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2016 NIT quarterfinal recap: BYU advances with 88-82 home win over Creighton

BYU has made the NIT twice in its five-year West Coast Conference history. Both times the Cougars have made it to Madison Square Garden.

BYU freshman Zac Seljaas came up big in his first career start.
BYU freshman Zac Seljaas came up big in his first career start.
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time in four years the Cougars are heading to Madison Square Garden.

In his final game at the Marriott Center the Cougars' star senior point guard Kyle Collinsworth (10 points) played through the flu. He was asked to play just 20 minutes, so he wasn't able to add to his NCAA record 12 career triple-doubles. It was Collinsworth's replacement who came up big for the Cougars tonight. Freshman Zac Seljaas (19 points), in his first career start, hit five of six from deep and helped lead the Cougars to the NIT semis.

Creighton (20-15) came out swinging and quieted the 15,525 strong crowd by taking the first lead of the game and holding it for nearly the entire first half.

It took until the final minute of the half for BYU to take the lead, on a Kyle Davis (18 points) dunk. The Cougars outscored the Bluejays 15-5 over the final five minutes of the half, and that dunk capped a quick 7-0 BYU run. A pair of Geoffrey Groselle (22 points) free throws restored the Bluejays' lead after the break but it would not last.

Groselle kept Creighton close for a few minutes but eventually the Cougars managed to pull away.

A pair of Seljaas threes mid way through the half gave BYU a double-digit lead. First ten, then twelve points. It would extend to 15 points on a Nick Emery (17 points) three with 9:55 to play.

Creighton would make a late push to bring the BYU lead back into single digits but it was too little, too late. They made their final five field goals but could not pull close than two possessions.

The Bluejays end their season with a 20-15 record. BYU, now 26-10 on the year, is heading to Madison Square Garden to play the top seeded Valparaiso Crusaders on Tuesday.