Oregon escaped with a 68-63 win over Boise State Monday night where very little went right.
Boise State will go home thinking that was a game that was there for the taking as the Broncos led for most of the night. They were also looking to make it two straight over the Ducks. Boise State managed to upset Oregon 74-72 last season.
Dylan Ennis’ three-pointer from the top of the key gave the Ducks their first lead with just 3:33 remaining and that shot propelled Oregon to the win, its 28th straight home victory.
Ennis led the way with 18 points and Tyler Dorsey added 17 as the Ducks go to 5-2 on the season.
After Ennis’ three, Boise State tied the game briefly, but Chris Boucher hit a free throw and then Dorsey powered his way into the lane for a lay-in to give Oregon a 63-60 lead with 1:09 left. After a missed shot on Boise’s end, freshman Payton Pritchard knocked down an 18-foot jumper as the shot clock wound down, giving the Ducks a 65-60 lead and eventually the game.
But nothing came easy for the No. 23 team in the country. Boise State led for the majority of the night and that lead was often in double figures. It wasn’t until Oregon turned up the defensive pressure mid-way through the second half that the Ducks were able to cut into the deficit.
Oregon had 10 blocked shots on the night with Boucher accounting for half of those. The Ducks held the Broncos to just 35 percent from the floor in the second half. Boise State was able to maintain its lead for as long as it did thanks to some nice shooting from long range.
In a stat that won’t make Dana Altman too happy, the Broncos were 11-of-28 from the three-point arc. Nick Duncan nailed five of those treys for his 15 points. Paris Austin led the visitors from the Mountain West Conference with 16 points.
The Ducks’ 15 turnovers, most of them unforced, won’t please the coach either.
Oregon’s first half wasn’t exactly its best as the Ducks were once down 29-16. Boise State scored 13 straight points to grab an early 15-6 lead and the Broncos never let that early lead slip away in that opening half.
Despite turning the ball over eight times and shooting 22 percent from long range, the Ducks were down just three at 32-29 when the halftime buzzer sounded. Dorsey and Dylan Ennis led the team with eight points each in the first half.
The Ducks will have just a day to prepare for their next opponent, Western Oregon. The Wolves come into Matthew Knight Arena Wednesday for a 6 pm tip on the Pac-12 Network.
~ Don Smalley
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