W. Michigan 69, E. Illinois 60

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Juwan Howard Jr.'s double-double led Western Michigan to a 69-60 victory over Eastern Illinois on Friday.

Howard scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, both game highs. Flenard Whitfield added 19 points and nine rebounds for the Broncos (7-6), who hold a 4-1 series lead. Mike Douglas added 11 points and nine assists.

Curry McKinney hit four 3-pointers among his 17 points for the Panthers (5-8), who played their third straight road game. James Hollowell scored 13 points, and Jeremy Granger added 10.

Neither team scored for the first 3:18. Then Western Michigan's Muhammed Conteh sank a free throw, and the Broncos never trailed.

Western Michigan led 28-23 at intermission. Hollowell scored the first basket after the break to trim it to 28-25, but the Broncos poured it on from there, the lead reaching 16 twice.

Western Michigan also had a 36-32 rebounding edge.