Ward was only 4 of 11 from the field but hit 12-of-14 free throws to help the Broncos (8-6) win their third straight.
Trey Zeigler had 22 points for the Chippewas (3-11) and sent the game into OT when he scored on a layup with 2 seconds left in regulation.
But Ward took over in the extra period. He scored the first three points of OT to give Western Michigan the lead for good and had the Broncos' last six points, all on free throws.
Western Michigan led 26-22 at halftime and was up 52-45 with 3:08 left in the second half before Central Michigan tied it with a 7-0 run