BYU Picks Up Fifth Straight Win

Lee Cummard topped the 20-point mark for the third straight game with 25 points at Wyoming to help BYU win its fifth straight game. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

LARAMIE -- The BYU men's basketball team tied its longest win streak of the year with a 73-63 triumph at Wyoming on Saturday, marking the Cougars' fifth straight victory. The win improved BYU to 17-5 overall and 6-1 in the Mountain West Conference, the Cougars' best league start since 2002-03.

"I'm really proud of our players," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "They battled well and had to just to an interesting flow in the game. Lee (Cummard) and Trent (Plaisted) did a really good job of keeping themselves on the floor and in a position where they could help our team."

Lee Cummard topped the 20-point mark for the third straight contest with a game-high 25 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field, including 3-for-4 from three-point range, to go along with eight rebounds. For the first time this season, two Cougars recorded double-doubles as Trent Plaisted posted his seventh double-double of the year with 17 points and 10 boards while Jonathan Tavernari tallied the first of his career with 10 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. Sam Burgess also scored in double figures for BYU with 10 points while Ben Murdock paced the team with five assists.

"You definitely have to win on the road and win close games to win the conference championship," said Cummard. "We've done a good job of that over the last few games. Our two wins on the road this week put a little pressure on the rest of the conference. We're happy to be heading home to our arena."

BYU was outshot in the game, 40 percent to 41.7 percent for Wyoming, but did not give up a three-pointer for the first time since Dec. 16, 2006 as the Cowboys went 0-for-15 from long range. The Cowboys had hit from long range in 158 straight games dating back to Jan. 4, 2003 before misfiring on all of their three-point attempts against BYU. The Cougars also had a solid outing from the free-throw line with 77.3 percent efficiency as Cummard went 6-for-7 and Plaisted 7-for-11 from the stripe.

Burgess nailed an open three on BYU's first possession to set the tone for the Cougars as BYU took an early 5-2 lead in the first minute of play. Despite missing their next five shots from the field, the Cougars forced three early Cowboy turnovers to maintain the lead. Plaisted added two free throws to extend the advantage to 7-2, but neither team was able to score from the field until Wyoming's Brad Jones scored a driving layin and was fouled at the 15:56 mark, converting the free throw to cut the lead to two points.

Cummard responded with a three-pointer at the other end to get on the scoreboard, ending an almost-four minute scoring drought from the field for BYU. But the Cougars continued to struggle offensively after a 2-for-2 start, going 1-for-10 from the floor until Chris Miles scored with just over 13 minutes to play. Wyoming responded on the other end, but was quickly answered with a three-pointer from Jimmer Fredette and a layin by Cummard to give BYU a 17-9 lead and force a Cowboy timeout.

Tavernari became the fourth Cougar to score from long range with a three-point make at the 10:52 mark to push the lead to double-digits at 20-10. However, Wyoming scored eight of the next 10 points to cut the deficit to four points as Plaisted sat on the bench with two fouls. A spate of BYU turnovers finally gave the Cowboys the chance to complete the comeback as Ryan Dermody drove and scored followed by a layin from Tyson Johnson to knot the score at 24-24 with six minutes to play in the half.

Plaisted returned to the game and scored off the back iron to put BYU back in front, but the Cougars could not create any distance as the two teams traded scores approaching the break. Finally, the Cowboys took their first lead of the game with a three-point play to make it 31-28. The three-point advantage held at 35-32 until Cummard scored the last five points of the half, including a buzzer-beating trey, to give BYU its 18th halftime lead of the year at 37-35.

Cummard began the second half where he left off with a jumper on BYU's first possession. That was followed by a trey from Burgess on the next trip down the floor to cap a 10-0 Cougar run spanning the half and give BYU a 42-35 lead. The Cowboys responded once again with four straight points from Brandon Ewing to make it a one-possession game before Tavernari made a big shot from downtown to keep Wyoming at bay.

Nursing a five-point lead at 48-43, BYU got some bad news when Cummard picked up his fourth foul at the 13:21 mark. Foul trouble continued to play a large role in the game as two BYU starters -- Cummard and Burgess -- spent time on the bench with four fouls apiece and the Cowboys' Travis Nelson fouled out midway through the half. The two teams kept going at each other, trading scores up and down the floor as the Cougars clung to a slim lead until back-to-back Wyoming scores cut the lead to one point at 54-53 with 9:32 left to play.

