Ainge Shines but Cougars Lose at Utah State

Austin Ainge recorded a career-high 15 points in 30 minutes but could not lead the Cougars to victory as they fell 57-71 Wednesday night at Utah State. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

LOGAN -- Despite a strong first-half performance and a career-night from guard Austin Ainge, BYU could not keep up with Utah State as the Cougars fell 71-57 to the Aggies Wednesday night in front of 9,620 screaming fans in Logan.

"Coming into a difficult place, we played pretty well for 20 minutes," said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. "We competed and made baskets, which we've had a hard time making lately. We had trouble against the zone and our post guys needed to get the ball more, but that's something we can work on and get better at. We're committed to making it happen."

The Cougars fell behind early, 14-7, and looked to be headed in the direction of last season's 26-point half-time deficit. But senior Mike Hall came alive at the 12-minute mark, scoring seven of BYU's next 10 points to bring the Cougars to within one point, when an Ainge three-pointer gave BYU its first lead of the game at 20-18. Ainge would surpass his career-high point total just 13 minutes into the game.

Both teams battled down the court for the remainder of the half, keeping the game tight. With the Aggies holding a slim 36-32 lead with just over a minute to play, Keena Young prevented a sure Utah State basket with a hard foul, sending Spencer Nelson to the line. Nelson missed both free throws and the Cougars were able to convert twice more down the floor and get a stop to tie the game at 36 heading into the locker room.

After shooting 50 percent in the first half, including 6-9 from beyond the arc, the Cougars were suddenly cold from all over the court as they went 2-of-14 on three-pointers and shot just 3-of-6 from the line in the second half, ending up with a 32 percent shooting mark in the second period. A seven-minute BYU drought allowed the Aggies to run up a six-point lead at 51-45, which they would eventually push to thirteen points by virtue of a 17-3 run.

BYU also quickly found itself in foul trouble as Jared Jensen and Keena Young were each saddled with four while Garner Meads picked up his third foul to put Utah State in the bonus with 11 minutes still to play. The Cougars scored only 21 points in the second half, including just 12 in the final 16 minutes of play.

Hall and Ainge combined for 26 points in the first half, but could not find the basket in the final 20 minutes, coming up with just eight combined points in the second half as Hall scored 19 total points and Ainge recorded a career-high 15. Jensen posted eight points for the Cougars and Jimmy Balderson, coming out of his redshirt year and seeing his first action of the season, scored six.

"I've been playing well and feeling good lately," said Ainge. "I've just tried to play hard in practice and wait for my chance."

BYU finished the game shooting 42 percent, their second-highest total of the season, to the Aggies' 46 percent. The Cougars had made 26-of-29 free throws in their last two games, but managed just 5-of-8 shooting from the line on the evening while Utah State went 18-for-23, including 15-of-18 in the second half.

The loss marks the third straight defeat the Cougars have suffered in Logan as Aggie head coach Stew Morrill has piled up an 86-8 record at home in just over six years. BYU falls to 1-4 on the season with the loss and now prepares to travel to Los Angeles where the Cougars will take on the 1-2 USC Trojans at 7:30 p.m. PST (8:30 p.m. MST) in a Fox Sports Net 2 telecast. BYU posted an 85-61 victory last season over Henry Bibby's team in Provo.

Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS

Brigham Young vs Utah State

12/01/04 7:07 pm at Logan, Utah (Dee Glen Smith Spectrum)

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VISITORS: Brigham Young 1-4

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

03 YOUNG, Keena........ f 2-7 0-1 0-0 4 5 9 4 4 2 2 2 2 32

41 MEADS, Garner....... f 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 3 0 0 3 2 0 18

52 JENSEN, Jared....... c 3-6 0-0 2-2 0 4 4 4 8 1 0 0 2 32

01 HALL, Mike.......... g 7-16 3-6 2-2 2 3 5 1 19 3 1 1 1 39

10 NASHIF, Terry....... g 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 10

02 ROSE, Mike.......... 1-3 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 4

13 AINGE, Austin....... 6-13 3-9 0-0 0 2 2 1 15 3 4 0 2 30

20 BURGESS, Sam........ 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 9

23 BALDERSON, Jimmy.... 2-4 1-3 1-2 0 0 0 0 6 0 1 0 0 11

43 DAWES, Derek........ 0-0 0-0 0-2 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 10

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3

54 MILES, Chris........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

TEAM................ 3 1 4 1

Totals.............. 22-53 8-21 5-8 11 19 30 17 57 10 15 5 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-28 50.0% 2nd Half: 8-25 32.0% Game: 41.5% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-9 66.7% 2nd Half: 2-12 16.7% Game: 38.1% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 2-2 100 % 2nd Half: 3-6 50.0% Game: 62.5% 2

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HOME TEAM: Utah State 4-1

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

01 Crane, Marques...... f 2-5 0-2 0-0 1 0 1 0 4 1 0 0 0 18

32 Nelson, Spencer..... f 4-11 0-2 6-9 2 9 11 1 14 5 3 1 3 33

04 Harris, Nate........ c 10-13 0-0 6-8 3 0 3 3 26 0 0 2 3 32

02 Pak, David.......... g 3-5 2-4 2-2 1 0 1 1 10 2 3 0 0 23

20 Carroll, Jaycee..... g 5-10 1-4 2-2 2 9 11 0 13 1 0 0 1 34

03 Matheus, Cass....... 0-2 0-0 2-2 0 1 1 1 2 0 2 1 0 14

21 Brown, Calvin....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 2

23 Huber, Chris........ 0-4 0-3 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 2 0 0 0 17

25 Neil, John.......... 1-3 0-1 0-0 2 1 3 1 2 1 1 0 0 22

30 Williams, Jason..... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3

31 McVey, Ian.......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

TEAM................ 1 1

Totals.............. 25-54 3-17 18-23 12 21 33 11 71 13 9 4 8 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-28 53.6% 2nd Half: 10-26 38.5% Game: 46.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-9 33.3% 2nd Half: 0-8 0.0% Game: 17.6% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 3-5 60.0% 2nd Half: 15-18 83.3% Game: 78.3% 3

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Officials: Jim Stupin (R), Milt Stowe (U), Randy McCall (U)

Technical fouls: Brigham Young-None. Utah State-None.

Attendance: 9620

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Brigham Young................. 36 21 - 57

Utah State.................... 36 35 - 71

Tags: Results