PROVO, Utah – Behind Chase Fischer’s 24 points, BYU men’s basketball beat Virginia Tech 80-77 in the second round of the National Invitational Tournament Friday at the Marriott Center.
“It was a great game with a great crowd,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “I think that probably the most impressive thing for me was to watch two teams that are late in their seasons that want to keep playing. Both teams kept battling.”
Fischer was one of four Cougars to score in double figures, adding six rebounds and three assists. Kyle Collinsworth recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists. Zac Seljaas and Nick Emery also scored in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively, while Kyle Davis led the Cougars with eight rebounds.
No. 2 seeded BYU (25-10, 13-5 WCC) outshot the No. 3 seeded Hokies (20-15, 10-8 ACC) from behind the arc, shooting 47.1 percent to 21.7 percent. Despite trailing for seven minutes of the second half and 10 lead changes, the Cougars played solid defense in the final minutes to close out the victory.
The final minute of play began with BYU holding a 77-75 advantage and Fischer added three free throws in the final 30 seconds to help the Cougars hold on for the win.
BYU got off to a hot start with a 7-0 run thanks to 3-point baskets from Fischer and Emery. Virginia Tech scored two baskets before Davis drove past his man for a layup to make the score 9-4 in favor of the Cougars.
Near the 15 minute mark, Collinsworth found Corbin Kaufusi in the paint for a dunk but Virginia Tech answered with back-to-back scores. On the following BYU possession, Emery sank a 3-pointer, beginning a 7-2 BYU run that put the Cougars up 20-11.
The teams traded baskets and the Hokies cut the lead to five before Jordan Chatman scored to give BYU a 24-17 lead. With 6:45 remaining in the half, Virginia Tech tied the game at 24 after a 7-0 run. Davis ended a four minute scoring drought for the Cougars with a bucket from underneath the basket and BYU led 26-24 with 6:13 remaining.
With 5:22 left in the half, the Hokies scored to go ahead 29-28, taking their first lead of the game.
The lead continued to change sides before Fischer sank a 3-pointer to put BYU ahead by four. Virginia Tech answered with a 3-pointer, before Seljaas knocked down a deep ball to give BYU a 38-34 lead at the half.
In the opening minutes of the second half, BYU held tight to a four point lead before the Hokies tied the game at 47 with 13:45 remaining in the game. Seljaas knocked down a 3 to help the Cougars retake the lead with 12:30 remaining.
At the 11:45 mark, Virginia Tech jumped ahead with a layup but Collinsworth tied the game at 54 with a pair of free throws. With 8:35 to go in the game, Seljaas hit three free throws to put the Cougars ahead but the Hokies quickly responded with a 3-pointer to go ahead 61-60.
The teams continued to fight for the lead with neither team showing signs of giving in. Fischer hit a 3-pointer with 5:35 left to put BYU ahead 71-70 but the Hokies nailed another deep ball on the ensuing possession to stay in control. A steal by Seljaas set up another 3 by Fischer and BYU led 75-73 with 3:51 remaining.
Less than a minute later, Fischer grabbed a steal and scored on a breakaway to put BYU up by four. Fischer scored eight points in the final five minutes to help the Cougars hold on for the 80-77 victory.
BYU advances to the quarterfinals of the NIT to face the winner of Wagner vs. Creighton. The game will be played on Tuesday, March 22, at 7 p.m. at the Marriott Center.
Coming off a 97-79 win over UAB in the first round of the NIT, No. 2 seed BYU basketball will host No. 3 seed Virginia Tech in the second round Friday at 7:30 p.m. MDT in the Marriott Center. The winner of BYU vs. Virginia Tech will face the winner of No. 4 seed Creighton and No. 8 seed Wagner in the third round.
Friday's game will be televised live on ESPNU and broadcast live on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, KSL NewsRadio 102.7 FM/1160 AM and BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143. Live video streaming will be available on WatchESPN.com.
- BYU is playing in the National Invitational Tournament for the 12th time in program history and third time under Dave Rose. BYU has advanced to the second round of the NIT for the 8th time. In 2013, the Cougars advanced to the semifinals at Madison Square Garden. BYU, a No. 3 seed in 2013, lost to Baylor in the semifinals.
- When BYU hit 13 3s against UAB, it was the team’s 13th game with 10-plus 3s this season, a new team record. BYU’s 307 3s is the second most in a season behind the 2010-11 team that hit 312. The team’s average of 9.0 3s per game is also a team record.
- Kyle Collinsworth added to his NCAA career record against UAB when he posted his 12th career triple-double. Collinsworth also tied his NCAA season record with his 6th triple-double of the season. He also had 6 in 2014-15.
No. 2 seed BYU Cougars (24-10, 13-5 WCC)
- Head Coach: Dave Rose
- Alma Mater: Houston, 1983
- Division I Career Record: 281-98 (11th)
- Record at BYU: Same
No. 3 seed Virginia Tech Hokies (20-14, 10-8 ACC)
- Head Coach: Buzz Williams
- Alma Mater: Oklahoma City, 1994
- Career Record: 184-122 (9th)
- Record at Virginia Tech: 31-36 (2nd)
- TV: ESPNU
- TV Talent: Mitch Holthus (play-by-play), Corey Williams (analyst)
- Live Video: WatchESPN.com
- Radio: Cougar IMG Sports Network, KSL 102.7 FM / 1160 AM, Sirius XM 143
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell (play-by-play), Mark Durrant (analyst)
- Live Stats: BYUcougars.com
- Series Record: BYU leads 3-0
- Last Meeting: BYU won 97-71, 12/29/12
- H/A/N: 0-0/1-0/2-0