BYU will finish its stretch of four games in eight days with three games this week. After returning from its game Monday at San Diego State, BYU hosts Mountain West Conference leader Wyoming Thursday and Colorado State Saturday in the Marriott Center. Both games start at 7 p.m. Thursday's will be tape delay broadcast on WB30 in Utah at 9 p.m. while Saturday's game will be carried live on KSL-TV, channel 5. KSL Newsradio 1160 provides the radio broadcasts on the Cougar Sports Network with Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant describing the action.
Game 25 Fast Facts (MWC Game 10)
Brigham Young University Cougars (17-7, 6-3) vs. University of Wyoming Cowboys (16-5, 7-2)
Thursday, Feb. 15, 2001 Â• Provo, Utah Â• Marriott Center (22,700) Â• 7 p.m. MST
Series: BYU leads, 84-66
Last Meeting: BYU lost at Wyoming, 85-75 (Jan. 22, 2001)
Last Year: Both teams won at home.
BYU, Steve Cleveland (60-55 in fourth year; same overall)
Wyoming, Steve McClain (53-27 in third year; same overall)
SportsWest Productions (WB30 in Utah, taped delayed at 9 p.m.)
Satellite: Telstar 6 Transponder 4 (C-Band)
Play-by-Play - Tom Kirkland
Game Analyst - Craig Hislop
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time - 6:30 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play - Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst - Mark Durrant
Game 26 Fast Facts (MWC Game 11)
Brigham Young University Cougars vs. Colorado State University (13-8, 4-4 MWC)
Saturday, Feb. 3, 2001 Â• Provo, Utah Â• Marriott Center (22,700) Â• 7 p.m. MST
BYU leads, 71-42
Last Meeting: BYU lost at CSU, 60-55 (Jan. 20, 2001)
Last Year: Both teams won at home.
BYU, Steve Cleveland
CSU, Dale Layer (13-8 in first year; 181-95 in 10th year overall)
SportsWest Productions (KSL, channel 5, in SLC)
Play-by-Play - Tom Kirkland
Game Analyst - Craig Hislop
Satellite: Telstar 6 Transponder 4 (C-Band)
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time - 6:30 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play - Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst - Mark Durrant
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 42 Nathan Cooper 6-6 210 Sr. 4.7 4.0
F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-9 215 Jr. 6.5 4.1
F 15 Mekeli Wesley 6-9 240 Sr. 16.2 5.6
G 24 Terrell Lyday 6-3 195 Sr. 15.6 2.8
G 21 Trent Whiting 6-1 185 Sr. 14.6 2.9
Wyoming's Probable Starters:
F 44 Marcus Bailey 6-5 190 So. 17.8 4.6
F 22 Josh Davis 6-8 235 Jr. 13.6 9.7
C 5 Uche Nsonwu-Amadi 6-10 260 So. 11.5 8.5
G 20 David Rottinghaus 6-5 195 Fr. 3.8 2.2
G 10 Chris McMillian 5-10 180 Jr. 7.0 2.7
CSU's Probable Starters:
F 44 David Fisher 6-10 230 Sr. 12.4 3.9
F 40 Garrett Patik 6-7 240 Sr. 8.3 6.1
G 03 Ron Grady 6-3 185 Sr. 11.8 5.1
G 32 John Sivesind 6-3 200 Sr. 13.3 2.3
G 11 Andy Birley 6-4 180 So. 5.6 1.9
Wyoming (16-5, 7-2 MWC) returns five lettermen and three starters from last year's 19-12 team that tied for fourth in the Mountain West Conference with an 8-6 record. The Cowboys also return forward/center Ugo Udezue, who missed last season with an injury but started and scored 20.5 points with 7.4 rebounds during the 1998-99 season. Udezue has been playing a more limited role this year, however, averging 16 minutes and 4.2 points and 3.7 rebounds. The Cowboys are coming off a two-point win over Colorado State (72-70). The Cowboys are 3-1 in conference road games this season and 4-1 at home. Wyoming's home loss was to UNLV (80-78). The Cowboys have been successful away from Arena-Auditorium with a 5-4 overall record this year in away games and a 2-0 mark on a neutral floor. The four Cowboy road losses were at Cal-State Northridge (74-71), South Carolina (78-67), Louisiana State (73-69) and Utah (83-71). Wyoming is led by sophomore forward Marcus Bailey, who leads the MWC at 17.8 points per game. Junior forward Josh Davis adds 13.6 points per game and a team-leading 9.7 rebounds while sophomore center Uche Nsonwu-Amadi contributes 11.5 points and 8.5 rebounds. The Cowboys grab six more boards per game than their opponents, tied with CSU for the 18th best rebound margin in the country. The Cowboys average 76.4 points while giving up 69.0.
This will be the 151st meeting between the two schools. BYU leads the series 84-66. Wyoming has won the last two meetings, both in Laramie, an 85-78 victory this year (Jan. 22) and an 85-70 victory last year (Feb. 26). BYU led 48-34 at the half in Laramie this year being out scored 51-30 in the final 20 minutes. Last year in Laramie BYU played to a 43-43 tie at half, but hit the wall as Wyoming out scored the Cougars 42-27 in the second half. BYU won the last game in Provo, 87-78 (Jan. 20, 2000). BYU has won two straight over Wyoming in Provo. Wyoming's last win in the Marriott Center was during BYU's 1-25 campaign in 1996-97 (72-60 loss on Feb. 8). The teams did not play in 1998-99 after splitting the season series in 1997-98. The Cougars have won six of the last 11 meetings dating to the 1994-95 season but Wyoming has won five of the last seven dating to the 1996-97 campaign. Wyoming has won four straight over BYU in Laramie. BYU's last win in Laramie was an 81-71 triumph on Feb. 10, 1996 when Cougar senior Nathan Cooper was a pre-missionary freshman. After Utah (229 games) and Utah State (217 games), BYU has faced Wyoming the third-most times in its history. Steve Cleveland is 2-3 vs. Wyoming.
