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Boise State edges SMU 85-84 in NIT opener

NCAA Basketball: Mountain West Conference Tournament- Nevada vs Boise St.

Mar 11, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Boise State Broncos guard Derrick Alston Jr. (21) dribbles the ball as head coach Leon Rice (L) looks on against the Nevada Wolf Pack during the second half at the Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

FRISCO, Texas – Devonaire Doutrive scored on a putback with 10.1 seconds to play and Boise State defeated SMU 85-84 in a first-round game of NIT on Thursday night.

Mladen Armus, who made the play to keep the ball alive for Doutrive, also made the defensive play on the other end that forced a turnover.

Boise State will play the winner of Saturday’s Memphis-Dayton game in the quarterfinals next Thursday.

Armus scored 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Broncos (19-8), who hit a season-high 14 3-pointers with 21 assists, their second best. Emmanuel Akot hit a career-high five 3-pointers and scored 17 points to go with a career-high nine assists. Marcus Shaver Jr. and Derrick Alston both added 13 points and Doutrive had 10 with eight assists.

Kendric Davis scored 23 points with 12 assists and seven rebounds for SMU (11-6). Tyson Jolly added 17 points and Emmanuel Bandoumel 16. All three went 3 of 4 from 3-point range.

Boise State, in its seventh NIT, was 14 of 29 behind the arc and shot 50.8% overall while SMU, in its fourth NIT, made 10 of 17 3-pointer and shot 55.4%.

Boise State led 48-42 after a wild first half.

The Broncos scored the first 14 points of the game and led 30-9 after a Doutrive 3-pointer. At that point, the 11:04 mark, BSU was 11 of 15 and SMU, whose conference tournament loss six days earlier was its first game since Feb. 8, was 3 of 11. However, the Mustangs went on 20-5 run, at one point making six-straight shots, and after back-to-back 3s by Davis and Jolly, only trailed 42-40.

The tournament, limited to 16 teams instead of 32 this season, is taking place in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area at the University of North Texas Coliseum in Denton and at the Comerica Center in Frisco.