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Western Michigan Broncos vs. San Diego Toreros Basketball Recap: WMU Drops First of the Season, 77-70.

Monday night the Broncos were not able to produce enough offense and could not contain the Toreros' big man or their number one distributor.

WMU head coach Steve Hawkins
WMU head coach Steve Hawkins
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Western Michigan Broncos dropped their first game the season against the San Diego Toreros, losing 77-70 at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. This game is the first for the Broncos in California before beginning the DirectTV Wooden Legacy tournament against Long Beach State on Thanksgiving.

This was a pretty tight contest for the first 30 minutes, but San Diego guard Johnny Dee opened the gap with three late-game three pointers. Dee finished four for nine from three-point land. He also led the Toreros in scoring with 21 on the night.

Dee was undoubtedly a defensive problem for the Broncos, but perhaps more so was guard Christopher Anderson. Anderson provided 12 assists for the Toreros and the inability of the Broncos to cut him out of the San Diego offense was critical.

For the first time this year, the Toreros were also able to take advantage of their junior center Jito Kok, who scored 15 in this game after averaging just 6 points per game in the first three games of the year. This was the first time this season the Broncos' front court was beaten.

After surrendering only eight turnovers against Drake on Saturday, the Broncos committed 15 turnovers Monday night. While this may be a long term issue, it was not a major concern against San Diego, as the Toreros had 19 of their own.

The Broncos did not have a terrible offensive day. Guard David Brown led the team with 21 points, while guard Austin Richie also had 16 and forward Tucker Haymond had 15.

What proved most pivotal in this game though was bench production. Western's bench got outscored 7 to 22. Through the first three Bronco games, the bench averaged 19.3 points. This is just one slow performance out of four so far this season for the bench crew, so no need for panic at this point. But continued results from this part of the team will be needed for long-term conference success.

The Broncos will play Thursday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern against the Long Beach State 49ers. The game will be on ESPNU and the WatchESPN app.