Cougars Fall to No. 9 Michigan State

Sam Burgess scored 15 points in BYU's loss to Michigan State on Saturday

SALT LAKE -- Despite a 10-point halftime lead, the No. 20 BYU men's basketball team lost a heartbreaking game, 68-61, to No. 9 Michigan State on Saturday at EnergySolutions Arena. With the loss the Cougars fall to 7-2 on the season with both losses coming against top-10 teams.

"What I am real pleased with is how our team battled," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "We had a lot of opportunities, and they just slipped away. If we could have executed better we could have won this game."

Junior Trent Plaisted scored a game-high 17 points and remains the only Cougar to score in double figures in every game this season. Sam Burgess also scored in double figures for the Cougars with 12 points.

MSU won the opening tipoff, but the Cougars' strong defensive play started early with Lee Cummard blocking the Spartans' first shot of the game. Back-to-back MSU turnovers helped set up Plaisted's turn-around jumper, BYU's first points of the contest.

Quick passing led to a Burgess three-pointer, and Jonathan Tavernari followed with an NBA-range three of his own less than a minute later, putting BYU up 11-2 with just under 14 minutes left in the half. Two field goals by Cummard contributed to a 14-4 BYU run.

The Cougars' largest lead of the half came after a lay-up by Plaisted put BYU up by 14. Tavernari hit his second three-pointer of the game with 3:23 remaining in the first half. The sophomore has now scored at least twice from behind-the-arc in every game this season.

Multiple BYU turnovers at the conclusion of the first half allowed the Spartans to climb within 10 points at 35-25. The Cougars have now led at halftime in eight of nine games this year, going 7-1 in those games. The Spartans' 25 first-half points marked a season low for Michigan State.

"In the first half we got totally out played," said Spartan head coach Tom Izzo. "I am very impressed with BYU. We had a tough stretch of play in the first half, and they went through a tough stretch in the second half. It was two good teams battling it out."

Coming out of the break, the Spartans quickly diminished the Cougars' lead, going on a 14-3 run to post their first lead of the game at 39-38. During the run, MSU went a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and 2-for-2 from the three-point line.

With 12:27 remaining in the game, Plaisted was sent to the free-throw line, knocking down both shots to put BYU back on top 40-39. The Spartans scored a field goal on their next possession, but Jimmer Fredette's three-pointer put the Cougars back up by two. Over the next eight minutes, the lead would change nine times.

Trading baskets down the stretch, neither team was able to establish a commanding lead. With 7:20 left in the game, BYU found itself up by four points after a three-point play by Burgess. But the Spartans continued to make shots, eventually regaining the lead.

"They came out a lot more physical and aggressive in the second half, and we seemed to play like we were in a hurry," said Rose.

Trailing by four points with 1:33 remaining, BYU regained control of the ball after an MSU shot-clock violation. The Cougars were unable to convert however, and continued to foul the Spartans for the remainder of the game.

Up next the Cougars will return home to the Marriott Center to host Lamar on Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be televised on The Mtn. BYU currently owns the nation's second-longest active home victory streak in the nation at 35 games.

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Official Basketball Box Score

No. 9 Michigan State Spartans vs No. 20 BYU Cougars

12/08/07 2:07 p.m. at EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City

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VISITORS: No. 9 Michigan State Spartans 8-1 Big Ten

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

02 MORGAN, Raymar...... f 7-11 0-2 3-5 6 0 6 3 15 1 6 0 2 31

41 GRAY, Marquise...... f 1-2 0-0 0-0 2 0 2 3 2 0 2 0 0 11

14 SUTON, Goran........ c 5-10 0-0 2-3 3 10 13 2 12 2 1 0 3 33

05 WALTON, Travis...... g 3-4 0-0 6-6 1 3 4 2 12 3 0 0 0 23

11 NEITZEL, Drew....... g 6-14 3-9 0-0 0 2 2 2 15 2 2 0 0 32

00 IBOK, Idong......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2

01 LUCAS, Kalin........ 0-7 0-2 2-2 2 1 3 1 4 2 1 0 1 21

03 ALLEN, Chris........ 1-6 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 7

15 SUMMERS, Durrell.... 1-2 0-0 0-0 2 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 10

34 NAYMICK, Drew....... 2-2 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 2 4 0 0 2 1 30

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

Totals.............. 26-58 3-14 13-16 18 19 37 17 68 10 12 2 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-34 29.4% 2nd Half: 16-24 66.7% Game: 44.8% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 0-8 0.0% 2nd Half: 3-6 50.0% Game: 21.4% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 5-7 71.4% 2nd Half: 8-9 88.9% Game: 81.3% 0

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HOME TEAM: No. 20 BYU Cougars 7-2 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... f 7-13 0-0 3-8 2 6 8 0 17 2 3 1 0 37

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. f 3-11 2-6 0-0 2 2 4 1 8 0 2 0 1 31

20 BURGESS, Sam........ g 4-8 3-6 1-2 2 1 3 2 12 4 2 1 0 35

24 MURDOCK, Ben........ g 2-7 2-7 2-2 0 3 2 4 8 3 3 1 0 38

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ g 3-3 1-1 2-2 0 1 2 5 9 2 2 1 0 20

01 LOYD, JR., Michael.. 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

10 IVANOVIC, Vuk....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 4

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... 1-4 1-4 0-0 0 0 0 1 3 1 1 0 0 13

41 COLLINSWORTH, Chris. 1-1 0-0 2-2 2 1 3 2 4 0 1 0 0 19

54 MILES, Chris........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1

TEAM................ 4 3 7

Totals.............. 21-47 9-24 10-16 12 17 29 17 61 13 15 4 1 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-24 58.3% 2nd Half: 7-23 30.4% Game: 44.7% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-10 50.0% 2nd Half: 4-14 28.6% Game: 37.5% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 2-3 66.7% 2nd Half: 8-13 61.5% Game: 62.5% 1

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Officials: Donnee Gray, Rick Hartzell, Terry Wymer

Technical fouls: No. 9 Michigan State Spartans-None. No. 20 BYU

Cougars-None.

Attendance: 16412

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

No. 9 Michigan State Spartans. 25 43 - 68

No. 20 BYU Cougars............ 35 26 - 61

Points in the paint-MICHST 28,BY 12. Points off turnovers-MICHST 13,BY 12.

2nd chance points-MICHST 19,BY 9. Fast break points-MICHST 4,BY 0.

Bench points-MICHST 10,BY 7. Score tied-4 times. Lead changed-12 times.

Last FG-MICHST 2nd-02:19, BY 2nd-00:20.

Largest lead-MICHST by 8 2nd-00:29, BY by 14 1st-03:26.

Tags: Results