PORTLAND, Ore.-A season-high 11 three-pointers were not enough for Boise State to overcome Portland in the Broncos' final game before conference play begins. The Pilots prevailed 88-79, Wednesday, at the Chiles Center.
Senior La'Shard Anderson led the Broncos with 17 points. Anderson also dished out a career-high nine assists. Anderson kept Boise State (7-5) in the game all the way to the end, either scoring or assisting on six of the Broncos' final nine scoring possessions.
Ten different Broncos found their way into the scoring column, including seven players knocking down three-pointers.
Portland-the nation's No. 3 team in three-point percentage-also made 11 triples, shooting a season-best 68.8 percent from beyond the arc. The Pilots (10-3) were led by Nemanja Mitrovic's 22 points, including shooting 5-of-5 from deep. Mitrovic's final two triples sealed the game.
A 13-4 run by Boise State cut the lead to three with 3:26 to play, but the Portland junior curled to the top of the key and banked in a three-pointer. Mitrovic hit a transition three on the next possession to stretch the lead to nine, and the Pilots made enough free throws down the stretch to hold on for the victory.
It was about more than just the Pilots' outside game. Portland won the battle of the paint, too, outrebounding Boise State 40-26, and holding a 34-18 edge in points in the paint.
A strong turnover margin kept the Broncos in the game as they gave the ball away just eight times, and scored 19 points off 16 Portland turnovers.
Seniors Daequon Montreal, Robert Arnold and Paul Noonan all scored in double figures, chipping in 13, 12 and 10 points, respectively. Montreal was the Broncos' leading rebounder with seven.
Three of Noonan's points came on a deep jumper as the first-half buzzer sounded to pull the Broncos within seven at the break, 43-36. It was Boise State's eighth triple of the half.
Boise State returns to action Wednesday, Dec. 29, in its Western Athletic Conference opener against Louisiana Tech at Taco Bell Arena.