BYU Loses Close Contest to Aztecs

Mike Hall scored a team-high 15 points for BYU against San Diego State Monday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

SAN -- BYU dropped its conference opener for the first time in Mountain West Conference history Monday at San Diego State, falling 65-61 in a hard-fought contest with the Aztecs.

In a game marking the beginning of what looks to be a formidable conference schedule, the Cougars fell short despite a strong effort from freshman Garner Meads and yet another double-double from senior Rafael Araujo. Four Cougars scored in double figures in the loss. Mike Hall, who had not scored in double figures the past two games, led the Cougars with 15 points, including two big three-pointers. Mark Bigelow added 14, Araujo contributed 12, and Meads scored a career-high 10 points. Unfortunately, the scoring output was not enough to top the Aztecs, who were led by lone senior Aerick Sanders with 18 points.

The Cougars' big man and two-time MWC Player of the Week, Rafael Araujo, who came into the game averaging over 20 points per game, was shut down in the first half, going into the locker room with two fouls and not a single point. Araujo came out solid in the second half, scoring 12 points and pulling down 13 boards to record his 10th double-double of the season.

Despite out-rebounding the Aztecs 40-34 overall, offensive rebounds were a problem for the Cougars. Only 11 of BYU's 40 boards were off of the offensive glass. Turnovers also plagued the Cougars. The Aztecs scored 27 points off of BYU'S 17 turnovers while the Cougars were only able to manage eight points off of seven Aztec turnovers. The 17-7 turnover ratio is identical to the turnover ratio in last week's loss to NC State. With the game hanging in the balance in the last 90 seconds, BYU turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions.

BYU coach Steve Cleveland lamented over his team's turnovers. "We did so many good things to get ourselves back in the game," Cleveland said, "but turnovers made the difference".

As expected, the game was hard-fought and tight the entire 40 minutes, featuring nine lead changes and seven ties. Both teams showcased their ability to generate scoring runs with BYU producing a 10-0 run midway through the first half and a 13-3 run midway through the second half. However, the Aztecs stole the show, going on a 6-0 run to end the first half and cut the Cougars' eight-point lead to only two, 33-31; and then running off six unanswered points in the last 90 seconds of the game to put the Cougars away.

Both head coaches celebrated milestones in Monday night's game. BYU Head Coach Steve Cleveland coached his 200th game as a Cougar and San Diego State Head Coach Steve Fisher notched his 250th career victory.

The loss drops the Cougars to 10-4 on the season and 0-1 in MWC play, while the Aztecs improve to 10-6 and 1-0. The Cougars will next be in action on Saturday at home against Colorado State. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Marriott Center.

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

BRIGHAM YOUNG vs SAN DIEGO STATE

01-12-04 7:06 pm PST at Cox Arena at Aztec Bowl (San Diego, CA)

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VISITORS: BRIGHAM YOUNG 10-4; 0-1 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

03 BIGELOW, Mark....... f 5-12 2-7 2-3 1 4 5 2 14 1 2 1 1 36

41 MEADS, Garner....... f 4-6 0-0 2-2 2 2 4 3 10 0 3 1 0 26

55 ARAUJO, Rafael...... c 4-8 0-0 4-4 3 10 13 4 12 0 5 0 0 29

01 HALL, Mike.......... g 5-11 2-3 3-4 1 3 4 0 15 1 3 1 2 31

04 LEMES, Luiz......... g 1-4 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 2 2 4 3 0 0 31

00 WOODBERRY, Kevin.... 0-3 0-3 0-0 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 10

05 SHOFF, Jake......... 1-3 0-0 2-2 3 2 5 2 4 1 1 0 0 14

10 NASHIF, Terry....... 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 1 1 1 2 2 0 1 1 12

52 JENSEN, Jared....... 1-5 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 11

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

Totals.............. 21-52 4-15 15-17 11 29 40 16 61 9 17 4 5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-27 44.4% 2nd Half: 9-25 36.0% Game: 40.4% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-7 42.9% 2nd Half: 1-8 12.5% Game: 26.7% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 6-7 85.7% 2nd Half: 9-10 90.0% Game: 88.2% 1

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HOME TEAM: SAN DIEGO STATE 10-6; 1-0 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 WALTON, Chris....... f 5-13 2-4 0-0 1 5 6 4 12 1 0 1 0 32

34 SANDERS, Aerick..... f 7-13 0-0 4-6 6 1 7 5 18 0 0 3 1 32

42 SLAUGHTER, Marcus... f 1-3 0-1 1-2 2 3 5 2 3 2 1 0 1 30

01 HEATH, Brandon...... g 4-16 3-10 2-4 2 3 5 2 13 0 3 0 2 31

02 STOKES, Wesley...... g 7-13 1-3 0-0 1 3 4 1 15 7 3 0 2 37

00 JOHNSON, Tommy...... 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 10

15 SHARPER, John....... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 14

20 DAVIS, Trimaine..... 1-1 0-0 2-2 0 0 0 1 4 1 0 0 0 5

33 MANKER, Chris....... 0-4 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 9

TEAM................ 2 2 4

Totals.............. 25-66 6-20 9-14 14 20 34 16 65 14 7 4 8 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-31 38.7% 2nd Half: 13-35 37.1% Game: 37.9% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-7 28.6% 2nd Half: 4-13 30.8% Game: 30.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 5-7 71.4% 2nd Half: 4-7 57.1% Game: 64.3% 3,1

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Officials: Randy McCall, Eddie Jackson, Kelly Self

Technical fouls: BRIGHAM YOUNG-None. SAN DIEGO STATE-None.

Attendance: 10293

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BRIGHAM YOUNG................. 33 28 - 61

SAN DIEGO STATE............... 31 34 - 65

ID-210874

Points in the paint-BY 26,SD 26. Points off turnovers-BY 8,SD 27.

2nd chance points-BY 10,SD 16. Fast break points-BY 0,SD 2.

Bench points-BY 8,SD 4. Score tied-7 times. Lead changes-9 times.

Tags: Results