The Broncos are back on the West Coast this weekend, facing the Pacific Tigers on Sunday evening. Western is coming off a loss to Northeastern last weekend in which the Bronco defense struggled to make necessary stops. Also last weekend, the Tigers beat the Idaho State Bengals 68-62. That was the Tigers' third straight win, giving them a 6-3 record. WMU currently sits at 5-3.
Western's offense will be the key factor in this game. If the Broncos can score like they have this season, the Pacific defense won't be able to stop them. Western is scoring 75 points per game to the Tigers' 68. The Pacific defense has been fairly effective thus far - only allowing 63.2 points per game - but this has included several games against non-Division I opponents. The Broncos will be a real test for the Tigers.
The Pacific offense is led by six-foot-three, 205 pound sophomore guard T.J. Wallace. He leads the team in points per game (14.4), minutes (31.8), and rebounds (6.8), and is second on the team in assists (2.8). I'm not sure how a guard ends up with the most rebounds on the team, but it does make me more optimistic for Bronco victory. It might mean unproductive Tigers' front men, which is definitely advantageous for Western.
That could be misplaced hope however, as the Tigers' seven-foot, 245 pound sophomore starting center gathered ten rebounds (including four offensive boards) in his last game against Idaho State. Other starters for Pacific are forward David Taylor, forward Eric Thompson (a Detroit native), and guard Ray Bowles.
Off the bench, the Tigers' biggest threat is five-foot-nine, 165 pound junior guard Dulani Robinson. Robinson is the team's second scorer, with 10.7 points per game, and is second in playing time, with 27.2 minutes per game. He is also the team's leading assist man, averaging 3.2 per game.
Western guards Austin Richie and David Brown will have their work cut out for them containing both Wallace and Robinson, but I'm going to predict a Bronco win here, 79-70.
Gametime: Sunday, December 14, 8:00pm Eastern
Location: Alex G. Spanos Center, Stockton, CA
How to watch: The game will be streamed live by the West Coast Conference here.
How to listen: The game will also be heard on the Bronco Radio Network, flagship 96.5 FM WZOX in Kalamazoo.