Western Michigan men’s basketball fell to Saginaw Valley State 80-63 Thursday.
Lamar Norman Jr. led the way for the Broncos with 25 points shooting 7-12 from beyond the arc. Josiah Freeman posted 14 points going 4-5 from three. Adrian Martin led the Broncos with 5 assists. Delano Smith was the leading scorer for the Cardinals with 23 points on 7-13 shooting. The Cardinals scored 18 points off 15 Bronco turnovers. The Broncos shot 43.1% to the Cardinals' 50% in the contest.
“Obviously Saginaw Valley played very well tonight,” head coach Clayton Bates said. “They were much more physical than we were. They were tougher than we were. We did not handle contact on the post or the perimeter. We just did not do a very good job of that.”
The Broncos jumped out to a 6-2 lead, winning the tip off and converting its first three field goal attempts. After a 9-9 tie through the first six minutes, the Cardinals went on a 16-5 run to take an 11-point lead. The Broncos had 11 turnovers in the first half and trailed at halftime 36-30.
After trailing by 13 early in the second half, the Broncos sparked a 17-4 run to tie the game at 47 on a three from Norman. SVSU closed out the game on a 33-16 run to put the Broncos away.
“(Norman) can really shoot the basketball,” Bates said. “All of our team needs to buy into things other than scoring the basketball. I’m thrilled that Lamar is here. He’s going to have a really good career here.”
The Cardinals held the Broncos to 39.3% shooting in the second half and let up 16 points in the final 14 minutes.
“They were more ready to play,” Bates said. “This was a really tough lesson on what it's going to take to be a really good team. We have a long way to go. Winning and losing takes care of itself in a lot of ways. I’m more interested in how we compete. Winning and losing is a product of what you do, day in and day out.”
WMU next travels to Iowa for a matchup on Big Ten Network at 8:30 p.m. Monday.