WMU Men's Basketball Lamar Norman Jr.

Lamar Norman Jr. scored 26 points for the Broncos in a losing effort Saturday.

Western Michigan men’s basketball battled reigning MAC Champion Ohio at University Arena Saturday, falling 59-47.

It was the first time this season that the Broncos held a Division-I opponent below 70 points, but shooting just 32.7% from the field held WMU back from being able to take advantage of the strong defensive effort.

WMU started well, playing to a 7-4 lead early. However, an 8-0 run by Ohio put the Bobcats on top. An 8-0 run in return from the Broncos midway through the first half regained a three-point lead for Western Michigan.

Ohio had regained a slight lead before halftime when Tommy Schmock heaved in a shot from halfcourt at the buzzer to push the Bobcats’ lead to four points at the break. It was just the second made three-point shot for Ohio, which went to the locker room 2-13 from beyond the arc.

The score at halftime was 28-24 in favor of Ohio. Lamar Norman Jr. had 10 of the Broncos’ 24 points, three of WMU’s eight made field goals and two of three three-point shots.

Ohio spent the early portion of the second half pulling away from the Broncos. The lead hit double digits for the first time when the Bobcats pushed the score to 39-28 with 13:48 left to play.

The Broncos would respond with two three-point shots made in under a minute, but Ohio would regain a double-digit advantage with just over 10 minutes left in the game and WMU would not get the deficit under 10 for the rest of the game.

Norman led the way for the Broncos with 21 points. Norman went 6-16 from the field and 4-9 from the three-point line while everyone else for WMU combined to shoot 10-33 from the field and just 2-13 from beyond the arc. Markeese Hastings had nine points, 14 rebounds and two assists.

Mark Sears led Ohio with 21 points, chipping in four rebounds and three steals. Jason Carter had 17 points and eight rebounds and Ben Vander Plas had nine points, seven boards and four steals to help the winning effort.

WMU committed 20 turnovers and allowed Ohio to grab 13 offensive rebounds in the loss.

Western Michigan stands at 4-9 on the year and 0-2 in MAC play after the loss. The Broncos host Eastern Michigan Tuesday at 7 p.m. for its next contest.

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