Gideon George scored 13 points and had a game-high 15 rebounds Wednesday afternoon as the Cougars used a series of second-half surges to beat St. John's 74-68 in a Legends Classic game at the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn.
Alex Barcello had a team-high 20 points and five assists for the Cougars (3-1), who had five players score in double figures as they bounced back from a 79-53 loss to Southern California on Tuesday. Brandon Averette scored 12 points while Connor Harding and Trevin Knell had 11 points each.
Caleb Lohner scored just one basket, but his old-fashioned 3-point play snapped a 43-43 tie and put Brigham Young ahead for good with 14:12 remaining.
Julian Champagnie scored 25 points for St. John's (3-1), which lost for the first time this season. Isaih Moore had 11 points and Greg Williams Jr. added 10 points for the Red Storm, while Posh Alexander had a team-high seven assists and six rebounds.
BYU led 29-23 following a first half in which both teams struggled from the field. The Cougars shot 36.4 percent (12-of-33) but mounted a 12-0 run during a span of six-plus minutes in which St. John's missed nine consecutive shots.
Both squads were far more accurate as they opened the second half, when the teams were a combined 14-of-25 from the field in the first six minutes. St. John's scored 13 of the first 19 points and tied the game on a jumper by Champagnie with 14:39 left before Lohner's 3-point play.
Brigham Young soon used an 8-0 burst to extend its lead to 56-47 with a quick 8-0 run in which George drained a turnaround jumper before Knell and Harding hit back-to-back 3-pointers. St. John's scored the next seven points to pull within 56-54, as Alexander and Williams had layups surrounding a 3-pointer by Dylan Addae-Wusu.
The Cougars answered that challenge by scoring seven points in the next 53 seconds and held on from there.
The Red Storm closed within 70-66 with 43 seconds left before Gideon and Barcello combined to hit four straight free throws.
--Field Level Media