BYU Athletics Blog | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

BYU Athletics Blog

Cross Country NCAA Championships photo story

Nov 21, 2016 - Posted by Caitlan Wrubell at 2:53 pm | Updated: November 23, 2016 2:54 pm | Permalink

The BYU men's and women's cross country teams gave impressive performances in Terre Haute, Ind., at the NCAA Championships, with the men taking seventh overall and the women claiming 10th--the highest finish for the women's team in over a decade.

Check out the official BYU Exposure photo story and take a look at all the action that went down in Terre Haute. 

Women's soccer NCAA tournament daily blog

Nov 21, 2016 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 8:58 am | Updated: November 21, 2016 10:15 am | Permalink

BYU Photo Gallery

Exposure Photo Essay

Tuesday, Nov. 15

No. 4 BYU women's soccer left for the airport on Tuesday afternoon en route to South Carolina—the site of the second and third rounds of the NCAA tournament.

The team gathered at the Indoor Practice Facility at BYU for a meal from Zupa's together before boarding the bus to the airport. The next seven hours involved getting to the airport, flying to Charlotte, North Carolina, getting dinner and checking into the hotel in Columbia, South Carolina.

A highlight of the flight was a shoutout from the captain, who told passengers that the team, with its No. 4 ranking and impending matchup with Oklahoma, was on board.

The team displayed what coaches have said about their team all season—that it's a fun group to be with on away trips.

Before leaving North Carolina, the team picked up some Southern barbecue at McKoy's Smokehouse. The consensus was that the food was delicious.

By the time the bus pulled up to the hotel, everyone was ready to get some sleep. Wednesday, with the last opportunity to practice and prepare tactically for Thursday's game, would be an important day.

Wednesday, Nov. 16

After breakfast at the hotel, the team went to practice on campus. NCAA concerns about air quality caused practice to be held in the Jerri and Steve Spurrier Indoor Practice Facility.

The pracitice facility is just one year old, with a full 100-yard football field. BYU Photo manager Jaren Wilkey took advantage of an upper walkway to get some nice shots of the impressive venue.

Following practice, the team went to Stone Stadium—the site of the NCAA second and third round games—to walk the field and pose for some photos on the well-manicured field.

That was followed by a trip to Panera, a team favorite, for lunch. The bus drove through some of downtown Columbia, and provided a sighting of the LDS institute building for the University of South Carolina.

A few hours of down time ensued, with the team gathering together for food catered by Carrabba's, with athletic director Tom Holmoe and radio broadcaster Greg Wrubell joining the players and coaches.

Thursday, Nov. 17

The team ate breakfast and then went on a walk to loosen up. After some relaxation, everyone went to lunch at Groucho's Deli as family members who made the trip began to gather together with the team.

Around 12:30 p.m., the team went back to the hotel for the last little opportunity to rest before heading out to South Stadium to prepare for the game at 4 p.m.

The bus arrived to Stone Stadium in the final minute of the South Carolina vs. Mercer men's NCAA tournament game. The players hit the field to warm up.

BYU got goals from Ashley Hatch and Michele Vasconcelos to beat Oklahoma 2-1 in front of an overwhelmingly blue and white crowd.

The tension from before and during the game was tangibly eased as the bus took the team to a new hotel. Everyone was talkative after the win and looking forward to the pizza awaiting in the lobby.

A few hours after the win agianst the Sooners, the Cougars learned they would take on top seed South Carolina in the Sweet 16 on Saturday.

Friday, Nov. 18

Today was another day of rest and practice.

After a breakfast and a few hours down time, the team again went to Panera for lunch. That was followed by a movie for some of the players, and shopping for others. 

At 4 p.m., practice was held, this time at Stone Stadium. The sun set on another beautiful day as the team prepared for the third round game.

There was just enough time for everyone to scarf down some food from Olive Garden before getting ready for a fireside the team held at an LDS church building in Columbus.

The fireside, presided over by the mission president of the South Carolina Columbia Mission, was attended by missionaries, members of the church and investigators. There were musical numbers and talks provided by soccer players and missionaries.

Sabrina Macias, Paige Hunt Barker and Taylor Isom spoke and shared their testimonies. Ashley Hatch, Michele Vasconcelos, Brittain Dearden Steiner and Paige Hunt Barker sang "Nearer My God to Thee," with Elena Medeiros accompanying on the piano. Players and coaches greeted those in attendance after the meeting.

Back at the hotel, the team and parents celebrated Paige's birthday with cupcakes and ice cream.

Saturday, Nov. 19

On the day of the Sweet 16 game, the team had a lot of time to wait before the scheduled kick. It was used to practice, each lunch, rest and then prepare for the game.

Practice was held at the South Carolina soccer practice field, which took BYU through the sporting complex that had the Gamecocks' softball field, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts and track.

