Men’s basketball loses to Memphis in the first round of March Madness

Boise State men's basketball vs. UNR 2022
Photo by Claire Keener

Boise State men’s basketball lost their final game of the season to the University of Memphis 64-53 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The team has yet to win their first NCAA tournament game after they are now is now 0-8 in the tournament.

Boise State men's basketball vs. UNR 2022
[Photo of the men’s basketball team cheering on their teammates at the game on March 1 against UNR.]
Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

“The great thing about these guys is they went out the way they played all year,” said head coach Leon Rice. “They just went down swinging. They didn’t roll over for anybody. They will be remembered for a long, long time, and the things they did helped this program to keep building.”

Boise State went into the game having one of their worst first-half performances on the year. The team shot a 29% (7-24) field goal percentage and a 17% (1-6) free throw percentage throughout the first half. 

This caused the team to only score 19 points and trail by 19 points heading into halftime. 

“[Memphis] kind of came out and got us on our heels a little bit with their defense, their presses,” Rice said. “The second half we did a much better job of being the aggressor. These guys, they weren’t about to go away getting blown out.”

Knowing they were heading into the final half of the game trailing by a large margin, Boise State played really well to try to finish off the game.

The team shot 33% (10-30) field goal percentage and a 92% (12-13) free throw percentage in the second half. This allowed Boise State to pull within five points with 1:16 left on the clock, but Memphis closed out the game scoring six points to secure their victory.

Redshirt senior Abu Kigab had a great performance after dropping a game-high 20 points in his final game as a Bronco. 

“It’s definitely tough seeing it come to an end, but our guys battled,” Kigab said. “That’s all you can ask for. I thought everyone did a tremendous job of competing, and sometimes it’s like that. It’s basketball, and sometimes things don’t go your way.”

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