Wyoming Quick Facts:
Location: Laramie, Wyo.
Colors: Brown and Wyoming Prairie Gold
Home Arena: Arena-Auditorium (15,000)
Conference: Mountain West
Athletic Director: Lee Moon
Head Coach: Steve McClain
Alma Mater: Chadron State (1984)
Office Phone: 307-766-5114
Overall Record (Years): 53-27 (3rd year)
Record at School (Years): 53-27 (3rd year)
Assistant Coaches: Leroy Washington, John Adams, Sidney Coles
Overall Record: 19-12
Conf. Record/Finish: 8-6/4th-tie
Final Ranking/Post Season Finish:N/A
Lettermen Returning/Lost: 5/9
Starters Returning/Lost: 2/4* Ugo Udezue missed last season
Returning Starters (last year's stats)
Marcus Bailey, G/F, 6-5, 190, So. (7.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg)
Josh Davis, F, 6-8, 235, Jr (14.3 ppg, 8.7 rpg)
Chris McMillan, G, 5-10, 180, Jr. (9.7ppg, 2.9 rpg)
Ugo Udezue, F/C, 6-8, 245, Jr. (20.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg)* 98-99 stats
Basketball Contact: Kevin McKinney
Press Row: 307-766-2222
Points per game 71.0 76.4
Scoring margin + 9.1 + 7.5
Field goals .459 .441
3-pointers .364 .275
Free throws .773 .691
Rebounds per game 33.4 43.1
Rebounding margin + 0.8 + 6.0
Assists per game 12.8 17.6
Turnovers per game 14.6 14.9
Turnover margin + 0.9 - 0.9
Steals per game 6.3 6.7
Blocks per game 3.2 4.7
Colorado State (13-8, 4-4) returns four starters and eight lettermen from last year's 18-12 team that finished tied for fourth in the Mountain West Conference. The Rams are under the direction of first-year head coach Dale Layer. CSU started the year with five straight wins before losing four of the next five. The Rams won thier final three non-conference games before the overtime loss to Wyoming to open league play. The Rams are coming off a 72-70 loss at Wyoming after comfortable home wins over San Diego State (77-56) and UNLV (80-55). CSU is 9-2 at home, 0-5 in away games and 4-1 at a neutral site. In conference play, the Rams are 4-1 at home and 0-3 on the road with away losses at Air Force, New Mexico and Wyoming. Their home loss was an overtime defeat to the Cowboys. The Rams are an experienced team and have four seniors with starting experience. Guard John Sivesind leads the team at 13.3 ppg, followed by forward David Fisher at 12.4 and guard Ron Grady at 11.8. Forward Garrett Patik adds 8.3 points and a team-best 6.1 rebounds while sophomore forward Brian Greene contributes 6.0 rebounds and 7.3 points. Green, who has started in 16 of 20 games this year, has been has been coming off the bench of late while nursing a knee injury. Starting guard Aki Palmer has missed the last three games with a groin injury and is still listed as out for Saturday's game. Sophomore Andy Birley, who has seven starts this year, has assumed the starting point guard role for the Rams in Palmer's absence. He averages 5.6 points and has 60 assists, one behind Palmer's 61. The Rams grab six more boards per game than their opponents, tied with Wyoming for the 18th best rebound margin in the country. CSU scores 72.2 points while giving up 62.6. The Rams are a great shooting team, making 49 percent overall (T-13th nationally) and 42.7 percent (3rd nationally) from three-point range. Sivesind is fourth nationally with a 48.6 percentage from behind the arc.
This will be the 114th meeting between the two schools. BYU leads the series 71-42. CSU has won the last two meetings, both in Fort Collins. CSU won 60-55 this year (Jan. 20) and 68-54 last year (Feb. 24).Both teams won at home last year, with BYU winning the last meeting in Provo, 68-47. CSU has won eight of the last nine games, including 2 of the last three in Provo. BYU's last victory in Fort Collins was a 72-70 overtime win in 1993-94. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 1-4 against Colorado State with two losses during his first season in 1997-98 and a road loss this year and last season. The series dates back to 1938.
CSU Quick Facts:
Location: Fort Collins, Colo.
Colors: Green and Gold
Home Arena: Moby Arena
Conference: Mountain West
Athletic Director: Tim Weiser
Head Coach: Dale Layer
Alma Mater: Eckerd College, 1980
Office Phone: 970-491-6232
Overall Record (Years): 181-95 (10th year)
Record at School (Years): 13-8 (first year)
Assistant Coaches: Bill Perkins, Bill Peterson, Buzz Williams
Overall Record: 18-12
Conf. Record/Finish: 8-6/4th-tie
Final Ranking/Post Season Finish:N/A
Lettermen Returning/Lost: 8/4
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/1
Returning Starters (last year's stats)
Ron Grady, 6-3, 185, Sr., G
Aki Palmer, 5-10, 170, Sr., G
Garrett Patik, 6-7, 210, Sr., F
John Sivesind, 6-3, 195, Sr., G
Basketball Contact: Gary Ozello
Press Row: 970-491-3981
Points per game 71.0 72.2
Scoring margin + 9.1 + 9.6
Field goals .459 .490
3-pointers .364 .427
Free throws .773 .659
Rebounds per game 33.4 36.3
Rebounding margin + 0.8 + 6.0
Assists per game 12.8 16.5
Turnovers per game 14.6 14.7
Turnover margin + 0.9 - 1.0
Steals per game 6.3 5.8
Blocks per game 3.2 1.7
THIS YEAR VS. WYOMING AND CSU
Wesley Strong but Wyoming Pulls Out Comeback Win
LARAMIE -- Suffering its second straight road loss, BYU led for nearly the entire game but could not hold off a late Wyoming rally as the Cowboys came from behind to defeat the Cougars 85-78 at Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, Wyo.