Later, when the Cougars arrived at Stone Stadium for the game, the stands were beginning to fill with plenty of fans from both teams.

BYU lost 1-0, and it was a tough result to swallow for the coaches and players—especially the seniors. In the postgame press conference, head coach Jennifer Rockwood said this was the best team she's coached, and that she was proud of everyone.

A quick dinner at the hotel preceded just a few hours of sleep. Everyone woke up and met early to drive back to the Charlotte Airport. After about 12 hours of travel (including bus trips and a stop in Phoenix), the team arrived back to Provo safely.

Dominant second-half performance from Mika gives Cougars 81-65 victory over Coastal Carolina

Nov 19, 2016 - Posted by Caitlan Wrubell at 9:20 pm | Permalink

Eric Mika put up eight quick points to open up the second half of play, giving the Cougars a commanding 48-31 lead. TJ Haws followed quickly with a 3-pointer, and the lead was lengthened to 20. An alley-oop fed to Mika from L.J. Rose five minutes into the half got the crowd on its feet and gave even more momentum to BYU. Back-to-back field goals from Nick Emery added to the Cougars’ dominant performance.

The Chanticleers chipped the deficit to only 15 with ten minutes remaining, but the Cougars remained consistent, holding Coastal Carolina to just 34 percent shooting from the field. A 3-pointer from Elijah Bryant gave a 20-point advantage back to BYU, 73-53, with five minutes left in the contest. BYU later solidified the victory over the Chanticleers, 81-65.

Mika led all scorers with 19 points and also added 11 rebounds. Emery was close behind his teammate and totaled 14 points with three assists. Sophomore Elijah Bryant contributed nine points and five rebounds, and Haws finished with eight points and five assists. Senior L.J. Rose also added six rebounds and nine assists in the victory. BYU finished with seven total blocks.

Cougars leading Chanticleers 40-25 at halftime

Nov 19, 2016 - Posted by Caitlan Wrubell at 8:23 pm | Permalink

Sophomore Nick Emery put the first points on the board with a 3-pointer just over a minute into the contest. Only two minutes later, he sank another three to give the Cougars 6-2 lead over the Chanticleers. BYU led Coastal Carolina 18-13 halfway through the first period, but L.J. Rose extended the edge to eight after hitting a 3-pointer with nine minutes remaining.

BYU lengthened the lead to double digits with five minutes remaining, 27-16. They continued to put points on the board until they had a 15-point advantage, 40-25, going into halftime.

Emery led all scorers with 10 points. Sophomore Eric Mika and senior Kyle Davis each contributed eight points. Mika logged eight rebounds and Davis recorded five rebounds. 

BYU takes commanding 34-9 lead in third quarter

Nov 19, 2016 - Posted by Kristen Kerr at 2:51 pm | Updated: November 19, 2016 2:54 pm | Permalink

BYU extended its lead with two touchdowns and a pair of field goals, 34-9, in the third quarter.

Rhett Almond kicked a 33-yard field goal to finish an 11-play drive. Almond’s kick put the Cougars up 17-9 with 11:30 left in the quarter.

Morgan Unga blocked a UMass punt, the first of his career, to give the Cougars field possession on the Minutemen’s 19-yard line. After a pass interference penalty, Almond made a 34-yard field goal, his 15th of the season. Almond is tied at No. 9 in program history for most field goals in a single season.

Eric Takenaka caused a fumble and recovered it on the kickoff following the field goal, his second career forced fumble and first career fumble recovery. Four plays later, Harvey Langi scored his second touchdown of the game on a two-yard run, boosting BYU’s lead to 27-9. Langi joined Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams as the only Cougars with multiple touchdowns in a game this season.

Francis Bernard intercepted the ball on the UMass 39-yard line before running it that far for a touchdown, giving the Cougars a 34-9 advantage with 6:20 on the clock. This was his 10th career touchdown and first from the defensive side.

KJ Hall earned a career-long rush of 22 yards on the opening play of the half, one of 14 carries and 95 yards through three quarters.

Strong offensive effort puts BYU up 14-9 at halftime

Nov 19, 2016 - Posted by Kristen Kerr at 1:45 pm | Updated: November 19, 2016 1:47 pm | Permalink

BYU took a 14-9 lead over UMass at halftime.

In his first career start, KJ Hall rushed for 11 yards to score a touchdown seven seconds into the second quarter, capping off a 10-play, 75-yard drive that began in the previous quarter. Hall’s score and Rhett Almond’s extra point gave the Cougars a 7-6 lead.

The Minutemen responded with a 44-yard field goal on the following possession to take a 9-7 advantage with 12:58 left in the half. 

