The Broncos lost a heartbreaker to the Eastern Michigan Eagles on Sunday afternoon by a score of 67-62.
The game started slow at first, with both teams playing excellent defense to start the contest. Taylor Williams was the only Bronco to score in the first few minutes of the game, with the score being tied at 2-2 with 5:49 left in the first.
Shortly after, fifth year senior Reilly Jacobson hit a slick layup with 4:52 on the clock to give Western Michigan it’s first lead of the game at 4-2. A huge focal point for the team this game was getting baskets around the rim and this was just one of many.
At the end of the first quarter, WMU led the game, 12-10, with Williams leading the charge. She had six of the Broncos’ 12 points and was locking down EMU on the other end of the floor.
In the second quarter, The Broncos started to come alive. WMU increased its place of play, and after freshman Hannah Spitzley hit a smooth layup off the glass WMU had extended its lead to 26-21 with 3:12 remaining in the second.
Just a few minutes later, The Broncos extended the lead to 9 with a nice jumper from Sydney Shafer. Sensing their grip on the game loosening, the Eagles began to press with about 50 seconds left on the clock. WMU missed a shot on its final possession and the teams went into halftime with a score of 35-27, with Western Michigan in the lead.
Going into the second half, EMU switched up its scheme, playing the Broncos tough with a 3-2 zone defense. It worked, and with 8 minutes left in the 3rd the Eagles had chipped away the lead to just 5.
After 4 consecutive turnovers from the Broncos and no offensive production, they found themselves knotted up with the Eagles at 40 points apiece with 3:55 remaining in the quarter.
Shafer hit a deep three to give the Broncos a 2 point lead with only a few seconds remaining in the 3rd, but WMU soon committed a foul. EMU hit both free throws, and the two teams once again found themselves tied up going into the last period at 46-46.
The teams went back and forth for much of the final quarter, until Areanna Combs hit a huge 3-point shot to put the Eagles up 3 with 1:34 remaining. Shafer then turned the ball over on the offensive end, seemingly making it impossible for the Broncos to make a comeback.
Combs was fouled with 22.5 seconds left to go in the contest and made 1 of 2 free throws, and Jacobson came up big with a heavily contested 3 to make it a 1 point game. EMU hit its free throws after an intentional foul and Shafer was long on the potential game tying 3, and it was EMU’s game after that.
Shafer ended up leading the Broncos in the valiant effort, putting up a career high 26 points. Williams trailed close behind with 20 of her own. EMU’s Combs had a spectacular performance, leading her team with 26 points and getting her team the win.
The Broncos will now drop to 1-6 on the season, losing its last six games. The Broncos travel to Toledo this Wednesday at 5:30, airing on ESPN+.