Thanks to the outstanding play of forward Mekeli Wesley, the Cougars took control of the game and built a lead that reached as many as 18 points in the first half. The Cowboys tried to guard Wesley without double-teaming and paid the price. Wesley had his best scoring half of the season, pouring in 19 points to help the Cougars enter the break with a 48-34 advantage. BYU maintained a double-digit lead for most of the first 10 minutes of the second half and had an eight-point edge with 7:58 remaining at 67-59. But Wyoming out scored BYU 15-6 over the next four minutes to take its first lead since early in the first half at 74-73.
The Cougars trailed by four at 79-75 with less than a minute remaining but could get no closer as Wyoming made the big shots to earn the come-from-behind win. Wesley scored 10 second half points despite the Cowboys changing its defensive strategy to double and triple team him inside. Wesley finished the night with a season-high 29 points and 11 rebounds to lead BYU while Eric Nielsen added 12 and Terrell Lyday 11. Trent Whiting failed to score in double figures for the first time this year, totaling seven points, all in the first half. Whiting did equal his career best of 3 steals for the third consecutive game.
Four Cowboys scored in double figures, led by center Uche Nsonwu-Amadi with 21. BYU held Marcus Bailey, the top scorer in the Mountain West Conference, to nine points. Wyoming shot 50.9 percent from the floor compared to the Cougars 42.9 percent. BYU falls to 13-6 overall and 2-1 in the Mountain West Conference while Wyoming improves to 12-4 and 3-1.
BYU Falls 60-55 at CSU
FORT COLLINS -- A cold shooting night from three-point range helped doom BYU as they fell to the Colorado State Rams 60-55 at Moby Arena in Fort Collins. BYU shot a season-low 6.3 percent on three-point attempts, going 1-16 from behind the arc.
After missing their first 13 treys, Trent Whiting finally connected for the Cougars at the 4:50 mark of the second half to pull BYU even at 47-47. BYU, who had trailed the entire game, would never get over the hump in the final minutes, as the Rams were able to make the key shots to maintain their advantage. Following Whiting's trey, CSU's John Sivesind turned the momentum back to the Rams with his own three-pointer and then cut backdoor on the next possession after a Nate Knight miss to put the Rams up by five at 52-47. Mekeli Wesley, out with four fouls, was put back in the game and quickly brought BYU to within one with back-to-back buckets. The Cougars would get within one point two more times during the final moments, including a 56-55 deficit with only 34 seconds remaining. After two Sivesind free throws put the Rams up three with 11 seconds, Wesley was unable to connect on a heavily contested shot from behind the arc and CSU's Ron Grady added two more charity tosses to give the Rams the final 60-55 margin.
BYU had four players reach double figures led by Whiting with 13 points. Wesley added 12, followed by Terrell Lyday with 11 and Travis Hansen with 10. Whiting added a career-high seven rebounds to share team-high honors with Wesley. BYU totaled only five assists on the night with no Cougar dishing out more than one pass that directly contributed to a basket. BYU trailed 35-29 at the half as CSU controlled the boards with 24 rebounds to BYU's 11. The Cougars changed their rebounding woes in the second half with 22 boards to CSU's 17 but the Rams were able to make the critical plays down the stretch.
BYU finished the night shooting 37.7 percent from the floor and held CSU to nearly nine percentage points below its season average at 41.7 percent. CSU made 5-15 threes. The Rams had trouble pulling away from BYU in part because of a 55.6 percent shooting night at the line. Sivesind led CSU with 18 points while Grady added 13 and David Fisher 10. Brian Greene pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
Whiting, Wesley Lead BYU to Team's First MWC Road Win at SDSU Monday
SAN DIEGO -- Trent Whiting and Mekeli Wesley scored 21 points each Monday to lead BYU to its first conference road win of the season. The Cougars defeated San Diego State 69-66 at Cox Arena to improve to 17-7 overall and 6-3 in Mountain West play. "San Diego State played with purpose, took care of the ball and defended us better than they ever have," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "The character of this (BYU) team showed in the last 20 minutes. Mekeli and Trent made some big shots and Terrell (Lyday) was playing on one leg. I am proud of their effort. In order to win on the road you have to make plays." The game was tight throughout with nine lead changes and 10 ties but the Cougars were able to make the big plays down the stretch to earn the breakthrough road victory. After the Aztecs scored the first bucket of the second half to take their biggest lead of the game at 33-24, Wesley and Whiting went to work scoring six points apiece to help the Cougars narrow the gap to 40-38 with 15 minutes remaining. BYU was finally able to even the score at 48 when Nate Knight took a feed from Wesley for an easy lay-in at the 10:18 mark. A little over two minutes later BYU took its first lead since the opening minute of the game when Whiting made two free throws to give BYU a 52-50 advantage. While BYU had failed to make plays at the end its three conference road losses this year, this time around Cougar players came through in the clutch. With the Aztecs leading 63-62, Nathan Cooper dove to the ground for a loose ball to end a San Diego State possession and prevent the Aztecs from building on their slim lead. Whiting put the Cougars back on top for good at 65-63 by hitting his third three of the game with just over a minute remaining. A steal by Eric Nielsen after a San Diego State defensive rebound forced San Diego State to foul, with Wesley and Whiting each making free throws to seal the Cougar win.The fourth-rated free throw shooting team in the nation, BYU went 19-20 from the line while shooting 46.8 percent from the floor and 35.3 percent on three-point attempts. After Wesley and Whiting's game-high 21 points, Lyday added 11 and Nielsen and Daniel Bobik chipped in six points apiece. Whiting pulled down a game-high seven rebounds. San Diego State shot a strong 51.1 percent from the field, including 45.5 percent on threes, while also missing only once from the line, going 15-16 from the charity stripe. It was the first time this year the Aztecs have shot better than 50 percent and lost and the first time BYU has won a game in which the opponent has made 50 percent from the floor. The Cougars have only allowed five teams to make half of their shots in a game this year. Marcelo Correa scored 18 points to led the Aztecs with Al Faux and Randy Holcomb contributing 15 and 13 points, respectively. Myron Epps pulled down a team-high six rebounds. The Aztecs are now 1-8 in conference play and 11-11 overall.
