BYU Faces New Mexico Saturday in The Pit | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

BYU Faces New Mexico Saturday in The Pit

Coming off a loss at Air Force Thursday, BYU, 14-4 overall and 3-2 in the Mountain West Conference, travels to Albuquerque to face New Mexico, 10-9, 2-2, in The Pit at 7 p.m. Mountain. The game is being televised by SportsWest Productions (KSL, channel 5 in SLC) with Tom Kirkland and Tony Ingle calling the action. Greg Wrubell and former Cougar Mark Durrant provide the radio broadcast on KSL Newsradio 1160 AM.

Up Next

BYU stays on the road with a single road game next Thursday at San Diego State. The Cougars then won't play for nine days until facing Utah on Feb. 12 in Salt Lake City.

Last Time Out

BYU lost at Air Force Thursday, 60-55, falling to 14-4 and 3-2 in the Mountain West Conference. After shooting 50 percent and trailing by one point, 28-27, at intermission, BYU lost its shooting touch in the final 20 minutes, making only 29 percent of its attempts. The Cougars took the lead momentarily at 41-40 after a Mekeli Wesley three-point play, but the Cougars could not deliver when needed down the stretch while Air Force's Jarvis Croff hit two key jumpers late on his way to a game-high 16 points. Tom Bellairs and Tyron Wright each contributed 13 points for the Falcons. BYU was led by Wesley's 12 points while Lyday added 11 and Eric Nielsen 10. Lyday, who was playing on a sprained ankle and had not practiced leading up to the game, and fellow starter on the wing, Michael Vranes, who was fighting the flu, were continually short of the mark. Lyday was 4-11 and Vranes 0-3 from the floor. Vranes did not score for the first time in his career. Eric Nielsen, who scored in double figures for the second straight game, had a career-high nine rebounds while Matt Montague had a season-high nine points.

Quick Facts:

BYU (14-4, 3-2) at New Mexico (10-9, 2-2)

Saturday, Jan. 29 • The Pit/Bob King Court (18,018) • Albuquerque, N.M. • 7 p.m. Mountain

Broadcast Plans:

Television:

Network: SportsWest Productions

Local Station: KSL, channel 5 in Salt Lake City

(Telstar 6, Transponder C1 1 / C-Band)

Air Time: 7 p.m. Mountain

Play-by-play: Tom Kirkland

Commentary: Tony Ingle

Radio:

Network: Cougar Sports Network

Station: KSL Newsradio 1160 AM

Air Time: 6:30 p.m. Mountain

Play-by-play: Greg Wrubell

Commentary: Mark Durrant

BYU's Probable Starters:

F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-8 210 So. 4.2 3.8

F 15 Mekeli Wesley 6-9 230 Jr. 18.6 6.0

G 24 Terrell Lyday 6-3 190 Jr. 17.1 3.9

G 4 Todd Christensen 6-1 185 Jr. 6.0 0.8

G 13 Michael Vranes 6-3 190 So. 8.0 4.6

New Mexico's Probable Starters:

F 4 Wayland White 6-6 205 Jr. 8.8 4.6

F 33 Damion Walker 6-7 225 Sr. 12.4 6.1

F 34 RT Guinn 6-9 235 Fr. 3.7 3.6

G 11 Kevin Henry 6-3 200 Jr. 11.2 1.8

G 3 Lamont Long 6-4 190 Sr. 17.7 5.0

BYU Coach: Steve Cleveland

Record at BYU: 35-41 (3rd year)

Overall Div. I record: Same

UNM Coach: Fran Fraschilla

Record at UNM: 10-9 (1st year)

Overall record: 130-68 (7th year)

Series Record: 57-44 BYU

Game Time: 7:05 p.m. Mountain

Scouting New Mexico

New Mexico is 10-9 overall and 2-2 in the Mountain West Conference. The Lobos have a new coach for the first time in 11 years with new head coach Fran Fraschilla (Brooklyn 80) taking over for Dave Bliss, who left for Baylor. Fraschilla, in just his seventh year as a head coach, has a career record of 130-68 (.657) after a four-year stint at Manhattan College (1992-96) and a two-year stay at St. Johns (1996-98). Five of his teams have gone on to postseason play, including three NCAA appearances and two NIT showings. Usually boasting one of the best home records in the league, the Lobos are 8-6 in The Pit this year and 2-3 on the road. One of New Mexico's road wins was a 70-62 victory at No. 2 Arizona (BYU lost at Arizona). The Lobos opened Mountain West play with a win at Colorado State (71-70) before losing at Wyoming (88-83) and at home to UNLV (85-73). The Lobos are coming off an 89-72 home win over Air Force Saturday. Lamont Long (6-4, Sr., G) scored 26 points, the 16th time in 19 games this season he has reached double figures in scoring (including seven 20-point efforts). True freshman R.T. Guinn (6-9, F) made his second start of the season at power forward. He played 24 minutes and had a career-high 10 rebounds to go along with seven points. The Lobos shot 55.9 percent from the field (33-59) against Air Force and have hit 50 percent or better in five of their last seven games. Long is one of 30 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award and leads the team with a 17.7 scoring average. Damion Walker (6-7, Sr., F) adds 12.4 and Kevin Henry (6-3, Jr., G) 11.2. Walker also pulls down a team-best 6.1 rebounds per game. Last year's starting point guard, John Robinson, transferred after playing in the Lobos first 11 games (4.1 ppg, 2.0 apg). New Mexico has received good bench play this year. Three times this year, the subs have contributed over 30 points in a game. The Lobos are shooting 46 percent from the floor, 34 percent on threes and 69 percent from the line.

