Cougars Outshoot Air Force

Trent Plaisted scored a game-high 20 points against Air Force on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- With its 76-57 win over Air Force on Saturday, the No. 25 BYU men's basketball team improved to 23-6 on the season and 12-2 in Mountain West Conference play. The Cougars also extended the nation's longest active homecourt winning streak to 46 games.

"We're at this difficult point and the stakes are high, but this is what we started the whole season to be," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "We knew what the challenge would be, and we're ready to take that on and finish strong."

Trent Plaisted's 20 points led four Cougars scoring in double figures. Jonathan Tavernari added 12 points, with Lee Cummard and Jimmer Fredette contributing 10 points apiece. Cummard also secured a team-high eight rebounds.

Plaisted started things off for the Cougars, scoring the first points of the game on a made lay-in. Tough defensive efforts by BYU held the Falcons to only one made free throw in the first five minutes of play. Shots continued to fall for Plaisted as he scored his 10th point of the game with 14:51 remaining in the first half.

Down by eight points, Air Force battled back to tie the score at 14-14 with 9:30 to play in the half. Turnovers kept both teams off the scoreboard until back-to-back threes by Ben Murdock and Michael Loyd, Jr. gave BYU the advantage at 20-16.

Air Force's Eric Kenzik brought his team to within two points after a successful trip to the free-throw line and a made jumper. The comeback attempt proved unsuccessful as Lee Cummard scored five straight points for BYU as the first half wound down. Fredette's make from beyond the arc gave the Cougars a 32-24 lead heading into the locker room.

Plaisted started the second half much like he started the first. His five-point contribution was capped off by a two-handed dunk with 17:29 to play in the game. BYU went on to outscore Air Force 28-5 in the first 10 minutes of the half.

"I thought we came out strong in the second half with confidence," said Rose. "We were more aggressive on the weak side and were able to stop the penetration from the first half."

A creative, over-and-behind-the-head pass from Tavernari to Plaisted set up the junior's second dunk of the night with just over 13 minutes remaining. Everything from long distance seemed to fall for the Cougars, as Loyd, Tavernari and Burgess combined for four consecutive three-pointers, bringing the lead to 63-31.

With less than 10 minutes to play in the game, Air Force scored 15 points from the free-throw line to cut into the Cougars' 30-point lead. Fredette's five-point run in the last 1:16 of the game helped maintain BYU's comfortable lead.

Up next the Cougars will host Wyoming in their last home game of the season. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live on The Mtn. Seniors Vuk Ivanovic, Ben Murdock and Sam Burgess will be honored prior to their final home game in a Cougar uniform.

CLICK HERE for postgame notes and quotes.

Official Basketball Box Score

Air Force vs BYU Cougars

03/01/08 7:05 p.m. at Marriott Center, Provo, Utah

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VISITORS: Air Force 14-13, 6-8 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

12 ANDERSON, Tim....... * 4-13 0-2 1-2 1 2 3 1 9 0 1 0 4 30

31 HOLLAND, Matt....... * 1-4 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 12

35 WASHINGTON, Evan.... * 3-9 1-2 2-2 0 3 3 0 9 2 0 0 1 38

42 JOHNSON, Anwar...... * 1-3 0-0 3-6 3 1 4 3 5 0 4 0 0 31

44 MAREN, Keith........ * 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 9

10 HENKE, Andrew....... 3-11 0-3 8-10 1 7 8 1 14 3 3 0 0 29

14 HOOD, Adam.......... 1-5 0-1 4-4 0 2 2 0 6 1 2 0 1 9

21 BROWN, Phillip...... 2-4 0-1 2-2 0 4 4 2 6 0 0 3 0 13

24 BROOKS, Derek....... 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 11

32 KENZIK, Eric........ 1-3 0-0 2-2 2 3 5 4 4 1 0 0 1 18

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

Totals.............. 17-54 1-12 22-28 9 26 35 15 57 7 11 3 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-26 38.5% 2nd Half: 7-28 25.0% Game: 31.5% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 0-4 0.0% 2nd Half: 1-8 12.5% Game: 8.3% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-6 66.7% 2nd Half: 18-22 81.8% Game: 78.6% 1

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HOME TEAM: BYU Cougars 23-6, 12-2 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

20 BURGESS, Sam........ * 3-3 3-3 0-0 1 4 5 4 9 2 2 0 1 19

24 MURDOCK, Ben........ * 1-5 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 1 3 4 1 1 1 26

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ * 2-6 1-1 5-6 2 6 8 2 10 3 1 3 1 29

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... * 7-11 0-0 6-9 0 3 3 1 20 1 5 0 0 26

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. * 4-8 2-4 2-2 0 3 3 1 12 3 0 1 1 23

01 LOYD, JR., Michael.. 2-3 2-3 0-0 0 3 3 2 6 3 2 0 0 11

05 ROSE, Archie........ 0-1 0-1 0-1 0 1 1 3 0 1 1 0 0 6

14 MARTINEAU, Nick..... 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 5

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... 4-6 2-2 0-0 0 3 3 2 10 1 1 0 1 24

41 COLLINSWORTH, Chris. 1-5 0-2 0-0 1 6 7 3 2 2 0 1 0 20

54 MILES, Chris........ 2-3 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 4 1 1 0 0 11

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

Totals.............. 26-53 11-20 13-18 5 33 38 20 76 21 14 6 5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-20 50.0% 2nd Half: 16-33 48.5% Game: 49.1% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-8 62.5% 2nd Half: 6-12 50.0% Game: 55.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 7-10 70.0% 2nd Half: 6-8 75.0% Game: 72.2% 1

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Officials: David Hall, Kelly Self, Bobby McRoy

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

Attendance: 17427

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Air Force..................... 24 33 - 57

BYU Cougars................... 32 44 - 76

Points in the paint-AF 22,BY 28. Points off turnovers-AF 15,BY 11.

2nd chance points-AF 2,BY 2. Fast break points-AF 2,BY 8.

Bench points-AF 32,BY 22. Score tied-1 time. Lead changed-0 times.

Last FG-AF 2nd-00:29, BY 2nd-00:47.

Largest lead-AF None, BY by 32 2nd-10:01.

Tags: Results