The Century Game - Utah Comes to Town for Deseret First Duel

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

BYU GAME #28 FAST FACTS

BYU (21-6, 9-4)

vs. Utah (20-7, 11-2)

Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009

Marriott Center (22,700)

Provo, Utah

3 p.m. MT

Coaches

BYU, Dave Rose (93-32 in fourth season; same overall)

Utah, Jim Boylen (38-22 in 2nd season; same overall)

Series

Utah leads, 125-122, The Utes won 94-88 in OT in Salt Lake on Jan. 27

TV

CBS C HD (Tom Hart, play-by-play; Steve Lappas, game analysis)

Radio

KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (2 p.m. MT pregame show — Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)

Web

Live audio and live stats links are available on the basketball schedule page at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/

Deseret First Duel — Cougars to Face Utah in The Century Game

BYU men’s basketball (21-6, 9-4 MWC) will continue its hunt for a third-straight MWC title when the Cougars face rival and first-place Utah (20-7, 11-2) on Saturday at 3 p.m. in the Marriott Center. BYU is two games behind the Utes in the standings and a win would keep its title hopes alive. The Cougars completed a come-from-behind win on Tuesday at San Diego State while Utah is coming off a 70-60 win against UNLV. Saturday’s game will be televised live on CBS C in HD while the radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City and on the Internet at KSL.com beginning with the pregame show at 2 p.m. MT.

Up Next

BYU will play its final road game of the regular season when the Cougars head to Laramie to take on Wyoming on Wednesday, March 4, at 6 p.m. The Cowboys are currently 16-10 overall and 5-7 in MWC play and riding a two-game win streak with home victories over UNLV and TCU. BYU won the first meeting this season 84-60 at home. Follow the game on www.byucougars.com and listen live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 5 p.m. MT on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City or via the Internet at KSL.com. The game will be televised live on The Mtn.

Cougar Quick Hits

Lee Cummard is 11th all-time in scoring at BYU with 1,468 career points. Jonathan Tavernari is 34th all-time with 1,098 career points.

— Cummard and Tavernari continue to climb the BYU record books in made threes and steals. Cummard is seventh in steals (123) and fourth in threes (148) and Tavernari is second in threes (190) and 10th in steals (109).

— At 21-6 in 2008-09 two-time MWC Coach of the Year Dave Rose has guided BYU to four-straight 20-win seasons and three-straight postseason berths. In his first season the Cougars were 20-9 and went to the NIT. In his second campaign he guided the Cougars to the outright MWC title, a top-25 ranking, a trip to the NCAA Tournament and a 25-9 overall record. Last season he led BYU to a 27-8 overall record, a second-straight outright league title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. He has the best record through 120 games of any BYU basketball coach.

— BYU has been picked to finish second (five first-place votes) in the MWC preseason poll by the league’s media.

BYU vs. Utah Men's Basketball Series

BYU and Utah will meet for the 248th time Saturday and 2009 marks the 100th anniversary of the series. The Cougars won the inaugural game, 32-9, in Provo, on Jan. 23, 1909, and won again on March 5 of that year, 40-27, in SLC on its way to winning the first eight games against the Utes. The series ranks 10th in the NCAA record book in terms of most games in a rivalry and is the 11th-longest running rivalry dating back to 1909. Utah is the opponent that BYU has played the most in its history (244 games) and is BYU’s second-longest running series (Utah State series began in 1905 and includes 222 games). In the 100 years of the BYU-Utah series, this season will mark only the eighth year the Cougars have trailed Utah in the overall series after the Utes took their first series lead in 2000. Utah currenty holds a 125-122 series advantage, including 94-88 OT victory in Salt Lake this season. BYU has a 68-47 record in Provo against the Utes, while Utah holds a 73-48 advantage in Salt Lake City. BYU has a 6-5 edge on neutral floors. The Cougars have won three-straight against the Utes in Provo, including last season’s 67-59 victory. BYU ended a string of 12 straight Utah wins, its longest in the series, with a 58-54 victory at the 2000 MWC Tournament semifinals. The Utes’ 2003 victory in Provo ended BYU’s nation-best 44-game homecourt victory streak.