Seniors Play Last Two Home Games this Week
Mekeli Wesley headlines a group of five seniors that will play their last games in the Marriott Center this week. Wesley has been a four year starter. In addition to Wesley, Nathan Cooper, Terrell Lyday, Trent Whiting and Nate Knight will be honored Saturday vs. CSU.
Wesley Leads Cougars to Last Three Home Wins
Mekeli Wesley was the catalyst in BYU's last three home wins. Wesley averaged 15.3 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 48.1 percent from the floor, 53.3 percent from behind the arc and 80 percent from the line. Wesley took his game to the perimeter where was able to beat defenders off the dribble and knock down 8-15 (.533) treys in the three games. He set a career high by making four three-pointers vs. Utah and equaled that mark again with four treys vs. New Mexico. He was 4-6 from behind the arc in both games. Wesley scored a game-high 21 points vs. New Mexico Saturday, including 16 first-half points to give BYU a 13-point lead at the break. He went 5-8 from the floor for the game and 7-9 on free throws while pulling down four rebounds. Wesley started the week with 16 points in 25 minutes vs. Utah. He grabbed three rebounds and went 6-13 from the floor, including 4-6 on threes. Wesley game up big in the second half, hitting 3-4 treys while scoring 11 of his 16 points to help BYU increase a 2-point half-time lead into a comfortable double-digit advantage for most of the final 20 minutes.
Cougars Solid at Home during Last Three-Game Stretch
BYU shot a combined 48.0 percent from the field, 40.0 percent on threes and 74 percent from the line while its opponents shot 36.3, 29.8 and 69.4 percent combined in three home wins over Utah, Air Force and New Mexico. The Cougars held its three opponents to a 51.7 scoring average, winning the three games by an average of 13.7 points per game.
Fans Supporting Cougars
BYU fans averaged 16,240 in BYU's last three games in the Marriott Center, including a season-best 19,098 in BYU's win over rival Utah on ESPN. Overall, BYU is averaging 10,589 in 13 home dates and 15,028 in its five conference home contests.
BYU Avenges Last Year's Two Home Losses
BYU ended two home losing streaks last week with its wins over Utah and New Mexico. Both the Utes and Lobos had five-game winning streaks in Provo dating back to 1995 before falling in the Marriott Center last week. Including last year's MWC Tournament wins, BYU has now defeated Utah in consecutive meetings for the first time since the 1993-94 season and New Mexico twice in a row for the first time since the 1994-95 season.
Cougars Claim State's Oquirrh Bucket
BYU moved to 4-0 for the season versus in-state opponents with its win over Utah to claim the Oquirrh Bucket, which honors the team with the best record against instate opponents each year. The Cougars have now defeated every team in the state at least once for second consecutive year. BYU ended Utah's string of six straight Oquirrh Bucket triumphs. BYU has won the instate competition eight times since the first Oquirrh Bucket in the 1974-75 season. Steve Cleveland is now 10-9 versus in-state opponents, moving above .500 for the first time in his career at BYU. The victory over Utah improves his record against the Utes to 2-7, which is the only instate team to which Cleveland has a losing record.
Whiting Comes Up Big Against Former Mates
Against his former team, Trent Whiting led the Cougars with 21 on 8-14 shooting from the field and 8-8 from the free throw line while dishing out a career-high eight assists. Whiting has dished out 13 assists last week in three games after totaling only two assists in two road losses at CSU and Wyoming. He is averaging four assists per game in BYU's five MWC wins, all at home. Whiting averaged 13.7 points and 2.3 rebounds last week
Cooper Responds to Increased Role
Cooper had a game-high and season-best eight rebounds vs. New Mexico after pulling down six boards the first two games of the week. He averaged 4.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in BYU's last three home games while getting two starts in place of the injured Travis Hansen. Cooper had nine points, five rebounds and four assists at UNLV Saturday.
BYU Ranks Third Nationally in Free Throw Shooting
BYU is tied for third nationally in free throw percentage in the latest NCAA statistics released Tuesday. The Cougars are shooting 77.3 percent as a team. Ten players are shooting 70 percent or better, with four shooting better than 80 percent (Lyday, Whiting, Bobik, Howard). Senior Terrell Lyday mades a team-best 81.6 percent (except Dan Howard, 2-2, 1.000). Freshman Jake Chrisman has the team's worst percentage (except Jordan Archibald, 1-2, .500) at 67.7 percent (21-31).
