BYU - Northern Iowa Notes & Quotes
The following notes are from BYU's 90-71 win over Northern Iowa on Saturday, March 19, at the Marriott Center.
ALL-TIME SERIES RESULTS: BYU leads 2-0
Gideon George started scoring for the Cougars with a 3-point jumper. After an 8-0 run over the Cougars, Northern Iowa took an early lead of 15-7 in the first five minutes of play. Caleb Lohner knocked down a three of his own before the Panthers widened the lead to 20-9. Northern Iowa had a two-minute scoring drought, allowing BYU to go on a 7-0 run and close the gap down to a two-point game at 22-20. With a 3-pointer by Trevin Knell BYU took the lead 37-34. Lohner drew a foul to make a 3-point play, making the score 43-37 with the Cougars still ahead. With an aggressive first half and nine BYU 3-pointers, the Cougars went into the locker room ahead 47-42. BYU shot 54 percent from the field and 50 percent from the 3-point line.
Te’jon Lucas started the second half with a jumper to keep BYU ahead 49-44. During a two minute scoring drought for UNI, BYU scored six points, including a 3-point play from George to pass his career high of 19 points. A dunk from Atiki put BYU up by 10. A 3-point jumper by Barcello made the score 66-51 for the Cougars after an 11-0 run over UNI. BYU continued with the momentum with George hitting his fifth 3-pointer to make the score 74-61 for BYU. A steal by Barcello and another three by Knell gave the Cougars a 16-point lead with a score of 77-61 with six minutes left in regulation. Another 3-pointer from Knell put BYU up by 19 points with a score of 85-66. BYU ended the night with a 90-71 win over UNI. The Cougars finished the game shooting 52 percent from the field, 43 percent from the three and 33 percent from the free-throw line. The Panthers finished shooting 45 percent from the field, 41 percent from the three and 71 percent from the charity stripe.
Four Cougars Finish in Double Figures
Four BYU basketball players finished the game in double digits, including: Gideon George (27), Trevin Knell (15), Te’Jon Lucas (14) and Alex Barcello (11)
In the first half, the Cougars shot 50 percent, going 9-of-18. The Cougars finished the night shooting 42 percent from the three-point line, going 13-of-31.
Te’jon Lucas led the team in assists with a total of eight to end the game. BYU had a total of 22 assists for the night against UNI.
Fousseyni Traore led the team in rebounds with seven.
George ended the night as the top scorer for the Cougars with a career high of 27 points and tying his career-high of five 3-pointers made in a single game. At 27 points, George is tied for No. 5 all-time at BYU for points scored in an NIT game. He is tied with Dick Nemelka (1996) and Chase Fischer (2016). He also added six rebounds and one assist on the night.
Lucas was the third top scorer of the night with 14 points, three rebounds and eight assists.
Knell hit his career high of five 3-pointers and was the second highest scorer with 15 points and two rebounds.
Barcello had 11 points, five rebounds and seven assists on the night.
Notable Career Highs:
Career-high points: Gideon George (27)
Career Field Goals: Gideon George (10)
Career 3-pointers: Gideon George (5), Trevin Knell (5)
Career-high blocks: Caleb Lohner (2)
COACH AND PLAYER QUOTES
On the defensive effort versus UNI
“This was a good game where we played good defense. Caleb Lohner’s back-to-back charges, those were big-time. The guys are buying-in. We’re playing for each other.”
On his 27-point performance
“My teammates did a good job finding me tonight. Te’Jon and Alex broke down the defense and kicked the ball out to me. Then I shot it with faith.”
On the win over UNI
“Last week it took us 18 or 24 minutes to love the game. Today, I think it only took us five minutes to realize we love the game. The 50 assists in two games is a big deal for us. Part of it is that the opponents are heavy rotation teams. Part of it is our guys are getting better at reading the ball. We’re still getting better. Part of it is that Gideon George stepped on the floor and decided that he was going to make every shot on-balance. It always starts with stops and rebounds. The two charges Caleb Lohner took in the first half, those were huge tone-setters. We had great minutes from Atiki too. We had contributions from everybody. It was fun.”
On the defensive effort against UNI guard AJ Green
“Te’Jon Lucas was incredible against him, so was Spencer Johnson. Te’Jon is an elite conceptual defender, a disruptive defender. He’s a terrific player, but I was proud of our guys’ effort against him.”
On playing in the NIT at the Marriott Center
“For us right now, it’s about having as much joy, energy and execution as we can get. If we can have that joy, energy and execution, then we have a chance to keep winning. There were a couple of moments tonight where the Marriott Center was super fun. We’re not trying to make a habit of going to the NIT, but there’s something incredibly special about the Marriott Center right now. We only had 7,000 people here, but they’re the die-hards that can never get down by the court. I almost feel bad for the people who aren’t coming to the game right now, because the Marriott Center is super special. If we get to play in here again, it’s going to be great. I think there’s something I can learn from coaching in the NIT.”
On advancing in the NIT and the growth of Gideon George and Caleb Lohner
“We talked about this when we were assigned to the NIT. We don’t get to choose the NCAA Tournament anymore. All we get to do is choose to get better in the NIT or lose. We have unbelievable leaders. They have unbelievable love for each other. That’s why we’re advancing in this tournament.”
“Look at this box score. Look at this game. Gideon George is growing right now and teasing us with what he’s going to become in the next 12 months. That’s valuable. It’s really meaningful to me that our best two players the last two games have been Gideon George and Caleb Lohner. They’re the future of BYU basketball.”