Series Notes

This will be the 102nd meeting in the series with BYU holding a 57-44 advantage in the series dating back to 1951. New Mexico has won nine of the last 12 outings dating back to the 1993-94 season and seven of the last eight, including two wins last year (78-68 in Albuquerque and 85-64 in Provo). BYU last swept the season series in 1994-95, which included a 74-72 win at The Pit. BYU's last win in Albuquerque was an 83-62 upset of No. 15-ranked New Mexico on Feb. 26, 1998, when the Cougars ended the Lobos school-record 41-game home win streak. New Mexico leads the series in Albuquerque 27-22 (22-12 in The Pit). BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 1-3 against the Lobos.

Recent Meetings

In the last meeting in Provo, the Lobos won in commanding fashion, defeating BYU 85-64 on the Cougars' home court. New Mexico shot 61 percent in the second half while scoring 54 points to turn a 31-26 Lobo lead into a the blowout win. UNM shot 50 percent for the game while the Cougars shot 44 percent. BYU was led by freshman Mark Bigelow, who scored 21, and Silester Rivers, who had 15. Kenny Thomas (28), Lamont Long (21) and Kevin Henry (20) all totalled 20 or more points for New Mexico. The last game in The Pit was a closer game, with the Lobos pulling away in the second half for a 78-68 win. Wesley led BYU with 24 points and seven rebounds while Bigelow added 15 and Rivers and Christensen eight apiece. Long scored 20 and Thomas 18 for the Lobos. The game was delayed for 30 minutes when BYU's Bret Jepsen shattered the back board with a put-back dunk. After returning to action, New Mexico took the momentum and scored 17 of the next 19 points to take control of the game. New Mexico shot 50 percent, including 47 percent on threes, to BYU's 40 percent for the game.

Cougar Record Best Since 1994-95 Season

BYU's 14-4 start is among its best in the past 10 years and its best start since 1994-95, the last year BYU earned a post-season berth. The Cougars also started 14-4 or better in 1991-92 and 1993-94.

Cougars Surpass Last Year's Win Total, Guarantee Winning Regular Season

With BYU's win over Wyoming last week, the Cougars surpassed last year's win total (12-16), achieved its 13th win (in its 16th game) for the first time since another win over Wyoming (an 81-71 win at Wyoming on Feb. 10, 1996) gave the Cougars its 13th win in its 22nd game of the 1995-96 season. BYU got its 14th win last Saturday with its 21-point win over Colorado State, guaranteeing a winning regular season record (excluding MWC tournament) for the first time since 1995-96.

Lyday Sets BYU Consecutive Game Three-Point Record

Making 3-5 three-pointers against CSU last Saturday, Terrell Lyday extended the number of consecutive games with a made three-pointer to 17 and surpassed the previous BYU record he shared with Andy Toolson, who made a three in 16 straight games in 1990. Lyday has made 44 percent of his three-point attempts and a team-best 42 treys, extended his streak to 18 games Thursday at Air Force but only made 1-6 attempts. Lyday made 102 treys last year at Fresno City College.

Last Week

BYU averaged 77.5 points, while holding its two opponents to 62.5 points last week. The Cougars shot 49.5 percent from the floor and 73.7 percent from the line. After being out rebounded by Wyoming 43-32 Thursday, the Cougars pulled down 40 boards to Colorado State's 28 Saturday. BYU is 10-0 this year when out rebounding the opposition.

Streaks

BYU had its two-game win streak halted at Air Force Thursday. The Cougars have had two five-game win streaks this year and a seven-game home win streak. On the road, BYU had its four-game win streak snapped at AFA. The last time BYU won four straight road games was in 1992-93, when the Cougars has a six-game road streak. BYU's three straight non-conference road wins was a first since the 1991-92 season.

Assist vs. Turnovers

BYU has had nine games this year where it has had more assists than turnovers and one game when assists equaled turnovers. Eight times the Cougars have had more turnovers than assists, including the last two games and four of the last five (except Wyoming). On the year, BYU averages 15.2 assists per game to 14.7 turnovers. Last year BYU averaged 17.3 turnovers per game to only 12.8 assists.

Trouble Behind the Line of Late

After being tied for second in the nation in three point percentage entering the CSU game, BYU has made just 7-33 (21.2 percent) in its last two games. The Cougars shot a season-low 17.6 percent at Air Force Thursday while making a season-low three treys. Lyday went 1-6 at Air Force, while Vranes was 0-3 and Cooper 0-2. Christensen found the mark twice in five attempts.

Cooper Cold in Januar

Since scoring 14 points against UC Irvine on Jan 5, Nathan Cooper has only scored a combined 13 points in the six games since then for an average of 2.2 points per game. He did not score for the first time this year against Air Force.

