Balderson Heats Up but Cougars Fall at USC

Senior Terry Nashif dished out a career-high 10 assists in BYU's 87-82 loss at USC Saturday night. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

LOS -- Despite overcoming a 17-point second-half deficit and getting a career-night from sophomore Jimmy Balderson, the Cougars could not hang on against the USC Trojans, falling 87-82 Saturday night in Los Angeles.

"We played good basketball in the second half," said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. "We didn't get the win but we definitely competed and put ourselves in a position to win. We've just got to get the victory. There's a lot of positive things that came from this. Obviously losing leaves a sick feeling in your stomach but we're definitely improving."

Both teams started off slow as the first bucket of the game did not come until 3:36 into the first half, and the score was tied 2-2 almost six minutes in. The nets started heating up midway through the period, giving the Trojans a tight 17-16 lead. The rest of the half was all USC as the Trojans made 11-of-12 baskets at one point and ended the half on a 10-2 run to take a 44-30 lead into the locker rooms.

In the second half, the Trojans got off to a quick start, extending their lead to 17 points at 53-36 with 17:10 left in the game. But the Cougars put together a spectacular resurgence by virtue of a 26-7 run, tying the game at 56 on a Mike Rose three-pointer and taking the lead for the first time since the opening minutes on two free throws from Balderson.

From there, the teams traded baskets until back-to-back threes gave USC a six-point cushion, which the Trojans quickly pushed to 12 to cap a 16-2 spurt. The Cougars responded with a 12-2 run of their own, sparked by Balderson, to get within two at 81-79 with just 1:15 to play.

Rose and Balderson were each unable to connect on three-point attempts in the closing minute. Things unraveled for BYU from there with a Cougar turnover followed by an intentional foul against Derek Dawes, which gave the Trojans two free throws and the ball. USC converted and went up 87-79 with just eight seconds left in the game. Mike Hall drained a three-pointer as time expired to leave BYU with the 87-82 loss.

Balderson, playing in just his second game of the season after coming out of a planned redshirt year, lit up the scoreboard with a career-high 22 points, including five three-pointers. Hall added 13 points along with Rose, who scored 13 on four three-pointers and a free-throw. Dawes and starter Garner Meads, who led the Cougars with eight rebounds, each contributed 10 points. Point guard Terry Nashif dished out a career-high 10 assists off the bench.

"This has been the craziest week of my life," said Balderson. "Last week I'm planning out my lifting schedule and then coach calls me in and all of a sudden I'm playing again. I'm much happier getting to play. Any basketball player doesn't like to sit and watch. I feel more confident and smarter than I did my freshman year. I'm ready to play and score some points."

Despite the defeat, the Cougars showed improvement, scoring a season-high 82 points, 52 of which came in the second half. BYU shot 47 percent (26-55) from the field, the second-highest shooting mark of the season, and picked up a season-best 52 percent (13-25) shooting from behind the arc. The Cougars out-boarded the Trojans 40-30 but came up short in the turnover and free-throw columns as they committed 21 giveaways to USC's 11 and shot just 65 percent from the line, missing nine free-throws, to USC's 71 percent mark. The Trojans were led by Lodrick Stewart with 22 points.

With the loss, the Cougars fall to 1-5 on the season but will look to turn things around back at home on Wednesday night against Boise State. Tip-off for that game is set for 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The Broncos are 5-3 with a Saturday night victory over the Idaho Vandals.

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

BYU vs USC

12/04/04 7:30 p.m. at Los Angeles, Calif. (Sports Arena)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VISITORS: BYU 1-5

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 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 4 4 0 0 0 2 0 0 19

41 MEADS, Garner....... f 4-6 0-0 2-6 5 3 8 3 10 1 1 0 1 24

52 JENSEN, Jared....... c 1-3 0-0 1-1 2 3 5 0 3 0 3 0 0 16

01 HALL, Mike.......... g 5-13 3-7 0-1 1 1 2 2 13 1 3 0 1 33

13 AINGE, Austin....... g 2-2 1-1 2-2 0 0 0 1 7 2 5 0 1 12

02 ROSE, Mike.......... 4-7 4-6 1-2 0 3 3 4 13 0 1 0 0 16

10 NASHIF, Terry....... 0-4 0-3 0-0 0 3 3 3 0 10 2 0 1 25

23 BALDERSON, Jimmy.... 6-12 5-8 5-7 0 1 1 3 22 4 2 0 0 25

43 DAWES, Derek........ 2-4 0-0 6-7 3 2 5 2 10 0 1 1 0 20

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

54 MILES, Chris........ 2-4 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 1 4 0 0 0 1 8

TEAM................ 2 4 6 1

Totals.............. 26-55 13-25 17-26 14 26 40 19 82 18 21 1 5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-26 42.3% 2nd Half: 15-29 51.7% Game: 47.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-11 54.5% 2nd Half: 7-14 50.0% Game: 52.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 2-6 33.3% 2nd Half: 15-20 75.0% Game: 65.4% 2

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOME TEAM: USC 2-2

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

01 Young, Nick......... f 3-6 3-4 1-2 1 1 2 2 10 1 0 0 2 22

04 Guenther, Gregg..... f 1-6 0-0 0-0 1 4 5 3 2 0 1 0 2 18

21 O'Neil, Rory........ c 9-14 2-4 0-0 3 5 8 1 20 4 1 1 1 40

24 Craven, Derrick..... g 0-5 0-2 2-4 0 1 1 2 2 4 4 0 0 15

34 Pruitt, Gabriel..... g 6-9 2-4 2-2 0 1 1 2 16 6 0 0 2 28

02 Curtis, Nick........ 4-5 1-1 1-2 1 4 5 5 10 0 0 1 0 22

03 Stewart, Lodrick.... 7-16 2-6 6-7 3 2 5 1 22 2 3 0 2 30

15 Shackleford, Dwayne. 1-5 1-4 0-0 0 1 1 0 3 4 0 0 1 17

22 Craven, Errick...... 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 3 2 0 2 0 0 8

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

Totals.............. 32-67 11-25 12-17 10 20 30 19 87 21 11 2 10 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 17-34 50.0% 2nd Half: 15-33 45.5% Game: 47.8% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-13 38.5% 2nd Half: 6-12 50.0% Game: 44.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 5-6 83.3% 2nd Half: 7-11 63.6% Game: 70.6% 4,2

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Officials: Dave Libbey, Mike Reed, Kevin Brill

Technical fouls: BYU-None. USC-Pruitt, Gabriel.

Attendance: 2163

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU........................... 30 52 - 82

USC........................... 44 43 - 87

ID-274783

Tags: Results