He’s not the most heralded player in Kalamazoo, but Reggie Jones became a big-time player on Tuesday night as his 26 points off of 4-7 from long range helped the Western Michigan Broncos cruise past the lowly Miami RedHawks 72-55 in Oxford. Joining in the fun was Thomas Wilder for WMU (8-15, 4-7 MAC) with his 18 points (11 of which coming from the charity stripe) while Seth Dugan pitched in with 13 points off of 6-7 from the field.
The only RedHawk that broke double digits in scoring was Marcus Weathers with his 13 points on 7-10 shooting from the free throw line as Miami (9-15, 2-9 MAC) struggled mightily on the offensive end with 38% shooting from the field (2-12 from long range) and had twice as many turnovers (16) than assists (eight).
The two teams traded blows in the first half as neither was able to really assert itself in the first 20 minutes. The Broncos pounded their way to a 28-22 lead with a minute left for the largest lead for any team, but a pair of Weathers free throws cut the deficit to four prior to halftime. Outside of Jones’ 13 first-half points, it was not a good display of offensive basketball as neither team shot over 38% from the field and they combined for 1/12 on three point attempts.
WMU made its big run in the second half as it went on a 9-3 stretch to go up 44-36 with 11:35 remaining in regulation as Jones, Wilder, and Seth Dugan each contributed three points. The team never looked back from that moment as perimeter shooting finally came alive in the second half with five made treys on 11 attempts. Meanwhile, the Red and White were still stagnant on the offensive end as they just went 10-26 from the floor after halftime.
Things are looking up for the Broncos as they are only two games back in the MAC West with a month of the regular season left, so they should have plenty of opportunities to make some noise as they are better than their record says they are. On the other hand, the only real positive for Miami’s season is that it’s almost over.
Western Michigan returns home Saturday for a huge MAC West clash with the Northern Illinois Huskies at 7 p.m. while Miami invites Marcus Keene and the Central Michigan Chippewas to Millett Hall at 3:30 p.m.