Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 at 10:00 am  |  7 responses

Iona Blows 25-Point Lead to BYU in First Four

by David Cassilo / @dcassilo

The first day of the NCAA tournament already provided a game for the ages as Iona blew a 25-point lead to BYU. When all was said and done the Gaels fell to the Cougars, 78-72.

Iona, the much-debated last team in the field, came out firing early. The Gaels built up a lead the reached 49-24 with just over six minutes remaining in the first half. The Cougars, though, began to claw back. By switching to a zone defense, BYU was able to hold Iona to just 17 points in the second half. A three-pointer by Nate Hartsock with nearly two minutes remaining gave the Cougars a 71-70 lead. They never relinquished it again.

For Iona, who seemed destined for at least one more tournament game, the loss was a tough pill to swallow.

From The Salt Lake Tribune:

“At the end of the day, we lost a game that we should have won,” said Iona point guard Scott Machado, who had 10 assists, but just one in the second half. “It sucks. It sucks.”

BYU will now live to see another day and will face No. 3 Marquette in the second round of the tournament. The Cougars are two wins away from their second straight Sweet 16.

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  • bakers’-dozen

    Good game last night…BYU gutted it out and deserved the win.

  • http://www.twitter.com_dfrance dfrance21

    In college I played in a game where we’ve lost a 25 point lead and it seemed like the game lasted 8 hours. As crazy as it sounds, a 25 point first half lead is hardly safe. The same way you aquired it in 20 minutes is usually the same way you lose it in 20 minutes.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    ^i would say usually the opposite, you go away from what u did to get the lead

  • http://www.twitter.com_dfrance dfrance21

    Yeah what I meant was the team you were beating does to you what you were doing to them.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    My bracket lives! But cosign dfrance teams lose leads like that cuz they start playing to protect it and not to build on it.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    got u

  • correction

    Noah Hartsock, not “Nate”. Kid deserves to have his name correct after a game like that.