Memphis Scores Late to End Bronco Season

29 Nov 2021 | 10:52 | Basketball

DENTON, Texas – Boise State scored 10 straight points to take a one-point lead with under a minute to play, but Memphis had the final answer to beat the Broncos 59-56, Thursday, in a National Invitation Tournament quarterfinal. An offensive rebound and putback with 32 seconds on the clock put the Tigers back on top and defense and free throws kept them ahead until the final buzzer.

Mladen Armus scored six of his team-high 12 points during the late flurry. After back-to-back Armus buckets, Derrick Alston, Jr. hit a three-pointer to bring the Broncos (19-9) within two. They went back to Armus for the game-tying basket with 1:33 left.

Debonair Doutrive, whose game winner against SMU last week allowed Boise State to advance in the tournament, once again put the Broncos on top late. This time Doutrive was fouled on a drive to the rim and went 1-of-2 at the line for a one-point advantage.

The next Memphis possession resulted in the second-chance opportunity that ultimately provided the game’s final lead change. Boise State missed a contested driving layup with 14 seconds left and the Tigers made two free throws to push their lead to three.

Memphis (18-8) elected to foul on the ensuing possession, sending Alston to the line. He made the first before intentionally missing the second but the Tigers secured the rebound and sealed the win at the free throw line on the other end. Alston’s made free throw gave him 11 points for the game and 1,479 for his career – one more than Chandler Hutchison’s career total and No. 10 in Boise State history.

All five Boise State starters scored in double figures for the second straight game. It was also the second time in as many games that Armus finished as the Broncos’ leading scorer, the only two such instances of the season. He added a team-best seven rebounds.

The Broncos came out of the gates hot, hitting 5-of-7 shots to start the game and take a 15-5 lead. Memphis countered with a 22-6 run and eventually took a 31-26 halftime lead into the locker room.

Boise State got out to a quick start in the second half, outscoring Memphis 10-3 in the first four minutes to jump back on top. The Tigers held the Broncos without a field goal for more than seven minutes while extending their lead to eight. They eventually pushed the advantage to nine with five minutes to play, before the Broncos battled back yet again.

The Broncos finish the season with a 19-9 record, the 16th postseason tournament appearance in program history and the school’s first appearance in an NIT quarterfinal.
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