Signature non-conference win for the 2015 Boise State Broncos? Check.
After hard fought losses to Michigan State and Arizona (twice), the Boise State Broncos (7-4) held off a late Oregon Ducks (7-2) rally to win their second straight nail biter, winning 74-72.
Up 67-50 with just under six minutes to play, Boise State allowed the Ducks to claw their way back thanks to missed free throws and turnovers by the Broncos, and the hot hands of Dillon Brooks and Elgin Cook, turning what looked to be a blowout in a tight game.
Brooks missed a closely contested layup with seconds left that would have tied the game, helping Boise State defeat Oregon for the first time in school history.
Anthony Drmic led the Broncos with 19 points, but he missed four free throws in the second half and had a key turnover that led to the Ducks final possession.
“It was sloppy at the end, especially for me,” Drmic told the CBS Sports Network after the game.
Brooks led all scorers with 26 points while Cook added 22 as the two combined to go 8-14 from three-point range.
Oregon had the hot hand early in the game, shooting 80% from the field and racing out to a 21-11 lead.
Poor shooting and a lack of defensive intensity played a part in the Broncos deficit. Boise State was only 3-12 from beyond the arc in falling behind by 10.
A combination of Oregon going cold and the Broncos ratcheting up the defense brought the arena to life. Oregon would go almost six minutes without a field goal, during which the Broncos fought back and tied the game at 21 on two James Webb III free throws.
Oregon would only make two of their final 18 shots and the inspired, energetic bench play of Zach Haney and Chandler Hutchison helped Boise State turn a double-digit deficit into a double-digit lead.
Haney had five points, including a three, three rebounds, and a steal. Hutchison contributed three points, but pulled down six rebounds in the first half.
Despite Drmic and Mikey Thompson both sitting the last five minutes of the half with foul trouble, Boise State took a 41-28 lead into the locker room.
Webb III had 10 points at the half while Brooks led all scorers with 11.
Boise State kept Oregon at bay for most of the second half, letting Oregon get within six at the 11:17 mark of the half before responding with a 15-4 run.
After the Ducks got the score to within five, Hutchison hit two free throws, took a charge on the defensive end, and then put back a missed Duncan three as the Broncos were up nine with 1:47 remaining.
In the end, that sequence provided just enough to secure the Boise State victory.
Webb III, sitting with foul trouble for much of the second half, finished with 12 points and five rebounds. Thompson added 11 points.
The bench play of the Broncos proved to be crucial, especially with Montigo Alford leaving with an ankle injury in the first half and not returning.
Hutchison finished with eight points and seven rebounds. Haney finished with seven points and four rebounds as both men brought energy and solid defense to the game.
After starting coldly from beyond the arc, the Broncos finished the game 11-29 from three-point range. Boise State only committed nine turnovers on the game.
The Broncos have now won 13 straight home games and will look to continue that streak next Sunday when they host Bradley.