Comeback Falls Short at UNLV

Jonathan Tavernari posted a double-double on the night with 19 points and 11 rebounds against the Rebels. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

LAS VEGAS -- In front of the largest UNLV crowd in 16 years, the Cougars (20-6, 8-4) fell to the Runnin’ Rebels (20-7, 8-5) by one point Saturday, 75-74, in a fight to the finish at the Thomas and Mack Center.

“I thought it was a really hard-fought game by both teams,” said BYU head coach Dave Rose. “We battled hard but we weren't able to gain the lead back in time. We had some lapses where it got away from us."

Senior Lee Cummard led the Cougars in points with 20, also posting seven rebounds and four assists on the night. Jonathan Tavernari posted his fifth double-double of the season and seventh of his career with 19 points and 11 rebounds against the Rebels.

With four players in double figures, the Cougars played as a team with Cummard (20), Tavernari (19), Jimmer Fredette (13) and Chris Miles (10) all posting double-digits for the Cougars. Miles also posted five rebounds on the night.

The first three minutes of the game were scoreless for both teams, with UNLV making a 12-footer to put the first points on the board. The Cougars shot 0-for-7 from the field in the first four minutes of play.

BYU was scoreless until Jonathan Tavernari put the Cougars on the board four minutes into the game. Shortly thereafter, the Cougars would post an 8-0 run and then a 7-0 run, the latter giving them a five-point lead at 19-14.

Even though the Cougars only shot 32.3 percent in the first half, they still posted a higher percentage than the Runnin’ Rebels, who shot only 29.6 percent. UNLV also gave up eight turnovers in the first half, to the Cougars’ four.

With a close battle the entire first half, the Cougars found themselves trailing 21-23 at the half as UNLV chalked-up a 7-0 run, finishing off with a layup by Rene Rougeau at the buzzer to put them up going into the locker rooms.

Leading at the half in scoring was Cummard, posting six points. Tavernari also chalked up five points in the first half, with Charles Abouo tallying four points. Fredette, Emery and Miles each had a bucket apiece at the half.

Coming out of the half, BYU scored the first three points with Cummard hitting his 24th free throw in a row (making the first and missing the second) and a layup by Miles gave the Cougars the lead once again at 24-23.

Both teams would trade points until 37-37 when UNLV would pull away with an 8-2 run, taking the lead for the rest of the game.

With everyone on their feet at the Thomas and Mack Center in the last minute, the Cougars never stopped their game. With two minutes left in the game, UNLV led BYU by 11 points. With 30 seconds left in the game, BYU was down 73-66. Hoping for a miracle, the Cougars kept on playing.

The Cougars posted a 17-7 run to end the game, ending up one point short, falling to the Runnin’ Rebels 74-75 in Las Vegas.

BYU concludes its road swing at San Diego State on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m. PT. Follow the game on www.byucougars.com and listen live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 6:30 p.m. PT 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.

CLICK HERE for postgame notes and quotes.


Official Basketball Box Score

BYU vs UNLV

02/21/09 8:00 p.m. at Tarkanian Court, Thomas & Mack Center

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VISITORS: BYU 20-6, 8-4

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. f 7-15 5-9 0-0 0 11 11 2 19 1 2 0 0 34

54 MILES, Chris........ c 5-9 0-0 0-0 2 3 5 2 10 0 1 2 0 19

04 EMERY, Jackson...... g 3-6 0-2 0-0 0 4 4 5 6 4 0 0 1 32

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ g 8-15 1-3 3-4 3 4 7 2 20 4 1 1 1 35

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... g 5-14 0-2 3-4 0 3 3 3 13 3 1 0 1 37

01 ABOUO, Charles...... 2-4 0-1 0-2 0 0 0 1 4 1 0 0 1 19

02 MORGAN, JR., Lamont. 0-1 0-0 2-2 0 1 1 2 2 4 2 0 1 22

34 HARTSOCK, Noah...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2

TEAM................ 2 2

Totals.............. 30-64 6-17 8-12 7 27 34 18 74 17 7 3 5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-31 32.3% 2nd Half: 20-33 60.6% Game: 46.9% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-7 14.3% 2nd Half: 5-10 50.0% Game: 35.3% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 0-2 0.0% 2nd Half: 8-10 80.0% Game: 66.7% 1

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HOME TEAM: UNLV 20-7, 8-5

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

45 DARGER, Joe......... f 3-7 3-6 0-0 0 3 3 1 9 0 0 0 0 28

00 BELLFIELD, Oscar.... g 0-4 0-2 1-3 0 5 5 1 1 4 3 0 1 35

01 ADAMS, Wink......... g 5-11 3-6 9-14 0 7 7 2 22 5 2 0 0 32

24 ROUGEAU, Rene....... g 5-10 0-0 2-3 2 3 5 3 12 3 3 3 0 27

33 WILLIS, Tre'Von..... g 4-7 0-2 2-2 1 7 8 5 10 4 4 0 2 26

02 WALLACE, Kendall.... 3-7 2-5 0-0 1 4 5 0 8 2 0 0 0 26

03 RUTLEDGE, Mareceo... 4-6 2-3 3-3 2 1 3 1 13 0 0 0 0 22

44 SANTEE, Darris...... 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4

TEAM................ 2 2

Totals.............. 24-54 10-24 17-25 8 30 38 13 75 18 12 3 3 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 8-27 29.6% 2nd Half: 16-27 59.3% Game: 44.4% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-11 27.3% 2nd Half: 7-13 53.8% Game: 41.7% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-4 100 % 2nd Half: 13-21 61.9% Game: 68.0% 3

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Officials: David Hall, Scott Thornley, Larry Spaulding

Technical fouls: BYU-None. UNLV-None.

Attendance: 18523

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU........................... 21 53 - 74

UNLV.......................... 23 52 - 75

Points in the paint-BY 38,LV 22. Points off turnovers-BY 15,LV 3.

2nd chance points-BY 4,LV 7. Fast break points-BY 8,LV 6.

Bench points-BY 6,LV 21. Score tied-5 times. Lead changed-6 times.

Last FG-BY 2nd-00:05, LV 2nd-03:16.

Largest lead-BY by 5 1st-07:16, LV by 12 2nd-05:39.

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