BYU basketball to play at Southern Miss in NIT quarterfinals

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No. 3 seed BYU will advance to the NIT quarterfinals to play the No. 1 seed Southern Miss after defeating Mercer 90–71 at the Marriott Center on Monday night.

The Cougars have to make a quick turnaround as they travel to Mississippi on their day off and play on Wednesday night. BYU has a 6–5 record in away games this season, and though the players would want to stay home to play their next game, that is not their main concern.

Brandon Davies shoots over Mercer player in Monday night's win. (Photo by Whitnie Soelberg)
Brandon Davies shoots over Mercer player in Monday night’s win. (Photo by Whitnie Soelberg)

“We love playing at home, and we love playing in front of our fans,” Brandon Davies said. “But no matter what we end up doing, we’re going to give our best effort and try to get a win and try to keep playing.”

BYU’s “Big 3” has been carrying the team as they scored 147 of the of the Cougars’ 180 points the last two games. Brandon Davies and Tyler Haws have been consistent, but Rose hopes Matt Carlino, who is averaging 19 points, 6.5 rebounds and nine assists in the NIT, can stay consistent throughout the tournament.

While BYU has scored 90 points in its last two games, it will have to emphasize defense as USM shoots 48.3 percent from the field, which ranks 11th overall.

“Southern Miss is a really good offensive team,” BYU coach Dave Rose said. “They’re very athletic … We’re excited to just keep playing.”

BYU and USM will tip off at the Reed Green Coliseum on Wednesday at 7 p.m CDT. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and KSL radio.

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