Long Beach came in without much size, and BYU dominated the paint and opened that up to hit threes in the second half. Caleb Lohner had a career high 20 points to lead four BYU players in double figures. Gideon George had 16, Alex Barcello scored 14, and Fousseyni Traore scored 11 points to lead the Cougars.
BYU shot 55% from the field and assisted on 28 of their 36 field goals while holding to LBSU to 33% shooting.
BYU next plays Missouri Valley regular season champion Northern Iowa, who upset 3 seed Saint Louis. UNI is led by guard AJ Green, who is a two-time MVC player of the year. The Panthers are 20-11 on the year and a really good offensive team but one of the worst defensive teams in the MVC. They start four guards and the tallest starter is 6-foot-6.
BYU and Northern Iowa will play Saturday at 7pm MT in the Marriott Center for a chance to advance to the final 8 of the NIT and one game away from Madison Square Garden. The winner will take on the winner of SMU-Washington State.