Bucked by Broncos

Erik Marschall was 8-8 shooting and had 19 points on the night but his effort was not enough as the BG men’s basketball team fell to Western Michigan, 72-63.

Marschall’s eight consecutive baskets without a miss tied a school record.

“I had a lot of success in the first half,” Marschall said. “We were running some plays where I got good looks and we took advantage of it. In the second half we kept working hard, I just do not think we executed like we did in the first half.”

Marschall had 17 points at half-time but he was held to two points in the second, largely because he was in foul trouble, eventually fouling out.

“He’s a really good player,” said WMU center Joe Reitz. “We came into the game and everybody says Samarco, Samarco, Samarco. But he’s got some nice post moves and he definitely killed us in the first half.”

Reitz had only six points but he grabbed 12 rebounds and was the primary reason Marschall fouled out.

BG maintained a 32-31 lead at half-time, in part because Marschall’s effort and because the team shot 54.2 percent.

“You come into the game and Samarco and Miller were number two and four in scoring in MAC games,” said WMU coach Steve Hawkins. “We spent a lot of time talking about those two guys and how to defend them and challenging our players. Then Marschall comes in and has 17 at half-time.”

In the second half BG was forced to make offense for defense substitutions because both Marschall and backup center Otis Polk were in foul trouble. Marschall eventually fouled out with four minutes to go in the game with the Falcons trailing by two at 58-56.

“[Marschall not being in the final four minutes] hurt, that hurt a lot,” said BG coach Dan Dakich. “Erik battled all night long, he’s going to compete. I’m proud of him but we need to be a better team.”

With Marschall fouled out, the Broncos went on a 14-7 run to close out the game and eventually went on to win by nine points.

“Obviously the game was decided in the last four minutes,” Dakich said. “We could never get a handle on Shawntes Gary and they hit their free throws. We have been in these situations all year but we did not execute and they did.”

The Falcons had no answer down the stretch for the Broncos three guard attack of Shawntes Gary, Michael Redell and David Kool. These three consistently came off pick and rolls and were able to get to the basket at will because of the foul trouble on the Falcon big men.

Gary had 24 points, Redell had 15 and Kool had 14 points to lead the Bronco offensive attack.

“Tonight we did not execute on offense or on defense,” Marschall said. “That is something we are going to have to keep working on for the second half of the season. We are just going to have to keep battling.”