Cougars Equal Home Win Total of Last Year, Four Home Games Remain

With its two wins last week, BYU improves to 9-1 at home this year, equaling its home win total of last year (9-5). The only loss was (56-49) against Utah. The Cougars are averaging 76.0 points per game at home (16.3-point margin of victory). The Cougars are making 50.2 percent of its shots, including 38.3 percent of its three-point attempts, in the Marriott Center. They are pulling down 36.5 rebounds per game to their opponents 33.5. Wesley is scoring a team-best 19.3 points, followed by Terrell Lyday at 15.2, Michael Vranes 9.3, Silester Rivers at 8.8 and Nathan Cooper at 7.9.

Numbers on the Road

BYU is 5-3 on the road this year, having more than doubled its road wins last year (2-10). Before Thursday's loss at AFA, BYU had won its last four road games and is scoring 70 points in away games for a 2.6 scoring margin. BYU is shooting .431, including .409 on threes, and .711 from the line. BYU is being out rebounded 34.5-37.6. Terrell Lyday leads the Cougar scoring effort on the road with a 19.4 average, including a career-high 35 at Utah State and 30 at UNLV. Mekeli Wesley averaged 17.8 points and a team-best 5.5 rebounds.

Defense

The Cougars rank first in the MWC in both field goal percentage defense and three-point field goal percentage defense. They have held their opponents to a collective 37.9 shooting percentage (27.4 on threes). The Cougars have held the opposition to below 40 percent in 12 games this year. In BYU's four losses, Arizona shot .544, South Alabama .490, Utah .429 and Air Force .392. BYU is 13-1 when it out shoots its opponent (except AFA) and is holding opponents to 63.1 points. Individually BYU has had outstanding defensive efforts, including Terrell Lyday helping hold Eddie House of Arizona State (No. 3 scorer in the nation) to a 0-16 night -- the only time House has gone without a field goal in his career. Eric Nielsen helped hold CSU's Ceedric Goodwyn to 14 points and 3 rebounds, well below his averages.

On the Boards

BYU is pulling down 35.6 rebounds per game while its opponents are grabbing 35.4. The Cougars are 10-0 when they have out rebounded their opponents and 4-4 in games were the opposition totalled more boards. Mekeli Wesley leads BYU with 6.0 rebounds per game, including a team-best 84 defensive boards. Silester Rivers has a team-high 28 offensive rebounds. Air Force out rebounded BYU 39-28 Thursday.

Offense

BYU has scored more than 80 points in a five games and averages 73.3 points. BYU has shot better than 50 percent in eight games (last week 50 percent vs. CSU and 49 percent vs. Wyoming). The Cougars have shot below 40 percent three times -- 36.5 percent in a loss at No.4 Arizona and a season-low 29.6 in a win at UCSB and 29.6 percent at AFA Thursday. The Cougars are shooting 46.9 percent (39.6 on threes and 71.0 percent from the line. Three regular players are shooting better than 50 percent. Silester Rivers is making a team-best 56.5 percent, Eric Nielsen 52.5 percent and Mekeli Wesley 51.6. Todd Christensen (47.4) and Terrell Lyday (47.1) have the best percentages from the back court. Cooper shoots a team-best 81 percent from the line.

Three-Point Range

BYU was third in the nation in three-point percentage in the last rankings (Jan. 18) but has slumped in the last two games and is now shooting just under 40 percent. Three players are shooting 40 percent or better, led by Terrell Lyday (44.2). Others are Todd Christensen (43.9) and Mekeli Wesley (42.9). Michael Vranes (36.5) is also a strong threat. Seven players have made a three-pointer (Cooper 6, Montague 2 and Eric Nielsen made his first Saturday vs. CSU). BYU's opponents are shooting 27.4 percent from three-point range. BYU is making 6.1 threes per game and its opponents 4.8.

BYU's record when . . .

BYU leads at half 12-0

Opponent leads at half 1-4

Score tied at half 1-0

BYU leads with 5 minutes left 13-1

Opponent leads with 5 min. left 0-3

BYU leads with 1 minute left 13-0

Opponent leads with 1 min. left 1-4

Score tied with 1 minute left 0-0

Game goes into overtime 1-0

BYU out rebounds opponent 10-0

Opponent out rebounds BYU 4-4

BYU and opponent tie in rebounds 0-0

BYU shoots 50 % or better 8-0

Opponent shoots 50 % or better 0-1

BYU out shoots opponent 13-1

Opponent out shoots BYU 1-3

BYU Starting Lineups

UCR Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

SUU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

Ariz. Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

Den. Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

ASU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

TSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

WSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

SCSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

USA Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

FIU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley

UCSB Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley

UCI Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

USU Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

UNLV Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

Utah Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley

Wyo Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

CSU Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

AFA Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley

Dan Howard Redshirting

Center Dan Howard, a 7-0 freshman, will take a medical redshirt year this season. He had surgery on his right knee after the Denver game. He played in BYU's first four games and was 3-3 (1.5 ppg) and averaged 2 rebounds in 4.8 minutes.

Welcome Back

BYU received six votes in this week's USA Today ESPN poll and five votes in the AP poll. The last time BYU received votes in a poll was in 1994-95 (and was ranked as high as 26th in AP). BYU hasn't been in the AP top 25 since 1992-93 when they were in the rankings for five weeks, (as high as 21).

