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IPFW Mastodons at Western Michigan Broncos men's basketball recap: WMU drops 89-86 overtime battle

WMU lost its first home game tonight at the hands of the Summit's IPFW.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Western Michigan Broncos played host to the Indiana University Purdue University - Fort Wayne (IPFW) Mastodons, losing this extremely close match up in overtime.

The game started very slowly for both teams, as it took eight minutes into the game for either team to the ten point mark. The slow start for the Broncos was attributed mostly to forced shots and missed opportunities when passes should have been made in the lane.

Western soon rectified this problems, started making those lane passes, exploiting the Mastodons' man coverage, and hitting several three-pointers in down the first half stretch. This allowed the Broncos to take a 35-29 lead into the half.

Guard Max Landis got hot from the three-point line for IPFW in the second half, ending up with six baskets from beyond the arc on the night. The Broncos countered, however, with several threes of their own from the likes of Kellen McCormick and Jared Klein. For a while through the middle of the second half it was a three-point contest in Kalamazoo.

The Broncos went cold as the second half progressed, however, but were still only down 64-62 with 6:08 remaining in the game. The last five minutes of the game was a back and forth battle. Part of what kept the Broncos alive was the benefit of the double bonus, as IPFW got into foul trouble early.

A huge problem on the night for WMU was defending on the perimeter. The Broncos had a really hard time keeping pace with the IPFW guards.

Despite the poor defense, the Broncos and Mastodons were tied at 79 with 38 seconds left. Max Landis then hit a lay-up with 27 seconds left, giving IPFW the lead. But with the ball back, the Broncos' Anthony Avery went on to sink a jumper with one second left, sending the game to overtime.

The close contest continued in overtime. The dagger came from Max Landis, who hit a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left in the overtime period, making it a 89-86 game. That would be the final, as the Broncos could not score with the remaining 11 seconds, with Thomas Wilder missing a three and time expiring during the ensuing rebound scramble.

While Landis led the Mastodons with 25 points, Tucker Haymond led the Broncos with 24. Haymond also led the Broncos in rebounding with eight, while guard John Konchar gathered nine boards for IPFW. With this game the Broncos drop to 5-6 while IPFW is now 10-4.