Boise State ended the nation’s longest home win streak in the most dramatic fashion possible.
Senior guard Lexus Williams sank a half-court heave as time expired to propel the Broncos to a 73-70 victory at Oregon and snap the Ducks’ 46-game win streak at Matthew Knight Arena.
Boise State stunner!
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 2, 2017
After Oregon tied the game on Payton Pritchard’s driving layup with 3.1 seconds left, Boise State coach Leon Rice opted not to use a timeout and allow the Ducks defense time to get set. Williams took the inbound pass, sprinted up court and let it fly from just across the mid-court stripe, sending the Boise State bench spilling onto the floor after the shot found all net.
By rallying from a six-point halftime deficit to edge Oregon, Boise State avenged a narrow loss to the Ducks last season and validated a strong start to the new season. The Broncos entered play having won six of their first seven games, but none of the victories came against top 100 KenPom opponents and the lone loss came against rebuilding Iowa State.
A win at Oregon will likely bolster Boise State’s resume by the end of the season, but right now the Ducks scarcely resemble the team that reached the Final Four last spring.
Oregon lost six of its seven leading scorers from last year’s team including stars Dillon Brooks, Tyler Dorsey and Jordan Bell. A strong freshman class and a trio of accomplished transfers provide the influx of talent the Ducks need to remain nationally relevant, but all the pieces have not meshed as quickly as coach Dana Altman would like.
Last weekend at the PK80 tournament in Portland, Oregon sandwiched losses to UConn and Oklahoma around an overtime win against middling DePaul. The Ducks then came home without injured freshman Troy Brown and struggled to find scorers aside from Pritchard (28 points) and Elijah Brown (17 points).
It’s fitting that Boise State won on a 3-pointer because torrid shooting was what enabled the Broncos to lead for much of the second half. Mountain West player of the year candidate Chandler Hutchison led Boise State with 20 points. Williams, a graduate transfer from Valparaiso, only had a quiet four points until his last-second heroics.