Aztecs Prove Too Much for Cougars

Keena Young tied his career high with 16 points at San Diego State Saturday night while adding a team-high nine rebounds. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

SAN -- The Cougars started strong but could not keep up with the Mountain West Conference's hottest team as BYU fell 88-61 to San Diego State Saturday night in Cox Arena.

"This is obviously a setback," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "But there are times when you get really discouraged with your team and this is not one of them. This team fought hard. We weren't very good tonight, but there's a lot of basketball left to play and this team is going to get better."

Keena Young was, once again, a bright spot for the Cougars in his first start of the season as he tied his career high with 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting while contributing a team-high nine rebounds. Young has scored 16 in three of the last five games. Trent Plaisted's scoring troubles on the road came to an end as he reached double figures with 12 points for the first time in MWC road play. Brock Reichner recorded 11 points while adding a career-high six boards.

"Keena Young has really come on strong for us in the last six weeks," said Rose. "He is a consistent low-post scorer who has good moves and a lot of energy. He was good tonight and is going to keep getting a lot of minutes."

The two teams battled it out in the opening minutes, with a three-pointer from Brock Reichner giving BYU its largest lead of the game at 9-6. From there, the Aztecs went on a 6-0 spurt sparked by Marcus Slaughter to take their first lead of the game at 12-9. Slaughter scored 11 straight for SDSU to keep the Aztecs ahead as BYU continued to play tough and fight for the lead, trailing by just two points at 21-19.

However, two consecutive turnovers from Rashaun Broadus bolstered the confidence of the Aztecs and sparked an 8-0 run. Keena Young put a stop to the BYU scoring drought with a jumper at the 5:45 mark but it was not enough to get the Cougars going as SDSU put together an 11-0 run from there to take a 40-21 lead. BYU managed just two baskets in the last 8:19 of the first half as the Aztecs outscored the Cougars 21-4 to take a 42-24 lead into the locker room.

"In the first five or six minutes of the game, we were right on target with what we needed to do to win this game," said Rose. "But then we got into foul trouble and committed turnovers and just got stagnant, which allowed them to get going."

BYU came out confident in the second half, having outscored opponents in the second period of play in all but two games this season, and got two quick baskets, including Trent Plaisted's 15th dunk of the season. But the Aztecs were ready for the push and responded accordingly, doubling up the Cougars' makes for the first five minutes of the half to build a 65-39 lead.

True freshman Jackson Emery entered the game at the 12:00 minute mark and made an immediate impact with a steal and a three-point make but could not spark BYU at either end of the floor. The Cougars continued struggling to find the hoop and could not stop the 1-2 punch of Slaughter and Brandon Heath, who rank first and third, respectively, in the conference in scoring and combined for 43 points.

"They're the kind of team that gets better when they get people down," said Rose. "The shots fly a lot freer when you're ahead and you get a lot of confidence. We just played right into their hands."

With the loss, BYU falls to 10-6 on the season and 2-3 in conference play while San Diego State improves to 12-6 overall and takes sole possession of first place in the MWC with a 5-1 record. The Cougars have now lost seven straight league road games dating back to last season.

BYU returns home on Wednesday to take on league-newcomer TCU at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The Horned Frogs are coming off their first league win with a victory over Colorado State Saturday night.

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

BYU vs SAN DIEGO STATE

1-21-06 7:07 p.m. at Cox Arena at Aztec Bowl (San Diego, CA)

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VISITORS: BYU 10-6 (2-3 MWC)

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 6-8 0-0 4-4 4 5 9 2 16 0 5 0 0 27

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... c 4-12 0-0 4-6 4 2 6 4 12 2 2 1 0 28

11 REICHNER, Brock..... g 4-8 3-4 0-0 1 5 6 4 11 2 1 0 0 27

13 AINGE, Austin....... g 2-4 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 1 4 1 2 0 0 21

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ g 1-4 0-0 2-2 1 3 4 0 4 0 1 0 0 22

01 BROADUS, Rashaun.... 1-6 0-2 0-1 1 1 2 2 2 0 3 0 0 19

02 ROSE, Mike.......... 1-2 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 10

04 EMERY, Jackson...... 1-3 1-3 0-0 1 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 1 8

15 MALAMAN, Fernando... 1-3 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 2 2 1 2 0 0 11

23 BALDERSON, Jimmy.... 1-6 0-2 2-2 3 1 4 0 4 2 2 0 1 14

43 DAWES, Derek........ 0-3 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 4 0 1 1 0 0 13

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

Totals.............. 22-59 5-17 12-15 17 19 36 21 61 9 19 1 2 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-27 37.0% 2nd Half: 12-32 37.5% Game: 37.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-5 40.0% 2nd Half: 3-12 25.0% Game: 29.4% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 2-4 50.0% 2nd Half: 10-11 90.9% Game: 80.0% 1

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HOME TEAM: SAN DIEGO STATE 12-6 (5-1 MWC)

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

33 SPAIN, Kyle......... f 1-3 0-1 2-4 1 1 2 3 4 1 1 0 1 18

34 ABUKAR, Mohamed..... f 7-11 0-0 1-1 3 2 5 2 15 0 0 0 3 31

42 SLAUGHTER, Marcus... f 4-10 0-0 9-10 3 11 14 0 17 3 0 1 2 33

01 HEATH, Brandon...... g 8-15 3-9 7-7 2 4 6 2 26 4 2 0 1 35

03 WILLIAMS, Richie.... g 2-5 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 3 4 3 3 0 5 34

00 HOERNER, Brett...... 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 2

15 SHARPER, John....... 6-11 4-9 0-0 0 2 2 2 16 2 0 0 0 28

20 DAVIS, Trimaine..... 1-2 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 2 2 0 1 0 1 11

24 MCGRATH, Tim........ 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

30 LAMB, Chris......... 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1

50 CAMARA, Mohamed..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 4

TEAM................ 1 1 2 1

Totals.............. 31-60 7-20 19-24 12 22 34 14 88 15 8 2 13 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-33 39.4% 2nd Half: 18-27 66.7% Game: 51.7% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-11 18.2% 2nd Half: 5-9 55.6% Game: 35.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 14-16 87.5% 2nd Half: 5-8 62.5% Game: 79.2% 3

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Officials: Rick Batsell, Duane Allen, Ronnie Hernandez

Technical fouls: BYU-None. SAN DIEGO STATE-None.

Attendance: 11287

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU........................... 24 37 - 61

SAN DIEGO STATE............... 42 46 - 88

ID-353121

Points in the paint-BY 30,SD 36. Points off turnovers-BY 5,SD 22.

2nd chance points-BY 16,SD 18. Fast break points-BY 5,SD 15.

Bench points-BY 14,SD 22. Score tied-3 times. Lead changes-1 time.

Tags: Results