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BYU vs. Northern Iowa Recap: Cougars defeat Panthers 84-76

The Cougars take 5th place in the Diamondhead Classic with a win over Northern Iowa

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The BYU Men's Basketball team were able to take 5th place in the 2015 Diamondhead Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii with a close victory over the University of Northern Iowa.

One of the most used coaching axioms is "basketball is a game of runs."  The beginning of BYU's win over UNI really showed that.  Both teams came out firing up shots-and missing them.  The game went up and down with few fouls and few dead ball plays.  Then, with the game tied at 12, the Cougars went on a 12-0 run over 5 minutes to take a commanding 15 point lead.  UNI was able to to cut the BYU lead to 9 to go into the half.

Northern Iowa started the second half on the type of shooting tear that the Cougars enjoyed.  The half started on a 5-0 run, then UNI was able to actually cut the lead to 1 on the back of their three point shooting, hitting 4 threes in the first 6 minutes of the second half.  After that it settled into a fast paced, back and forth basketball game by both teams.

BYU then responded by an 8-0 run by Chase Fischer.  Fischer hit two threes, including an extremely deep one from the top after an offensive rebound and the second was when he had a hand in his face from the corner.  He finished his run with a fast break layup after a missed free throw and an amazing pass from Kyle Collinsworth.

One of the key moves was when Dave Rose changed his defense from a man to man to a zone.  At the time, Northern Iowa was keeping pace with BYU with the three point shot.  Normally, teams want to be in a man to man defense when facing a very good shooting team.  When BYU switched to a zone, UNI actually seemed to get stagnate and didn't get the open shots that they were getting previously.  Another key that seemed to be present was the shooters were now facing longer defenders like Zac Seljaas, Kyle Davis, and Jamaal Aytes when shooting on the wings and in the corners instead of over the smaller defenders like Nick Emery and Chase Fischer.

Northern Iowa had one last run in them, but after a three pointer to bring it to a six point deficit, they weren't able to pull any closer.  BYU was able to hit their free throws to stay ahead of the Panthers eventually hearing the buzzer ring with BYU winning 84-76.

Chase Fischer lead the Cougars for the second straight game with 26 points, including 4 three pointers.  Chase was in no way the only BYU player that played well.  Kyle Collinsworth was a stat stuffer again with 12 points, 16 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, and a block.  The BYU bench was also instrumental in this win.  Jamaal Aytes played big minutes and responded with 6 points and 3 rebounds while Zac Seljass hit 3 threes en route to 12 points and 3 rebounds.