a few days of rest before beginning play in the 11th annual Puerto Rico Tip-Off in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Thursday, Nov. 16 versus Tulsa at 8:00 p.m. The winner will play either Iowa State or Appalachian State the following night.

It was just a nine-point game at halftime as the Broncos shot 37 percent from the field and forced South Carolina to commit seven turnovers. Early in the half,
Bryce Moore knocked down a three in the corner to give WMU their first lead of the game at 8-5. South Carolina responded quickly with a 7-0 run in just under two minutes to regain the lead at the first media timeout.

Both teams went back and forth throughout the first half as WMU and USC were knotted up at 23-23 with seven minutes to play in the half. After a media timeout, South Carolina opened up their lead to double digits, embarking on a 12-0 run. The Broncos continued to battle back and closed the gap to single digits right before half as Wilder went coast-to-coast for the fast break lay-up to cut the USC lead to 38-29.

After trading baskets through the first five minutes of the second half, the Broncos once again cut the lead to single digits as WMU made three straight field goals. South Carolina increased its lead midway through the half after going on a 9-0 run to go up by as many as 17.

The Broncos went on a 6-0 run late in the game to cut the USC lead to 11 but the Gamecocks answered back with a 10-2 run and held the Broncos scoreless the final three minutes to secure the victory. The Gamecocks struck from beyond the three-point line in the second half, knocking down five threes'.

South Carolina outrebounded the Broncos, 46-32 and scored 24 points off the bench. The Gamecocks had four players reach double figures with guard Hassani Gravett leading the way with 15.

Published: 11/14/2017 7:13:11 AM Custom Tag