RPI Report (as of Jan. 24, 2000)

According to CollegeRPI.com rankings computed by Jerry Palm and the

Collegiate Basketball News, BYU is the highest rated team in the MWC in both the Collegerpi.com (22nd) and Collegiate Basketball News (20th) rankings. According to CBN, BYU has the toughest schedule among MWC teams at No. 42. UNM is second at 70th, followed by CSU (78), Utah (108), Wyoming (132), SDSU (142), AFA (143) and UNLV (182).

School CBN/Collegerpi.com

BYU 20/22

Utah 33/33

CSU 68/66

UNLV 75/73

UNM 108/108

Wyoming 118/115

SDSU 230/227

AFA 251/250

Mekeli Wesley

Wesley is BYU's leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 18.6 ppg and 6.0 rpg. He has been BYU's top scorer in 10 games this season and has scored in double figures in 16 of BYU's 18 games. He has reached double-digits in the last eight straight games. He scored a team-high 12 points at Air Force but only had two rebounds, matching his season low (2 vs. SUU). He had 13 points in 21 minutes vs. CSU and scored a career- and conference-play high 34 points vs. Wyoming (he scored 31 points twice as a freshman) and had team highs of eight rebounds and four assists. He had game highs of 21 points and seven rebounds against Utah. He scored 17 points and had four rebounds at UNLV Monday. He scored 11 points and had a team highs with eight rebounds and three assists at Utah State. He scored 18 points and pulled down six boards against UC Irvine. He had six rebounds and scored a game-high 24 points, 16 in the second half, at UCSB -- the seventh time he has scored 20 or more points. He had eight points and seven rebounds at Florida International. He had a game-high 20 points at South Alabama. He averaged 21 points and nine rebounds to earn MWC Player of the Week honors (Dec. 7-11) and was named the Cougar Classic MVP for the second time in his career (also as freshman). After averaging three rebounds per game in first three contests, he averaged 7.4 over the next eight. He recorded his first double-double of the year (fourth of career) with 24 points and 10 rebounds in win over Texas Southern. He scored a season-high 26 points in back-to-back games this year versus Denver and ASU.

Michael Vranes

Vranes is pulling down 4.6 rebounds (2nd on team), is third on the team in scoring at 8.0 ppg, and is second on the team with 2.8 assists per game. He has made a trey in 10 games and has scored in double figures in six games. Fighting the flu, he went 0-3 and did not score for the first time in his career Thursday at Air Force. He had a team-high seven rebounds vs. CSU and added 11 points. He had eight points, five rebounds and three assists vs. Wyoming. He had four points, four rebounds and three assists vs. Utah. He had nine points and four boards at UNLV and had nine points, five rebound and two assists at Utah State. He had 11 points, five rebounds and five assists against UC Irvine. Vranes matched a career high with a team-best nine rebounds at UCSB. He also had team-high three assists despite three points on 1-9 shooting. He scored eight of his 12 points in overtime at FIU. He totalled 10 points, six rebounds and a season-high seven assists vs. South Carolina State. He had a season-high 15 points along with five rebounds vs. Weber State.

Terrell Lyday

Lyday averages 17.1 points, second on the team, and team-high 32.4 minutes. He has scored in double figures in 16 of BYU's 18 games and set a school record having made a three-pointer in all 18 games this season ( previous record was 16 games by Andy Toolson 1990). He has made a team-high 42 threes and makes team-best 44 percent on threes. Last year he made 102 treys at Fresno City College. He has excelled defensively also, guarding the other team's best perimeter player. He helped hold Arizona State's high scoring Eddie House to a five-point night on 0-16 shooting, the only time House has not scored a field goal in his career. House has the top two scoring games in the nation this year (61 and 46). Lyday is averaging 18.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in MWC games. Playing on a sprained ankle, he was 4-11 (11 pts) vs. AFA. He had game-high 15 vs. CSU and scored 22 points vs. Wyoming. He had 12 points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists vs. Utah. Lyday made 5-10 threes, scored 30 points and had a career-high 11 rebounds and tied a career-best with six steals at UNLV. It was his first double-double of the year. He was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Week (Jan. 3-8) after averaged 28.5 points and shooting better than 60 percent from the floor and on threes in two BYU wins. He carried BYU to a win at Utah State with a career-high 35 points, including six three pointers, and scored a game-high 22 points to lead a BYU comeback win over UC Irvine. He had career-best six steals at UCSB, despite an off night scoring (2-11 for eight points and held scoreless in the first half for the first time this year). He scored 26 points at FIU and had 15 points against South Alabama, where he was a perfect 4-4 on three-point attempts. He joined Wesley on the Cougar Classic All-Tournament team Dec. 10-11. He scored 18 points against Arizona and had 17 vs. ASU.

