Broncos Feast Beyond Arc in 71-64 Win
Nov. 26, 2015
FULLERTON, Calif.- Anthony Drmic scored 11 of his game-high 21 points in the final 9:03 to guide Boise State to a 71-64 victory against UC Irvine Thursday, in the first round of the DirecTV Wooden Legacy. The Broncos (3-2) will take on No. 3 Michigan State in the semifinals Friday, at 2:30 p.m. PT on ESPN2.
Drmic hit a a pair of three-pointers during a 12-6 run that started midway through the second half and stretched a one-point lead to seven. Drmic's fourth and final triple of the night capped the run and staked Boise State to a 60-53 advantage with 4:23 left.
With three minutes to play, UC Irvine cut Boise State's lead to 62-57 and forced a turnover on the next possession. Drmic fouled on the ensuing fast break to send the Anteaters to the free throw line. Alex Young split the trip, missing the second which was rebounded by Nick Duncan who was immediately fouled. Duncan made both free throws and the Broncos forced a long jumper which was rebounded by Drmic.
On the next offensive trip, a baseline jumper from James Webb III with 1:52 left put the Broncos up eight at 66-58 and Boise State made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 38 seconds to preserve the win.
"We knew we were going to be in for a battle," said head coach Leon Rice. "I'm really proud of our guys and how we were able to close it out. Year-to-year each team is different and you have to find new ways to close out a game, and I thought our guys did a great job down the stretch of that game."
Duncan matched Drmic's four three-pointers and scored 14 points of his own. The Broncos connected on 11-of-28 three-point attempts in the game, their fourth consecutive game connecting on double-digit three-pointers.
Chandler Hutchison added 13 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Hutchison, whose family is hosting the Broncos for Thanksgiving dinner following the game, grabbed seven of Boise State's offensive boards. The Broncos outrebounded the much larger Anteaters 36-31 and held a 14-7 edge in second-chance points.
Boise State got off to a slow start against UC Irvine's zone defense, hitting the first media timeout without getting on the scoreboard. Duncan scored Boise State's first points 5:40 into the game with a three-pointer. It started an 8-2 run that tied the game.
"We don't see a ton of zone defense throughout the year," said Rice. "We know that they are a really good zone team and the big man (7-foot-6 Mamadou Ndiaye) nullifies the middle of it."
The Broncos responded the rest of the way with impressive ball movement and dead-eye shooting.
"We got some good shots against that zone and we were able to attack it from the high post, drop it down and get some good finishes by the rim," said Rice. "That opens things up on the perimeter and our guys are good shooters. When you have guys with good vision, good passing and good shooters, it's a great recipe for success against a zone."
Mikey Thompson recorded a career-high eight assists in the game, finding most of his success penetrating to the paint and forcing the middle of the zone up the lane. David Wacker and Robin Jorch were both beneficiaries of Thompson's decision making. Wacker scored four points on a pair of dunks to go with three rebounds in 12 minutes.
Young scored 15 points, 10 in the first half, and Luke Nelson 13 for the Anteaters (4-1), who were off to their best start since the 1982-83 season. Seven-foot-6 Mamadou Ndiaye dealt with foul trouble and had just four points, one block and one rebound in 19 minutes.
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