BYU's Season Ends With NIT Loss At Houston

Trent Plaisted recorded his sixth double-double of the year with 18 points and 13 rebounds at Houston. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

HOUSTON -- BYU's season came to an end in the first round of the NIT Wednesday night as the Cougars fell 77-67 to the Houston Cougars in Texas. With the loss, BYU finished the season 20-9 overall under first-year head coach Dave Rose, the 29th 20-win season in Cougar history and an 11.5-game turnaround from last year's 9-21 campaign.

"Our guys battled hard and stayed in there," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "They played hard like they've done here all year long and left everything out there. These guys should be really proud of themselves and teammates and what they were able to accomplish this year."

Redshirt freshman Trent Plaisted led the Cougars in both scoring and rebounding with 18 points and 13 boards, his sixth double-double of the year. Plaisted also recorded a career-high four blocks and four dunks, including two in the final minute of the game. Junior Keena Young added 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting while senior Brock Reichner, playing ill, scored nine points in 20 minutes.

"I wasn't feeling well all day but the adrenalin kicked in when the game started and I tried to play as hard as I could," said Reichner. "I didn't have as much energy as I usually do, but I tried to give it my all."

Plaisted opened the game with an emphatic dunk for BYU, his 30th of the year, followed by a layin on the next possession to give BYU a 4-0 lead early. Houston, ranked seventh in the nation in three-point field goals per game, missed its first six shots from long range and first seven overall, not scoring from the field until the 15:05 mark of the first half.

However, BYU could not capitalize on the Houston scoring drought, recording three early turnovers and playing to a 6-6 tie with 14:29 left to play in the half after taking a 6-0 lead early. Houston used a 12-3 run to take its first lead of the game at 12-9 until a three-pointer from Reichner evened the score again. But the bucket did not slow down Houston, which ran off six more points to take its largest lead of the game to that point at 18-12.

Rashaun Broadus, Jimmy Balderson and Young each found the net to cut the Houston lead to two points at 21-19, but UH responded with 13 straight points to take a commanding 34-19 lead. Plaisted drained two free throws to end a four-minute scoring drought followed by a layin from Young to cut the lead to 11 at 34-23. Houston scored on the other end off of a steal, but BYU's Lee Cummard responded with a huge three-pointer with 40 seconds left in the half to cut the lead to 10 points. After a Houston turnover, BYU had a chance to get the deficit into single digits but instead recorded its own miscue, leading to a 36-26 Houston halftime lead.

BYU held Houston to just 1-for-13 shooting from beyond the arc in the first half but could not control UH from anywhere else on the court as Houston made 14-of-18 from two-point range. BYU recorded 14 first-half turnovers while Houston, which leads the nation in steals, picked up 11 takeaways in the half. Both were first-half season highs for BYU.

Plaisted began the second half much as did the first, scoring on BYU's opening possession to cut the lead to 36-28. After Houston went 1-for-2 at the free-throw line, BYU went down the court looking to further cut into the lead but came away with another turnover. Houston drained a three-pointer, just its second of the night, before stealing the inbounds pass and rolling in the layup for a 43-28 lead.

A basket from Keena Young could not jumpstart the BYU offense as Houston stroked back-to-back three-pointers to take a 48-30 advantage. Trailing 52-31, BYU began to climb back into the game with a 13-5 run. BYU got its first back-to-back field goals since the 6:25 mark of the first half from Young and Reichner with 13:14 left in the game and another throwdown from Plaisted off of an ally-oop pass from Balderson.

Despite recording two misses and two turnovers on the next four possessions, BYU stayed within 13 thanks to four missed free throws by Houston. However, after four minutes without a field goal, Houston scored off of another steal to increase its lead to 59-44. BYU went cold from the field at a critical point in its comeback effort, going 3:45 minutes without a point. The Cougars made it interesting in the end with a 16-7 run to close out the game but could overcome the deficit, falling 77-67 to end the season.

"When you get into a national tournament at the end of the season, you know you're playing good teams," said Rose. "This is a team that is used to winning and it showed tonight. They're very confident and very good at how they play. They played the game at their pace."

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

BYU vs Houston Cougars

03/15/06 7:30 p.m. at Houston, Texas (Hofheinz Pavilion)

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VISITORS: BYU 20-9

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

03 YOUNG, Keena........ f 5-9 0-0 1-1 3 1 4 1 11 1 0 0 0 29

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... c 6-9 0-0 6-10 2 11 13 3 18 1 4 4 0 36

01 BROADUS, Rashaun.... g 3-10 1-5 1-2 1 2 3 3 8 5 6 0 0 23

04 EMERY, Jackson...... g 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 6

23 BALDERSON, Jimmy.... g 3-9 1-4 0-0 1 2 3 5 7 0 2 0 1 30

02 ROSE, Mike.......... 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4

11 REICHNER, Brock..... 3-7 2-4 1-2 1 1 2 1 9 1 3 0 1 20

13 AINGE, Austin....... 1-1 1-1 0-0 0 3 3 0 3 2 7 0 0 14

15 MALAMAN, Fernando... 2-2 0-0 0-1 1 2 3 3 4 0 1 1 0 16

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ 3-6 1-2 0-0 2 3 5 2 7 5 1 2 2 22

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

Totals.............. 26-57 6-19 9-16 11 29 40 18 67 15 25 7 5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-28 35.7% 2nd Half: 16-29 55.2% Game: 45.6% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 4-10 40.0% 2nd Half: 2-9 22.2% Game: 31.6% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 2-4 50.0% 2nd Half: 7-12 58.3% Game: 56.3% 2

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HOME TEAM: Houston Cougars 21-9

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

24 THORPE, Jahmar...... f 3-5 0-1 0-0 2 1 3 3 6 2 1 1 2 23

25 DYER, Ramon......... f 5-9 2-5 2-3 0 4 4 2 14 1 0 3 1 38

11 LATHAM, Brian....... g 2-5 0-1 4-6 1 1 2 2 8 0 2 0 1 23

20 LAFAYETTE, Oliver... g 8-17 4-12 3-5 0 3 3 1 23 2 3 0 8 38

23 SMITH, Lanny........ g 3-8 0-4 3-8 1 9 10 3 9 11 3 0 5 39

02 LAWSON, Chris....... 4-8 0-1 0-4 0 3 3 1 8 0 5 0 1 21

05 de RANDAMIE, Sergio. 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 8

14 ANDERSON, Sam....... 4-7 0-1 1-2 0 2 2 4 9 0 1 1 0 10

TEAM................ 5 2 7

Totals.............. 29-60 6-25 13-28 10 25 35 18 77 16 16 5 18 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-31 48.4% 2nd Half: 14-29 48.3% Game: 48.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-13 7.7% 2nd Half: 5-12 41.7% Game: 24.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 5-9 55.6% 2nd Half: 8-19 42.1% Game: 46.4% 7

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Officials: Curtis Blair, Anthony Crozier, Kelly Self

Technical fouls: BYU-None. Houston Cougars-None.

Attendance: 5087

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU........................... 26 41 - 67

Houston Cougars............... 36 41 - 77

ID-432014

First Round of the 2006 National Invitation Tournament

Points in the paint-BY 40,HOU 42. Points off turnovers-BY 18,HOU 24.

2nd chance points-BY 16,HOU 6. Fast break points-BY 12,HOU 14.

Bench points-BY 23,HOU 17. Score tied-2 times. Lead changes-1 time.

Tags: Results