Western Michigan men’s basketball (4-15, 3-11) had a tough time with Mid American Conference leader Toledo (19-6, 14-3) and was defeated handily, 91-44.
The 47-point defeat was the worst loss point wise for the season and the first 40+point loss since December of 2011 when WMU lost to Duke 110-70. It was the Broncos’ largest loss ever to a MAC opponent, and continues a rough season for a young Bronco team that is trying to find its chemistry as a team.
This game was over midway through the first half as WMU dug itself into a hole and could never recover. The Broncos’ offensive struggles from throughout the season continued, shooting 6-26 from the field and 1-11 from the three-point line. The defense that Western Michigan has been known for throughout the season was not able to slow down the Rockets, giving up 21-35 shooting from the field as well as 10 threes on 18 attempts. Western Michigan was down 54-16 at half with the game being well out of reach.
B.Artis White, the leading scorer for the Broncos this season, shot 0-6 in the first half with every shot coming behind the three-point line. Toledo had three players in double digits by half in Marreon Jackson, Spencer Littleson and Ryan Rollins.
The second half saw the poor defensive performance from the first half continue, with Toledo scoring baskets with ease while the Broncos were a step behind, playing a big role in the large deficit. The Broncos’ offense could not show either, as WMU had a 35-point deficit after the first media timeout at 65-30.
The offense improved as the second half went on and the Broncos started to show more fight even as the score was out of reach. It was not nearly enough as the Broncos were still outscored 37-28 in the second half.
The field goal percentage told the entire story for the Broncos, shooting 17-59 from the field and an abysmal 3-26 from three-point range, compared to 36-66 from the field for Toledo and 13-31 for three.
Greg Lee was the lone bright spot for the Broncos as he was the only Western Michigan player in double figures with 14 points on 6-14 shooting. White had a disappointing day only scoring 6 points on 2-12 from the field.
Toledo’s offense had no problems finding easy shots as five players ended the game in double figures with Jackson leading the Rockets with 22. Littleson finished with 17, Rollins had 16 and Keyshaun Saunders and JT Shumate both had 13 points to round out the double-digit scorers for the Rockets.
The loss eliminates the Broncos from contention for the MAC tournament, as WMU can no longer get to eighth place in the conference. Western Michigan heads back on the road to face off with Northern Illinois Tuesday at 7 p.m. The game will air on ESPN+.