Williams’ midcourt 3 lifts Boise State over Oregon 73-70
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Lexus Williams drove to the perfect spot to insert the dagger, from dead center inside the Oregon logo.
Williams hit a 3-pointer from half-court at the buzzer to lift Boise State to a 73-70 victory over the Ducks on Friday night and snap the nation’s longest home winning streak.
”As soon as I let it go, I thought it was good,” Williams said.
Payton Pritchard’s driving layup tied the score for Oregon at 70 with 3.2 seconds to play before Williams let fly from the midcourt line at Matthew Knight Arena, where the Ducks had won 46 games in a row.
”The first thing I looked at was the clock and I knew I could get it to at least half-court,” said Williams, a graduate transfer from Valparaiso who played against Oregon and lost on the same floor last season.
”When he let it go, I thought it was good,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said. ”I guess it’s wishful thinking, but he found a way to get it off.
”Sometimes you’ve got to be a little lucky to break the streak, but you also have to be in a position to have that luck.”
Chandler Hutchison led the Broncos (7-1) with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Zach Haney added 17 points and seven rebounds, and Justinian Jessup scored 15.
Pritchard topped the Ducks (5-3) with 28 points, one off his career high, and Elijah Brown scored 17.
Oregon saw two of its big men, MiKyle McIntosh and Paul White, foul out in a combined 38 minutes. The two accounted for 17 points and six rebounds. Boise State went to the foul line 25 times, making 18, to the Ducks’ 10-of-10 effort.
”We put them on the line way too much with really bad fouls and got beat on second-chance points,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. ”Fast-break points really hurt us. They had zero at halftime and 14 in the second half.
”We didn’t get back and put our defense together. A couple of those were 3s that got them going.”
Boise State had a 33-30 edge in rebounds. Keith Smith had five to lead Oregon, which was without its leading rebounder, freshman Troy Brown, because of concussion protocol.
Brown’s absence plus the foul trouble left Altman having to rely more on his younger players, and his three available freshmen had just four points. The Ducks have seen at least two players foul out of each of their last three games.
”It comes down to toughness and it comes down to leadership,” Altman said. ”We’ve got to get more out of older guys. We’re putting a tremendous amount of pressure on our freshmen.”
The Broncos shot 7 of 11 from 3-point range in the second half, with Jessup making 5 of 7. Williams’ winning shot broke the last of 14 ties as neither team led by more than eight points.
Williams said he and his teammates were well aware of Oregon’s run of success at home. Ending it touched off a boisterous postgame celebration.
”That’s a huge deal,” he said, ”and that’s what we wanted to come in and do.”
Oregon: The Ducks not only had their home winning streak end, but lost for the third time in four games. The last team to beat the Ducks at home was Arizona on Jan. 8, 2015.
Boise State: The Broncos’only true road game among its first 11 was against Oregon in the rubber match of the three-game series. The Broncos are just the third nonconference team to win at Matthew Knight Arena, which opened in 2011, against 55 losses.
Boise State: Starts a three-game homestand against Portland on Sunday.
Oregon: Continues a four-game homestand against Colorado State on Dec. 8. The Ducks’ lone game outside Oregon before January is at Fresno State on Dec. 16.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Boise State, which came in shooting 42.7 percent from 3-point range and made 16 in its last game, missed its first 10 attempts before hitting four in a row and 7 of 9.
HE SAID IT
Altman has been harping on defense to his players so as to cut down on fouls, but the message has been slow to take hold. ”Our defensive positioning is awful,” he said. ”When we get out of position, we just reach. We’re straight up and down. We’re not in an athletic position and not ready to play.”
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard was the first to congratulate Rice when he emerged from the Broncos’ locker room after being doused by his players. Boise State associate head coach Phil Beckner was on Weber State’s staff when Lillard played there.
Haney had 15 points in the first half and finished two shy of his career best. … Oregon matched its season low for blocks with three. … The lead changed hands 15 times. … The Ducks had just 11 assists and the Broncos totaled 10.