Nine BYU players have had double figures scoring games this season. The regular starters (Wesley, Lyday, Whiting, Nielsen, Hansen) are the only players to reach double figures in conference games. Wesley scored the individual season high thus far with his 29 points at Wyoming. Wesley, Terrell Lyday and Trent Whiting are the only three players to earn team-high game scoring honors this year. Wesley carries more of the scoring load on the road, scoring 19.3 ppg while Lyday adds 14.4 and Whiting 12.9. At home, Lyday scores 16.6, Whiting 16.2 and Wesley 13.6.
BYU has topped 50 percent six times this year, all wins, including home conference wins over San Diego State, UNLV and Air Force. Five of the six games over 50 percent were in the Marriott Center. The one road game BYU shot over 50 percent was vs. Boise State (53.3 percent) during the Yahoo! Sports Invitational in Hawaii. The Cougars are out scoring their opponents by 9.1 points while averaging 71 points per game. Three players are averaging double figures (Mekeli Wesley, 16.2; Terrell Lyday, 15.6; Trent Whiting, 14.6).
BYU holds opponents to 62 points (22nd nationally) and a 40.0 field goal percentage, including 30 percent on threes. BYU has held its last eight opponents at home to under 40 percent shooting and has held 13 of 24 opponents overall under 40 percent shooting. BYU had not allowed an opponent to shoot 40 percent on threes in 13 straight games until San Diego State shot 45.5 percent Monday. BYU has held opponents under 40 percent on threes in 20 of 24 games overall. BYU held the MWC's top shooting team, CSU, to 41.7 percent in Moby Arena, nearly nine percentage points below their season average, before allowing Wyoming a 50.9 percentage in Laramie. BYU has also had success shutting down the opponent's top player. BYU held New Mexico's Eric Chatfield and Ruben Douglas to nine points apiece and held the MWC's leading scorer, Marcus Bailey, to nine points, more than 10 points under his average, at Wyoming. BYU held UNLV center Kaspars Kambala, averaging 18.3 points and 10.3 rebounds entering the game, to two points and three rebounds in Provo. Against SDSU, Aztec star forward Randy Holcomb was the only player to reach double figures in Provo, but BYU held the two-time MWC Player of the Week winner to 13 points, almost five points below his team-leading season scoring average.
BYU is 16-2 when holding opponents to less than 70 points. BYU is 1-5 when opponents have scored 70 or more points. UNLV (68) joined Colorado State(60) as the only opponents to score less than 70 points and still win. Wyoming scored 85 points against BYU, the most points given up by the Cougars this season.
On the Boards
BYU averages 33.4 rebounds while allowing 32.61. BYU out rebounded SDSU 26-21 and was out boarded by UNLV, 39-35. BYU equaled Wyoming the on the boards (35-35) in the last outing but was out boarded by CSU, 41-33. BYU has totaled 40 or more boards six times this year. Mekeli Wesley pulls down a team-best 5.6 boards per game.
Whiting Adds Third Threat to Cougar Attack
In addition to last year's one-two scoring punch of Mekeli Wesley and Terrell Lyday, BYU has another potent scorer in transfer Trent Whiting. He scored 21 points Monday at SDSU and had a game-high 21 vs. his former team Utah and had a career-high 26 points while going 10-15 from the field and 3-6 on treys in the first meeting with UNLV. He had his string of consecutive double-digit points games stop at 11 when he scored a season-low 7 points at Wyoming. A transfer from Utah, he has reached double figures in 14 of 17 games since becoming eligible to play on Dec. 16 vs. Utah State. He had nine points vs. New Mexico and a season-low four points at UNLV. He is third in scoring at 14.6 ppg.
Whiting, Knight Made Strong BYU Debuts
Transfer players Trent Whiting (Utah) and Nate Knight (Kentucky) made their Cougar debuts Dec. 16 vs. Utah State after sitting out the first seven games of the year because of transfer rules. Whiting scored a game-high 22 points on 7-11 shooting, including 4-7 threes, in a team-high 39 minutes in his debut while Knight made a solid contribution with five points and six rebounds in 18 minutes. Neither player had played in a game for more than a year since transferring last fall.
Steve Cleveland is now 60-55 overall in his fourth year, having improved the Cougars in each year since taking over a 1-25 program. With BYU's win over Idaho on Jan. 2 Cleveland went above a .500 winning percentage for the first time since going 1-0 with a win in his first game at San Diego State in 1997. He had evened his winning percentage at .500 twice this year. He went to 50-50 with a win over Boise State in Hawaii before the Cougars suffered back-to-back close defeats to ranked teams. Wins at Weber State and vs. South Alabama brought his record to 52-52 , the last time he was at .500.
Wesley Moving Up Career Charts
Wesley is sixth all-time at BYU in free throws made and attempted and is eighth in total points scored. After going 6-6 from the line and scoring 21 points at San Diego State, he has 1,560 career points and 445 made free throws. He has 576 career free throw attempts. He needs to make 23 more free throws to move into 5th place past Fred Roberts and is also 27 attempts shy of Roberts. He needs to score 93 points to pass Fred's younger brother Kenneth Roberts into seventh place on the scoring list.
The last time BYU played in the Marriott Center, Wesley passed two career milestones in the first half vs. New Mexico (the day after his 22nd birthday). Wesley passed former Cougar and NBA first-round draft choice Michael Smith into sixth place for the number of made free throws by a BYU player and after knocking down his second three-pointer of the half he surpassed BYU Hall of Fame member Kresimir Cosic into eighth place on the all-time BYU scoring list. Wesley finished the night with 21 points while going 7-9 from the line.
