Cougars Fall Short in Las Vegas Invitational Final

Trent Plaisted's double-double led the Cougars against the Tar Heels. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

LAS -- The BYU Cougars played the No. 1 University of North Carolina Tar Heels to six second-half lead changes and three ties before the Tar Heels won the game 73-63 to clinch the Las Vegas Invitational Championship.

UNC improved to 5-0 on 21 points by junior forward Tyler Hansbrough as the Cougars suffered their first loss of the season (5-1) despite the double-double effort of junior Trent Plaisted, who had 24 points and 17 rebounds.

"We competed, we fought hard and we battled," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "We played as well as we needed to play, but we just did not execute down the stretch like we needed to and that hurt us a lot. It is important for our guys to understand that we are not on the mountain top but that we are on our way up."

In a game that saw its starters all playing an average of just over 33 minutes, BYU also saw big offensive numbers put up by Jonathan Tavernari, Lee Cummard and Sam Burgess as they scored 18, 10 and nine points, respectively. Plaisted and Tavernari were each named to the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Invitational All-Tournament Team.

BYU came out of the locker room quickly in the second half as it only took four minutes to put together a 13-4 run to take a 44-42 lead. This fast second-half turnaround came as Plaisted hit his first four shots of the half and Tavernari his sixth three of the game.

The second half saw both teams with the lead numerous times and great defensive numbers. BYU held UNC to its second-lowest point total of the season and under 99 points for only the second time this season.

The Tar Heels were able to slowly open up their eventual final point total as they hit their only two three-pointers of the game and made it to the line 15 times in the second half, making 11 free throws. BYU trailed just 62-61 with four minutes left before North Carolina scored 11 of the game's final 13 points.

"BYU is a big time basketball team," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "For a while we were playing football under our basket and the same under theirs. It was a hard-fought game all around. BYU is very sound fundamentally. They were able to box out on the board just as well as anyone we have seen so far."

After leading by as many as 10 in the first half, UNC went into the locker up by seven, 38-31. The Cougars were able to cut into the UNC lead with a last-second three-pointer by Tavernari, his fifth of the half. Tavernari led BYU with 15 points in the first period, and Hansbrough led the Tar Heels with 11 first-half points.

Both schools shot very similarly from the field in the first stanza, near 43 percent, but the difference came from the free-throw line. The Tar Heels were able to get to the charity stripe nine more times than BYU and convert just as many more as they went 12-for-15 from the line in the first half.

BYU's only lead of the first half came with 12:24 on the clock as Plaisted converted on a short left-handed hook shot in the lane. That lead proved to be short-lived though as the Tar Heels took it right back on their next possession.

The Cougars will next be in action on Dec. 1 as they travel to take on the University of Portland. The game will take place in Portland, Ore., at 7 p.m. PT (8 p.m. MT).

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Official Basketball Box Score

No. 1 North Carolina vs BYU Cougars

11/24/07 7:30pm at Orleans Las Vegas Invitational

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VISITORS: No. 1 North Carolina 5-0

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

01 Marcus Ginyard...... * 3-6 0-0 3-4 1 2 3 0 9 1 0 0 1 30

05 Ty Lawson........... * 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

21 Deon Thompson....... * 3-8 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 4 7 0 2 1 2 20

22 Wayne Ellington..... * 6-15 1-5 2-2 0 6 6 2 15 0 3 0 0 35

50 Tyler Hansbrough.... * 6-11 0-0 9-9 3 5 8 3 21 1 3 0 1 34

04 Bobby Frasor........ 0-4 0-2 1-3 0 5 5 0 1 1 1 0 1 29

11 Quentin Thomas...... 1-1 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 1 10

13 Will Graves......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

14 Danny Green......... 4-11 1-4 5-6 2 0 2 2 14 1 0 1 3 21

32 Alex Stepheson...... 1-2 0-0 1-2 2 7 9 2 3 2 0 1 0 16

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

Totals.............. 24-59 2-11 23-30 13 26 39 13 73 6 10 3 9 198

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-30 43.3% 2nd Half: 11-29 37.9% Game: 40.7% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 0-6 0.0% 2nd Half: 2-5 40.0% Game: 18.2% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 12-15 80.0% 2nd Half: 11-15 73.3% Game: 76.7% 0

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HOME TEAM: BYU Cougars 5-1

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

20 BURGESS, Sam........ * 3-6 1-2 2-3 1 3 4 5 9 1 3 0 0 34

24 MURDOCK, Ben........ * 1-4 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 4 2 1 3 0 0 37

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ * 5-11 0-2 0-0 2 6 8 4 10 1 6 0 1 23

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... * 10-20 0-0 4-6 3 14 17 1 24 2 4 1 0 36

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. * 6-20 6-16 0-0 2 2 4 2 18 0 2 1 2 38

01 LOYD, JR., Michael.. 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3

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

10 IVANOVIC, Vuk....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 3

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 5

41 COLLINSWORTH, Chris. 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 3 4 2 0 0 2 0 1 15

54 MILES, Chris........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 5

TEAM................ 4 1 5

Totals.............. 25-62 7-23 6-9 14 29 43 24 63 6 21 2 4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-26 42.3% 2nd Half: 14-36 38.9% Game: 40.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-10 60.0% 2nd Half: 1-13 7.7% Game: 30.4% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 3-6 50.0% 2nd Half: 3-3 100 % Game: 66.7% 0

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Officials: Dave Libbey, Tom Spitznagel, Kevin Cutler

Technical fouls: No. 1 North Carolina-None. BYU Cougars-None.

Attendance: 5500

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

No. 1 North Carolina.......... 38 35 - 73

BYU Cougars................... 31 32 - 63

Points in the paint-NC 26,BY 22. Points off turnovers-NC 18,BY 9.

2nd chance points-NC 15,BY 13. Fast break points-NC 4,BY 0.

Bench points-NC 21,BY 0. Score tied-4 times. Lead changed-10 times.

Last FG-NC 2nd-02:33, BY 2nd-00:24.

Largest lead-NC by 10 1st-06:32, BY by 2 2nd-16:14.

Tags: Results