The Huskies nearly blew a 17-point second-half lead, including a 10-point advantage with 44 seconds to go, before surviving against No. 4 seed Boise State 77-74 in a first-round National Invitation Tournament game at Hec Ed Wednesday night. Fifth-seeded Washington (21-12) moves on to play No. 1 seed and West Coast Conference power St. Mary’s (29-5) at 8 p.m. Monday in Moraga, CA.
Broncos senior guard Chandler Hutchison had 39 points in his final college game, including his team’s final seven in a 9-2 run that cut the lead to three with five seconds left after his two free throws.
The inbounds pass was tied up and possession belonged to Boise State. Lexus Williams had his attempt at a game-tying three blocked, but recovered the ball and got off a second attempt at :01 that fell short.
The Huskies were led by Jaylen Nowell’s 25 points, including six free throws in the final two minutes. Matisse Thybulle had 18, but fouled out, as did Noah Dickerson.
Washington pulled out to a 36-21 halftimd lead largely because BSU missed 13 of 14 field goals from the more distant three-point line adopted for NIT game this March. But the Broncos made seven of their final 16 to fuel the comeback that was helped in the final minutes by foolish fouls and mental lapses by Washington.