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Published: 1/15/2005

Falcons bracing for hard-charging Broncos

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN - Only two Mid-American Conference men's basketball teams are undefeated in league play this season, but that will change today when the two teams atop the MAC's West Division - Bowling Green and Western Michigan - meet at Anderson Arena.

Western Michigan is flying high after dismantling East Division leader Kent State Wednesday. The Broncos, the defending league champs, have won five in a row overall and their last 10 games against conference opponents.

"The more successful you are, the more attention you'll get - and the more people will come after you," said BG coach Dan Dakich following his team's win at Eastern Michigan Wednesday. "Western was very successful last year, and so they're getting a lot of attention, and rightfully so.

"But as you continue to win, you have to continue to play better and better to be successful."

Despite losing MAC player of the year Mike Williams and All-MAC pick Anthony Kann, the Broncos have reloaded behind seniors Levi Rost at forward and guard Ben Reed. Rost ranks second in the MAC in scoring at 17.9 points per game, and Reed is next at 17.8.

Western Michigan's most impressive numbers come from a defense that allows a MAC-low 63.0 points per game and outrebounds opponents by six per contest.

"The best teams I have seen in college basketball this year are Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina, and the two times I have seen Western Michigan play," Dakich said. "I have a lot of respect for them: their toughness, their approach to things, their players and their coaches.

"I'm looking forward to a tough game, hopefully in front of a packed house."

Bowling Green will counter with an offense that leads the MAC in shooting, connecting on 51.8 percent of its shots. BG also has two seniors among the league's leading scorers in forward Josh Almanson, who tops the MAC at 18.8 points per game, and John Reimold, who stands sixth at 17.1.



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