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Kalamazoo — 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.

More state men

Wayne State 73, (at) Purdue Northwest 66: Ronald Booth scored 20, including six 3-pointers, to lead four Wayne State players in double figures scoring.  Chuck Key had 14 points, George Spencer added 13 and Marcus Moore 10 for the Warriors (3-3, 2-0 GLIAC), who shot 49 percent from the floor. Torrane Johnson had 21 points for Purdue Northwest (0-7, 0-2).

State men scores

(At) Lake Superior State 80, Tiffin 67

(At) Michigan Tech 87, Northwood 70

(At) Northern Michigan 86, Saginaw Valley 69

(At) Davenport 66, Grand Valley State 55

(At) Ferris State 91, Ashland 57

Illinois Tech 83, (at) Albion 78

(At) Case Western Reserve 74, Adrian 67

(At) Chicago 75, Kalamazoo 56

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