February 8, 1999
KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University women's basketball team (14-7, 7-4 Mid-American Conference) battles the University at Buffalo (15-7, 8-4 MAC) for homecourt advantage in the MAC tournament when the two teams collide on Wednesday (Feb. 10) at 7:30 p.m. in Buffalo. The Broncos trail the Bulls by one-half game for fourth place in the MAC standings. The two teams squared off Jan. 28 with WMU falling 63-58 in Grand Rapids. Western returns home to host Bowling Green (10-11, 6-5 MAC) on Saturday (Feb. 13) at 2 p.m. at University Arena. WMU clipped BGSU, 66-63, Dec. 13 in Ohio.
The top eight teams in the MAC standings (Feb. 8) are Toledo (11-1), Kent State (9-2), Akron (8-3), Buffalo (8-4), WMU (7-4), Bowling Green (7-5), Eastern Michigan (7-5), and Central Michigan (7-5). If the tournament began today, those eight teams would qualify. The top four would host a first-round contest. After playing Buffalo and Bowling Green this week, WMU concludes it's regular season schedule next week at Marshall (1-10 MAC), and at home (Feb.23) vs. Akron.
WMU climbed back into contention for a home game in the postseason by winning two conference matchups last week. The Broncos started their week with a 67-52 victory over Northern Illinois on Wednesday (Feb. 3) at University Arena. WMU visited rival Central Michigan on Saturday in a meeting of two teams tied in the league standings. Western prevailed 85-74 to move closer to the top four spots in the MAC.
Senior Kelly DeLong turned in one of the best performances of her career in WMU's 85-74 win at CMU on Saturday. DeLong scored a career-high 27 points, tied her school record with six three-point baskets, and moved into eighth place on WMU's all-time scoring list. DeLong also hauled in seven boards against the Chippewas, just one off her career best. DeLong, who has now scored 1,188 points as a Bronco, passed Vicky Musky (1982-85) on the WMU career scoring list. Musky scored 1,186 points at WMU. DeLong has nailed six treys in a game three times in her career, all against MAC schools. She accomplished that feat against Miami, Akron, and CMU.
Tip ins Rookie Brooke Gallert also came up big at CMU. Gallert established a new career best in points with 18 in the WMU win. Her previous best was 16 points. Gallert played all 40 minutes of the Bronco win, marking the third time this season she has gone the distance. Gallert played 79 of a possible 80 minutes in Western's two victories last week. ** The Broncos' three-point shooters were hot last week. WMU shot .500 (19-38) from beyond the arc in its wins over NIU and CMU. Western shot a season best .536 (9-16) from three-point distance in its win over Northern Illinois. ** Junior Shelsea Erving recorded her third double-double of the year with 21 points and 10 rebounds against Central Michigan. Western is 2-1 when "Dr. S." accomplishes that feat. ** Kelly DeLong totaled 45 points (22.5 ppg.), nine rebounds (4.5 rpg.), shot .609 (14-23) from the field and .600 (9-15) from three-point range in the Broncos' two games last week. She is a candidate for MAC Offensive Player of the Week Honors. ** In WMU's last three victories, the Broncos have allowed their foes 25 total offensive rebounds (8.3 orpg.) while grabbing 25.7 defensive rebounds per game during that span. Western is 6-1 when it outboards its opponent.
WMU and Buffalo meet for the second time in less than two weeks when the two teams square off on Wednesday. Western will be trying to avenge a 63-58 loss to Buffalo Jan. 28 in Grand Rapids. The Bulls allow an average of 68.9 ppg. and are one of the top rebounding clubs in the conference. UB is also ranked among league leaders in steals, blocked shots, and turnover margin. WMU shot a season-low .111 (2-18) from three-point range against the Bulls Jan. 28.
Western will be trying to post a season sweep of Bowling Green when the Falcons visit University Arena on Saturday (Feb. 13). The Broncos have not won the season series with BGSU since 1994-95, when they won two regular season games and a postseason meeting. WMU won 66-63 in the first meeting Dec. 13. The Falcons are led by Preseason All-MAC selection Jacki Raterman, who ranks among conference leaders in scoring (22.5 ppg.), rebounding (8.4 rpg.), and field goal percentage (.610).
Media contact: Geoff Brown; 616 387-4138; email@example.com
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