- Associated Press - Friday, March 3, 2017

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Thomas Wilder scored 27 points, Tucker Haymond added 24 and Western Michigan beat Central Michigan 88-80 on Friday night for its eighth straight win.

Western Michigan (15-15, 11-7 Mid-American) tied Ball State for the top spot in the conference’s West Division standings and an automatic bid to the tournament’s quarterfinal round.

Brandon Johnson chipped in 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Broncos, who shot 50 percent (32 of 64) from the floor but just 15 of 27 (55.6 percent) from the free-throw line.

Marcus Keene scored 37 points on 12-of-31 shooting to lead Central Michigan (16-15, 6-12), which has lost seven straight. Braylon Rayson added 26 points.

Western Michigan used an 11-0 run, capped by Haymond’s 3-pointer, for a 61-50 lead with 14 minutes left. Central Michigan pulled within seven points but didn’t get closer.

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