Lyday is 12-22 (.545) at home in BYU's five MWC wins and is 2-11 (.182) in BYU's three MWC road losses. He went 1-5 at SDSU Monday. He went 0-5 at CSU, and 1-2 at Wyoming in the earlier meetings. Lyday's 0-5 night on threes at CSU was only the second game this year in which he has not made a trey but he didn't make his three at Wyoming until the final buzzer. Overall, he is shooting 37.1 percent on threes, making a team-leading 43 triples. He has made a trey in 22 of 24 games this season. He has made multiple threes in 11 games this year (last vs. Utah). Last year he made two or more treys in 20 of 33 games.
BYU's win at SDSU halted a three-game road losing streak and marked the first time this year BYU has not suffered defeat after losing the previous game. BYU has had three two-game losing streaks this year. The Cougars also had back-to-back losses on three occasions last season. BYU has not lost more than two consecutive games since losing three straight in February of the 1998-99 season. BYU's longest winning streak this year is six games, which was halted during the Cougars last road trip with its loss at CSU. The six-game streak was BYU's longest since a seven-game victory string during the 1994-95 season. BYU has reached five straight wins four times under coach Cleveland. Two times last year and twice this season.
Home Court Streak
The Cougars have an 18-game home winning streak dating back to last year when BYU won its final five contests in the Marriott Center. The home court streak is tied for the 6th longest active home success run in the nation. BYU is 13-0 at home this season. BYU's last home loss was to New Mexico (78-74) on Feb. 17, 2000.
BYU at Home
BYU is 13-0 at home this year after going 14-2 at home last year. BYU avenged both of last year's home losses (Utah and UNM) this year. The Cougars have an 18-game home winning streak. BYU is shooting 49.5 percent from the floor and 43 percent on threes in the Marriott Center this year. The Cougars are out rebounding their opponents at home 35.0-31.5. BYU is scoring 73.9 points at home while giving up 54.6 points. BYU has won its 13 home games by an average of 19.3 points. Over the past two seasons, BYU is 27-2 in the Marriott Center. BYU has a high of 100 points (vs. Elon College) and a low of 58 points (vs. Southern Utah).
BYU on the Road
BYU is 4-7 in away and neutral games this year, including a 2-2 neutral court record and a 2-5 away mark. The Cougars away wins were at SDSU and Weber State. BYU is shooting 41.8 percent from the floor, 27.6 percent on threes and 80.9 percent on free throws away from the Marriott Center. The Cougars are being out rebounded 33.9-31.5. BYU has been out scored on the road, 70.6-67.6. BYU has a high of 84 points (at Weber State) on the road and a low of 52 points (at ASU).
BYU's record when . . .
BYU leads at half 14-4
Opponent leads at half 3-3
Score tied at half 0-0
BYU leads with 5 minutes left 16-2
Opponent leads with 5 min. left 1-5
BYU leads with 1 minute left 16-0
Opponent leads with 1 min. left 1-7
Score tied with 1 minute left 0-0
Game goes into overtime 0-0
BYU out rebounds opponent 10-0
Opponent out rebounds BYU 6-6
BYU and opponent tie in rebounds 1-1
BYU shoots 50 % or better 6-0
Opponent shoots 50 % or better 1-4
BYU out shoots opponent 16-1
Opponent out shoots BYU 1-6
BYU scores 70 or more 8-3
BYU scores less than 70 9-4
Opponent scores 70 or more 1-5
Opponent scores less than 70 16-2
BYU is shooting 42.2 percent (106-251) on threes in its 16 victories this season but is only 22-101 (21.8 percent) from behind the arc in its seven losses. BYU has shot 44.8 percent (39-87) on threes in its five home MWC wins, 35.3 percent (6-17) in its road win at SDSU and 19.4 percent (7-36) in its three road MWC losses. The following breakdown reflects player three-point field goal percentages during BYU wins and losses:
Player Wins Losses
Terrell Lyday 34-79 (.430) 9-37 (.243)
Trent Whiting* 30-65 (.462) 3-25 (.120)
Mekeli Wesley 16-35 (.457) 4-14 (.286)
Nathan Cooper 8-18 (.444) 1-5 (.200)
Daniel Bobik 9-32 (.281) 1-6 (.167)
Travis Hansen** 3-8 (.375) 2-7 (.286)
Matt Montague 5-11 (.455) 2-5 (.400)
* Includes 12 wins and 5 losses since becoming eligible
** Includes 14 wins and 6 losses only (currently out with stress fracture)
Meads Begins Serving Mission
McDonald's High School All-American forward Garner Meads has received his mission call to serve a 2-year LDS Church mission in Edmonton, Alberta. He began serving his mission Wednesday when he entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo. Meads decided to redshirt this season after a lung injury kept him from being able to practice until the season began. He will return to the team in the winter of 2003 to resume the final half of his redshirt year before taking the court for the 2003-04 season.
Mekeli Wesley (16.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg overall -- 16.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg MWC)
Last Game: 21 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block in 36 minutes at SDSU.
Â• He leads the team in scoring (16.2) and rebounding (5.6). Wesley carries more of the scoring load on the road, averaging 19.3 points compared to his 13.6 average at home.
Â• With his game-high 21 points at SDSU, Wesley has led (or shared) BYU in scoring 14 times this year. It was his 20th (of 24) double figures scoring game this season. Last year he reached double figures in 30 of 33 games and led the Cougar in scoring in 17 games.
Â• Wesley has a team-high seven 20-plus point games this year for the Cougars.
Â• Wesley was only 4-9 at the line at UNLV but went a perfect 6-6 at SDSU. He did not attempt a free throw for only the second game this season against Utah. The other game was at home vs. San Diego State.
