Portland, OR – The first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament started at the Moda Center in Portland. The first session featured games between No. 8-seeded Boise State against No. 9-seeded Memphis, followed by No.1-seed Gonzaga facing No. 16-seed Georgia State.
In the opener Memphis appear to have the game in-hand, racing out to a 38-19 halftime lead but the Broncos, led by Abu Kijab came back to make a game of it in the second half. Kijab went 0-of-4 from the field in the first half but came on to score 20 second half points to help get the Broncos within six points of the Tigers. He scored 13 straight points for Boise State, including hitting two three-pointers and cut the deficit to 53-47 on a layup with 4:32 remaining. Boise State got within 56-51 on an offensive rebound put-back by Naje Smith with 1:26 left. After the Broncos got within five points again, Jalen Duren came up with a steal under the basket and a lay-in to extend the Memphis lead to seven points. The Tigers closed out the game from there in a 64-53 win.
DeAndre Williams led Memphis (22-10) with 14 points on 7-of-8 from the field. Duren added 10 points and 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive end. Kijab’s 20 points led all scorers in the game. He was the only Bronco in double-figures. Memphis had a big advantage as they shot 47 percent from the field compared to 31 percent for Boise State (27-8). They also shot 5-of-12 3s (42 percent) compared to the Broncos’ 6-of-21 (29 percent). Memphis also had a 39-30 advantage on the boards.
In the nightcap Georgia State gave Gonzaga more of a game than was anticipated, staying close for 30 minutes of play before the Bulldogs pulled away for a 93-72 win. Gonzaga blew the game open with a 21-0 point run midway through the second half. The Zags outscored the Panthers 58-39 in the second half, greatly expanding their two-point halftime lead. The Panthers had no defense inside against Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren as the two Gonzaga bigs punished the Panthers.
Timme finished the game with 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting to go along with 13 rebounds. Holmgren added 19 points, 17 rebounds, seven blocked shots, five assists and two steals. Gonzaga (27-3) had a 58-24 edge in points in the paint and outshot Georgia State (18-11) 52 to 32 percent from the field.
This article was written by Carl Berman, Managing Partner of NetScouts Basketball. You can follow us on Facebook, or on twitter.
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