Western Michigan women’s basketball took home its eighth win of the season in the Mid-American Conference against Bowling Green Wednesday night by a score of 72-64.
The Broncos are back on track with two straight wins after dropping three contests to start the month of February. Here’s how the team has found recent success and what WMU needs to do to sustain it:
Taylor Williams and Abby Voss help patch Reilly Jacobson’s absence
After going down with a significant knee injury earlier in the month, the Broncos struggled to replace the presence that senior Reilly Jacobson brings to the floor with her tall stature, leadership ability and defense inside the arc. Someone was going to have to fill her shoes, and head coach Shane Clipfell has looked to Taylor Williams and Abby Voss to replace her production.
Against BGSU, Williams and Voss were on the court for 53 minutes total and combined for 24 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks and three steals. The duo is going to have to continue to grind out extra minutes and play both ends at a high level if the Broncos want to stay afloat in the conference.
Three-point shooting needs to be aggressive
Western Michigan has attempted about 22 three-point shots per game this season, and when the team is hitting it pays off. The team shot nearly 56% from downtown on Wednesday, making 10 of 18 attempts. It was the third consecutive game for the Broncos shooting over 40% at the three-point line after doing so just twice in the team’s first 20 games.
Lauren Ross made two of them on the night, and Maddie Watters made four. It seems as if they may need to bear that burden as Sydney Shafer was absent from the contest. Shafer is third for the Broncos in three-point attempts this season and has the second-best conversion rate behind Watters at 36.9%.
Rebounding needs work, Lauren Audino can help
WMU once again lost the battle of the boards Wednesday, but still came out with a win. The Falcons grabbed 36 rebounds compared to the Broncos’ 30, and while the absence of Jacobson doesn’t make it any easier, the squad is going to have to try and figure out something before the MAC Tournament.
Clipfell should consider mixing in redshirt freshman Lauren Audino into the mix. In the Broncos’ loss to Akron, Audino played seven minutes in the contest and the Broncos held an 8-3 rebound advantage with her on the floor. The rest of the game, WMU grabbed 18 rebounds compared to 29 by the Zips.
The Broncos are last in the MAC in total rebounds, offensive rebounds, and rebounding margin, being outrebounded by an average of 3.3 boards per game. If WMU can rebound better, it can have extra possessions and improve on its scoring average, which ranks No. 11 in the MAC.
The Broncos are back in action Saturday at Northern Illinois. The game will tip off at 2 pm and can be streamed on ESPN3.