Cougars Drop Nail-Biter to Wyoming

Mike Hall's steal with just seconds left on the clock gave the Cougars a chance for victory but BYU could not make it happen, losing 59-58 to Wyoming. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- In another heart-breaker for the Cougars, the Wyoming Cowboys won 59-58 Saturday night in the Marriott Center, sweeping BYU for the first time since the 1996-97 season. Austin Ainge scored his tenth point on two free throws with two seconds left in the game, but could not convert the third to send the game into overtime.

"This season has been a test of character for our team," said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. "We have had a lot of close games, but we just can't get over the hump."

The Cougars powered their way through the Cowboys for most of the first half, leading by as many as six points. Later in the half, careless turnovers, missed free throws and an 0-8 shooting performance by team leader Mike Hall allowed the Cowboys to go on a 7-0 run, taking a 28-26 lead with less than 10 seconds to go.

But Cougar point guard Austin Ainge pulled up from beyond the arc and knocked down a three-pointer to regain the BYU lead. Despite the Cougars' 29.7 first half shooting mark, compared to the Cowboys 50 percent, BYU went into halftime with a 29-28.

The battle continued in the second half, with neither team being able to gain a comfortable lead. The Cougars' largest lead came after a Hall slam dunk and two three-pointers by Jimmy Balderson to give BYU a four-point advantage. That lead diminished quickly for the Cougars due to sharp shooting by Cowboy guard Jay Straight, who finished the game with 23 points.

Down the stretch, the Cougars trailed by three with 25 seconds left. The Cougars got one last chance to tie the game, but a Hall three-pointer came up short, giving the ball back to the Cowboys with five seconds left to play. However, on the out-of-bounds play, Hall stole the ball and dished it off to Ainge for a three-pointer to tie the game. Ainge missed the shot but was fouled and left to shoot three free throws to send the game into overtime. Ainge would hit his first two free throws but the Cougars would come up short by one point after a missed third free throw that bounced in and out of the basket.

Balderson led BYU with 11 points, his fourth straight game in double-figures. Keena Young pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. The Cougars continued their shooting woes in the second half and ended the game with their lowest shooting percentage this year at 30 percent. The Cougars also finished the game shooting 30.8 percent from the charity stripe.

At 8-16 and 2-7 in league play, the Cougars play another home game against Colorado State Monday night before heading out on the road to face New Mexico and Air Force. The Cougars and the Rams will meet Monday at 8 p.m. and will be televised by SportsWest Productions on UPN-Z24 in Utah.

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

Wyoming vs Brigham Young

02/12/05 7:05 at Marriott Center, Provo, Utah

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VISITORS: Wyoming 14-8, 6-3

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

02 WEBB, Jerry......... f 1-3 0-1 0-0 1 5 6 3 2 2 2 0 1 19

13 DUNN, Alex.......... f 1-3 0-0 2-6 2 10 12 2 4 1 3 0 0 33

21 WILLIAMS, Justin.... c 5-8 0-0 1-2 0 5 5 4 11 0 1 4 0 25

00 SHERRELL, Dion...... g 4-8 1-3 0-2 0 4 4 3 9 1 3 0 3 30

03 STRAIGHT, Jay....... g 6-15 2-7 9-10 0 3 3 1 23 5 3 0 1 40

01 LEVEN, Steve........ 2-4 0-2 0-0 1 2 3 2 4 1 3 1 1 20

05 LEWIS, Kevin........ 2-2 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 5 0 1 0 0 10

34 ANDERSON, Chris..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4

54 WABBINGTON, Derek... 0-1 0-0 1-2 0 1 1 3 1 0 1 1 0 19

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

Totals.............. 21-44 4-14 13-22 6 33 39 19 59 10 17 6 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-22 50.0% 2nd Half: 10-22 45.5% Game: 47.7% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-6 16.7% 2nd Half: 3-8 37.5% Game: 28.6% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 5-11 45.5% 2nd Half: 8-11 72.7% Game: 59.1% 1

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HOME TEAM: Brigham Young 8-16, 2-7

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

01 HALL, Mike.......... f 3-16 1-9 2-4 0 0 0 4 9 2 0 0 2 33

03 YOUNG, Keena........ f 2-7 0-0 3-6 3 5 8 2 7 1 0 1 1 26

43 DAWES, Derek........ c 1-6 0-0 3-4 3 2 5 2 5 1 1 0 0 20

13 AINGE, Austin....... g 3-8 2-5 2-3 0 4 4 3 10 3 3 0 0 36

23 BALDERSON, Jimmy.... g 4-7 3-5 0-0 4 3 7 5 11 0 4 0 3 28

02 ROSE, Mike.......... 2-5 2-5 0-0 0 1 1 0 6 1 1 0 0 17

10 NASHIF, Terry....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 2

20 BURGESS, Sam........ 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4

52 JENSEN, Jared....... 1-4 0-0 4-4 1 3 4 4 6 0 0 0 0 20

54 MILES, Chris........ 2-5 0-0 0-2 1 5 6 1 4 0 1 0 0 14

TEAM................ 5 1 6

Totals.............. 18-60 8-26 14-23 17 25 42 23 58 8 11 1 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-37 29.7% 2nd Half: 7-23 30.4% Game: 30.0% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 4-15 26.7% 2nd Half: 4-11 36.4% Game: 30.8% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 3-6 50.0% 2nd Half: 11-17 64.7% Game: 60.9% 1

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Officials: Bob Staffen, Tim Gabutero, Mike Giarratano

Technical fouls: Wyoming-None. Brigham Young-None.

Attendance: 10996

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Wyoming....................... 28 31 - 59

Brigham Young................. 29 29 - 58

Points in the paint-WY 24,BY 18. Points off turnovers-WY 13,BY 21.

2nd chance points-WY 1,BY 8. Fast break points-WY 10,BY 4.

Bench points-WY 10,BY 16. Score tied-12 times. Lead changes-7 times.

Tags: Results