Cougars Come Up Short at Colorado State

Trent Plaisted scored a career-high 27 points in BYU's 90-87 loss at Colorado State Saturday. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

FORT COLLINS -- Despite a career-high 27 points from Trent Plaisted, BYU was unable to hold off the Colorado State Rams Saturday, falling 90-78 in Fort Collins. The loss drops the Cougars to 13-6 on the year and 3-2 in the MWC while CSU improves to 14-4 overall and 4-2 in league play.

"We did some good things today, but Colorado State played very well and hit big shots," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "We need to do a better job of defending and trying to limit the six-, seven-, eight-point scoring runs. I thought Trent (Plaisted) played with a lot of energy and gave a great effort."

Plaisted's game-high 27 points surpassed his 23-point mark set earlier this season vs. then-No. 25 Michigan State and included four dunks. Jimmy Balderson also topped the 20-point mark with 21 points on 5-for-8 shooting from three-point range, tying his career high in three-point makes. The duo became the first pair of Cougars to top the 20-point mark since last season's game at CSU on Jan. 28 when Balderson scored 24 and Brock Reichner added 23 points. Austin Ainge led BYU in assists, tying his season high with six, while three Cougars -- Plaisted, Ainge and Lee Cummard -- each pulled down four rebounds.

"It's good to have a good game," said Balderson. "Almost everything we do goes through our post guys so when they're getting double-teamed, there's going to be some openings on the perimeter. I'm just glad my shots went down tonight."

As a team, BYU shot 55 percent from the field, including a .540 clip from three-point range. The Rams shot a blistering 57 percent from the field, the highest efficiency allowed by the Cougars this season, in putting up the most points scored on BYU this year. The Rams also outrebounded the Cougars 34-25.

"What an incredible game," said CSU head coach Dale Layer. "Both teams played their hearts out. I thought the board work was what got us over the hump. Give BYU credit. I thought Trent (Plaisted) and Keena (Young) were tremendous."

BYU quickly established a presence in the post as Young and Plaisted scored the Cougars' first eight points of the game while CSU's two seven-footers, Jason Smith and Stuart Creason, each picked up an early foul, leading to an 8-6 BYU lead. But back-to-back buckets from the Rams swung the advantage back to the home team at 11-8.

The Cougars got a break at the 14:04 mark as Smith picked up his second foul and was forced to check out. However, the Rams kept up the pressure and held on to the lead at 18-13 despite a second foul on Creason.

Young heated up for BYU from there, recording back-to-back buckets to get the Cougars within one point at 18-17 with 10:10 left to play in the half. But the Rams responded with two straight makes of their own, including a three-pointer, to push the lead to 23-17. A dunk from Plaisted sparked a 10-2 BYU run as the Cougars drained two three-pointers to take a 27-25 lead.

The two teams traded scores from there until a third throw down from Plaisted followed by a short jumper from Fernando Malaman on the next BYU possession gave the Cougars their largest lead of the game to that point at 33-30 with 4:06 left in the half. Neither team would score back-to-back again in the first half as BYU held on to a 39-37 lead at the break. The Cougars ended the half with a 62 percent shooting mark (16-for-26) as Plaisted scored 14 points on .750 (6-for-8) shooting and Young added 10 points on .714 (5-for-7) shooting.

BYU jumped out to a 44-39 lead after halftime, including a three-pointer from Balderson, until a 7-0 Ram run gave CSU a 46-44 lead. But the Cougars responded with an 8-0 spurt of their own with four points each from Young and Balderson to retake the lead at 52-46. However, CSU put on a shooting clinic during a 23-5 run, making eight of 10 shots while allowing BYU just five free throws to take a 69-57 lead with 9:45 left to play.

The Cougars began climbing back into the game with a dunk from Plaisted and a three-pointer from Balderson to cut the lead to seven points, but the Rams' hot hand continued as BYU was unable to get a stop on the defensive end and CSU was unable to miss from the floor, leading to a 79-66 Ram lead with 5:20 left to play. The Cougars attempted a late rally with a 10-4 run to get within seven points, but it wasn't enough as the Rams pulled out the 90-78 win.

BYU's road swing continues in the coming week as the Cougars travel to face the New Mexico Lobos (12-8, 1-4 MWC) on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Albuquerque. The game will be televised on the MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.).

CLICK HERE to view postgame notes and quotes.

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

BYU vs Colorado State Rams

01/20/07 3:35 p.m. at Fort Collins, Colo. (Moby Arena)

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VISITORS: BYU 13-6, 3-2

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

03 YOUNG, Keena........ f 9-14 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 1 18 0 1 0 1 33

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... c 11-16 0-0 5-13 2 2 4 4 27 1 1 2 0 30

13 AINGE, Austin....... g 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 4 4 2 0 6 2 0 1 25

23 BALDERSON, Jimmy.... g 7-13 5-8 2-2 0 1 1 3 21 2 1 0 0 34

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ g 2-5 2-2 0-0 0 4 4 3 6 4 2 0 2 30

02 ROSE, Mike.......... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 3 0 1 1 0 0 15

10 IVANOVIC, Vuk....... 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 7

15 MALAMAN, Fernando... 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 4

24 MURDOCK, Ben........ 0-1 0-1 2-2 0 1 1 1 2 2 1 0 0 15

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 1 1 0 0 7

TEAM................ 3 2 5 1

Totals.............. 31-56 7-13 9-17 7 18 25 20 78 17 11 2 4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-26 61.5% 2nd Half: 15-30 50.0% Game: 55.4% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-5 60.0% 2nd Half: 4-8 50.0% Game: 53.8% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-8 50.0% 2nd Half: 5-9 55.6% Game: 52.9% 3

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HOME TEAM: Colorado State Rams 14-4, 4-2

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

14 SMITH, Jason........ f 7-9 0-0 2-2 2 4 6 3 16 4 4 1 0 26

30 CREASON, Stuart..... c 4-5 0-0 0-1 3 5 8 4 8 1 2 5 0 30

04 LEWIS, Cory......... g 3-6 1-1 2-2 0 5 5 1 9 7 2 0 3 34

12 DENSON, Tim......... g 5-12 3-3 5-6 0 2 2 2 18 4 2 0 1 32

33 GILLING, Stephan.... g 6-10 4-8 0-0 0 2 2 2 16 2 1 1 1 30

03 KILBY, Xavier....... 2-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 3 4 0 1 0 1 12

05 SMITH, Tyler........ 4-10 1-5 4-7 3 2 5 0 13 4 0 0 0 22

13 ROBINSON, Freddy.... 2-5 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 1 4 0 0 1 1 12

23 AGUILAR, Ronnie..... 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 2

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

Totals.............. 34-60 9-17 13-18 11 23 34 17 90 22 12 8 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-34 47.1% 2nd Half: 18-26 69.2% Game: 56.7% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-11 45.5% 2nd Half: 4-6 66.7% Game: 52.9% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 0-3 0.0% 2nd Half: 13-15 86.7% Game: 72.2% 2

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Officials: Bill Gracey, Darron George, Jim Danner

Technical fouls: BYU-None. Colorado State Rams-None.

Attendance: 5760

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU........................... 39 39 - 78

Colorado State Rams........... 37 53 - 90

ID-488650

Points in the paint-BY 34,CS 38. Points off turnovers-BY 16,CS 16.

2nd chance points-BY 5,CS 13. Fast break points-BY 7,CS 8.

Bench points-BY 6,CS 23. Score tied-8 times. Lead changes-10 times.

Tags: Results