Â• Wesley has 1,560 career points, eighth on the all-time BYU list. He needs to score 93 points to pass Kenneth Roberts into seventh place on the scoring list. Wesley has made 445 free throws, sixth on BYU's career charts. He is also sixth all-time in free throw attempts with 576. He needs to make 23 more free throws to move into 5th place past Fred Roberts and is also 27 attempts shy of Roberts.
Â• Wesley was the catalyst in BYU's three recent home wins. Wesley averaged 15.3 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 48.1 percent from the floor, 53.3 percent from behind the arc and 80 percent from the line.
Â• Being double teamed inside, Wesley took his game to the perimeter where was able to beat defenders off the dribble and knock down 8-15 (.533) treys in the three games. He set a career high by making four three-pointers (4-6) vs. Utah and New Mexico.
Â• Wesley scored a game-high 21 points vs. New Mexico, including 16 first-half points to give BYU a 13-point lead at the break. Â• Wesley started the week with 16 points in 25 minutes vs. Utah. Wesley game up big in the second half, hitting 3-4 treys while scoring 11 of his 16 points to help BYU increase a 2-point half-time lead into a double-digit advantage for most of the final 20 minutes.
Â• With his bucket at the 12:55 mark in the second half vs. Air Force, Wesley became one of only nine players to surpassed 1,500 points as a Cougar.
Â• Wesley passed two career milestones in the first half Saturday vs. New Mexico. Wesley passed former Cougar and NBA first-round draft choice Michael Smith into sixth place for the number of made free throws by a BYU player and surpassed BYU Hall of Fame member Kresimir Cosic into eighth place on the all-time BYU scoring list.
Â• He attempted a career-high 21 field goals (29 points) while making a season-high 10 baskets at Wyoming. He also had his second-best rebounding effort this year with 11.
Â• His double-double at Wyoming was his second this year and the sixth of his career.
Â• He became the conference's first repeat winner of the MWC Player of the Week Award. He was also named to the Yahoo! Sports Invitational All-Tournament Team Dec. 23 while averaging 21.3 points and 5.7 rebounds in three games.
Â• After starting the year shooting 34.9 percent in the first four games, he shot 60.8 percent over the next seven games and is now shooting 49.8 percent for the year.
Terrell Lyday (15.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg -- 16.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg MWC)
Last Game: 11 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals in 32 minutes at SDSU.
Â• Lyday is second on the team in scoring at 15.6 ppg.
Â• With Lyday's 11 points at SDSU, Lyday has reached double figures in 11 straight games and 21 of 24 overall this year. He has reach double figures in 51 of 57 games in his two years at BYU.
Â• Lyday averaged 18.3 points in BYU's three recent home wins.
Â• With his 22 points against Air Force, Lyday has reached 20 or more points in six games this year, second to Wesley's seven. Whiting is the only other Cougar to reach 20 points, having done so four times in 17 games.
Â• He was named the MWC Player of the Week Jan. 15 after scoring 24 points in 22 minutes vs. SDSU.
Â• Lyday averages 32.6 minutes on the year, second only to Trent Whiting's 33.9 minutes. They are the only two players to average more than 30 minutes per game.
Â• Terrell has made 28-59 (.475) threes in 13 home games but is 6-38 (.158) in true away games. He is 9-23 (.391) in four neutral court contests. Lyday is 12-22 (.545) at home in BYU's five MWC wins and is 2-11 (.182) in BYU's three MWC road losses. He was 1-5 in BYU's MWC road win at SDSU. Overall, he is shooting 37.1 percent on threes, making a team-leading 43 triples
Â• Lyday has made multiple threes in 11 games this year (last vs. Utah). Last year he made two or more treys in 20 of 33 games.
Â• He has made a trey in 22 of 24 games this season. At CSU (0-5) he ended a string of five straight games with a three. He had not made a three in his last two road games before making a trey (1-2) at the buzzer at Wyoming. At Weber State he ended a string of 15 straight games with a three dating back to last year. The 15-game streak is third on the BYU all-time list. He set the BYU record with a trey in the first 21 games of last year. He made a three in each of BYU's first 11 games this year.
Trent Whiting (14.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.3 apg -- 14.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.6 apg MWC)
Last Game: 21 points, tied career-bests of 7 rebounds and 2 blocks, career-high 4 steals in 34 minutes at SDSU.
Â• He is third on the team in scoring at 14.6 ppg. He plays a team-high 33.9 minutes per game.
Â• Whiting averaged 13.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in BYU's three recent home wins. He dished out 13 assists in the three games after totaling only two assists in two road losses at CSU and Wyoming. He is averaging four assists per game in BYU's five home MWC wins, all at home, and only 1.0 assists per game in the three MWC road losses. He did not have an assist at SDSU.
Â• Against his former team, Trent Whiting led the Cougars with 21 on 8-14 shooting from the field and 8-8 from the free throw line while dishing out a career-high eight assists.
Â• He did not start at Wyoming while blisters on his toe was being attended to but he checked in at the 19:50 mark for Matt Montague, missing only 10 seconds of early action. Â• He failed to reach double figures for the first time this season at Wyoming, ending a string of 11 straight double-digit games. He had not reached double figures in the prior two games before scoring 21 at SDSU Monday.
Â• He scored a career-high 26 point vs. UNLV earlier this year.
Â• Starting in his BYU debut, Whiting hit his first three shots and made four of five threes to score 14 first half points. He was 7-11 on the night.
Nathan Cooper (4.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg overall -- 4.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg MWC)
Last Game: 2 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals in 32 minutes at SDSU.
