Feb. 23, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- On Seniors Night at University Arena, the final home contest of the 1999-2000 season, seniors Shelsea Erving, Dionne Lassila and Danielle Mueller starred in a 90-65 victory over Central Michigan. All three seniors scored in double figures in the match played Wednesday night (Feb. 23) before 2,038 fans.
Prior to the contest, the seniors were honored, and WMU's women's basketball team unveiled its Mid-American Conference West Division championship banner.
Erving, the second leading scorer in Bronco history, had 33 points for the evening on 13 of 18 shooting from the field, including five of six baskets from three-point range. Her 33 points is the single-game high for any WMU player this season and one shy of her career best.
Lassila opened the scoring with a two-point basket and followed that with her first of two three-pointers in the game. The Broncos took an early 8-0 lead, and never trailed in the contest. Lassila finished with 11 points and had three assists.
Mueller contributed 14 points and a team-high 12 rebounds to the WMU effort. She trails only rookie sensation Kristin Koetsier in total rebounds for the season, and leads the team in rebounds against MAC opponents.
Central Michigan was able to narrow the margin to 16-14 midway through the first half, but the Broncos took control after that and built a 54-28 advantage at the intermission. In the second half, Western Michigan quickly put the game out of reach, leading by as many as 35 points.
Koetsier scored her 500th point of the season in the first half and finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds to share top team honors on the glass with Mueller. Koetsier is only the fourth Bronco to score more than 500 points in a season. Erving holds the team record with 553. With six more points, Koetsier (513) will overtake Kina Brown's rookie record of 518 points for a season.
Sophomore twin guards Brooke and Brianne Gallert each played 29 minutes and each dished out six assists in Wednesday night's victory. Classmate Casey Stevenson had a strong performance off the bench. The 6-foot, 3-inch center grabbed eight rebounds and scored six points.
WMU clinched the division championship and a first-round tournament bye Feb. 14, with an 85-69 victory at Miami. The Broncos thus skip the first round of the Mid-American Conference tournament and will not host a tournament game. They advance automatically to the MAC quarterfinals, which will be played in Cleveland, March 2. The semi-finals and championship game will also be played in Cleveland.
The Broncos are tied with East Division champion Kent for the best record in the conference. Kent also won on Wednesday night, 71-58, versus Buffalo. Both teams are 14-1 in the MAC, but Kent holds the advantage for the No. 1 tournament seed by virtue of having handed the Broncos their only conference loss of the season.
WMU (17-9 overall, 14-1 MAC) concludes the regular season schedule with a game at Eastern Michigan on Friday, Feb. 25. Western Michigan won in the previous meeting of the two teams, in Kalamazoo, but led only once in that contest, at the final buzzer. Following Friday's game, the Broncos will have six days to rest and prepare for their MAC quarterfinal opponent.
1st 2nd Total Central Michigan 28 37 65 WMU Broncos 54 36 90
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