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Western Michigan Storms Back, Clinches MAC No. 1 Seed in 78-64 Victory

Western Michigan clinched their first Regular Season MAC Championship in 10 years with a huge second half to down rival Central Michigan 78-64 on the road.

It's rare to see a team completely dominate another the way the Broncos did on Friday night in their 78-64 victory over rival Central Michigan.  But what fans saw at McGuirk Arena could possibly be defined as insanity.

Western Michigan shot an insane 87.5% up until the final media timeout in the half, using a 30-9 run over a 12:10 span to put away the Chippewas and capture their first MAC Regular Season Championship in 10 years.

It wasn't all hugs and celebrations though.  CMU came out on fire in the first half to the tune of a 38-33 half-time lead.  The made a huge six 3-pointers while forcing 8 WMU turnovers and grabbing 7 offensive rebounds.  Braylon Rayson was off the charts, shooting 3-for-4 from downtown and nabbing 11 points in the half.  Meanwhile, the Chips held the Bronco frontcourt in check, with Shayne Whittington only getting 6 points in the half.

But then the Broncos awoke and seemingly blitzed the Chippewas, making a grand total of 89% of their shots before turning to the bench.  Western Michigan forced just 6 CMU turnovers, but held the Chips to 2-for-9 shooting from beyond the arch and 35% overall from the field.

In all, the WMU starters all finished in double figures, with the Bronco bench finishing with just 5 points, 2 coming off a Mario Matasovic garbage time lay-up.  David Brown led all scorers with 17 points, with Connar Tava, Whittington, Tucker Haymond, and Austin Richie finishing with 15, 14, 14, and 13 respectively.

The Chippewas were led by Jon Simons and his 16 points.  Chris Fowler finished with 15 points, but Rayson was held to just 2 points in the 2nd half.

A full recap can be found tomorrow.

Western Michigan will play next next Saturday in the MAC Semi-Finals as the 1-seed.  Central Michigan awaits the Ball State results to see if they finish as the 11-seed or 12-seed.