Cougars Comeback in Second Half to Down Tulsa

Lee Cummard hit 9-of-13 from the field and 8-of-10 from the free throw line for 26 points against Tulsa. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

TULSA -- A rusty BYU men’s basketball team was able to shake off a sluggish first half en route to a close 74-68 victory over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Saturday at the Reynolds Center. The Cougars are now 11-1 on the year while the Golden Hurricane fall to 8-5.

Team captain Lee Cummard led all scorers with 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting with fellow captain Jonathan Tavernari pouring in 20 points by going 9-of-17 from the field. Jimmer Fredette contributed 13 points and the Cougars shot 53 percent overall in the game.

“It was a great college basketball game,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. “It had the feel of a January or February conference game, and though we could have played better, we made enough plays to win the game.”

Tulsa was led by guard Justin Hurtt, who scored 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field with Ben Uzoh and Jerome Jordan scoring 15 and 13 points, respectively. Jordan had five offensive rebounds in the game, but was held to two points in the second half.

Trailing 35-31 at halftime, the Cougars came out with a balanced attack with multiple scorers getting into the mix with Cummard, Fredette and Tavernari converting buckets to stay in close range, trailing 40-44 early in the second half.

“Tulsa is built on getting rebounds and wearing you down over the stretch of the game,” Rose said. “Luckily we got to the free throw line enough times and we stayed competitive. We played at our pace and got them out of their rhythm.”

The Cougars pulled ahead 45-44 as Tavernari made a big three-pointer following a Cummard basket. The duo kept the team intact by helping BYU maintain a 50-49 lead. Fredette proceeded to score a circus layup accompanied by a Tulsa foul. Lamont Morgan then hit a shot to force a Hurricane timeout with a 59-53 lead.

BYU slowly pulled away with Cummard and Fredette going 4-for-4 from the free-throw line with Tavernari making a bucket en route to its largest lead of the game at 67-59. Hurtt and Uzoh kept it close, but Cummard made 5-of-6 crucial free throws at the end to seal the victory for the Cougars.

The Cougars jumped to a quick start in the first half with a pair of free throws by Miles and Cummard while Tavernari contributed a few quick layups.

The Golden Hurricane fought back to trim the Cougar lead to 17-14 after Jordan converted two buckets with Uzoh pouring in consecutive shots. Tulsa then went on a rampant shooting streak to jump to a 32-24 lead when Hurtt made two big three-pointers and an easy dunk off a rebound while Jordan also put in a dunk off a missed shot.

The Cougars managed to climb back off a difficult Jackson Emery trey and a Tavernari jump shot to cut the deficit to 35-31 at halftime.

Tavernari led BYU with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the first half with Cummard putting in nine points on 4-of-7 shooting. Emery and Chris Miles had five and four points, respectively, in the opening half.

Interestingly, the Cougars shot nearly 50 percent from the field in the first half by going 13-of-28 from the field, but didn’t own possession of the ball nearly as much as Tulsa. The Hurricane managed 37 percent on 15-of-40 shooting. The Cougars shot just 1-of-7 from 3-point range in the first half.

The Cougars will now look to a big date with No. 6 Wake Forest on Jan. 3 at the Marriott Center. Approximately 2,000 tickets remain for the game against the Demon Deacons. Fans can purchase tickets online at www.byutickets.com or the BYU Ticket Office.

The ticket office is closed until Saturday at noon. Fans are encouraged to get tickets as soon as possible online to avoid long lines around game time. The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

“We are excited to play Wake Forest,” Rose said. “We don’t get many opportunities to play teams like this on our home court and we hope to make the most of the experience. They’re a talented team, but our guys will be ready to play another big game.”

CLICK HERE for postgame notes and quotes.


Official Basketball Box Score

BYU vs Tulsa

12/30/08 7:05 p.m. at Tulsa, Okla. (Reynolds Center)

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VISITORS: BYU 11-1

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

04 EMERY, Jackson...... * 2-5 1-3 0-0 0 6 6 0 5 1 0 1 0 19

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ * 9-13 0-2 8-10 0 2 2 3 26 2 0 1 0 31

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... * 5-12 0-2 3-3 0 1 1 4 13 2 6 0 1 36

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. * 9-17 2-5 0-0 2 8 10 2 20 1 2 1 4 36

54 MILES, Chris........ * 2-4 0-0 3-6 3 4 7 3 7 2 0 0 0 25

01 ABOUO, Charles...... 0-1 0-0 1-2 1 5 6 1 1 1 2 0 1 25

02 MORGAN, JR., Lamont. 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 2 0 0 9

05 ROSE, Archie........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 4

34 HARTSOCK, Noah...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

53 MACGREGOR, Gavin.... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 12

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

Totals.............. 28-53 3-12 15-21 7 32 39 16 74 9 13 3 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-27 48.1% 2nd Half: 15-26 57.7% Game: 52.8% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-7 14.3% 2nd Half: 2-5 40.0% Game: 25.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-6 66.7% 2nd Half: 11-15 73.3% Game: 71.4% 1

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HOME TEAM: Tulsa 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

01 UZOH, Ben........... * 6-19 0-5 3-4 0 1 1 2 15 3 0 1 6 38

22 ANDREWS, Glenn...... * 3-12 1-6 0-0 1 1 2 1 7 0 1 0 1 18

23 JORDAN, Jerome...... * 5-10 0-0 3-4 5 9 14 3 13 1 2 1 0 33

45 MITCHELL, Sam....... * 3-6 0-0 0-0 2 4 6 2 6 0 1 0 0 24

53 REESE, Ray.......... * 2-10 1-4 0-1 1 1 2 4 5 2 1 0 1 26

11 IDLET, Steven....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6

12 WHEATLEY, Bishop.... 2-4 0-0 1-2 1 5 6 5 5 2 1 0 0 30

15 HURTT, Justin....... 5-11 2-6 5-6 4 1 5 0 17 0 1 0 0 24

33 RICHARD, Joe........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

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

Totals.............. 26-72 4-21 12-17 15 23 38 17 68 8 7 2 8 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-40 37.5% 2nd Half: 11-32 34.4% Game: 36.1% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-10 20.0% 2nd Half: 2-11 18.2% Game: 19.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 3-4 75.0% 2nd Half: 9-13 69.2% Game: 70.6% 4

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Officials: David Hall, Steve Welmer, Verne Harris

Technical fouls: BYU-None. Tulsa-None.

Attendance: 5545

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU........................... 31 43 - 74

Tulsa......................... 35 33 - 68

Points in the paint-BY 34,TLS 30. Points off turnovers-BY 7,TLS 8.

2nd chance points-BY 11,TLS 23. Fast break points-BY 4,TLS 0.

Bench points-BY 3,TLS 22. Score tied-1 time. Lead changed-8 times.

Last FG-BY 2nd-03:21, TLS 2nd-00:13.

Largest lead-BY by 9 2nd-05:36, TLS by 8 1st-03:40.

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Tags: Results