Story courtesy of WMU Sports Information
Western Michigan 83, Cornell 70
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan men's basketball team capped a four-game homestand with another double-digit victory, as the Broncos defeated the Cornell Big Red 83-70 at University Arena on Friday. With the win, the Broncos improve to 5-2 overall on the season.
A pair of Broncos added double-doubles against the Big Red, with Connar Tava notching the first of his career with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Shayne Whittington recorded his third double-double of the season, posting 14 points and 12 rebounds. David Brown tied for the team-high with 16 points, and Austin Richie posted a season-high 15 points, largely thanks to an 11-of-13 night from the free throw line.
The Big Red lived and died by the three-pointer, going 16-of-41 from beyond the arc to account for 48 of their 70 points. The Broncos dominated down low, out-scoring Cornell 50-16 in the paint and 20-8 in second chance points, and capitalized on 15 turnovers from the Big Red to the tune of 25 points off turnovers.
The Broncos were on fire from the field in the first half, shooting 13-of-21 from the floor for a healthy 61.9 percent field goal percentage. The Big Red took a 9-5 lead with 16:44 to play in the half, but the Broncos took the advantage when Tava spun in the paint and made a lay-up with 14:04 remaining to give WMU a 13-12 lead. Brown taked on to the lead with an old-fashioned three-point play with 12:32 left, and Jared Klein bumped the lead to seven points when he hauled in a defensive rebound and jetted down the court for a fast-break lay-up to make it 22-15. The seven-point edge was the largest of the half for the Broncos, with Klein setting that advantage again at the 5:51 mark with a pull-up three-pointer to make it 30-23. Cornell's Nolan Cressler cut into the Bronco lead as the clock was running out, hitting a three-pointer with two seconds remaining to cut the Broncos' lead to 34-32 at the half.
Cornell took the lead to start the second with a three-pointer from Dwight Tarwater, and again at the 18:35 mark on a lay-up by Robert Hatter, but WMU took the lead for the rest of the game on a lay-up from Brown with 18:05 to play in regulation. Tucker Haymond exnapded the lead to six points with a fast break lay-up on a feed from Richie, but the Big Red recovered and generally kept the lead to two possessions for much of the second half. Brown helped to open things up, howver, scoring on a lay-up with 5:53 left to make it 67-59, and Tava tipped in a missed free throw from Richie at the 5:16 mark to put the Broncos ahead 70-59. From there, Cornell never seriously threatened for the rest of the game, and the Broncos iced the win by making 9-of-10 free throws in the last 1:30 to complete the 13-point win.