This Day In Sports: Broncos hoops gets the best of Oregon

December 12, 2015: Hosting a non-conference top 25 team for the first time in eight years, Boise State edges No. 24 Oregon 74-72 before 10,239 raucous fans in Taco Bell Arena. It was the Broncos’ first home victory over a ranked team since a WAC triumph over No. 21 Utah State in 2009. There wouldn’t be another until last February’s 66-60 upset of No. 18 San Diego State.

Boise State had built a 17-point lead over Oregon with less than seven minutes to play behind Anthony Drmic’s 19 points before the Ducks mounted a frantic comeback. It was the Broncos’ fourth game against a ranked opponent in 3½ weeks—they had lost by 12 and nine points in two contests against Arizona and by 10 to Michigan State. Drmic was one of the centerpieces of the team that season. The Aussie senior gutted it out against Oregon, but a still-healing leg had him exhausted toward the end of the game.

That may have explained Drmic‘s two missed free throws and two turnovers in the chaotic final three minutes. Fellow senior Mikey Thompson also turned the ball over in that stretch. But there were no excuses from Drmic, who tweeted out an apology after the game. “We’re two senior leaders, and we can’t finish the game like that,” said Drmic in the postgame presser. “We got to put it away at the free throw line and taking care of the ball. Yeah, I’m sorry.” That coming from a guy who just moved into the top five in Boise State career scoring.

There was some future NBA flavor in the game. Boise State guard Chandler Hutchison, an eventual Chicago Bulls first-round draft pick, was a sophomore who was alternating between starter and key reserve. Hutchison was sure good off the bench against the Ducks, denying a three-point attempt on the game’s final play, less than two minutes after he scored the Broncos’ final points of the game on a clutch put-back.

James Webb II, who would play 10 games for the Brooklyn Nets in 2018, added 12 for Boise State and ended up as the team’s leading scorer that season. And Dillon Brooks, a supremely talented college player who is now a disruptive force in the NBA (not in a good way), led Oregon with 26 points. Brooks is now a Houston Rocket and is a technical foul magnet.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

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