KALAMAZOO, Michigan -- In front of 3,869 fans at University Arena, the Western Michigan Broncos won 92-85 over the Central Michigan Chippewas.
Leading the way for Western Michigan was Thomas Wilder, who made 26 points, seven assists and four rebounds on 10-of-16 shooting from the field. Wilder and Drake LaMont scored on back-to-back plays, while Tucker Haymond and Anthony Avery combined for three free throws to give the Broncos a 87-77 lead late in the game. The big time shots put the game out of reach for Central Michigan.
Haymond scored 19 points with four assists and seven boards, while LaMont chipped in 19 points, five boards and a single assist. The duo turned things up a notch in the second half to pull away from Central Michigan and get the victory.
At the half, the Chippewas (14-13, 7-7 MAC) owned a 44-40 lead as the Broncos played were just trying to catch up with the offense of Central Michigan.
Wilder cashed in on a three-point jumper for the Broncos (11-16, 5-9 MAC) with just over 16 minutes to play in the second half to give Western Michigan the lead. The Broncos and Chippewas went back-and-forth, but Western Michigan never fell behind after the triple from Wilder. As a matter of fact, Western Michigan outscored Central Michigan 52-41 in the second half to prevail.
Leading the way for Central Michigan was 6-foot-1 senior Chris Fowler with 22 points, five assists and five rebounds. Braylon Rayson, a junior guard, connected on 6-of-14 shots to tally 18 points. Off the bench, forward DaRohn Scott picked up six rebounds and 10 points for the Chippewas in the loss.
A key for the Western Michigan win was their accuracy from the free throw line. The Broncos connected on 15-of-21 attempts from the charity stripe. Central Michigan shot 47 percent from the field, which includes the poor 42 percent shooting from downtown.
On Tuesday at 7:00 PM ET, Central Michigan will battle the Northern Illinois Huskies. Meanwhile, Western Michigan will go on the road to play the Eastern Michigan Eagles on the same date at the same time.