Western Michigan men’s basketball was dominated by Kent State in the M.A.C. Center, losing 80-54.
The Golden Flashes started the game off strong, going on a 7-0 run, but Broncos point guard B.Artis White helped the team go on an 11-0 run by knocking down a jumper to put them on the board and getting an assist to Jason Whitens.
About midway through the first half, the Broncos switched to a 3-2 zone defense which slowed down the Kent State offense and helped them extend their lead to 20-13. Western Michigan continued this zone defense for the rest of the game.
With 5:36 left in the first half, a technical foul was called on Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff. White knocked down two free-throws as a result of the technical to extend the lead to 22-13 and would be WMU's largest lead of the game. Kent State then went on a 14-5 run after the technical foul.
With seconds left before halftime, Kent State forward Justyn Hamilton scored a buzzer-beater put-back, but a foul was ruled on the floor by B.Artis White, which kept the basket from counting, keeping the game tied at 27 going into the half.
At the half, the shooting percentages between both teams were very similar. The Broncos shot 11-28(39.3%) from the field and the Golden Flashes shot 11-29(37.9%).
The second half started out back-and-forth as Kent State had a 41-38 lead with 12:19 left in the game, until the Golden Flashes went on an 11-2 run to extend its lead to double-digits. It was all Kent State from there.
The run would continue as Kent State was leading by 31 points with 2:07 left in the game, 80-49, putting the game out of reach.
Kent State full court pressed the Broncos a bit in the second half, which led to WMU having 17 turnovers for the game.
The Golden Flashes were led by senior guard Mike Nuga. Nuga scored 26 points and had five rebounds in the 35 minutes that he played. He was a crucial player in the game and dominated the Broncos defense.
Another key player for Kent State was sophomore guard Giovanni Santiago. Santiago had 13 points and three assists in the 28 minutes he played. Santiago shot 60% from behind the arc (3-5).
Despite the loss, Western Michigan still got strong performances from its starters. White led the team in scoring today with 12 points, making it his sixth straight game scoring in double digits. White had four rebounds and one assist to his stat sheet as well. Forward Greg Lee had a solid performance as well, scoring nine points and four rebounds. Whitens also contributed with eight points and four rebounds.
This loss puts the Broncos at a 2-7 record on the year and a 1-3 conference record. Western Michigan returns to Kalamazoo on Tuesday to continue conference play, taking on the Buffalo Bulls. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN+.