With BYU up 56-54, Cummard re-entered the game and hit from behind the arc to push the lead back up to five points. After Wyoming answered with a three-point play on the other end, Cummard and Burgess made back-to-back buckets and Plaisted drained two free throws to create some space for the Cougars with a 65-57 lead. Then, with 2:32 left to play, Cummard sank a fadeaway jumper and the accompanying free throw to push the lead to nine points at 68-59 and seal the 73-63 win for BYU.

The Cougars will now return to the Marriott Center to host the TCU Horned Frogs on Wednesday at 7 p.m. BYU currently owns the nation's second-longest active home victory streak at 42 wins.

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Official Basketball Box Score

BYU Cougars vs Wyoming Cowboys

2-2-08 2:05 PM at Laramie, Wyo. (Arena Auditorium)

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VISITORS: BYU Cougars 17-5 (6-1 MWC)

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ f 8-13 3-4 6-7 2 6 8 4 25 2 4 0 1 30

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. f 4-14 2-8 0-0 2 8 10 1 10 2 2 1 0 36

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... c 5-13 0-0 7-11 4 6 10 3 17 2 2 0 0 30

20 BURGESS, Sam........ g 3-7 2-5 2-2 1 1 2 4 10 0 1 0 1 28

24 MURDOCK, Ben........ g 1-5 0-2 2-2 2 4 6 1 4 5 2 0 0 31

01 LOYD, JR., Michael.. 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 8

05 ROSE, Archie........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... 1-5 1-4 0-0 0 0 0 3 3 4 1 0 0 22

41 COLLINSWORTH, Chris. 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 3 2 0 0 0 0 8

54 MILES, Chris........ 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 5

TEAM................ 1 3 4

Totals.............. 24-60 8-23 17-22 13 28 41 21 73 16 13 1 2 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-34 38.2% 2nd Half: 11-26 42.3% Game: 40.0% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-14 35.7% 2nd Half: 3-9 33.3% Game: 34.8% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 6-9 66.7% 2nd Half: 11-13 84.6% Game: 77.3% 2

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HOME TEAM: Wyoming Cowboys 8-12 (2-6 MWC)

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

05 DERMODY, Ryan....... f 3-10 0-5 3-3 0 2 2 3 9 1 1 0 2 39

20 TAYLOR, Joseph...... f 3-7 0-1 2-2 4 8 12 4 8 0 4 3 1 29

13 LINSKENS, Mikhail... c 1-1 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 2 3 0 2 0 0 11

01 JONES, Brad......... g 4-10 0-3 5-8 1 5 6 1 13 5 3 0 2 38

23 EWING, Brandon...... g 6-16 0-5 0-1 1 2 3 2 12 9 3 0 2 39

21 JOHNSON, Tyson...... 5-11 0-0 2-3 2 5 7 2 12 0 1 1 0 35

32 NELSON, Travis...... 3-4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 5 6 0 0 1 0 6

55 BUNKER, Travis...... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

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

Totals.............. 25-60 0-15 13-19 10 26 36 19 63 15 14 5 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-28 42.9% 2nd Half: 13-32 40.6% Game: 41.7% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 0-7 0.0% 2nd Half: 0-8 0.0% Game: 0.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 11-13 84.6% 2nd Half: 2-6 33.3% Game: 68.4% 3

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Officials: Eric Curry, Eddie Jackson and Brian SOrenson

Technical fouls: BYU Cougars-None. Wyoming Cowboys-None.

Attendance: 5956

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU Cougars................... 37 36 - 73

Wyoming Cowboys............... 35 28 - 63

Points in the paint-BY 22,WY 48. Points off turnovers-BY 14,WY 18.

2nd chance points-BY 11,WY 11. Fast break points-BY 4,WY 4.

Bench points-BY 7,WY 18. Score tied-3 times. Lead changed-2 times.

Last FG-BY 2nd-02:31, WY 2nd-00:23.

Largest lead-BY by 12 2nd-00:34, WY by 3 1st-03:19.

Tags: Results