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Broncos thunder past Herd in quarters

3/11/2004

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Mike Williams scored 15 points and Western
Michigan looked worthy of its first No. 1 seed, rolling to a 96-62
quarterfinal win against Marshall in the Mid-American Conference
tournament on Thursday night.

The Broncos (24-4), making just their second tourney appearance
at Gund Arena, overpowered Marshall in the second half while
avenging an overtime loss last month to the Thundering Herd
(12-17).

Western Michigan advanced to Friday's semifinals where it will
play the winner of the quarterfinal matchup between fourth-seeded
Toledo and fifth-seeded Buffalo.

Kent State will play Miami of Ohio in the other semifinal.

The Golden Flashes (21-7) moved on with a 79-66 win over Bowling
Green, and the RedHawks (18-10) beat Ball State 72-67 to earn a
semifinal berth for the 11th time in 13 years.

Marvin Black had 15 points and Ronny Dawn 12 to lead
eighth-seeded Marshall.

With Western Michigan leading by 10 at halftime, Williams, the
MAC's player of the year, scored the first basket of the second
half to trigger a 13-3 run that put the Broncos in control.

Anthony Kann added 17 points and Ben Reed 16 -- some of them in
garbage time -- for Western Michigan.

With his team safely ahead, first-year Broncos coach Steve
Hawkins took out his starters for a few minutes to try to keep them
fresh for the school's first appearance in the semifinals since
1997.

But he decided to put them back in late in the game as if to rub
it in on Marshall.

The Broncos took advantage of 12 turnovers by the Thundering
Herd in the first half to take a 38-28 lead at the break.