The University of Akron men’s basketball team opened Mid-American Conference play Tuesday night against the preseason favorite to win the West Division.

It didn’t take long for Western Michigan to show why it was deemed the favorite. After amassing a 16-point first-half lead the Broncos (9-5, 1-0) coasted to an 87-75 victory over the Zips at University Arena in Kalamazoo.

Point guard Malcolm Duvivier led the Zips (7-6, 0-1) with 21 points and added two assists. Guard Jimond Ivey added 18 points and seven rebounds for UA.

The Broncos’ Josh Davis led all scorers, making 10-of-10 shots to score 26 points, including 3-of-3 from behind the 3-point line, and seven rebounds.

Western Michigan made 55 percent of its shots (31-of-56), including 9-of-19 on 3-pointers. UA shot 44 percent (27-of-61) and made 33 percent (9-of-27) on 3-pointers.

UA lost the rebounding battle 37-27.

The Zips didn’t make a serious run to get back into the game until late in the second half when they managed to slice the Broncos’ lead to 78-69 with 3:04 left in the game. The Broncos answered with a 9-6 run to end the game.

UA wasn’t up to par in the first half, allowing the Broncos to shoot 62 percent from the floor (18-of-29) and 4-of-6 on 3-pointers. But the early-game power came courtesy of a Broncos team that hit the boards with ferocity, grabbing 22 boards in the first half, and took advantage of scoring opportunities in the paint, collecting 22 points inside.

The Broncos went on a 12-2 run in the closing moments of the first half, setting the tone for the rest of the game.