Dec. 1, 1999
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University women's basketball team made its final home game of the century one to remember.
The Broncos defeated the University of Detroit 80-62 Wednesday at University Arena. Wednesday's game was WMU's first home contest of the year and last of the year. The Broncos do not play at home again until Jan. 5, 2000, when they host Toledo at 7 p.m. at University Arena.
Senior Danielle Mueller made her first start of the year and responded with 20 points and 17 rebounds, matching her career best in points and establishing a new personal high in boards. Freshman Kristin Koetsier totaled 15 points and 15 rebounds for her third straight double double performance. She also rejected five Titan shot attempts, the third best total in school history. Shelsea Erving and Brooke Gallert scored 15 and 12 points, respectively in the Bronco win. Brooke and twin sister Brianne Gallert each dished out seven assists to lead the WMU offense. Brianne also scored a season-best nine points Wednesday.
Western Michigan established season bests in field goal percentage (.500) and 3-point percentage (.500) against the Titans, helping the Broncos offset a night that saw them commit 34 turnovers.
"You look at the stat sheet and it's really a difficult game to figure out," WMU head coach Ron Stewart said. "We shot 50 percent and outrebounded them by 23. They shot 28 percent for the game. We still feel like we didn't play as well as we're capable of playing because we turned the ball over so much. I was a little disappointed we didn't handle the ball better. We were a little more casual with the ball than we needed to be."
Mueller made her first start of the year Wednesday and 44th of her career. Normally the Broncos' top sixth man, she averaged 15.5 ppg. and 9.5 rpg. in two starts last season. Mueller scored 20 points Jan. 16, 1999, against Ohio. Her previous best in rebounds was 11, accomplished three times in her career. Mueller grabbed 11 booards at Colorado on Saturday (Nov. 27).
"Danielle was really focused tonight," Stewart said. "She was 8-11 from the field and really, really focused. She did a heckuva job."
WMU held a 40-20 halftime lead but saw Detroit open the second half on a 12-0 run to draw within eight points at the 14:51 mark. Erving was held scoreless in the first half but bounced back after halftime. The senior snapped WMU's scoring drought in the second half by nailing a trey at the 14:29 mark, the Broncos' first bucket of the second half.
"Shelsea did not have a great night but she scores 15 in a short period of time," Stewart said. "She put together a really good half."
The Broncos do not play at home again until Jan. 5, 2000, when they host defending Mid-American Conference champion Toledo at 7 p.m. at University Arena.
WMU embarks on a four-game, 10-day road trip Dec. 12. Western Michigan plays at San Francisco (Dec. 12), at Nevada (Dec. 15), at Stanford (Dec. 18), and at Iowa State (Dec. 20).
Media contact: Geoff Brown; 616 387-4138; firstname.lastname@example.org
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