Â• He is third on the team in rebounding (4.0) and sixth in scoring (4.7).
Â• Cooper has been a strong contributor, especially defensively and on the boards, since starting in Travis Hansen's absence.
Â• He had a game-high and season-best 8 rebounds vs. New Mexico. He averaged 4.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in BYU's three recent home wins while getting two starts with Travis Hansen being out with a stress fracture.
Â• After taking only four shots over four games, he is 7-16 in the last four games.
Â• He is shooting 48.5 percent overall this year and is 9-23 on threes (.391). After being last year's top Cougar (.778) from the free throw line, he is shooting 71.2 percent from the line this year. He has never averaged less than 74 percent (as a freshman) from the line over the course of a season.
Eric Nielsen (6.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg overall -- 6.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg MWC)
Last Game: 6 points, 3 rebounds in 25 minutes at SDSU.
Â• Nielsen is fourth on the team in scoring (6.5) and second in rebounding (4.1).
Â• He had his sixth double-digit scoring game of the year at Wyoming.
Â• After not scoring for the first time this year vs. Iowa State, he reached double figures in three straight games for the first time in his career. He also did not score vs. AFA.
Â• He returned to the starting lineup in the last 13 games. He has 21 starts overall.
Â• Nielsen had his first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds vs. South Alabama.
Â• He is 16-22 (.727) from the floor in the last six games. Nielsen is shooting a team-best 61.2 percent from the floor. Last year he had the eighth best season field goal percentage in BYU history with a 57.8 percentage. His current 56.4 career percentage ranks third all-time at BYU among starters having made 215-381 field goals.
Travis Hansen (6.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg overall -- 7.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg MWC)
Last Game: Has not played the last three games because of a stress fracture injury.
Â• He played sparingly off the bench vs. Utah because of a stress fracture in his right foot. He will be out 2-4 weeks. He averaged 9 points and 5.5 rebounds in BYU's two road losses at CSU and Wyoming.
Â• He had started the last seven games before his injury and has nine total starts. The Cougars are 7-2 (CSU, Wyoming) when Hansen starts and 7-4 in games he came off the bench. He came off the bench in the first seven games of the season before getting his first start.
Â• Overall, he is fifth on the team in scoring (6.3) and fourth in rebounding (3.2).
Â• He averaged 8.2 points and 3.7 rebounds during BYU's six-game winning streak.
Nate Knight (2.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg overall -- 1.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg MWC)
Last Game: 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 block, 1 steal in 11 minutes at SDSU.
Â• He averages 11.9 minutes as one of the first substitutes off the bench. He has two starts.
Â• He had 5 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal in 19 minutes at Wyoming and 2 rebounds, 1 block in 12 minutes at CSU in the previous meetings this year.
Â• He scored twice on offensive tip-ins at UNLV. In BYU's earlier game vs. UNLV he did not take a shot but played a key role helping guard UNLV center Kaspars Kambala. The UNLV star came in averaging a double-double but was held without a field goal while scoring 2 points and grabbing only 3 rebounds.
Matt Montague (2.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.3 apg overall -- 1.1 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 1.4 apg MWC)
Last Game: 1 rebound, 1 assist in 10 minutes at SDSU.
Â• He had 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal in 11 minutes at Wyoming and 2 points, 1 rebound in 17 minutes at CSU in the previos meetings this year.
Â• He started vs. Air Force along with Whiting and Lyday on the guard line.
Â• He did not have an assist for the second time this year at UNLV (also at CSU). He had no rebounds or points for the third time this year in 6 minutes at UNLV. He has not scored in 13 games overall.
Â• He has a team-best 80 assists (Lyday is next with 40).
Â• He has taken 10 shots in the last nine games.
Â• He started the first seven games but has come off the bench (except Wyoming and Air Force) since Trent Whiting made his BYU debut vs. Utah State. He is fifth in minutes played per game at 21.2 (behind Whiting, Lyday, Wesley and Nielsen).
Â• He started the year making his first eight shots, including 5-5 on threes, but is 3-21 from the floor in the last 17 games. Overall, he is shooting 42.5 percent from the floor and 43.8 percent from three-point range. He has more than doubled the number of treys (7-16) he made all of last year (3-12).
Daniel Bobik (3.7 ppg, 1.5 rpg overall -- 2.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg MWC)
Last Game: 6 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 steals in 10 minutes at SDSU.
Â• He has played double-digit minutes the last four games with Hansen out with an injury.
Â• He had 1 assist, 2 steals in 6 minutes at Wyoming and did not play at CSU in the previous meetings.
Â• He was 2-2 from the floor vs. AFA, making his first field goal since scoring 11 points in 12 minutes vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Â• He has played double-digit minutes in 11 games this year. He has played less than 10 minutes in 10 games. He has not played in three games.
Jacob Chrisman (3.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg overall -- 1.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg MWC)
Last Game: 2 assists in 10 minutes at SDSU.
Â• He did not score for the fifth time this year at SDSU and for the second straight game. He has scored in 18 of the 23 games he has played (except SUU, UNLV, Wyoming, UNLV, SDSU). He did not have a rebound at SDSU. He has had a rebound in 18 of 23 games played (except Rice, SUU, Utah, UNLV, SDSU).
Â• Prior to his limited play at Wyoming, he had pulled down 19 boards in the previous four games (4.8 rpg) after totalling only 17 rebounds in the prior 10 games (1.7 rpg) in which he played. He had back-to-back career highs of 6 and 8 rebounds vs. TAMCC and SDSU.
Â• He did not play for the only time this year vs. ISU.
Â• He is 26-46 (.565) from the field this year.