SALT LAKE CITY — The No. 2 seeded Utes were on fire from the field from the opening tip to practically the final whistle, especially from behind the arc, and soundly defeated the No. 3 LSU Tigers 95-71 Monday night at the Huntsman Center in the second round of the NIT.
Turning point: The game was decided early as the Utes went on an impressive run in the waning minutes of the first quarter. Utah outscored the Tigers 11-0 in the final four minutes of the period, outscoring LSU 30-11 in total.
The hero: Justin Bibbins was, once again, electric. The graduate transfer finished with 16 points and five assists, and was particularly effective in the opening frame, with eight points.
• The Utes couldn't miss in the first quarter, shooting over 71 percent from the field. Utah made 13 of 18 first-quarter shot attempts, including a 5-of-8 mark from behind the arc.
• Utah shot an incredible 57.1 percent for the game, including 51.9 percent from 3-point land. The Utes connected on 14 3-pointers, nearly matching their season-high of 15. Utah was dominant on the boards as well, winning the rebounding battle 37-26.
• Bothered by the Utah defense, LSU star big man Duop Reath was ineffective for most of the game and finished with just nine points and three rebounds.
Utah almanac: 21-11, Won 2
Next up: The Utes will face the winner of the second-round matchup between No. 1 Saint Mary's and No. 5 Washington in the NIT quarterfinals, set to be played Wednesday, March 21 at 7 p.m.