Bulls return to Alumni Arena

The Spectrum scouts Western Michigan and Bowling Green

By OWEN O'BRIEN
On January 28, 2014

  • Senior guard Josh Freelove has had four consecutive games of at least 13 points and has asserted himself as the Bulls' second option on offense. Chad Cooper, The Spectrum

The men's basketball team has alternated wins and losses in its previous five contests. The Bulls have the opportunity to build their first winning streak since early in the month when they host Western Michigan.

The Bulls (10-6, 4-2 Mid-American Conference) face the Broncos (11-7, 4-2 MAC) Wednesday evening followed by a trip to Bowling Green (9-10, 3-3 MAC) on Sunday.

Senior forward Javon McCrea has at least 20 points in three of the past four games and has three double-doubles in the past five contests. Senior guard Josh Freelove, the team's second-leading scorer, has scored in double figures in every game but three this season and junior forward Will Regan had his highest scoring outburst of the season (25 points) Jan. 18.

A strong senior duo, guard David Brown and center Shayne Whittington, leads Western Michigan. Brown is averaging 18.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game this season and has the potential to explode any given night. He has had four games of at least 25 points, including a 31-point eruption against Oakland.

Whittington is a 6-foot-11 enforcer who is averaging nearly a double-double this season (14.8 points and 9.1 rebounds). Whittington is coming off of a 21-point, 15-rebound explosion against Ball State (4-13, 1-5 MAC).

Sophomore forward Connar Tava has been extremely efficient for the Broncos. He leads the team with a 59.5 field goal percentage and averages 12.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest. Tava's play has only improved during the season as he's recorded double-digit rebounds in two of the past three games, highlighted by 25 points on 9-of-9 shooting against Toledo (17-2, 5-1 MAC) earlier in the month.

The Bulls will close their week with the Falcons on Sunday. Bowling Green has one of the most inexperienced starting lineups in the conference with only one starter playing over 30 minutes in a game last season.           

Junior forward Richaun Holmes leads a very balanced Falcons offense with 13.9 points per game, with sophomore forward Spencer Parker and junior guard Jehvon Clarke adding 12.4 and 12.3, respectively.

Holmes asserts his presence in the paint for the Falcons, averaging 7.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. He has three double-doubles on the season and two seven-block performances. Holmes has recorded double-digit points in 12 of the last 13 games and is shooting 53.8 percent on the season.

Parker lacks the explosive scoring performances but is consistent in every aspect of the game for Bowling Green. He's averaging 12.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

Clarke is coming off his best offensive game of the season with 22 points and six assists against Miami Ohio (8-9, 4-2 MAC). His 2.0 steals per game is second on the team, and he has eight steals in the past three games.

Senior forward Cameron Black doesn't score much, but he impacts nearly every game on the defensive end. He's averaging 7.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game and has multiple blocks in three of the last four games.

The Bulls' tip with Western Michigan is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m., and Sunday's contest at Bowling Green is set for 2 p.m.

 

email: sports@ubspectrum.com


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