Cougars Bombed by Falcons in 74-64 Loss | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Cougars Bombed by Falcons in 74-64 Loss

Colorado Springs, Colo. -- A sluggish BYU men's basketball team was blindsided Monday by a hungry Air Force team in a 74-64 loss at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The Falcons began the game with a full-court press and bombarded the Cougars with 13 three-pointers on their way to their first conference win of the season.

"Why we would come out and play with this kind of energy, I'm not sure," said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. "Not only was there a lack of defensive intensity, but there was also a lack of defensive court sense and awareness."

Air Force (7-10, 1-3) put BYU on its heels early with its fast and furious long-range shooting, dropping seven three-pointers on the Cougars in the first half alone. Tim Keller came off the bench to burn Brigham Young with 5-of-5 three-point shooting in the first half.

"It was like a clinic for them," Cleveland said. "Once they got their confidence, then they could make their threes even when they were contested."

BYU (12-5, 2-2) actually shot better percentages in all shooting categories in the first half, going 10-15 from the floor and 3-5 from beyond the three-point arc. But the Falcons shot nearly twice as much as the Cougars. The Falcons went 16-29 from the field, including 9-16 three-point shooting in the first half.

At the start of the second half, the Cougars turned to Jared Jensen who continues to be the answer for BYU in conference play. Jensen scored seven of BYU's first nine points as BYU rallied back early in the second half.

For the game, Jensen notched game highs in scoring with 20 points and seven rebounds. The freshman center's 20 points is a career high.

BYU freshman guard Jimmy Balderson also made an impact, scoring 16 points and grabbing 6 rebounds off the bench for the Cougars. His 16 points is the most he has scored against a division one opponent. Balderson recorded career highs in three-pointers made and attempted with 2-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc.

"I thought Jimmy Balderson came off the bench and earned the right to play, and that's what he did," said Cleveland. "He gave us a huge lift."

But their efforts would not be enough to stop the scrappy Falcons -- a team that lost its last two games to Utah in overtime and to New Mexico by three points.

"We'd already given them all their confidence in the first half. They were hungry. They found a way to win tonight and we did not," Cleveland said. "We didn't have the energy until the last eight or nine minutes."

BYU will play its third straight road game against the University of Utah on Monday, Jan. 28 in Salt Lake City. The contest will be the ESPN Big Monday game played at 10 p.m.

GAME NOTES

Mark Bigelow showed signs of a return to his early season form. Bigelow was more aggressive in his shooting and he asked for the ball more than he has, Cleveland said. Bigelow finished the night with 16 points on 3-of-9 from the arc and 5-13 overall.

BYU kept pace with its fourth-ranked standing nationwide in free throw shooting. The

Cougars as a team made 19-of-23 (82.6%) shots from the stripe.

The Cougars were out rebounded for only the fourth time this season, 27-23, but it is the third time in the last four games that BYU's opponent has grabbed more boards.

BYU's guards continued to struggle. Travis Hansen fouled out of the game with five points on 2-of-7 shooting, bringing his shooting total in the last six games to 25-66 (.379). Sixth man Daniel Bobik took and made only one shot, bringing his six-game total to 11-33 (.333).

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

BYU vs Air Force

1-21-02 2:00 p.m. at Clune Arena -- USAFA, Colo.

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VISITORS: BYU 12-5, 2-2 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

02 HANSEN, Travis...... f 2-7 0-0 1-2 2 3 5 5 5 1 1 1 0 23

03 BIGELOW, Mark....... f 5-13 3-9 3-4 0 1 1 3 16 1 2 1 1 38

52 JENSEN, Jared....... c 6-10 0-0 8-9 5 2 7 3 20 0 0 0 2 27

20 BOBIK, Daniel....... g 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 3 2 0 3 0 0 21

31 MONTAGUE, Matt...... g 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 3 3 1 2 4 0 0 1 36

10 NASHIF, Terry....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 5

22 BALDERSON, Jimmy.... 4-9 2-6 4-4 2 4 6 1 14 1 3 0 1 23

25 NIELSEN, Eric....... 0-0 0-0 3-4 0 0 0 0 3 1 1 0 0 20

32 JEPSEN, Bart........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1

42 CARLISLE, Jon....... 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 6

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

Totals.............. 20-43 5-16 19-23 9 14 23 17 64 9 11 2 5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-15 66.7% 2nd Half: 10-28 35.7% Game: 46.5% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-5 60.0% 2nd Half: 2-11 18.2% Game: 31.3% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 7-9 77.8% 2nd Half: 12-14 85.7% Game: 82.6% 1

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HOME TEAM: Air Force 7-10, 1-3 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

10 KUHLE, A.J.......... f 3-9 2-6 2-2 1 3 4 2 10 4 0 1 0 40

33 GERLACH, Joel....... f 6-7 3-4 4-4 0 3 3 5 19 2 2 0 0 24

32 BELLAIRS, Tom....... c 1-5 0-1 1-7 4 1 5 4 3 3 1 0 0 19

12 YAZZIE, Lamoni...... g 7-10 3-4 2-2 3 1 4 2 19 2 1 0 2 35

22 JENKINS, Vernard.... g 1-3 0-1 2-2 0 2 2 1 4 5 4 0 0 38

11 KELLER, Tim......... 5-7 5-6 0-0 1 2 3 2 15 1 0 1 0 23

40 PETERSON, David..... 2-3 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 4 0 1 0 0 10

50 PINA, Tysen......... 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 3 0 0 0 1 0 11

TEAM................ 1 3 4 1

Totals.............. 25-46 13-24 11-17 10 17 27 20 74 17 10 3 2 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-29 55.2% 2nd Half: 9-17 52.9% Game: 54.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 9-16 56.3% 2nd Half: 4-8 50.0% Game: 54.2% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 1-4 25.0% 2nd Half: 10-13 76.9% Game: 64.7% 3

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Officials: Lonnie Dixon, Dick Cartmell, Ronnie Hernandez

Technical fouls: BYU-None. Air Force-None.

Attendance: 1581

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU........................... 30 34 - 64

Air Force..................... 42 32 - 74