Martez Walker scored 32 points and sank a pair of clinching free throws with 5.2 seconds left as Oakland fended off a Western Michigan rally to defeat the Broncos 78-73 on Saturday in an intense meeting of the preseason favorites of their respective conferences.
Walker matched his career-best scoring, making five 3-pointers and 7 of 8 at the line in 40 minutes. Horizon League favorite Oakland (5-3) rallied from 10 points down early in the first half to lead by 14, 69-55, with eight minutes to play.
Mid-American Conference favorite Western Michigan reeled off 11 unanswered points with Thomas Wilder scoring seven his 24 points and two steals as the Broncos closed to 69-66 with 4:53 remaining.
Walker stemmed the momentum with a 3-pointer. Western Michigan (5-5) attempted a game-tying 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left, but a kickout pass to Wilder in corner was determined to have gone out of bounds off of him — after a lengthy review reversed the original call. Walker was fouled and, despite two timeouts, made both free throws to clinch it.
Oakland's high-scoring Kendrick Dunn (23 ppg) was held to 14, playing with four fouls. Reggie Jones scored 14 and Drake Lamont 12 for Western Michigan.