Career Day Derails Cougars' Tournament Hopes

Senior Rafael Araujo recorded his 16th double-double of the year with 24 points and 12 rebounds against Syracuse. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

DENVER -- After shooting lights out in the first half, and having perhaps its best offensive first half of the year, BYU was ultimately upended by an individual performance in falling 80-75 to Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Despite a dominating performance in the paint from senior center Rafael Araujo, who recorded his 16th double-double of the season with 24 points and 12 rebounds, it was Orangemen point guard Gerry McNamara that stole the show. He dropped a career-high 43 points on the Cougars, including 9-of-13 shooting from three-point range. McNamara's 43 points is the most scored against BYU since New Mexico's Kenny Page totaled 44 at The Pit in 1981.

The first half was a three-point exhibition as BYU went 8-for-12, while McNamara was 6-of-7.

"If he wasn't shooting that well we would have probably been up by 20 in the first half," said Cougar swingman Mark Bigelow. "He just stepped up and did what he needed to do for his team to win."

Mark Bigelow scored 17 points in the game and became only the second BYU player, with Danny Ainge, to score 400 points in each of his four years.

Only five Cougars figured on the score sheet, but BYU had four double-digit scorers. Joining Araujo and Bigelow in double figures were Mike Hall with 17 and Luiz Lemes with 12. Jake Shoff rounded out the Cougar scoring with five points.

The game marked the last for seniors Araujo, Bigelow, Shoff, Lemes and Kevin Woodberry.

"I know they're all disappointed," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "I know I'm proud of them. They're competitive and I will really, really miss those guys."

The Cougars (21-9) started the game a confident team, as they drained hit five 3-pointers in the first four minutes to start the game. Hall, who led the Cougars with a team-high 13 points in the half, was 3-of-3 in that stretch and Bigelow drained two of his own. Araujo followed at the 15:24 mark with a three-point play to put the Cougars up 18-15.

Lemes then carried BYU with a trio of treys; the last of which at the 8:48 mark stretched the Cougar lead to 29-21. With 7:01 to go Orangemen star forward Hakim Warrick picked up his third personal foul for reaching in on Araujo, and sat out till halftime.

Araujo proceeded to convert two layups on consecutive possessions to cap a 14-3 BYU run and open a 11-point lead, its largest of the day at 35-24. Lemes hit Hall for a backdoor ally-oop dunk with 5:05 remaining to put BYU up by 11 again at 37-26.

Despite all the BYU highlights, however, it was McNamara that shot lights out in the opening half, hitting six from downtown. His shooting and 23 points in the half, kept Syracuse (22-7) in the game and he single-handedly led the Orangemen on a 16-5 run to end the half and tie the game at 42-42.

The story of the first half was McNamara and the softness of the vaunted Syracuse 2-3 szone. After BYU shot their way to its lead in the first half, the Orangemen switched to a more effective man-to-man defense for the duration of the game.

It was back-and-forth to start the second half, but Syracuse took its turn in the lead, which started after Araujo picked up his fourth foul at the 14:20 mark. The Orangemen took advantage of Araujo's six-minute absence, staging a 14-6 run to take their biggest lead of the game at 69-60.

Araujo reentered the game at the 8:29 mark, and led a BYU surge. The Cougars chipped away at the lead and Bigelow narrowed the Syracuse lead to two, at 71-69, with a trey at 4:23. Exactly one minute later Mike Hall slashed through the lane and missed a layup, but Araujo followed with a one-handed tomahawk jam.

McNamara hit his final 3-pointer of the day, his ninth, to widen the Syracuse lead to four at the 2:12 mark, and the Cougars were unable to convert from downtown down the stretch.

For the game, BYU shot 46 percent to Syracuse's 52 percent. The Orangemen also held a 69 percent to 40 percent edge from three-point land.

Entering the game, the Cougars were 17-1 in games where they scored 70 or more points this season.

Lemes set a BYU record for most assists in an NCAA Tournament game with his 9 passes for Cougar scores, one of which was an ally-oop to Hall for a first-half slam. Lemes' four treys tied Mike Smith (1988) for the third most treys made by a Cougar in an NCAA Tourament game.

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

Brigham Young vs Syracuse

03-18-04 1:30 p.m. at Denver, Colo. (Pepsi Center)

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VISITORS: Brigham Young 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

03 BIGELOW, Mark....... f 5-14 3-10 4-4 3 1 4 2 17 2 1 0 0 34

41 MEADS, Garner....... f 0-2 0-0 0-0 2 2 4 3 0 1 0 0 1 16

55 ARAUJO, Rafael...... c 9-15 0-1 6-7 4 8 12 4 24 2 2 0 0 31

01 HALL, Mike.......... g 6-9 3-3 2-5 0 2 2 2 17 4 1 1 1 31

04 LEMES, Luiz......... g 4-9 4-7 0-0 0 3 3 1 12 9 3 0 0 39

00 WOODBERRY, Kevin.... 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 14

02 ROSE, Mike.......... 0-3 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 3

05 SHOFF, Jake......... 2-3 0-0 1-3 5 0 5 4 5 0 1 0 0 19

52 JENSEN, Jared....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 4 0 0 1 0 0 13

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

Totals.............. 26-57 10-25 13-19 15 19 34 23 75 19 9 1 3 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-27 59.3% 2nd Half: 10-30 33.3% Game: 45.6% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 8-14 57.1% 2nd Half: 2-11 18.2% Game: 40.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 2-4 50.0% 2nd Half: 11-15 73.3% Game: 68.4% 2

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HOME TEAM: Syracuse 22-7

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

01 Warrick, Hakim...... f 6-11 0-0 8-9 0 3 3 3 20 3 3 2 1 33

04 Nichols, Demetris... f 4-6 2-3 0-0 0 3 3 2 10 3 0 0 0 32

51 Forth, Craig........ c 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 6 6 3 2 3 1 0 0 27

03 McNamara, Gerry..... g 11-17 9-13 12-16 0 3 3 1 43 1 2 0 0 37

05 Pace, Josh.......... g 1-5 0-0 0-1 3 0 3 1 2 2 1 0 0 38

33 Roberts, Terrence... 1-1 0-0 1-2 1 3 4 2 3 0 1 0 1 13

34 McNeil, Jeremy...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 3 0 0 0 2 0 13

42 McCroskey, Louie.... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7

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

Totals.............. 24-44 11-16 21-28 5 20 25 15 80 12 8 4 2 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-22 59.1% 2nd Half: 11-22 50.0% Game: 54.5% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 7-9 77.8% 2nd Half: 4-7 57.1% Game: 68.8% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 9-12 75.0% 2nd Half: 12-16 75.0% Game: 75.0% 3

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Officials: Mike Wood, Bruce Hicks, Art McDonald

Technical fouls: Brigham Young-None. Syracuse-None.

Attendance: 19286

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Brigham Young................. 42 33 - 75

Syracuse...................... 42 38 - 80

NCAA Tournament - First Round

Points in the paint-BY 22,SYR 18. Points off turnovers-BY 8,SYR 15.

2nd chance points-BY 22,SYR 7. Fast break points-BY 5,SYR 9.

Bench points-BY 5,SYR 3. Score tied-11 times. Lead changes-10 times.

Tags: Results