A key UMass face mask penalty moved the Cougars 13 yards closer to the end zone, setting up a five-yard TD run from Harvey Langi, his first career rushing touchdown. The 13-play drive covered 86 yards and gave BYU a 14-9 lead with 5:22 left in the half.

Hall led the Cougars with 62 first-half rushing yards, followed by Taysom Hill’s 43. Hill completed 16 of 23 pass attempts. Receivers Moroni Laulu-Pututau and Colby Pearson contributed 42 and 38 receiving yards, respectively. Francis Bernard led the defense with five total tackles in the half.

BYU trails UMass 6-0 after first quarter

Nov 19, 2016 - Posted by Kristen Kerr at 12:48 pm | Updated: November 19, 2016 12:50 pm | Permalink

After one quarter of play, BYU trails UMass, 6-0.

UMass capitalized on a recovered fumble with 4:35 on the clock, before converting three-consecutive plays to move forward 71 yards in 1:08. The Minutemen connected on a 70-yard pass with 3:27 left in the quarter to take the lead 6-0. UMass missed the the PAT attempt. 

The Minutemen recorded 124 total yards to the Cougars' 114. The Minutemen also tallied three penalties for 31 yards.

Playing on the offensive side of the ball for the first time this season, Langi rushed for 17 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Langi typically plays linebacker for BYU, but played running back at the University of Utah his freshman year. In 2011, he recorded a season-long rush for 27 yards and averaged 5.4 yards per carry for Utah. 

Viewing options for BYU vs. UMass

Nov 18, 2016 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 1:53 pm | Updated: November 19, 2016 10:11 am | Permalink

BYU football hosts fellow Independent team UMass today at 12 p.m. MST in LaVell Edwards Stadium.

The game will be televised live on BYUtv. It will also be streamed online on byutv.org and ESPN3.

Additionally, live television coverage on BYUtv will begin at 11 a.m. MST with the one-hour pregame show, Countdown to Kickoff. Live postgame coverage on BYUtv will follow after the game.

Radio coverage of the game can be heard on the Cougar IMG Sports Network with the Voice of the Cougars Greg Wrubell. The broadcast begins with the pregame show at 10 a.m. MST on KSL 1160 AM and 102.7 FM. It can also be found online at BYUcougars.com.

Visit the gameday page for additional information on the matchup against UMass.

BYU overpowers Coppin State with 96-59 victory

Nov 17, 2016 - Posted by Andrew Cook at 9:01 pm | Updated: November 17, 2016 9:41 pm | Permalink

In the second half, the Cougars’ powerful post play and aggressive defense secured a 96-59 victory over Coppin State.

BYU opened the second half with a 13-2 run after back-to-back dunks from Eric Mika and Yoeli Childs and the Cougars led 61-34 at the 14:46 mark.

Following a timeout, Coppin State went on a 10-4 run, but BYU answered with a 3-pointer from Nick Emery and a steal from Elijah Bryant. At the 12 minute mark, BYU was in full command with a 68-44 advantage. 

The Cougar offense caught on fire and baskets from Bryant and TJ Haws powered BYU to a 12-3 run, extending the Cougars’ lead to 32. With 6:52 remaining in the game, Braiden Shaw collected a rebound and scored from the low block for his first score of the night, giving BYU an 84-49 lead. 

Mika finished with 18 points and 5 rebounds while Childs contributed 8 points and 15 rebounds, Nick Emery ended the evening with 13 points and 3 assists and both Haws and Bryant finished with 11 points apiece.  

Cougars build strong first-half lead against Coppin State

Nov 17, 2016 - Posted by Andrew Cook at 7:58 pm | Updated: November 17, 2016 8:11 pm | Permalink

Sophomore Eric Mika started the night strong, scoring the first two baskets of the game to help BYU to an early 4-0 lead. T.J. Haws scored the next eight points from the field and BYU held a 14-2 lead at the 15:50 mark.

The Eagles knocked down a few shots in an attempt to rally, but the Cougar offense held pace and took a 20-9 lead with 13:41 after a pair of free throws by senior L.J. Rose.

Junior Jamal Aytes knocked down a turnaround jumper for his first basket of the night followed by a high-stepping layup from sophomore Elijah Bryant and a dunk from Yoeli Childs, allowing BYU to hold the double-digit lead with a 26-14 advantage with 9:29 remaining in the half.

Coppin State put together an 8-4 run and trailed 30-22 at the seven minute mark, before sophomore Nick Emery converted an old-fashioned 3-point play and dropped a trey to extend the BYU lead back to 12.

A 3-point basket from Rose extended the lead to 16, and the Cougars finished the half with a commanding 48-32 lead.

Emery led BYU in scoring with 10 points, while Mika finished the half with nine points and five rebounds. Childs pulled down nine boards and Haws had eight points with two 3-pointers.