The Deseret First Duel Rivalry Series

The 2008-09 season marks the second year of the Deseret First Duel persented by Deseret First Credit Union.

The Deseret First Duel began in September 2007 as a way for BYU, the University of Utah, and Deseret First Credit Union to celebrate this spirited rivalry that dates back to the 1890s. Until last year, there had been no established means to recognize the overall athletic supremacy of the Cougars or the Utes. Now, the university that wins the Deseret First Duel has its name engraved on large granite monuments located at both schools and, most importantly, holds bragging rights for the following year.

Here’s how the Deseret First Duel works: BYU and Utah compete against each other in baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, football, women’s gymnastics, women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s swimming. Points are awarded to the school that wins each game, meet, or match. A team trophy will also be presented to the winner in each sport. The university that scores that scores the first 33 of the total of 65 points will claim the Deseret First Duel championship in April 2009. BYU narrowly defeated Utah to win the inaugural Deseret First Duel in 2007-08.

The Utah vs. BYU rivalry is one of the oldest and strongest in the country. In November 2005, the Wall Street Journal rated the rivalry the fourth best in college athletics. Thanks to a partnership with Deseret First Credit Union, the rivalry now has an official name and a traveling trophy to signify yearly supremacy. The Deseret First Duel sponsorship between the two universities and Deseret First Credit Union is for five years.

“We have discussed the concept of a rivalry series for a long time,” said BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe. “The rivalry between the two schools has a long and storied tradition. Dr. Hill and I have been looking for ways to promote the positive things about this celebrated rivalry. Our hope is the Deseret First Duel will add excitement to our competitions.”

“We’ve been talking about formalizing a rivalry series for several years now, and it’s really exciting to see it become a reality. The Utah-BYU rivalry is widely recognized as one of the nation’s best in terms of competitiveness and fan interest,” said University of Utah Director of Athletics Dr. Chris Hill. “The rivalry series will serve as another avenue for fans of both schools to show their involvement and enthusiasm. I see the competition as a great way to grow the intensity of the rivalry in a positive fashion.”

Both universities have a Deseret First Duel web link on their respective athletic websites (byucougars.com and utahutes.com). The website provides scores, point totals, upcoming rivalry games and special online offers, including the ability to enter to win the Ultimate Fan Experience.

Deseret First Credit Union, founded in 1955, operates 11 branches from Logan to St. George, has more than 50,000 members and over $417 million in assets. Deseret First is a full-service credit union offering deposit and loan accounts, insurance, investments, SBA loans and more.

Current Standings

Utah currently leads the series 29-8 with five points being decided by Saturday’s men’s basketball game at 3 p.m. in the Marriott Center and another five points on the line at 1:30 p.m. in the women’s basketball game in Salt Lake City. BYU women’s soccer opened this season’s Deseret First Duel with a 5-0 win at Utah on Oct. 12 to give BYU a 6-0 lead. Utah answered by sweeping the volleyball series 3-0 and 3-2 to even the score. Utah football defeated BYU 48-24 and won the first two basketball games and the first meeting in gymnastics. The Cougars picked up points with wins in men’s and women’s swimming.

