Tag Archives: Western Michigan University

Going Bowling: All FBS Michigan Football Programs Earn Bowl Bids

It will be a busy holiday season for each of the Michigan FBS programs. Michigan, Michigan State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan all qualified and will participate in bowl games.

No. 2 ranked Michigan (12-1) will play on Friday, Dec. 31 against No.2 Georgia (12-1) in the Orange Bowl being played at Miami Gardens. Michigan earned their place in the college football playoff for the first time in program history after back to back statement wins against Ohio State in the season finale and Iowa in the Big 10 title game. The playoff semifinal game is set to air on ESPN at 7:30 p.m.

No. 10 Michigan State (10-2) will face off with No. 12 Pittsburgh (who lost earlier in the season to visiting Western Michigan) in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. That game will be played Thursday, Dec. 30 at 7pm and will be aired on ESPN.

Western Michigan (7-5) will challenge Nevada at Ford Field in Detroit and have the benefit of the closest thing to a home game that a team can expect in a bowl game. Western Michigan had a disappointing stretch of games during the middle of the season before dominating MAC Champion, Northern Illinois, 42-21. Despite falling off high expectations and big wins early in the season, WMU will look to make one last statement against a solid Nevada program. The game kicks off early in the day on Monday, Dec. 27 at 11 am on ESPN.

Central Michigan (8-4), considered to be one of the top teams in the MAC after losing its only two conference games by a combined 12 points, will be participating in the Barstool Arizona Bowl. While Chippewa fans are excited to participate in the inaugural Barstool Bowl, many are also looking forward to the resurgent performance of Scott Stapp of Creed, reprising his infamous halftime escapades from a Thanksgiving feature in 2001z They will face the vaunted Boise State Broncos at 2 p.m. on New Years Eve and will be broadcast by Barstool Sports.

Eastern Michigan (7-5) will face Liberty on Saturday, Dec. 18, in the LendingTree Bowl. That game is set to kick off at 5:45 p.m. on ESPN.

Western Michigan Football Maintains Game at Notre Dame

UPDATE: All Mid-American Conference fall athletics have been postponed to spring and WMU’s game versus Notre Dame has been canceled. – Aug. 8, 2020

Notre Dame agreed to terms with the ACC to compete in conference play this season, but will maintain its non-conference game with the visiting Broncos of Western Michigan University. The game is set to be played on September 19 and will generate much needed funds for the Mid-American Conference squad and their athletic department.

The Broncos will be looking to play spoiler to the College Football Playoff hopeful, Fighting Irish, as they rake in the spoils of the marquee matchup of their schedule to the tune of 1.175 million dollars.

The game will provide WMU with funds sure to be in short supply in the 2020-2021 athletic calendar and an even more profitable marketing stage for the university. The Fighting Irish are sure to make the benefits of the matchup a tough pill to swallow between the uprights, as they return a promising Heisman candidate in senior quarterback, Ian Book.

Notre Dame (11-2 in 2019) opens their season against Duke University (5-7 in 2019) and Western Michigan (7-6 in 2019) looks to take a big first step in their Week 2 matchup against Cincinnati (11-3 in 2019) after losing two separate opponents in their Week 1 slot from conference cancellations.

WMU Upsets NIU with Jared Printy Three Pointer in Final Seconds

The Broncos jumped out to a comfortable lead that got as high as twelve points in the first half and eighteen points in the second. The hot start was crucial against the visiting Northern Illinois Huskies who came into the game boasting a 17-11 (10-5) record, while Western Michigan 11-17 (5-10) at tipoff has struggled to gain prolonged momentum throughout Mid-American Conference play.

Western Michigan carried a 32-24 lead into the half thanks to a couple familiar faces: Michael Flowers and Brandon Johnson. The pair each tallied 20-points on Saturday afternoon and gave the Broncos a necessary offensive duo to compete with NIU’s prolific offense. NIU standout, Eugene German, did not play in the first half and proved to be a difference maker in the second. German has been suspended twice this season and it has been clear that the Huskies are a different team without him in the lineup.

The big first half with a German-less NIU was crucial for WMU and proved to be increasingly important as NIU closed things in the second half. WMU was not done extending their lead despite German entering the game, however, as teams took the court after the break and pushed the game as far apart as 18 points with only 8:48 left in the game. The run was due in large part to the Broncos ability to apply firm defensive pressure that kept NIU’s offensive efficiency uncharacteristically low.

Trailing big with less than half way to go in the second, NIU finally made their move and the shots began to fall. The Huskies began rushing back and got the score to within single digits just over two minutes later and to within a one-possession game with 3:33 left to go.

Fans watched with baited breath as they wondered if the collapse would prove to be one of the great letdowns of the season, especially in a game that the Broncos had controlled so handily. In the course of just five minutes, Western Michigan went from blowing out the visiting Huskies en route to a lopsided upset to risking a devastating loss at home.

Those fears were not alleviated when NIU’s Eugene German, who finished with 23 points in only one half of play, went to the free throw line and tied the game at 67-all with 1:41 on the clock. WMU’s standout guard, Michael Flowers, answered on the following possession and gave the Broncos a temporary lead before German tied the game again at 69-all with only 33-seconds left to play.

WMU took possession with one last chance to put the game away. That is when the Broncos took advantage of the collapsing help-side NIU defense and kicked the ball out to senior guard, Jared Printy, who had been mostly quiet on the offensive end all afternoon.

Printy handled the pass, rose up for the corner and dropped it for three points to give the Broncos the lead and fans a reason to go wild with just 5-seconds remaining. The Huskies called timeout and had one last chance to tie the game on a half court three point shot by German that gave fans one last gasp as it clanked off the iron at the buzzer. The miss sealed the big upset at home and gave the Broncos some much-needed momentum going into their final games in back-to-back contests against their Michigan MAC rivals.

The Broncos improved to 12-17 (6-10) and the Huskies fall to a mirror image record of 17-12 (10-6). Western Michigan closes their home schedule for senior night against Eastern Michigan on March 3rd and on the road against Central Michigan on March 6. Both games will be exciting contests and should give fans competitive basketball as we prepare for post-season play.

The Mid-American Conference has been a tale of Home vs. Away all season and Saturday’s contest was no different. The season-long advantage home teams have maintained this year in the MAC will be tested on the neutral site of Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland after first round contests at campus sites.

WMU Stampedes NIU with Electric Performance by Jordan Walker

The Western Michigan University women’s basketball team took care of business on Saturday afternoon and defeated the visiting Huskies of Northern Illinois University.

The Broncos effort can be summed up in just two words: Jordan Walker.

Walker was an absolute whirlwind that the Huskies could not contain. The guard scored 17 of WMU’s first 21 points. Simply put, magic happened whenever the ball was in Walker’s hands and each time she was in control, we were reminded of Mark Jackson iconic remark about Kobe Bryant, “Mama, there goes that man!” Her performance on Saturday afternoon warranted an update to the phrase: “Mama, there goes that woman!”

Northern Illinois knew where the ball was going every time the Broncos set up their offense: Jordan Walker. The only problem was that Walker also knew where the ball was going: In the basket.

Despite the remarkable opening for Walker and the Broncos, they trailed after the first quarter, thanks in large part to a stellar opening by Myia Starks. However, Walker proved that she is going to be trouble for opponents in the Mid-American Conference tournament in the coming weeks.

The effort was not without reward, though, and Walker had the Broncos and Huskies tied up at 35-35 going into the half. Despite trailing early and only managing a tie at halftime, the Broncos never seemed nervous and played with confidence throughout. They displayed the poise and calm efficiency that will be required to make a run in the coming weeks.

Out of the break, the Broncos continued to play at a consistent level, while the Huskies finally began to slow. The steady efficiency of Western Michigan’s pressure had them edge out a four point lead after the third period and break the game wide open in the fourth, holding NIU to just 4 points in the fourth quarter.

Despite things often being close on the scoreboard, Western Michigan never seemed to be under threat of losing the game. Whether because of the stellar performance from Walker or the consistent all-around production from the WMU women as a whole, the Broncos appeared to be in control all afternoon.

Walker accounted for over half her team’s points and ended the afternoon being embraced by fellow teammates in recognition and appreciation of her career day. Her stat line of 33 points (13-21 field goals & 7-11 three point) and 6 rebounds unequivocally played a huge part in the Bronco’s success, but Walker was also supported by teammates Leighah-Amori Wool and Sydney Shafer who both chipped in 10 points. The Broncos also relied on a well-balanced performance by Breanna Mobley who finished the game with a full stat sheet of 9 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block and 3 steals.

The Broncos will close out their regular season with a road matchup against Eastern Michigan on March 4th and senior night on March 7th in an early post-season test against a conference tournament contender: Ball State.

Final Minutes Swing in Favor of Toledo at Western Michigan

Saturday marked the first of several must-win games for teams battling to clear their way into the MAC tournament when the Toledo Rockets (12-14) came to Kalamazoo, MI in a face-off with the Western Michigan Broncos (11-15).

Each squad looked to gain a victory in what was sure to be a close contest. Toledo won the previous meeting in January 67-59 and things followed that track again on Saturday. Toledo came into the game with a strategy that seems to be at the heart of beating the Broncos and helped bring them the victory a month earlier: Stop Michael Flowers.

The junior guard, who recently eclipsed 1000 career points a week ago at EMU, is the Broncos most consistent scoring threat and part of a powerful inside-out offensive duo with redshirt junior, Brandon Johnson, who have each topped 400 points so far this season (double that of any other scorer on the team).

Toledo’s strategy seemed to be working in the early going, keeping things stuck in a back and forth contest that had 12 lead changes in just the first half. Western was able to gain small leads, but the defensive focus paid to Flowers kept him off the scoreboard much of the afternoon and he finished with just 7-points.

On the other end, Toledo finished with five players in double figures and were led by Willie Jackson (19 pts & 10 reb) who netted a double-double and passed Luke Knapke in the scoring column with several late-game free throw visits. Spencer Littleson also made things interesting for the Rockets, engaging in a game-within-the-game tiff with Flowers that got chippy as the game went on. Littleson also made an impact on the offensive end with two steals that led to back to back breakaway dunks.

Things were not without a glimmer of hope for WMU, however, as junior guard Rafael Cruz Jr. stepped up in a big way in just his second start of the season. Cruz led the Broncos on Saturday with a career-high against Division 1 opponents of 21 points. His biggest moments of the afternoon came when the Broncos needed him most. Cruz hit back to back 3-point buckets to pull Western within striking distance in the final minute. Toledo was able to hold the Broncos at bay with solid shooting from the charity stripe and stretch the lead out one last time with a final score of 68-59.

The Toledo Rockets improve to 12-14 as they look to hit .500 before season’s end and Western Michigan drops to 11-16. Western closes the season with games against Ball State, Northern Illinois, senior night against Eastern Michigan and regular season finale at Central Michigan.

The Broncos will need Cruz to continue his ascent into a primary scoring option if Western Michigan is going to get back on track this season.

Eastern Michigan Beat Broncos in Dominant “Super Hero” Day Performance

The Eastern Michigan Eagles asserted themselves against the visiting Western Michigan Broncos from the opening tip and did not look back in their second in-state rivalry game of the week.

A crowd gathered to support the home team on “Super Hero Day” chalked full of Super Heroes greeting children in the stands and fun games of “Simon Says” at halftime.

The superheroes weren’t the only ones wearing capes on Saturday, as visitors were treated to their very own Eastern Michigan Capes and high flying acrobatics from the EMU men that provided scores of dunks all afternoon.

Eastern Michigan got an early jump on the Broncos and things never really felt close. The Eagles showed that they have a player for every occasion. EMU is one of the most balanced teams in conference and show flashes of success that may surprise opponents this post-season. Italian guard Thomas Binelli is a deep threat sharp shooter, Ty Groce, Noah Morgan and Yeikson Montero provide pressure with agile dribble drives, Senegalese 7-foot center Boubacar Toure locks down the lane in EMU’s vaunted zone defense and demands double coverage in the paint on offense, and Darion Spottsville runs the entire show at point guard. The Eagles quite literally have every angle covered when things are clicking.

On the opposite end, Western’s young squad seemed to struggle in the particular matchups that EMU forced them into during the showdown. The lone bright spot for the Broncos on Saturday came in the first minutes when junior guard, Michael Flowers, netted his 1000th point on a deep three.

However, things never really got going at a pace necessary for the Broncos to bridge the gap and EMU ran away to a big 69-51 home victory.

The Eagles improve to 14-11 (4-8) and the Broncos fall to 11-14 (4-8) in a wide open Mid-American Conference. The Broncos face a tough opponent in conference-leading Akron and the Eagles challenge Kent State in their next matchups.

Rivalry Week Ends with CMU Victory Over WMU

The Greeks & Persians, Frazier & Ali, Red Sox & Yankees… While Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan may not seem like a worthy addition to this list, to those who have ties to either school will certainly disagree.

The triad of Mid-American Conference Michigan schools (Central, Eastern and Western Michigan) have a heated rivalry that dates back a century with the resurrection of Western Michigan University. Eastern Michigan boasts being the oldest of the three schools, founded in 1849, but its cousins have made up for lost time in the century-plus of their existences and we have all benefited from the rivalry that ensued over the decades, though the in-state rivalry didn’t get started on the hardwood until 1975.

In that time, the Broncos have managed a 17-27-1 record in men’s basketball against the Chippewas.

Saturday gave us another great matchup in the rivalry as both teams looked to make moves in Mid-American Conference play.

The Chippewas have struggled mightily on the road this season, going just 1-7 in contests outside the friendly confines of McGuirk Arena in Mt. Pleasant.

On the other end of the court, the Broncos have been largely successful on their home court, going 7-2 at University Arena this season.

The Broncos would be disappointed if they hoped CMU’s homesick blues would carry over into their game on Saturday. From the onset, CMU seemed intent on establishing that this game would be a departure from their road woes and be more indicative of their overall success as of late.

The Chippewas played a physical first half, but Western Michigan was able to keep things from getting out of control for much of the first half. However, CMU proved too much and was able to take a comfortable 7-point lead into halftime, 41-34.

Western Michigan came out of halftime on a mission and a plan at making things competitive down the stretch. They did just that.

Broncos began to drop shots and get the ball into the paint, which in turn, began creating opportunities from behind the arch. WMU used the three ball to pull the game within reach several times in the final minutes, but clutch free throws by the Chippewas kept things from ever feeling in danger of slipping.

And it wasn’t as if WMU didn’t apply pressure. The Broncos rained down threes in the final minutes with startling precision, but the Chippewas unrelenting free throw proficiency sealed the game. The pair of teams each notched 44-points in the half, which carried over the 7-point first half differential and gave the Chippewas a much needed 85-78 road win.

Western Michigan Hockey Dominates Colorado College for Second Straight Night

The weather outside was frightful. Vehicles were piling into ditches, snow was piling into large drifts and the Western Michigan Broncos were piling goals on the scoreboard.

WMU kept things rolling on Saturday night with the second straight victory over the visiting Colorado College Tigers at Lawson Ice Arena.

The Broncos controlled the puck for most of the night and managed to hold the Tigers at bay by forcing quick turnovers when they managed to get things past the Western blue line. The lack of offensive possession gave the Broncos ample opportunity to put the puck on net and led to a 6-2 victory in front of the packed and rowdy home crowd.

No Bronco was more responsible for the night’s scoring spree than senior forward Dawson DiPietro who netted three goals in his first collegiate hat trick. Other goals were scored by Wade Allison (who was also managed 3 assists), Hugh McGing and Brett Van Os. Austin Rueschhoff also aided in the Bronco attack with a pair of assists.

The Broncos improved to 9-9-4 on the season and Colorado College drops to 8-11-1 after their back to back losses in Kalamazoo.

The Broncos take the ice next Friday and Saturday against visiting St. Cloud State University (8-10-4) at Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, MI.

Western Michigan Men Battle Back in Final Minutes for Victory over Kent State

Taking the court just after the WMU women lost the lead and the game in the final minutes to in-state rival Central Michigan, the Bronco men got set for a showdown with Kent State and looked to flip the script in game two.

Flip the script they did. While the first game saw a late comeback for the away team, the second game of the doubleheader gave fans the exact opposite storyline. The comeback seemed a desperation play by the Broncos who had gone 1-4 since Christmas and needed to regain momentum as they hope to make moves before the MAC conference tournament to be held in Indianapolis in just over a month.

The Broncos battled for the first 20 minutes and even included a rare four point play by junior guard Rafael Cruz Jr. that dropped through the bottom of the net as he was dropped just outside the corner baseline as cameras flashed around the product of Chicago, IL. Though the Broncos took a narrow 30-25 lead into the half over the Golden Flashes, Kent State came out of the locker room with renewed pep in their step and the Broncos began to look outmatched in the second half with the game slipping through their fingers. Things began to look increasingly grim as time waned and momentum had shifted completely in favor of the away team.

However, that is when the Broncos kicked things into gear on the back of several big plays with juniors Cruz Jr., Brandon Johnson and Michael Flowers lighting things up from the floor. The scoring spree was not enough on its own, but Western coupled the offensive hot streak with increased energy and momentum on the defensive end to begin shutting down Kent State’s scoring altogether with their last field goal dropping through with 4:37 to go in the game. In total, Kent State held the lead or tie for over 30 of the 40 minutes, but the final seconds were all WMU needed. Johnson would eventually seal the game with big free throws that ensured the comeback was complete, giving the Broncos a much needed 67-63 victory at home.

Western Michigan now enters a crucial phase of their conference schedule that pits them against juggernaut Buffalo University on the road before other middling conference squads Northern Illinois, Central Michigan and Miami Ohio.

Central Michigan Downs Western Michigan with Huge 4th QTR Comeback

Central Michigan came into University Arena in Kalamazoo, MI riding high after an incredible dominating performance against MAC perennial power, Ball State. The hardwood at Read Fieldhouse has been very friendly to the Broncos as they’ve managed a 5-1 record at home this season and struggled on the road.

Less than a week after CMU’s statement win over the Cardinals, the Chippewas made the trip south and knew they were in for another test against the rival Broncos. Both teams have had great runs so far in the 2019-2020 season and Saturday was a test of which team would grab control of their own destiny going into the back half of the conference schedule.

If the Chippewas thought they were in for another cruise to victory, the Broncos had other plans. Western led most of the way and seemed to be in firm control of things until a late run by the Chippewas eventually overtook the Broncos and put them on the wrong side of the scoreboard for the first time all afternoon.

The Chippewas maintained command of the lead until the final horn in a final minute blitz that stunned fans cheering on the home team.

One thing was made clear on Saturday. The Chippewa’s championship pedigree can manifest in their ability to close out blow out victories without letting off the gas and remain composed in the face of significant opposition under pressure. Both instances provide a glimpse at what years of conference success can do for a team that refuses to become complacent. The feat is even more impressive as the Chippewas are managing their continued success without missing a beat under first year coach, Heather Osterle. The Chippewas will look to continue rolling against in-state rival Eastern Michigan, Toledo and Buffalo to close out their January schedule.

Western Michigan finds themselves facing down a difficult loss that seemed in hand for most of all four quarters against the odds-on favorite to win the MAC for a third straight season. Sitting at 10-6 (3-2) the Broncos have three important games against struggling Bowling Green, Akron and Miami OH in the coming week before facing Ball State on February 1. These games will say a lot about what can be expected the rest of the way for the Broncos.

« Older Entries