Gideon George’s Career Night Puts BYU Past Northern Iowa In NIT

Mar 19, 2022, 8:55 PM
Gideon George BYU Northern Iowa...
Courtesy of BYU Photo

PROVO, Utah — BYU Basketball took care of business on Saturday night, defeating Northern Iowa 90-71 in the Second Round of the NIT. The Cougars continued the lights out shooting they saw in the second half against Long Beach State, shooting over 50% as a team and making 16-37 (43%) from deep.

Gideon George had a career night for the Cougars. The senior forward from Nigeria had 27 points on an efficient 10-15 shooting from the field. Te’Jon Lucas added 14 points and 8 assists while Trevin Knell scored 15 points off the bench for BYU, all coming on three pointers.

BYU advances to the Quarterfinals of the NIT with the victory. The Cougars will face the winner of Washington State/SMU.

BYU and Northern Iowa Shoot Lights Out In First Half

Both teams got off to a hot start offensively as Northern Iowa led BYU at the first timeout, 15-7. The Panthers were deadly from three in the first half, shooting 7-14 (50%). Noah Carter had a big first half for Northern Iowa, leading the team with 15 points while shooting 3-6 (50%) from three.

But BYU held their own from deep in the first half. The Cougars equaled the Panthers, shooting 9-18 (50%) from three. BYU continued to move the ball well, building off of their performance in the win over Long Beach State on Wednesday. After recording 28 points in their previous game, BYU had 12 assists in the first half.

Gideon George had a big half for BYU, leading the team with 18 points. George hit shots from deep and attacked the rim in a dominant first half performance. Te’Jon Lucas added eight points and four assists. The BYU defense hunkered down after the start of the half and was able to frustrate the Panthers. Northern Iowa had eight turnovers in the first half, leading to 11 BYU points off turnovers.

Northern Iowa led for most of the first half, but the Cougars competed to remain close. After the teams were tied at 34 with 6:37 left in the first half BYU took the lead. Trevin Knell hit two big threes, while Caleb Lohner took back-to-back charges on the defensive end. That got the Marriott Center crowd hyped and the team fed off that energy.

BYU continued to build their lead and make shots in the final four minutes of the half. A foul call on Spencer Johnson gave Northern Iowa three points just before the half. BYU led Northern Iowa at halftime, 47-42.

Second Half Run Puts BYU Past Northern Iowa

The shots continued to fall for both teams to start the second half. BYU was able to extend their lead to double digits by the under-16 minute timeout. It was another big second half run that helped BYU pull away tonight. A 17-2 run over the span of about six minutes helped BYU keep Northern Iowa at an arm’s length.

After scoring just two points in the first half, Alex Barcello came up big for BYU in the final 20 minutes. The senior guard scored nine points and had four assists, leading the offensive charge for BYU. Gideon George and Trevin Knell each added nine points in the second half, respectively.

The Cougars clamped down in the second half as Northern Iowa couldn’t match the offensive output. The Panthers shot just 12-31 (38%) in the second half and just 4-13 (30%) from three. After scoring 42 points in the first half, BYU held Northern Iowa to just 29 in the second half.

BYU increased their lead to over 20 points with under three minutes left in the game, officially putting the game out of reach. Mark Pope cleared the benches with two minutes left as the Cougars cruised to a victory. BYU defeated Northern Iowa, 90-71.

BYU’s Next Opponent

BYU advances to the Quarterfinals of the NIT. The Cougars will face the winner of Washington State and SMU and will play on March 22nd or 23rd. Tip-off time is TBA. As always, you can listen to the game on KSL NewsRadio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM.

Dallen Graff is a KSL Sports Contributor. He is the Producer of Cougar Sports Saturday (SUBSCRIBE) on KSL NewsRadio. Follow him on Twitter.

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Gideon George’s Career Night Puts BYU Past Northern Iowa In NIT