Some days are better than other for an athletic program. Saturday was one of the best days in a while for the Western Michigan University men's basketball and hockey teams. When the day was over, both teams found themselves in first place ties.
On the hardwood, WMU pounded Northern Illinois 71-34. The Broncos (10-7, 2-2 MAC) held NIU to just 20 percent from the field and the 34 points was the fewest that Western Michigan has given up since 1948. The last team held to such a paltry offensive total was Olivet, a 54-33 loser on Nov. 27, 1948. Thanks to its win, WMU is now tied with Eastern Michigan and Toledo for first place in the MAC West.
The Broncos hockey team also fared well and got some help from an unlikely source. One night after losing to Bowling Green on the road, WMU returned home to beat the Falcons 2-1. Western Michigan (14-6-4, 10-4-2-1 CCHA) fell behind early, but clamped down defensively and got just enough offensive output to earn a weekend split with the Falcons.
Western Michigan also received a lift thanks to Alaska. The Nanooks capped off a two-game sweep of Notre Dame, which launched the Broncos into a first place tie with the Irish.
Even the Western Michigan women's basketball team had a good day. The Broncos hosted MAC East leader Akron, downing the Zips 84-77, to get WMU's first win in six games.
Coming up for WMU
Men's basketball vs Eastern Michigan, 7 p.m.
Women's basketball at Northern Illinois, 8 p.m.
Hockey vs Michigan, 7:05 p.m.