WMU News

Bronco women clinch share of MAC West title

Feb. 12, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- WMU's women's basketball team clinched no worse than a share of the MAC West Division title with a 87-64 romp over Ball State on Saturday (Feb. 12) at WMU's University Arena. The Broncos, 11-1 MAC, will win the division title outright with their next victory, or a loss by Toledo.

Toledo, which WMU has defeated twice this season, remained mathematically alive for a share of the best record in the MAC West with a 69-68 win on Saturday at Buffalo. Toledo improved to 7-5 in the Mid-American Conference. Both the Rockets and the Broncos have four conference matches remaining in their regular season schedules.

Going into Saturday's action, Ball State, now 6-6 MAC, was tied with Toledo for the second-best record in the West Division. The loss at Kalamazoo eliminated the Cardinals from the division title race.

Western Michigan trailed only once, 3-2 early in the contest versus Ball State. By halftime, the Broncos had built a 14-point lead, thanks in large part to an exceptional first half by rookie sensation Kristin Koetsier and senior guard Dionne Lassila.

Although the two teams both scored 33 points in the second half, the Cardinals scored most of theirs after the Broncos had built a 30-point lead, 71-41, and had made extensive substitutions in the lineup.

Lassila drained three 3-point baskets in the first half for nine of her 10 points in the game. She has started the past four games in place of injured Brooke Gallert, who is expected to return to the lineup soon. In the past three games, Lassila has nailed 11 baskets from beyond the arc and has scored in double digits in all three for a total of 38 points.

Koetsier led all players with 26 points and 13 rebounds, most of those coming in the first half, as coach Ron Stewart chose to rest the MAC's leading scorer for much of the second period. Koetsier is averaging more than 20 points per game.

All five Bronco starters scored in double figures. Senior Shelsea Erving added 15 points, including the 1600th point of her career. Erving is second on the Broncos' all-time scoring chart. She also had nine rebounds against Ball State. Senior Danielle Mueller and sophomore guard Brianne Gallert each had 10 points. Gallert and Lassila dished out eight and six assists, respectively.

The Broncos will be home for only one more regular season game, when they host Central Michigan on Wednesday, Feb. 23, beginning at 7 p.m. The balance of their schedule will be played at Miami (Feb. 14), at Northern Illinois (Feb. 19), and at Eastern Michigan (Feb. 25). The Mid-American Conference Tournament begins Feb. 28.

Media contact: Geoff Brown; 616 387-4138; geoffrey.brown@wmich.edu

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