Eric Nielsen

A returned LDS missionary to Russia, Nielsen is averaging 4.6 points and 4.1 rebounds. He has started in 15 games, including the first nine. After scoring 10 and 12 points in first two games, he went 14 straight outings without reaching double digits until scoring 10 points in each of the last two games (AFA and CSU). He had a career-best nine boards at AFA and also had six rebounds and three steals vs. CSU. He didn't score for the second time this year vs. Wyoming. He fouled out, playing 14 minutes, scoring two points on one attempt and had one rebound vs. Utah. In foul trouble, he played only 10 minutes at UNLV (2 pts, 4 rebounds). At Utah State he was held scoreless and had four rebounds. He had four points, three rebounds and a season-high three assists vs. UC Irvine. At UCSB, he equaled a career-best seven rebounds. He was married to BYU All-American volleyball player Anna-Lena Smith Dec. 30 in Mesa, Ariz. He had eight points at South Alabama and at Denver. He scored a season-high 12 points versus Southern Utah and had 10 against UC Riverside.

Todd Christensen

Regarded as the best shooter on the team, Christensen shoots 47 percent from the floor and 44 percent from behind the arc. He averages 6.0 ppg in 18 minutes. He is sharing point guard duties after playing shooting guard most of last year. He has started the last six games. He hit two treys for six points at AFA. He did not score (0-3 -- all treys) and had three assists vs. CSU. He had seven points, three assists vs. Wyoming. He did not score, taking only one shot, vs. Utah. At UNLV, he had eight points, including a clutch three-pointer to put the Cougars up four late in the game. At Utah State he scored seven early points to help BYU shot 57 percent in the first half. Christensen scored 13 points, including a four-point play at UCSB. Against UCSB and FIU he was 9-16 (.562) from the floor, 6-11 (.545) on treys, and 3-3 from the line while averaging 13.5 ppg. He scored all of his 14 points in the first half at FIU (4-5 treys in 11 minutes). He had three assists at S. Alabama in 12 minutes. He had a season-high 16 points, including 5-8 threes, vs. South Carolina State (10 at Denver).

Silester Rivers

Rivers averages 7.8 points (4th on team) and 4.5 rebounds (3rd on team). He has a team-high 28 offensive boards and is shooting a team-best 56.5 percent (FG). He has scored in double figures six times this year and has led the team in rebounds three times (6 vs. UC Riverside, 9 at Denver, 11 at FIU). He played only eight minutes at AFA with 7 pts, 2 rbs, 2 assts. He scored 9 points vs. CSU and 8 points vs. Wyoming. He started his third game of the year vs. Utah and had 5 points, 4 rebounds while guarding the much larger Ute post players. Rivers had 3 points (3-4 FTs) and 5 rebounds at UNLV. He had a strong outing at Utah State, scoring 15 points with some nice post play and pulling down seven rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench. Rivers came off the bench against UC Irvine after starting the two previous games. Despite being weakened by the flu, he contributed 5 points and 6 rebounds in 11 minutes. He started his second straight game against UCSB but was 0-2 with 4 rebounds in 17 minutes. He played a season-high 31 minutes in his first start at Florida International and had double-double 10 points and season-high 11 rebounds. He scored 8 points in 12 minutes at South Alabama. He scored game- and season-high 17 points against South Carolina State. He had 10 points versus Arizona State and 14 points in back-to-back games to open the year against UC Riverside and Southern Utah.

Nathan Cooper

He is coming off the bench this year after starting 23 of BYU's 28 games last year. He is averaging 5.9 points and 3.2 rebounds in 20.3 minutes. He has made a team-best 34 of 42 free throws (.810). He has four double-figures scoring games and has made a trey in five games. He did not score and had 1 rebound at AFA. He had 4 points, 5 boards and 2 assists vs. CSU after scoring 1 point vs. Wyoming. He had 5 points and 3 rebounds vs. Utah. He was forced to play the 4 position at UNLV with foul trouble to Eric Nielsen and Silester Rivers. He played 22 minutes and had 2 points and 1 rebound. He played 15 minutes at Utah State, scoring 1 point and adding 2 boards and 2 assists. He and Michael Vranes received the coaches game ball for their effort against UC Irvine. Cooper had 14 points and 4 rebounds in a season-high 31 minutes. He scored BYU's first basket at UCSB five minutes into the contest and sparked an 8-0 run with a steal, forcing a turnover and handing out an assist. He finished with 3 points and 3 boards. He had 5 points, 6 rebound effort at FIU. He set a career high with 7 assists at South Alabama. He scored a season- and team-high 15 points against Weber State.

Matt Montague

The only true point guard on the BYU roster, he has team-leading 77 assists (4.3 apg). He is averaging 3.1 points and 3.1 rebounds. He has been plagued by a achilles injury all year but it has started to feel better of late. After starting the first 12 games, he has come off the bench in the last six games. He took season high seven shots and scored season-high 9 points at AFA (6 assts). He had 5 assists, 5 boards and 2 points vs. CSU and had 7 points vs. Wyoming. He played a season-low seven minutes vs. Utah (1 assist, 3 TO, 1 rebound). He scored six points and had seven assists at UNLV. At Utah State he played 25 minutes off the bench and had four points and two assists. He was limited to 10 minutes (achilles) against UC Irvine and did not record an assist for the first time this year. Montague did not take a shot but made three clutch free throws down the stretch at UCSB. He had two points, four rebounds and eight assists in team- and personal career-high 41 minutes at FIU. He shared team-high five rebounds with Wesley at South Alabama while handing out four assists. He matched his season high with five points vs. South Carolina State and made his second three-pointer of the year (2-6 on the season). After receiving stitches to repair a cut above his eye against ASU, Montague returned and led BYU on a 14-1 run. He dished out a season-high nine assists vs. Weber State and helped hold Wildcat guard Eddie Gill to 2-14 shooting.

