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Western Michigan (19-8) at Toledo (23-5)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 1, 6 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Savage Hall (9,000) -- Toledo, Ohio. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Western Michigan 12-2, Toledo 13-0. Away Record: Western Michigan 5-6, Toledo 8-5. Neutral Record: Western Michigan 2-0, Toledo 2-0. Conference Record: Western Michigan 12-3, Toledo 11-4. Series Record: Toledo leads, 78-58.

GAME NOTES: The Western Michigan Broncos are one of the hottest teams in the Mid-American Conference, and they'll try to keep that distinction as they travel to face the Toledo Rockets in a conference showdown at Savage Hall.

Western Michigan has won eight consecutive games, and 10 of the team's last 11 dating back to Jan. 23. The Broncos are coming off an 88-81 overtime thrilling victory over Ball State on Wednesday, and will now square off against the team that sits one game behind them in the MAC West Division standings.

Toledo had won two games in a row before a Wednesday night loss to Northern Illinois, 74-66, set the Rockets back. Toledo, at 11-4 in the MAC standings, is one game behind Western Michigan.

Toledo holds a pretty firm grip on the all-time series with Western Michigan, 78-58. The Broncos, though, had the edge in the head-to-head matchup earlier this season when they defeated Toledo, 87-76, in Kalamazoo.

Ball State looked like it had things under control against Western Michigan on Wednesday night, leading at the half, 39-30. But the Broncos came roaring back in the second half to tie the score, and then proceeded to outscore the Cardinals in the overtime period, 13-6 for the win. Shayne Whittington led Western Michigan with 28 points and a team-best 14 rebounds for the double- double, while David Brown contributed 25 points and six boards. Connar Tava was the third member of the Broncos to net over 20 points in the game, chipping in 23 with another six rebounds.

Brown is the proven scorer on this Western Michigan team this season, netting a team-high 18.9 ppg with a Broncos high 40 steals on the year. Whittington isn't too far behind Brown's scoring total, though, with 15.6 ppg and a team- high 9 rpg and 31 blocked shots. Tava rounds out the double-digit scorers for Western Michigan this season with 12.3 ppg, and adds a team-high 2.8 apg average to his stat line.

Toledo held a one-point advantage over Northern Illinois on Wednesday night, but the Huskies were able to storm back and grab the lead in the second half thanks to 22-of-27 shooting from the free-throw line. Rian Pearson netted 27 points with nine rebounds to pace the Rockets in the loss, while Julius Brown scored 13 with four assists and J.D. Weatherspoon chipped in 11 points with seven boards. Toledo shot 41.8 percent from the floor in the game, including a dismal 14.3 percent from 3-point range.

Brown leads the team in scoring this season with a 14.9 ppg average, connecting on 42.7 percent shooting through 28 games played. Brown tops the team with 174 assists on the year and shoots a team-high 87.6 percent from the free-throw line. Pearson isn't very far behind Brown's scoring total, netting 15.5 ppg and notching a team-high 47 steals. Justin Drummond adds 13.7 ppg, and Weatherspoon chips in 11.2 ppg with a team-leading 6.8 rpg average. Toledo averages 80.5 ppg as a unit this season through 28 games.

This battle between the top two teams in the MAC West Division promises to be exciting, especially since Toledo is unbeaten at home this season. But Western Michigan is the hotter program coming in with strong scoring, while the Rockets have shown some vulnerability since conference play began.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Michigan 78, Toledo 75

03/01 11:33:47 ET

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1:05pm Today
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1:10pm Today
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1:35pm Today
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1:35pm Today
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2:20pm Today
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3:35pm Today
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TEX
 
4:05pm Today
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PHI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
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MD 34
Final
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TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
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AKR 17
MARS 48
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Final
KU 24
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ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
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SMU 6
TEXAM 58
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MICH 10
UTAH 26
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BYU 41
UVA 33
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WYO 20
FATL 19
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MIZZ 27
IND 31
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PSU 48
UMASS 7
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MINN 24
SJST 7
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ILL 42
TXST 35
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WASH 45
GASTATE 14
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SMISS 21
APPST 20
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TOL 34
BST 23
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OHIO 36
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UMO 24
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MEM 36
MTST 17
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LSU 29
MSST 34
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NMST 35
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HOU 47
UNLV 14
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FSU 23
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ARZ 49
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ORST 28
SDST 7
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WASU 31
OREG 38
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BSU 34
LALAF 9
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CAR
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
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8:00pm Tonight
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1:00pm Today
CLE
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1:00pm Today
STL
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4:05pm Today
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SFX
4:25pm Today
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4:25pm Today
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8:30pm Tonight
CAR
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TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0