Looking at Utah

Utah is 20-7 overall and 11-2 in MWC play this season, having won eight straight and holding a two-game lead in conference play. The Utes are coming off a 70-60 home win over UNLV. Their only losses in conference play have come at UNLV and at San Diego State. Utah is 12-2 at home this season and 7-0 at home in MWC games. The Utes average 73.3 points per game (4th in the MWC) and shoot 48.8 percent (2nd in the MWC) from the field while holding opponents to 65.1 points per game (6th in the MWC) and a 40.8 shooting percentage (3rd in the MWC). Utah leads the conference in free throw shooting at .784. The Utes are also the top team in terms of rebounding margin with a +5.3 advantage. Utah also leads the conference in blocked shots at 5.07 per game, led by Luke Nevill’s conference-leading 2.74 per game. Nevill also leads the Utes in scoring (17.4 ppg — 2nd in the MWC) and rebounding (8.5 per game — first in the MWC). He is third in the league in field goal percentage (.612) and six in free throw shooting (.808). Lawrence Borha is second on the team in scoring at 12.0 poinrts per game and second in three-point shooting (55 makes on a 42.6 percent clip). Tyler Kepkay and Shaun Green also average double figures at 10.5 and 10.4 points per game, respectivley. Green leads the team with three-point makes at 55 while shooting 39.0 percent from long range. Carlon Brown averages 9.6 points per contest and is first on the team in assists at 3.4 per game. Luka Drca averages 8.3 points per game and leads the team in three-point percentage at 47.6. Utah is coached by Jim Boylen, who is 38-22 in his second season as the head coach of the Utes.

Utah’s Last Outing — Utes Survive Runnin’ Rebel Rally for Eighth Straight

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Luke Nevill had 19 points and 13 assists and Utah held off a late run by UNLV in a 70-60 win Wednesday, extending the Utes’ winning streak to eight in a row.

The Utes (20-7, 11-2 Mountain West) let a 15-point lead slip to two points with less than three minutes remaining, but Luka Drca ended a long scoring drought with a 3-pointer for the Utes and followed it with two free throws with 2:12 left to play and Utah led comfortably the rest of the way.

Shaun Green scored 12 and Tyler Kepkay and Lawrence Borha added 11 points each for Utah, which end a three-game losing streak to UNLV (20-8, 8-6).

Rene Rougeau had 19 points to lead the Rebels, who were outrebounded 38-24 and couldn’t take advantage of Utah’s 20 turnovers.

Series Notes

BYU and Utah will meet for the 248th time Saturday and 2009 marks the 100th anniversary of the series. The Cougars won the inaugural game, 32-9, in Provo, on Jan. 23, 1909, and won again on March 5 of that year, 40-27, in SLC on its way to winning the first eight games against the Utes. The series ranks 10th in the NCAA record book in terms of most games in a rivalry and is the 11th longest running rivalry dating back to 1909. Utah is the opponent that BYU has played the most in its history (247 games) and is BYU’s second-longest running series (Utah State series began in 1905 and includes 222 games). In the 100 years of the BYU-Utah series, this season will mark only the eighth year the Cougars have trailed Utah in the overall series after the Utes took their first series lead in 2000. Utah currenty holds a 125-122 series advantage. BYU has a 68-47 record in Provo against the Utes, while Utah holds a 73-48 advantage in Salt Lake City. BYU has a 6-5 edge on neutral floors. Prior to this season’s 94-88 overtime loss in Salt Lake the Cougars had won four-straight against Utah including a 55-52 victory in Salt Lake and a 67-59 win in Provo last season. The Cougars have won three-straight against Utah in the Marriott Center. BYU ended a string of 12 straight Utah wins, its longest in the series, with a 58-54 victory at the 2000 MWC Tournament semifinals. The Utes’ 2003 victory in Provo ended BYU’s nation-best 44-game homecourt victory streak.

By the Numbers

1 BYU’s NCAA Division I ranking in team field goal percentage (as of Feb. 22). The Cougars are shooting 50.3 percent from the field as a team.

3 The number of BYU players ranked in the top six scorers (all games) in the MWC: Jonathan Tavernari (3), Lee Cummard (4) and Jimmer Fredette (6).

4 The number of times BYU head coach Dave Rose has guided the Cougars to 20-win seasons, including 2008-09, in four seasons as head coach. BYU reached the mark this season with a home win against New Mexico. Rose is the third BYU coach to win 20 games in each of his first four seasons.

