Broncos down New Mexico State 70-64 in Rainbow Classic opener

Austin Richie had a hot hand Saturday morning in the Broncos' 70-64 victory over New Mexico State - Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Western Michigan Broncos put up a gutty performance Saturday early morning against tournament favorite New Mexico State, earning a tough victory despite a size and time disadvantage.

I'm now going to do what I don't think anyone else has done in Hustle Belt history:  a 4:30 am game recap.  Bear with me.

Just like the Western Michigan Bronco men's basketball team, I must brave a vast time disparity and (admittedly), a bit of a talent disadvantage (hockey is my thing).

Maybe I'll channel my inner David Brown.

Brown played like a man possessed against the much taller Aggie team, stretching the floor and driving the lane.  He shot a paltry 8-16 from the floor, including two huge three's to start the game.  He finished with a stout 25 point, 5 rebound, 2 assist performance as the "main guy", with starting center Shayne Whittington suspended for the first two games of the season.

Maybe I can step up like Kellen McCormick.

He had a huge 14 point, 4 rebound performance in Whittington's place tonight.  He also had the tough job to defend 7' 5" Aggie center Sim Bhullar.  Bhullar only managed 9 points and 6 rebounds while fellow forward Tshilidzi Nephawe had a more manageable 18 point, 8 rebound performance.  Again, both are about 7 foot tall.  McCormick is 6-9 on a very good day.

It's cold in my room, I need a hot hand like Austin Richie.

He finished 3/3 from the floor, all three-pointers.  He hit the double-digit mark with a free-throw late in the game, but only managed 2 assists tonight.  He and Brown got great help from Jared Klein off the bench, with a 9 point performance from him as well.

In the end, 5 Bronco players finished with 4 fouls.  Their gutty performance on a shorter bench in spite of foul trouble led to a signature win for Western Michigan early in the season.  Brown, Richie, McCormick, and sophomore forward Connar Tava all played 29+ minutes and three of the above players were among those 5 Broncos aforementioned.

While the Aggies, who made the NCAA tournament last season, got to the line more often (40 free-throw attempts to 20), the Broncos converted on their chances, shooting 80% from the stripe versus a 62.5% mark for New Mexico State.  Western Michigan also made 40% (10/25) of their three-pointers against a mere 1/11 mark from their counterparts.

Up next?  Bed, for everyone.  The Broncos will be back at it tomorrow at 12:30 AM EST against Rainbow Classic hosts Hawaii, who downed Tennessee State 85-55 in the first game of the tournament.  You can watch the game online at BigWest.TV.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Hustle Belt

You must be a member of Hustle Belt to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hustle Belt. You should read them.

Join Hustle Belt

You must be a member of Hustle Belt to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hustle Belt. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker