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.