On Friday, the Western Michigan Broncos (4-10) will face off against the Toledo Rockets (9-5) in a Mid-American Conference basketball game at Savage Arena. The Broncos are currently 0-1 in MAC competition after a 80-72 loss to Kent State in their last game, while the Rockets are also 0-1 in MAC play after falling 90-83 to Ball State in their most recent outing.
Toledo has had the upper hand in recent meetings against Western Michigan, winning both games against the Broncos last season. The Rockets also hold a 21-16 series advantage in the all-time matchup.
The game, which is set to take place in Toledo, Ohio, is set to tip off at 6:30 p.m. ET. The Rockets are currently 15-point spread favorites, with the game total set at 156 points.
For Western Michigan, this game represents a crucial opportunity to turn things around. The Broncos have lost four of their last five games, with their only win coming against Siena Heights. Despite their struggles, Western Michigan has faced tough competition, including Minnesota, Iowa State, and Wisconsin. Prior to the start of the season, the Broncos were picked to finish eighth in the MAC basketball preseason poll.
In their most recent game against Kent State, Western Michigan found themselves trailing by 12 points at halftime. Despite a strong second-half rally that saw the Broncos score 46 points, they were unable to come out on top. Western Michigan outshot Kent State 51.0% to 40.4%, but never held the lead. The Golden Flashes shot 11-of-28 from three-point range and hit 23 of 25 free throw attempts (92.0%), while Western Michigan committed 21 fouls and had 16 turnovers.
On the season, Western Michigan is averaging 68.6 points per game on 44.6% shooting, with a three-point shooting percentage of 33.4%. The Broncos also average 34.6 rebounds per game, with a rebounding margin of 8 that is tied for the 14th highest in Division 1. Western Michigan’s offensive efficiency rating, adjusted for schedule, is 203rd in the nation according to KenPom. Leading the way for the Broncos is senior guard Lamar Norman Jr., who is averaging 17.3 points per game. Western Michigan also relies on contributions from senior guard Tray Maddox Jr. (11.8 PPG and 4.1 RPG), junior center Titus Wright (7.5 PPG and 4.9 RPG), and senior forward Tafari Simms (7.3 PPG and 3.6 RPG).
Defensively, Western Michigan allows an average of 69.1 points on 45.0% shooting from the field, including 35.9% from three-point range. The team’s adjusted defensive efficiency rating is 347th in the nation, and their assist-to-turnover ratio of 0.79 is 307th.