Mountain West Conference

Men's Basketball Statisical Leaders: (Through Jan. 28, 2000)

Overall

Team

Scoring 85.0, UNLV

Scoring Defense 59.5, Utah

FG Pct. .491 Utah

FG Pct. defense .378, BYU

3 Pt. Pct. .429, Colorado State

3 Pt./Game 8.21, Colorado State

Ft Pct. .711, Colorado State

Steals 9.75, Air Force

Blocked Shots 5.26, Colorado State

Assists 20.50, UNLV

Offensive Rebounds 15.88, Air Force, UNLV

Defensive Rebounds 27.94, UNLV

Reb. Mar. +4.7, UNLV

Scoring Mar. +11.9, Utah

TO Mar. +2.62, Air Force

Asst/TO Mar 1.25, UNLV

Individual

Scoring 18.9, Kaspars Kambala (UNLV)

FG Pct. .634 (52-82), John Ford, (CSU)

FT Pct. .830 (78-94), Damion Walker (UNM)

3-Pt. Pct. .524 (33-63), Alex Jensen (Utah)

3-Pt./Game 3.00, Jarvis Croff (AFA)

Rebounding 9.4, Kaspars Kambala (UNLV)

Off. Rebounds 3.56, Tom Bellairs (AFA)

Def. Rebounds 6.62, Kaspars Kambala (UNLV)

Assists 8.88, Mark Dickel (UNLV)

Blocks 2.24, John Ford (CSU)

Steals 2.25, Tyron Wright (AFA)

Conference

Team

Scoring 85.2, UNLV

Scoring Defense 58.8, Utah

FG Pct. .467, New Mexico

FG Pct. defense .386, UNLV

3 Pt. Pct. .388, New Mexico

3 Pt./Game 7.75, Air Force

Ft Pct. .740, San Diego State

Steals 8.80, BYU

Blocked Shots 6.25, New Mexico

Assists 19.25, UNLV

Offensive Rebounds 16.50, UNLV

Defensive Rebounds 29.75, UNLV

Reb. Mar. +9.5, UNLV

Scoring Mar. +15.8, UNLV

TO Mar. +5.00, Colorado State

Asst/TO Mar 1.35, UNLV

Individual

Scoring 19.8, Myron Epps (SDSU)

FG Pct. .643 (18-28), Nate Althoff (Utah)

FT Pct. .1.000 (8-8) Vincent Okotie (SDSU)

3-Pt. Pct. (min. 5) .750 (6-8), Vernard Jenkins (AFA)

3-Pt./Game 3.00, J. Croff (AFA), L. Long (UNM)

Rebounding 11.2, Kaspars Kambala (UNLV)

Off. Rebounds 5.25, Dalron Johnson (UNLV)

Def. Rebounds 9.00, Kaspars Kambala (UNLV)

Assists 10.00, Mark Dickel (UNLV)

Blocks 3.75, Wayland White (UNM)

Steals 2.80, Terrell Lyday (BYU)

Mtn. West Season Highs -- All Games (through Jan. 28th games)