5 The number of three-pointers Tavernari attempted without missing against Colorado State at home.

7 As of Feb. 22, the number of categories in which BYU is ranked in the top-20 in the NCAA (scoring offense (15), scoring margin (8), field goal percentage (1), three-point field goal percentage (17), three-point field goal defense (18), assists per game (7) and assist/turnover ratio (4).

8 The number of statistical categories in which a BYU player ranks among the top three in the MWC (all games) out of 13 categories tracked by the league.

9 The number of statistical categories out of 19 tracked by the league in which BYU is ranked No. 1 as a team in the MWC (Scoring offense, scoring margin, field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage defense, rebounds, assists, assist/turnover ratio, defensive rebounds).

11 The number of games in which Lee Cummard has hit 60.0 percent or better from the field this season. He has hit better than 70.0 percent in six games.

13 The number of games this season in which Lee Cummard has attempted a free throw without missing.

16 The number of free throws Jackson Emery has attempted without missing. He has not missed a shot from the charity stripe since missing the first of two at New Mexico. He hit 4-of-4 at San Diego State.

18 The number of games BYU has won by double figures. The Cougars have won six games by 20-29 points and five games by 30-plus points.

19.5 BYU’s average margin of victory in its 21 wins.

22 The number of consecutive games in which Jonathan Tavernari has hit a three-pointer, breaking the single-season record held by Terrell Lyday (21). Tavernari has made a three in 26 of 27 games this season. He is one game from breaking the all-time record held by Mark Bigelow (22) set over a span of two seasons.

24 The number of threes Jonathan Tavernari needs to pass Mark Bigelow for first all-time.

58.6 Jonathan Tavernari’s three-point shooting percentage over the last five games (17-of-29). Tavernari hit 5-of-5 vs. Colorado State, 2-of-5 at TCU, 3-of-5 vs. New Mexico, 5-of-9 at UNLV and 2-of-5 at SDSU.

72.4 BYU’s first half shooting percentage against Colorado State, a season best for the Cougars.

78.7 BYU head coach Dave Rose’s winning percentage in conference games, 47-13, — best in MWC history.

91.9 Lee Cummard’s free throw shooting percentage in league games (32-of-35), first in the MWC.

96 The number of conference wins for BYU since the formation of the MWC in 1999, first among all conference teams.

100 Percent of games BYU has won this year when holding opponents to 69 points or less this season. The Cougars are 19-0 when holding opponents below 70 points.

Best Starts Through 27 and 28 Games

Through 27 games this season BYU is 21-6, equal to last season’s pace. Four Cougar teams that played at least 27 games during a season earned a better record in the first 27 games while two others were also 21-6. A win Saturday against Utah would put the current squad behind only three teams that had better records through 28 games and tied with two others.

1,000-Point Scorers

Including a career-high 36 points against Long Beach State and performances of 30 points against Weber State, 28 against Cal Poly and 26 at Tulsa, Lee Cummard now has 455 total points for the season and 1,468 for his career. He passed Jay Cheesman (1,408) for 11th all-time in scoring in BYU history during the TCU game. Cummard is 45 points from passing Kresimir Cosic (1,512) for 10th all-time. With 17 points at Air Force junior forward Jonathan Tavernari surpassed 1,000 points for his career. His 11 points at San Diego State place him one point from tying Mark Handy for 33rd all-time. With 12 points Tavernari would pass four players and jump into the top-30 BYU scorers of all-time.

Consecutive Games with a Three

With a three-pointer at the 11:26 mark in the first half at San Diego State, Jonathan Tavernari has hit a three in the last 22 games and in 26-of-27 games this season. With the three Tavernari passed Terrell Lyday (21) for the single-season record for consecutive games with a made three. He is tied with Mark Bigelow for the overall record — 22-consecutive games with a made three. Bigelow set the record over two seasons.

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