Boise State Basketball

Boise State ends Oregon’s record home win streak on Williams’ buzzer beater

The halfcourt buzzer-beater that lifted Boise State over Oregon

The Oregon men's basketball team trailed Boise State by two points in the closing seconds Dec. 1, 2017. The Ducks tied it, then the Broncos won it, in the frantic finish. Lexus Williams hit the final shot. (Video courtesy of Pac-12 Networks)
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The Oregon men's basketball team trailed Boise State by two points in the closing seconds Dec. 1, 2017. The Ducks tied it, then the Broncos won it, in the frantic finish. Lexus Williams hit the final shot. (Video courtesy of Pac-12 Networks)

Lexus Williams squared up and took his best shot.

The senior point guard’s 3-pointer just after he crossed half-court swished as the buzzer sounded to give Boise State a 73-70 victory over Oregon (5-3), ending the Ducks’ 46-game home winning streak Friday night at Matthew Knight Arena.

“As soon as I let it go, I knew it was good,” Williams said. “So when I fell on the floor, I just stayed there because I knew they were going to pile on top of me.”

And that’s exactly what his Bronco teammates did as Ducks fans made their way for the exits in disbelief.

Oregon sophomore guard Payton Pritchard — the only starter back from a team that advanced to the Final Four last season — made a layup with 4 seconds left to tie the score at 70. Williams, a graduate transfer from Valparaiso, took the inbounds pass from senior Chandler Hutchison and worked his way through traffic for a clear shot.

“He did a good job of just not panicking and chucking it,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said. “He got to a spot, he found the rim and then he shot it.”

Rice said the Broncos (7-1) practice those last-second shots at the end of every shootaround.

“I’m telling you, when he let it go, you just felt like it was in,” Rice said. “Then you’re like, ‘Wow, it’s in.’ 

Hutchison led the Broncos, who were 7-point underdogs, with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds, and junior Zach Haney added 17 points and seven rebounds.

Haney scored 12 of Boise State’s first 14 points. The 6-foot-11 forward controlled the lane with a soft touch off the glass and twice scored on tip-in putbacks to frustrate the Ducks’ big men, three of whom had two fouls before halftime. Oregon’s Paul White and MiKyle McIntosh each ended up fouling out late in the second half.

“Zach’s got that ability, and he just needs that confidence to do it,” Rice said. “He went and did it against some great players tonight. That’s how we survived that first half. If Zach didn’t score 15, we’re down 15.”

The Boise State men's basketball team celebrates after a 73-70 victory over Oregon ended the Ducks’ 46-game home winning streak.

Haney finished 7 for 10 from the floor in the first half, making up for an unusually slow start from beyond the arc for the Broncos. Boise State entered Friday’s game averaging 12.1 3-pointers per game, which was tied for sixth in the country. But at the break, the Broncos were 0 for 8 from deep and trailed 34-30.

The last time the Broncos failed to make a 3-pointer in a half was Dec. 23, 2012, against New Orleans. Boise State went on to win that game 67-51.

“What went through my mind when we talked to the team about it was, ‘Hey, we’re down four and we haven’t made a three,’ ” Rice said. “We’re not gonna get shut out. We’re going to explode on them. ... We just have to get that ball moving a little bit better than we did. We knew those would drop, and that’s exactly what happened.”

Point guard Lexus Williams made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Boise State a 73-70 win over Oregon, ending the Ducks' 46-game home winning streak.

Hutchison was the first Bronco to connect from 3-point range, hitting one with 16:42 left in the game. His 3 jump-started sophomore Justinian Jessup, who then sank five 3-pointers and finished with 15 points.

“We love going on the road and being able to play in good atmospheres like this against a great opponent,” Rice said. “They played so hard, I didn’t want disappointment. You want that locker room the way it was, where everybody gets to celebrate.”

Rachel Roberts: 208-377-6422, @byrachelroberts

BOISE STATE 73, OREGON 70

BOISE ST. (7-1): Sengfelder 1-6 4-4 6, Haney 8-11 1-3 17, Williams 2-5 2-2 7, Hutchison 6-16 7-10 20, Jessup 5-9 0-0 15, Jorch 0-0 1-2 1, Hobbs 2-5 1-2 5, Dickinson 0-3 2-2 2. Totals 24-55 18-25 73.

OREGON (5-3): McIntosh 4-7 0-0 8, Smith 1-5 0-0 2, White 4-8 0-0 9, Pritchard 9-16 7-7 28, E.Brown 6-15 3-3 17, Kigab 0-1 0-0 0, Cage 0-2 0-0 0, Wooten 1-1 0-0 2, Sorkin 1-4 0-0 2, Bailey 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 27-61 10-10 70.

Halftime—Oregon 34-30. 3-Point Goals—Boise St. 7-19 (Jessup 5-8, Williams 1-2, Hutchison 1-2, Haney 0-1, Hobbs 0-1, Dickinson 0-2, Sengfelder 0-3), Oregon 6-23 (Pritchard 3-7, E.Brown 2-7, White 1-4, Smith 0-2, Sorkin 0-3). Fouled Out—McIntosh, White. Rebounds—Boise St. 31 (Hutchison 10), Oregon 27 (Smith 5). Assists—Boise St. 10 (Williams 4), Oregon 11 (E.Brown 4). Total Fouls—Boise St. 14, Oregon 22. A—7,688 (12,364).

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