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3 keys to BYU’s 90-71 NIT win over Northern Iowa

Gideon George goes off from the 3-poiint line, scores 27

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Brigham Young Cougars forward Gideon George (5) goes up for a layup as the Brigham Young Cougars play the Northern Iowa Panthers in an NIT game at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, March 19, 2022.

Mengshin Lin, Deseret News

BYU used a furious defensive effort in the middle of the game and blistering outside attack to advance to the third round of the National Invitational Tournament Saturday night with a 90-71 win over Northern Iowa in the Marriott Center.

Here are three keys to BYU’s win.

  • Senior forward Gideon George scored 18 first-half points and made five straight shots in the second half to lead the Cougar scoring barrage. He finished with 27 points to lead BYU in scoring and added six rebounds.
  • Senior Cougar guard Te’Jon Lucas executed an impressive dribble penetration attack to both score and set up teammates in one of his best games of the year. Lucas finished with 14 points and eight assists on a night Alex Barcello needed a sidekick to make plays.
  • With senior point guard Barcello starting 1 for 5 from behind the arc and making just 1 of 8 for the game, teammates George (5 treys), Trevin Knell (5), Caleb Lohner (2) and Spencer Johson (2) effectively picked up the outside shooting with 16 from distance. Northern Iowa, known for its potent 3-point shooting, had 16 against St. Louis in the first round of the NIT and 11 in the loss Saturday.