Hawaii uses inside-out attack to down WMU 78-68

Gregory Shamus

The Western Michigan Broncos continued their run in the Rainbow Classic Saturday night against the host Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. Despite hot shooting to start the game, Steve Hawkins' crew just couldn't keep up with their tropical foes.

It was a rough day in WMU Athletics.

After the men's soccer, football, and hockey teams all lost, the men's basketball team also fell Saturday night to the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors by a score of 78-68.

In their second game without Shayne Whittington, the Broncos were tore up inside and out by the fast Hawaii team.  Keith Shamburger had a hot hand on the perimeter, while the forward duo of Issac Fotu and Christian Standhardinger shredded the weak interior of Western Michigan.

Shamburger finished with 17 points and had a trio of huge 3's in the first half to pace Hawaii past the initial burn offense of the Broncos.  Fotu finished with a double-double, grabbing 10 rebounds to go along with his 14 points.  Standhardinger also had a hard-fought 17 points down low.

As for the Broncos, they fought hard.  Really, they did.  But ultimately, the lack of a true big man killed the Broncos.

Forced to double down low to stop the dominant duo, Hawaii got plenty of open looks outside.  That led to either the easy jumper, or a dribble-drive lay-up often in the 2nd half.

Kellen McCormick again was big, just not down low.  The redshirt freshman finished with 14 points as the starting "big man", hitting his first four 3-pointers.  Last night's hero David Brown only finished with 14 points as well, being held in check most of the night while shooting a paltry 3-12 from the field and 1-7 from beyond the arc.  Jared Klein added another 13 points off the bench as a solid guard for Western Michigan as well.

The Broncos now have a day off to rest up before taking on Tennessee State (who fell to New Mexico State tonight as well) on Monday.  They will have Whittington back and now must decide who will come off the bench.  McCormick was solid while freshman Tucker Haymond was shaky at times and showing his youth.  It'll be interesting to see how Steve Hawkins plays it.

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