Saturday afternoon the Western Michigan Broncos dropped to 5-3 on the season, losing to the Northeastern Huskies 81-69. The Broncos had a good offensive day (shooting 45.5%, including going 9-20 from beyond the arc), but were not able to come up with enough defensive stops.
The Huskies' forward Scott Eatherton was the game's top scorer, gathering 22 points and a team-best 11 rebounds over a 33 minute performance. Guard David Walker also added 19 points for Northeastern, going a perfect 8 for 8 from the stripe.
Forward Zach Stahl produced five offensive rebounds, important in allowing Northeastern to keep the ball away from the Bronco offense. Overall, the Huskies had 13 offensive rebounds to the Broncos' seven.
For Western, guard Austin Richie led in scoring, putting up 18 points and scoring all of his baskets from three-point land. Forwards Tucker Haymond and Connar Tava both added 17 and 16 points to the Bronco effort, respectively. Tava shot 7 of 11 from the field.
The Bronco bench was kept relatively silent, as guard Thomas Wilder had four points and guard Taylor Perry and forward Mario Matasovic scored two a piece. Forward Kellen McCormick was also kept scoreless over a 17 minute off-the-bench performance.
Northeastern jumped out to a 24-12 lead halfway through the first twenty minutes. The Broncos were only able to cut that down to a 10 point deficit going into halftime, trailing 25-35.
In the second half, Western was within single digits of the Huskies a few times, but was never in a position to retake the lead. The Broncos just weren't able to come up with a defensive solution for Northeastern's offense.
Western was not helped by committing six more fouls than Northeastern (21 to 15). On the plus side, the Broncos committed a season-low ten turnovers on the afternoon.
Western now heads all the way back across the country to play the University of the Pacific Tigers in Stockton, CA on December 14. The travel of this non-conference schedule is rough, y'all.