Western Michigan Broncos (15-10 SU, 10-12 ATS, 9-13 O/U) vs. Bowling Green Falcons (15-10 SU, 10-8 ATS, 8-9-1 O/U)
NCAAB: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. EST
The Western Michigan Broncos have won four of their last five games heading into a road date with the Bowling Green Falcons at the Stroh Center on Tuesday night. Western Michigan is coming off consecutive victories over Miami (OH) and Ohio. The Falcons are 3-1 in their last four contests following an overtime win against Eastern Michigan this past Saturday.
Western Michigan senior guard Thomas Wilder needs just 90 points to become the second player in program history to reach 2,000 career points. As that would suggest, he is second in school history in total scoring, and he needs 213 more points to break the all-time record held by David Kool. Wilder has averaged at least 18 points per game in each of the last three seasons, including this one (18.9 ppg). He has reached double-figures in 14 straight contests and in all but one game during this 2017-18 campaign.
The Broncos have been an especially strong second half team, outscoring opponents by a total of 67 points over the final 20 minutes of play. WMU has scored at least 50 points in the second half four times this season…. Western Michigan is a respectable 5-4 on the road and is one road win away from doubling its 2016-17 win total away from home. Their five road victories are their most since 2013-14…. Against Ohio last Saturday, the Broncos recorded five blocked shots by four different players. It was the most blocks in a game since the Broncos registered six against Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Dec. 22.
Defense the backbone
Following its 70-63 overtime win over Eastern Michigan last weekend, Bowling Green has won three straight MAC home games for the first time since 2014-15. The Falcons are 8-4 at home in 2017-18. Perhaps most impressive is that in each of BGSU’s last two home games, the Falcons have erased 19-point deficits en route to winning (previously against Kent State on Feb. 3). Senior guard Matt Fox went 4-for-5 from three-point range in this past Saturday’s defeat of the Eagles and he also went 6-for-10 from the land of plenty in the previous meeting with EMU on Jan. 6. Fox leads the Mid-American Conference with a 47.7 three-point percentage. It was Bowling Green’s defense, however, that especially impressed this past weekend. The Falcons limited Eastern Michigan to a 40 percent effort from the field and a 30 percent showing from long range while also forcing 14 turnovers.
“Our defense has been our backbone the past four games and will continue to be our focus heading into our matchup against Western Michigan,” head coach Michael Huger noted. “Our defensive communication and intensity will need to be at an all-time high in order to contain their dynamic guard play. I have been happy with our increased attention to detail, and will look for that to continue as we head into the home stretch of MAC play.”
The Western Michigan Broncos are:
- 19-9 Under in their last 28 overall
- 16-5 Under in their last 21 road games
- 13-5 Under in their last 18 games against the Mid-American Conference
The Bowling Green Falcons are:
- 4-0 Under in their last four overall
- 4-0 Under in their last four games against the Mid-American Conference
- 4-1-1 Under in their last six home games
Western Michigan has enjoyed a few block parties this season and it may need another one because points could be hard to come by against Bowling Green. Over thelast four games, the Falcons have allowed an average of 58.5 points–the fewest in the MAC during this stretch. The under is 19-9 in the Broncos’ last 28 overall, 16-5 in their last 21 on the road, 11-2 in their last 13 on the road against opponents with winning home records, 13-5 in their last 18 against the Mid-American Conference, and 5-1 in their last six following a win. It is also 4-0 in the Falcons’ last four overall, 4-0 in their last four against the Mid-American Conference, and 4-1-1 in their last six at home. Look for this one to stay under the total.