Opening week in college basketball continues Thursday night as the Western Michigan Broncos women's basketball team begins their regular season after their 91-46 exhibition win against Grace Christian.
A season ago the Broncos finished with an 18-5 record, finishing third in the MAC West. After receiving the No. 6 seed in the MAC Tournament the Broncos knocked off the No. 3 seed Ball State Cardinals before losing in the semifinals to No. 2 seed Buffalo.
Two key pieces that will be missing due to medical redshirt are Jordan Walker and Breanna Mobley. in 2018-19 Mobley was named to the MAC Honorable Mention Team after leading the Broncos in scoring, averaging 16.3 points and 8.3 rebounds.
Walker, who was named Michigan Miss Basketball her senior year at Mona Shores averaged 7.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game during her freshman campaign for the Broncos.
Senior guard Deja Wimby looks to be the main means of compensation for her injured teammates. Wimby averaged 11.4 points, 6.2 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game her junior year.
Redshirt senior Jasmyn Walker makes her return after averaging 8.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists through 20 games before being sidelined with a season-ending knee injury.
The injuries to Mobley and Jordan Walker will take experience out of the Broncos who were picked to finish last in the MAC-West Preseason Poll, but the silver lining could be the extra playing time given to the young players and newcomers.
Guard Jacinta Gibson and Maddie Watters as well as forward Maxine Moore look to make their freshman debut's for Shane Clipfell's team.
The Broncos matchup on Thursday will be the sixth all time between Purdue Fort Wayne and Western Michigan. Purdue Fort Wayne finished 4-24 overall and 1-13 in the Summit League, finishing at the bottom of the league standings.
Listen to Thursday's game at 8 p.m. on WQLR 1160 AM or watch on ESPN+.