Cougars Fall in MWC Opener

Keena Young scored a career-high 16 points while adding a career-high-tying 11 rebounds off the bench Thursday night at Air Force. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

USAFA -- The Cougars opened up Mountain West Conference play with a 75-59 loss Thursday night at Air Force, falling to 8-4 on the season and 0-1 in the MWC.

"The loss was a compilation of a lot of things," said BYU Coach Dave Rose. "We didn't get good looks at the basket and when we did, we didn't make them. We didn't keep our composure offensively. We turned the ball over too much and never got into a good flow in the first half. We got down big and then had to fight from behind the whole time."

In a game reminiscent of last season's 70-39 loss at Air Force, which began with a 19-0 Falcon lead, BYU came out cold to start the game, allowing Air Force to open up with a 10-1 run. Brock Reichner, the Cougars' lone senior, recorded BYU's first seven points on a free throw and back-to-back three-pointers to cut the lead to 10-7.

However, the Falcons responded with an 11-0 run to take a 21-7 lead. Keena Young ended the 5:32 BYU scoring drought with a make from underneath the basket at the 10:41 mark, the first Cougar besides Reichner to score, but the Falcons continued to light up the scoreboard as they led by as many as 26 points in the first half. However, despite Air Force making eight three-pointers in the first half while BYU made just nine baskets, the Cougars put together a 7-0 spurt to end the half and cut the lead to 42-23.

BYU's comeback magic continued to start the second half as the Cougars added to their scoring streak with an 8-2 run to begin the second period of play, cutting the lead to 44-31. BYU held the Falcons without a bucket for 5:09 in the half after Air Force scored the first bucket of the period.

The BYU bench contributed to most of the Cougars' second-half scoring, recording 32 of BYU's 59 points in the game, as the Cougars tried to find the right scoring combination. But BYU could not complete the comeback as Air Force's lead proved too large to overcome. Despite the Cougars actually outscoring the Falcons 36-33 in the second half, they could get no closer than 12 points at 63-51 at the 5:41 mark, eventually falling by 16 points, their largest margin of defeat this season.

Young proved to be a bright spot for BYU in the loss as he scored a career-high 16 points while tying his career-best with 11 rebounds to record the second double-double of his career. Young and Reichner combined for 29 of BYU's 59 points as Reichner added 13 to Young's total, his eighth game scoring in double figures. The two combined to shoot 13-for-23 from the field. Austin Ainge and Mike Rose each recorded six points in 15 and eight minutes off the bench, respectively. Rashaun Broadus was BYU's top assist maker with four but struggled from the floor, shooting 1-for-7 on the night.

"Keena Young picked up really well in the second half," said Rose. "It was obvious how much better our offense was when he was able to get in there and make some moves."

As a team, BYU shot 41 percent from the field (24-for-59) while allowing Air Force to shoot 52 percent from the floor (24-for-56), including 44 percent from three-point range (11-for-25). The Cougars outrebounded the Falcons 37-27, resulting in a season-high 22 second-chance points compared to just seven for Air Force.

The Cougars have little time to rest after the loss as they head home to face in-state rival Utah on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Utes are 8-4 on the season and 1-0 in the MWC after opening league play with a win over New Mexico on Wednesday in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised on ESPN+ (KJZZ-TV in Utah) and can be heard live on KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM).

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

BYU vs Air Force

1/5/06 9:05 p.m. at USAFA, Colo. -- Clune Arena

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VISITORS: BYU 8-4, 0-1 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

15 MALAMAN, Fernando... f 2-6 0-2 0-0 0 4 4 3 4 2 0 1 1 27

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... f 2-3 0-0 1-4 0 0 0 3 5 1 3 2 0 22

01 BROADUS, Rashaun.... g 1-7 0-2 0-0 0 4 4 0 2 4 5 0 0 25

11 REICHNER, Brock..... g 5-12 2-4 1-2 3 0 3 3 13 0 2 0 0 32

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ g 1-2 1-1 0-0 0 3 3 4 3 1 2 0 0 14

02 ROSE, Mike.......... 2-4 2-4 0-0 0 0 0 1 6 1 0 0 0 9

03 YOUNG, Keena........ 8-11 0-0 0-0 5 6 11 2 16 1 1 1 2 26

04 EMERY, Jackson...... 1-3 0-1 2-3 2 2 4 2 4 2 0 0 0 17

13 AINGE, Austin....... 2-6 0-1 2-2 0 0 0 1 6 2 0 0 0 15

23 BALDERSON, Jimmy.... 0-3 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 8

43 DAWES, Derek........ 0-2 0-0 0-0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 5

TEAM................ 5 5

Totals.............. 24-59 5-17 6-11 17 20 37 20 59 14 14 4 3 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 9-25 36.0% 2nd Half: 15-34 44.1% Game: 40.7% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-9 33.3% 2nd Half: 2-8 25.0% Game: 29.4% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 2-4 50.0% 2nd Half: 4-7 57.1% Game: 54.5% 2

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HOME TEAM: Air Force 13-1, 1-0 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

21 BURTSCHI, Jacob..... f 6-7 2-2 0-3 0 5 5 3 14 3 3 0 1 32

34 NWAELELE, Dan....... f 5-9 2-6 8-8 2 4 6 4 20 4 2 0 2 31

54 FRYE, John.......... c 1-3 0-1 2-4 2 2 4 3 4 2 1 2 1 30

05 McCRAW, Matt........ g 3-10 2-8 1-2 0 3 3 2 9 3 0 0 3 40

15 HOOD, Antoine....... g 7-11 3-5 5-5 0 4 4 3 22 3 3 1 1 37

10 HENKE, Andrew....... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 4

12 ANDERSON, Tim....... 2-5 2-3 0-0 1 1 2 0 6 1 0 1 0 20

33 WALKER, Ben......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

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

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

Totals.............. 24-46 11-25 16-22 6 21 27 15 75 17 11 4 8 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-27 55.6% 2nd Half: 9-19 47.4% Game: 52.2% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 8-16 50.0% 2nd Half: 3-9 33.3% Game: 44.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-6 66.7% 2nd Half: 12-16 75.0% Game: 72.7% 2

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Officials: Scott Thornley, David Hall, Ruben Ramos

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

Attendance: 3626

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU........................... 23 36 - 59

Air Force..................... 42 33 - 75

Points in the paint-BY 16,AF 20. Points off turnovers-BY 6,AF 11.

2nd chance points-BY 22,AF 7. Fast break points-BY 2,AF 4.

Bench points-BY 32,AF 6. Score tied-0 times. Lead changes-0 times.

Tags: Results