Turnovers were just a part of the problem for the Boise State Broncos men’s basketball team Saturday night in Boise.
The main culprit was a pesky Oregon Ducks defense.
Oregon had 14 steals and held Boise State to 35.7 percent shooting — including only 15 made field goals — in defeating the Broncos 62-50 at Taco Bell Arena.
Boise State (5-8) committed 19 turnovers overall and had multiple occasions in which they went minutes without a field goal as they lost to Oregon (9-4) for the second time this season.
The Ducks defeated the Broncos 66-54 two weeks ago in Oregon.
Even with three players who see regular minutes for the Ducks not suited up, the Broncos couldn’t overcome cold-shooting and poor ball handling to pick up a key non-conference win.
Pat Dembley came off the bench to lead all Boise State scorers with 13 points. Leading scorer R.J. Williams was held in check by Oregon, scoring only six points on three shot attempts.
Senior guard Ehab Amin led Oregon with 23 points. Amin also had six rebounds and three steals.
The rust of not playing in seven days — eight for Oregon — showed as both teams started off slowly.
It took until the 17:28 mark for a team to score, on two free throws by Boise State’s Marcus Dickinson.
The Broncos had still not made a field goal eight minutes into the game, but Oregon wasn’t faring much better. The Ducks were 3-14 (21.4%) and led 6-2.
Dembley finally hit Boise State’s first shot, breaking an 0-6 start for the team, at the 10:19 mark. This came after an Amin three put Oregon up 9-5.
Dembley’s three started an 11-0 run for the Broncos, giving Boise State a 16-9 lead.
The teams would go back and forth down the stretch of the first frame, with Oregon closing the Broncos lead to three and a 24-21 Boise State halftime advantage.
Boise State had nine turnovers in the first half, but Oregon failed to capitalize and scored zero points off the Bronco miscues.
The turnovers came back to haunt the Broncos, especially at the start of the second half.
After Justinian Jessup found Zach Haney for a quick bucket to put Boise State up 26-21, the wheels fell off. Oregon scored six straight, four off of turnovers by Williams, as Boise State suddenly found themselves down by one.
Boise State committed six turnovers in the early going of the half, leading to eight Oregon points.
Two Jessup free throws briefly put Boise State up by one at 28-27, but it would be their last lead of the game.
A Dembley three-pointer at the 13:55 mark tied things up at 34, but Oregon reeled off a 12-3 run.
It wasn’t until a Williams putback at the 7:37 mark did the Broncos make their next field goal, scoring only three free throws during this span.
Boise State would narrow the gap back to six on multiple occasions, but turnovers, missed free throws, and more cold shooting prevented them from getting any closer.
No other Bronco reached double digits in the scoring column. Jessup had 9 points while Alex Hobbs and Derrick Alston added six each.
Jessup had 8 rebounds to pace the Broncos and Williams added 7.
Boise State opens Mountain West play January 2 at Wyoming. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 pm (MT)