Cougars Hold Off Dons for Eighth Straight Win | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Cougars Hold Off Dons for Eighth Straight Win

PROVO -- A rigid defense allowed BYU to overcome a shaky shooting night from the field as the Cougars extended their home winning streak to 28 straight games with a 65-51 victory over San Francisco in the Marriott Center Wednesday. BYU improved to 10-2 on the year with the win while the Dons fell to 4-8.

BYU won its eighth straight game, the team's longest winning streak since running off 13 straight in the 1992-1993 season, and improved their record to 10-2 on the season, the best start for the team since the 1999-2000 campaign when the Cougars started the season 12-2.

"This happened to be a night when we did not shoot well but we found a way to win the game," BYU head coach Steve Cleveland said. "Both our seniors played very well. Matt Montague was outstanding."

Montague led the Cougars on both ends of the floor, tying his season high with 11 points and a career high with two three-pointers. the senior point guard tied a career high defensively with five steals and tied a season high for rebounds with seven.

Montague seems to come up with big nights every time he faces the Dons. He has hit two treys in a game only three times in his career, two of those coming against San Francisco. In the past two seasons he has scored in double figures only three times, two of those coming against the Dons.

Senior forward Eric Nielsen was the team's leading rebounder with eight boards and was one of four Cougars to finish the night in double figures with 12 points. Mark Bigelow once again led the Cougar scorers with 15 points. Freshman center Jared Jensen added 10 points.

"Eric Nielsen had the task of defending the Dons' best player," Cleveland said. "He did a nice job on him, especially in the second half."

The Cougars trailed by as many as five points early in the game but took a 12-11 lead over San Francisco on two Travis Hansen free throws with just over 14 minutes to go in the first half. After taking the one-point lead, BYU stayed up on the scoreboard for the rest of the game.

"This is the type of possession game that we will have throughout January and February," Cleveland said. "Our young men are beginning to learn the urgency of every possession, especially against teams that make runs at you."

The Cougar defense helped BYU to keep the lead despite several Don runs that kept the game close. After BYU took a 44-31 lead early in the second half, San Francisco pulled to within three points with just over 12 minutes to go in the game. But the Cougars were able to withstand each run as it came. BYU shot only 43 percent from the floor, including a 29 percent clip from three-point range, but held the Dons to 40 percent shooting, including a 3-21 effort from behind the arc.

The Cougars have gotten off to fast starts throughout the season, going to the lockers with a halftime lead in every game this season except once, when they trailed Stanford by one at the break. BYU had a season high nine steals against the Dons.

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

University of San Francisco vs BRIGHAM YOUNG Cougars

01/02/02 7:05 at Marriott Center, Provo, Utah

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VISITORS: University of San Francisco 4-8

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

03 TUCKER, Darrell..... f 6-12 1-3 3-4 1 6 7 2 16 2 3 0 1 28

33 COX, John........... f 4-9 1-4 0-0 1 5 6 1 9 0 2 0 0 33

35 BREWER, Hondre...... c 3-4 0-0 2-2 1 2 3 4 8 1 2 2 0 29

11 RUSSELL, LyRyan..... g 2-3 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 4 4 4 1 0 1 34

13 STALLWORTH, Shamell. g 0-4 0-2 2-2 1 3 4 2 2 0 2 0 0 22

01 AKINSETE, Tayo...... 1-8 0-4 0-0 0 0 0 3 2 0 1 0 1 20

05 GAINES, Jason....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6

10 BROWNLEE, Scepter... 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 1

15 CHAMBERS, Michael... 3-9 1-7 1-1 0 3 3 2 8 1 4 0 0 23

21 GUMBS, Jerome....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

32 NAYLOR, Anthony..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

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

Totals.............. 20-50 3-21 8-9 6 24 30 18 51 8 15 2 3 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-27 44.4% 2nd Half: 8-23 34.8% Game: 40.0% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-7 14.3% 2nd Half: 2-14 14.3% Game: 14.3% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 6-7 85.7% 2nd Half: 2-2 100 % Game: 88.9% 0

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HOME TEAM: BRIGHAM YOUNG Cougars 10-2

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

03 BIGELOW, Mark....... f 4-11 1-3 6-6 0 2 2 0 15 1 0 0 0 34

25 NIELSEN, Eric....... f 5-8 0-0 2-3 1 7 8 3 12 3 1 2 0 37

52 JENSEN, Jared....... c 5-10 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 1 10 0 1 1 1 27

02 HANSEN, Travis...... g 2-7 1-4 4-4 2 4 6 4 9 2 2 1 1 27

31 MONTAGUE, Matt...... g 3-4 2-2 3-4 1 6 7 0 11 7 0 0 5 39

04 PINEGAR, Jesse...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

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

20 BOBIK, Daniel....... 1-6 0-4 0-0 0 2 2 2 2 2 4 0 2 16

22 BALDERSON, Jimmy.... 0-1 0-1 2-2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2

32 JEPSEN, Bart........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

40 HOWARD, Dan......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

42 CARLISLE, Jon....... 1-2 0-0 2-4 1 2 3 2 4 1 1 2 0 13

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

Totals.............. 21-49 4-14 19-23 7 25 32 12 65 16 9 6 9 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-25 52.0% 2nd Half: 8-24 33.3% Game: 42.9% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 4-6 66.7% 2nd Half: 0-8 0.0% Game: 28.6% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 6-8 75.0% 2nd Half: 13-15 86.7% Game: 82.6% 1

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Officials: Lonnie Dixon, Dan Chrisman, Greg Burks

Technical fouls: University of San Francisco-None. BRIGHAM YOUNG

Cougars-None.

Attendance: 8453

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

University of San Francisco... 31 20 - 51

BRIGHAM YOUNG Cougars......... 36 29 - 65