Amin scored 23 points, helps Oregon beat Boise State 62-50
Oregon (9-4), which beat the Broncos 66-54 on Dec. 15, completed a sweep of the rare home-and-home nonconference series with the Broncos and did it with only eight scholarship players.
“This win was important,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “We needed a win like this. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs with injuries and new guys, but we need to keep pressing forward. There are a lot of great opportunities ahead for this them.”
Boise State (5-8), which lost at home for the only the second time this season, focused successfully on stopping Oregon’s Payton Pritchard, who had 19 points in the matchup earlier this season. Pritchard finished with only three points, but Amin was the one victimizing the Broncos.
“We did a great job on Pritchard, that was a big part of our game plan,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said. “But it’s not like we said we’re going to double-team Pritchard. We just didn’t make it tough enough on Amin, too.”
Amin, a graduate transfer from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, had scored just 21 points in his previous nine games combined.
“We just started hitting a lot more jumpers and that opened things up for me,” Amin said. “Then we just started spreading it around. I was just taking what the defense was giving me.”
Oregon used a 13-2 run to build a 34-28 lead and, after Boise State briefly took a one-point lead, Amin took over. Amin scored six straight points to give Oregon a 46-37 lead with eight minutes left and all but put the game away.
Oregon found a way to win on the road while missing two starters and one key bench player, something that will serve the Ducks well as they enter Pac-12 play next week. And the Ducks aren’t sure when they’ll return to full strength.
Bol Bol, a 7-foot-2 freshman who leads the team in scoring (21.0 points per game), rebounding (9.6) and blocks (2.7), has missed the past four games with a foot injury and out indefinitely. Starting forward Kenny Wooten broke his jaw against Baylor and is expected to be out for another five to six weeks. Forward Abu Kigab, who missed the past three games with a sprained foot, may return to action next Saturday.
Boise State has struggled this season and let a chance to steal one from the Ducks slip through its fingers. However, the Broncos have been competitive in all their losses, which have included several solid mid-major teams and Oregon.
If the Broncos end up making some noise in the Mountain West Conference this season, they will be able to point back to their character-building nonconference slate as the reason why. Otherwise, it’s likely to simply be a long season.
Oregon hosts archrivals Oregon State on Saturday in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.
Boise State travels to Wyoming as the Broncos begin play in the Mountain West.