It certainly wasn’t pretty, but the Ducks pushed their home court winning streak to 28 with a hard earned, 68-63 victory over Boise State. The Ducks won the jump to start the game, but Boucher swatted it out of bounds, so first possession to the Broncos. Nick Duncan missed a 3. Jordan Bell got the first score for the Ducks with a jumper. Bell assisted on a jumper by Payton Pritchard, and it was 4-0 Ducks. After a Boucher dunk made it 6-2, Boise State got it to 6-4, then, Nick Duncan made up for his first miss by nailing 3 consecutive 3’s from nearly the identical spot on the floor to put the Broncos up, 13-6, a lead they would not surrender until the final minutes of the game.
With 8:17 on the clock, Boise State was on a 27-8 run to lead, 29-14. Just like last year, Boise State was connecting on 3’s, while the Ducks couldn’t hit from deep. Just when it looked like the Broncos would gallop away with this one, the Ducks went on a run of their own, 15-3, to make it 32-29 with a minute left in the half. A block by Bell with: 32 to go kept the lead at 3, and the Ducks went in to halftime with momentum.
So much for momentum. The opening five minutes have been good to the Ducks so far this season, but not tonight. Five minutes in, Boise State had outscored the Ducks, 9-6, to push the lead out to 6, 41-35. Casey Benson found the range on back to back 3’s, and the Ducks were down 4, 45-41. Dorsey rebounded his own miss and put it back in to get the Ducks to 49-44. With 10:31 left to play, it was 51-46, and neither team would score for the next 2 minutes until Ennis made one of two free throws. Brooks split a pair from the free throw line to make it 53-48.Leave it good ol’ Nick Duncan to end the field goal drought by hitting yet another 3, and making it 56-48 with 7:43 to play.
Dorsey nailed a 3 to get the Ducks within 0ne again with 5:28 left. Finally, with 3:33 on the clock, a Ennis 3 put the Ducks back in the lead for the first time since the opening moments, and they wouldn’t give it up again. The Ducks had 8 turnovers in the first half, but none, in the last 4:30. The defense also tightened up; Boise State went 1-8 on its last 3’s. A key call on an out of bounds went the Ducks way with: 07 on the clock and the Ducks up 3. Brooks finished the scoring with two free throws to make it 68-63.
Dylan Ennis had his best game of the year by far, going for a team high, 18 points; Dorsey joined him in double figures with 17, in his second strong performance in a row. Dillon Brooks was off his game, 1-9 from the field, 3-5 on free throws and 5 turnovers. Bell had the key block to end the first half and Boucher had 5 for the game. The Ducks were pretty stagnant on offense, finishing with only 8 assists; as they have looked for most of the season so far, not having any plan offensively, and just passing the ball around the perimeter until somebody decides to shoot.
Ennis and Dorsey had strong game overall, Bell and Boucher had moments, but for the most part the Ducks played uninspired, sloppy basketball and were fortunate to pick up the win.
Next Game: Western Oregon @ MKA, Wednesday.