Western Michigan (12-7) at Miami-Ohio (7-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 30, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Millett Hall (6,400) -- Oxford, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: WMU 6-1, Miami 5-4. Away Record: WMU 4-6, Miami 2-7. Neutral Record: WMU 2-0, Miami 0-0. Conference Record: WMU 4-2, Miami 2-4. Series Record: Miami-Ohio leads, 81-39.
GAME NOTES: The Western Michigan Broncos look to make it five in a row as they visit Millett Hall for Mid-American Conference action with the Miami-Ohio RedHawks.
This marks the 121st meeting in the all-time series between Western Michigan and Miami. The RedHawks own an 81-39 lead in the series and are 51-6 when facing the Broncos in Oxford. The RedHawks however, have lost the last two meetings against Western Michigan, including a 73-68 overtime loss in Oxford on Jan. 29, 2011.
Western Michigan began a two-game road trip on Saturday with a 76-59 rout of Central Michigan, which gave the team its first four-game winning streak since taking six straight games at the end of November. The Broncos are now 12-7 overall, including a 4-2 mark against MAC opponents. However, when it has gone on the road Western Michigan has managed just four wins in 10 tries. The Broncos return home to tip-off the February portion of their schedule against Buffalo next.
WMU dominated on both ends of the court to blow past the Chippewas. The Broncos converted 23-of-50 from the floor (46.0 percent) and limited CMU to 14-of-47 shooting (29.8 percent). They also held a sizeable, 42-27 edge in the rebounding battle and made 22-of-29 at the charity stripe en route to the decision. Shayne Whittington paced WMU with 20 points while David Brown provided 13 points off the bench. The center leads WMU with 11.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per tilt, but he is not the only steady contributor. Nate Hutcheson (11.3 ppg), Darius Paul (10.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Brown (9.3 ppg), and Brandon Pokley (9.3 ppg) have all made significant contributions to the team's recent wave of success. The Broncos are sixth in the MAC in scoring offense (66.5 ppg) and second in scoring defense (62.1).
The RedHawks suffered their third consecutive loss over the weekend as they fell, 82-62, to Ball State to drop to a dismal 2-4 MAC record. Coach John Cooper's unit held the lead for the opening half of the contest, but the Cardinals stormed out of the break to win the final 20 minutes by 15 points. Miami trailed by as many as 22 in the contest and finished just 6-of-21 from beyond the arc. Will Felder led the team with 14 points, but Ball State shot 57.7 percent from the floor (30 of 52) for the game, while holding the RedHawks to 44.2 percent (23 of 52).
Miami is averaging 5.4 points less than its opposition this season. The RedHawks are one of the most generous teams in the MAC, allowing 70.3 ppg on 47.8 percent shooting from the field. Allen Roberts is an all-conference caliber guard, leading Miami with 12.6 points per game. Felder (11.6 ppg) and freshman guard Reggie Johnson (9.0 ppg) are both capable of filling it up on occasion as well.
Despite the homecourt edge, Miami is going to have trouble containing the stampeding Broncos. WMU should be able to dominate the interior with Hutcheson and Whittington, as the RedHawks lack a consistent force on the glass. Roberts will need to have a spectacular performance to give the hosts a chance.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Michigan 71, Miami-Ohio 60
01/30 10:34:51 ET