Cougars Avenge Loss with 67-51 Defeat of Air Force | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Cougars Avenge Loss with 67-51 Defeat of Air Force

PROVO -- The Cougars avenged an earlier loss to Air Force by handing the Falcons their worst conference loss of the season with a 67-51 victory in the Marriott Center.

"Air Force took it to us good at their place so I am really pleased with tonight's performance," BYU head coach Steve Cleveland said. "Air Force is a very difficult team to play and you have to be strong against them because they are so physical,"

Travis Hansen guided the BYU charge with 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field (3-6 from three-point range) and a 6-of-6 performance from the line. Hansen has scored in double figures in six of the Cougars' last seven games. He also picked up five rebounds on the night.

After Air Force had taken an 8-7 lead with 16:16 left in the first half, the Cougars went on a 15-3 run over the next five minutes to take an 11-point lead and the Falcons never got closer than eight from there. The Cougars led 39-26 at the half, their largest halftime lead since leading by 29 against Fort Lewis on Dec. 12.

BYU jumped on the Falcons early behind an energetic defensive performance in the first half, holding Air Force to 10-of-25 shooting from the field, including 5-13 from long range. The Cougars were hot, shooting 11-17 (64.7 percent) from the field and a torrid 5-7 (71.4 percent) from downtown in the first half, tying a season-high three-point percentage for one half.

The Cougar defense was even better in the second half, holding the Falcons to just 31.6 percent (6-of-19) from the field and a mere 16.7 percent (2-of-12) from three-point range. Air Force finished the game shooting just 36.4 percent from the field from the game and only 28 percent from long range.

"We definitely played defense with significantly more energy tonight than we did at their place," Cleveland said. "We know they are going to shoot 20 to 25 three each night but we contested a good percent of them."

Matt Montague hit a career-high three three-pointers on three-for-three shooting from downtown. Montague has hit 12 threes in his last 13 games and has been shooting at a 48-percent clip (12-of-25) from three-point range over that same period. Montague also finished with seven assists and six rebounds in a team-leading 39 minutes.

The third Cougar to finish in double figures was freshman center Jared Jensen, who was perfect on the night, shooting three-for-three from the field and a career-best eight-of-eight from the free throw line to finish with 14 points.

Mark Bigelow had a season low three points on the night and Eric Nielsen had two points, tying his season low set against Idaho on Dec. 15. Nielsen picked up a team-leading nine rebounds on the night, a season high total for him.

Air Force never got closer than 13 in the second half and the Cougars led by as many as 19 in the game, on the way to their biggest victory margin in conference play and their biggest win at home since beating Southern Utah by 21, 79-58, on Dec. 29.

The win extends the nation's longest home winning streak to 34 games and improves BYU to 16-8 on the season and 6-5 in conference play. Air Force drops to 9-14 on the season, 3-7 in conference play.

BYU hosts rival University of Utah on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The Utah game is the last home game of the season on the BYU schedule.

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

Air Force Academy vs BRIGHAM YOUNG Cougars

02/18/02 8:37 at Marriott Center, Provo, Utah

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VISITORS: Air Force Academy 9-14, 3-7

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

33 GERLACH, Joel....... f 2-10 0-7 1-2 0 1 1 4 5 2 1 0 2 30

32 BELLAIRS, Tom....... c 0-2 0-1 1-2 0 2 2 3 1 3 3 0 0 18

10 KUHLE, A.J.......... g 5-11 3-6 6-6 1 0 1 2 19 1 0 0 4 40

12 YAZZIE, Lamoni...... g 4-8 1-4 3-3 1 1 2 3 12 1 0 0 1 29

22 JENKINS, Vernard.... g 2-4 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 2 5 1 2 0 2 32

02 MANSELL, Selwyn..... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2

11 KELLER, Tim......... 1-3 1-2 1-2 0 1 1 4 4 2 0 1 0 21

35 HOLUM, Marc......... 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 5

40 PETERSON, David..... 1-3 1-2 0-0 3 1 4 4 3 2 3 0 1 23

TEAM................ 1 2 3

Totals.............. 16-44 7-25 12-15 6 9 15 24 51 12 10 1 10 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-25 40.0% 2nd Half: 6-19 31.6% Game: 36.4% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-13 38.5% 2nd Half: 2-12 16.7% Game: 28.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 1-1 100 % 2nd Half: 11-14 78.6% Game: 80.0% 2

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HOME TEAM: BRIGHAM YOUNG Cougars 16-8, 6-5

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 1-4 1-3 0-3 0 4 4 2 3 2 4 1 1 24

25 NIELSEN, Eric....... f 1-2 0-0 0-0 6 3 9 3 2 2 3 1 0 31

52 JENSEN, Jared....... c 3-3 0-0 8-8 2 0 2 2 14 0 0 0 0 24

02 HANSEN, Travis...... g 5-11 2-4 7-8 3 2 5 2 19 2 3 1 0 34

31 MONTAGUE, Matt...... g 4-4 3-3 2-2 0 6 6 3 13 7 5 0 2 39

04 PINEGAR, Jesse...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

10 NASHIF, Terry....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

20 BOBIK, Daniel....... 2-4 1-1 3-4 0 1 1 0 8 1 1 0 2 16

22 BALDERSON, Jimmy.... 2-4 1-2 0-2 0 0 0 1 5 1 0 0 1 15

32 JEPSEN, Bart........ 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

40 HOWARD, Dan......... 0-1 0-0 1-3 1 4 5 0 1 0 1 1 0 10

42 CARLISLE, Jon....... 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 3

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

Totals.............. 19-34 8-13 21-32 12 23 35 14 67 15 17 4 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-17 64.7% 2nd Half: 8-17 47.1% Game: 55.9% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-7 71.4% 2nd Half: 3-6 50.0% Game: 61.5% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 12-14 85.7% 2nd Half: 9-18 50.0% Game: 65.6% 5

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Officials: Dick Cartmell, Rick Hartzell, Ron Zetcher

Technical fouls: Air Force Academy-TEAM. BRIGHAM YOUNG Cougars-None.

Attendance: 7736

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Air Force Academy............. 26 25 - 51

BRIGHAM YOUNG Cougars......... 39 28 - 67

Points in the paint-AF 18,BY 18. Points off turnovers-AF 13,BY 13.

2nd chance points-AF 9,BY 15. Fast break points-AF 0,BY 2.

Bench points-AF 9,BY 16. Score tied-1 time. Lead changes-5 times.