Individual

Points: 39, Lamont Long (New Mexico) vs. Alcorn State, 11/27/99

FG Percentage: .833 (10-12), Marcelo Correa vs. UC Riverside, 11/24/99

FG Made: 15, Lamont Long (New Mexico) vs. Alcorn State, 11/27/99

FG Attempted: 24, Trevor Diggs (UNLV) vs. Georgetown, 11/28/99

Rebounds: 19, Miguel Garcia (Air Force) vs. San Diego State, 1/20/00

Assists: 14, Mark Dickel (UNLV) vs. Nevada, 11/24/99

Steals: 8, Trevor Diggs (UNLV) vs. Eastern Kentucky, 12/28/99

Blocks: 9, John Ford (Colorado State) vs. Florida A&M 12/21/99

3-Point Pct: .900 (9-10), Aki Palmer (Colorado State) vs. Michigan 1/02/00

3-Pointers Made: 9, Aki Palmer (Colorado State) vs. Michigan 1/02/00

3-Pointers Attempted: 13, Jeremy Killion(Utah) vs. Washington State,

12/11/99

Free Throw Pct: .928 (13-14), Kaspars Kambala (UNLV) vs. Princeton, 12/03/99

Free Throws Made: 14, Mekeli Wesley (BYU) vs. Arizona State, 12/07/99

Free Throws Attempted: 18, Mekeli Wesley (BYU) vs. Arizona State, 12/07/99

Team

Points: 110, Wyoming vs. Hawai'i Pacific, 11/26/99

FG Percentage: .619 (26-42), Colorado State at Sacramento State, 12/27/99

FG Made: 45, UNLV vs. Cal Poly, 12/21/99

FG Attempted: 82, UNLV vs. Cal Poly, 12/21/99

Rebounds: 55, UNLV vs. Georgetown, 11/28/99

55, Wyoming vs. Hawai'i Pacific, 11/26/99

Assists: 33, UNLV vs. Cal Poly, 12/21/99

Steals: 21, Colorado State vs. Seattle, 11/20/99

Blocks: 12, Wyoming vs. Hawai'i Pacific, 11/26/99

12, Colorado State vs. Florida A&M, 12/21/99

12, New Mexcio vs. UNLV, 1/17/00

3-Point Percentage: .667 (14-21), Utah vs. Utah State, 12/07/99

3-Pointers Made: 17, Colorado State at Michigan, 1/02/00

3-Pointers Attempted: 31, Air Force at San Diego State, 1/20/00

31, Wyoming vs. Idaho State, 1/03/00

Free Throws Made: 37, BYU vs. Southern Utah, 11/24/99

Free Throw Attempted: 47, BYU vs. Southern Utah, 11/24/99

Free Throw Percentage: .862 (25-29), New Mexico vs. UTEP, 12/01/99

Mtn. West Season Highs -- Conference Games

Individual

Points: 34, Mekeli Wesley (BYU) vs. Wyoming, 1/20/00

FG Percentage: 1.000 (8-8), Nate Althoff (Utah) at SDSU, 1/10/00

FG Made: 12, Kaspars Kambala (UNLV) at New Mexico, 1/17/00

FG Attempted: 21, LeDarion Jones (Wyoming) at BYU, 1/20/00

Rebounds: 19, Miguel Garcia (Air Force) at San Diego State, 1/20/00

Assists: 11, Mark Dickel (UNLV) at Air Force, 1/15/00

Steals: 6, Terrell Lyday (BYU) at UNLV, 1/10/00

Blocks: 7, Wayland White (New Mexico) vs. UNLV, 1/17/00

3-Point Pct: .833 (5-6), Lamont Long (New Mexico) at Colorado State, 1/10/00

3-Pointers Made: 5, Three Tied

3-Pointers Attempted: 11, Jarvis Croff (Air Force) at New Mexico, 1/22/00

Free Throw Pct: .889 (8-9), Tyron Wright (Air Force) vs. UNLV, 1/15/00

Free Throws Made: 11, Mekeli Wesley (BYU) vs. Wyoming, 1/20/00

Free Throws Attempted: 14, Mekeli Wesley (BYU) vs. Wyoming, 1/20/00

Team

Points: 98, UNLV at Air Force (73), 1/15/00

FG Percentage: .559 (33-59), New Mexico vs. Air Force, 1/22/00

FG Made: 35, UNLV at Air Force, 1/15/00

FG Attempted: 71, Wyoming vs. New Mexico, 1/13/00

71, New Mexico vs. UNLV, 1/17/00

Rebounds: 54, UNLV at New Mexico, 1/17/00

Assists: 24, UNLV vs. San Diego State, 1/22/00

Steals: 13, BYU at UNLV, 1/10/00

Blocks: 12, New Mexico vs. UNLV, 1/17/00

3-Point Percentage: .545 (6-11), San Diego State at Colorado State, 1/27/00

3-Pointers Made: 12, Air Force at San Diego State, 1/20/00

3-Pointers Attempted: 31, Air Force at San Diego State, 1/20/00

Free Throws Made: 28, BYU vs. Wyoming, 1/20/00

Free Throw Attempted: 39, BYU vs. Wyoming, 1/20/00

Free Throw Percentage: .923 (12-13), Utah at San Diego State, 1/10/00

Mtn. West Season Highs -- All Games (through Jan. 28th games)

Individual

Points: 39, Lamont Long (New Mexico) vs. Alcorn State, 11/27/99

FG Percentage: .833 (10-12), Marcelo Correa vs. UC Riverside, 11/24/99

FG Made: 15, Lamont Long (New Mexico) vs. Alcorn State, 11/27/99

FG Attempted: 24, Trevor Diggs (UNLV) vs. Georgetown, 11/28/99

Rebounds: 19, Miguel Garcia (Air Force) vs. San Diego State, 1/20/00

Assists: 14, Mark Dickel (UNLV) vs. Nevada, 11/24/99

Steals: 8, Trevor Diggs (UNLV) vs. Eastern Kentucky, 12/28/99

Blocks: 9, John Ford (Colorado State) vs. Florida A&M 12/21/99

3-Point Pct: .900 (9-10), Aki Palmer (Colorado State) vs. Michigan 1/02/00

3-Pointers Made: 9, Aki Palmer (Colorado State) vs. Michigan 1/02/00

3-Pointers Attempted: 13, Jeremy Killion(Utah) vs. Washington State,

12/11/99

Free Throw Pct: .928 (13-14), Kaspars Kambala (UNLV) vs. Princeton, 12/03/99

Free Throws Made: 14, Mekeli Wesley (BYU) vs. Arizona State, 12/07/99

Free Throws Attempted: 18, Mekeli Wesley (BYU) vs. Arizona State, 12/07/99

Team

Points: 110, Wyoming vs. Hawai'i Pacific, 11/26/99

FG Percentage: .619 (26-42), Colorado State at Sacramento State, 12/27/99

FG Made: 45, UNLV vs. Cal Poly, 12/21/99

FG Attempted: 82, UNLV vs. Cal Poly, 12/21/99

Rebounds: 55, UNLV vs. Georgetown, 11/28/99

55, Wyoming vs. Hawai'i Pacific, 11/26/99

Assists: 33, UNLV vs. Cal Poly, 12/21/99

Steals: 21, Colorado State vs. Seattle, 11/20/99

Blocks: 12, Wyoming vs. Hawai'i Pacific, 11/26/99

12, Colorado State vs. Florida A&M, 12/21/99

12, New Mexcio vs. UNLV, 1/17/00

3-Point Percentage: .667 (14-21), Utah vs. Utah State, 12/07/99

3-Pointers Made: 17, Colorado State at Michigan, 1/02/00

3-Pointers Attempted: 31, Air Force at San Diego State, 1/20/00

31, Wyoming vs. Idaho State, 1/03/00

Free Throws Made: 37, BYU vs. Southern Utah, 11/24/99

Free Throw Attempted: 47, BYU vs. Southern Utah, 11/24/99

Free Throw Percentage: .862 (25-29), New Mexico vs. UTEP, 12/01/99

Mtn. West Season Highs -- Conference Games

Individual

Points: 34, Mekeli Wesley (BYU) vs. Wyoming, 1/20/00

FG Percentage: 1.000 (8-8), Nate Althoff (Utah) at SDSU, 1/10/00

FG Made: 12, Kaspars Kambala (UNLV) at New Mexico, 1/17/00

FG Attempted: 21, LeDarion Jones (Wyoming) at BYU, 1/20/00

Rebounds: 19, Miguel Garcia (Air Force) at San Diego State, 1/20/00

Assists: 11, Mark Dickel (UNLV) at Air Force, 1/15/00

Steals: 6, Terrell Lyday (BYU) at UNLV, 1/10/00

Blocks: 7, Wayland White (New Mexico) vs. UNLV, 1/17/00

3-Point Pct: .833 (5-6), Lamont Long (New Mexico) at Colorado State, 1/10/00

3-Pointers Made: 5, Three Tied

3-Pointers Attempted: 11, Jarvis Croff (Air Force) at New Mexico, 1/22/00

Free Throw Pct: .889 (8-9), Tyron Wright (Air Force) vs. UNLV, 1/15/00

Free Throws Made: 11, Mekeli Wesley (BYU) vs. Wyoming, 1/20/00

Free Throws Attempted: 14, Mekeli Wesley (BYU) vs. Wyoming, 1/20/00

Team

Points: 98, UNLV at Air Force (73), 1/15/00

FG Percentage: .559 (33-59), New Mexico vs. Air Force, 1/22/00

FG Made: 35, UNLV at Air Force, 1/15/00

FG Attempted: 71, Wyoming vs. New Mexico, 1/13/00

71, New Mexico vs. UNLV, 1/17/00

Rebounds: 54, UNLV at New Mexico, 1/17/00

Assists: 24, UNLV vs. San Diego State, 1/22/00

Steals: 13, BYU at UNLV, 1/10/00

Blocks: 12, New Mexico vs. UNLV, 1/17/00

3-Point Percentage: .545 (6-11), San Diego State at Colorado State, 1/27/00

3-Pointers Made: 12, Air Force at San Diego State, 1/20/00

3-Pointers Attempted: 31, Air Force at San Diego State, 1/20/00

Free Throws Made: 28, BYU vs. Wyoming, 1/20/00

Free Throw Attempted: 39, BYU vs. Wyoming, 1/20/00

Free Throw Percentage: .923 (12-13), Utah at San Diego State, 1/10/00

MWC Double-Double Leaders

Player -- Team (Career) 1999-2000 Total

Josh Davis -- Wyoming (11) 7

Kaspars Kambala -- UNLV (20) 7

Mark Dickel -- UNLV (5) 5

Dalron Johnson -- UNLV (3) 3

Marcelo Correa -- San Diego State (3) 2

Lamont Long -- New Mexico (12) 2

Tom Bellairs -- Air Force (3) 3

Hanno Mottola -- Utah (7) 2

Anthony Blakes -- Wyoming (8) 2

Alex Jensen -- Utah (20) 2

Ceedric Goodwyn -- Colorado State (3) 1

Danny Brotherson -- UNLV (1) 1

Jeff Johnsen -- Utah (1) 1

Ugo Udezue -- Wyoming (9) 1

Mekeli Wesley -- BYU (4) 1

Trevor Diggs -- UNLV (1) 1

Silester Rivers -- BYU (3) 1

Myron Epps -- SDSU (3) 1

Bradley Jackson -- SDSU (1) 1

Terrell Lyday -- BYU (1) 1

Marlon Palmer -- New Mexico (1) 1

Garrett Patik -- Colorado State (1) 1

Miguel Garcia -- Air Force (1) 1

Tryon Wright -- Air Force (4) 1

Comparing Statistics

BYU UNM

SCORING

Points per game .73.3 72.6

Scoring margin + 10.2 + 4.7

SHOOTING PERCENTAGES

Field goals .469 .459

3-pointers .396 .339

Free throws .711 .691

REBOUNDING

Rebounds per game 35.6 36.2

Rebounding margin + 0.3 + 0.9

ASSISTS

Assists per game 15.2 12.1

TURNOVER

Turnovers per game 14.7 16.0

Turnover margin + 1.1 + 0.1

BLOCKS

Blocks per game 2.2 4.7

STEALS

Steals per game 7.9 8.4