Cougars Repeat In The Huntsman Center

Lee Cummard scored a game-high 19 points to lead BYU to victory at Utah on Saturday. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

Cougars Now Lead Deseret First Duel Rivalry Series, 21-6

SALT LAKE -- The BYU men's basketball team made itself at home in the Huntsman Center Saturday, getting a 55-52 win over Utah to improve to 13-5 on the year and 2-1 in Mountain West Conference play. Including a 76-66 win last year, the Cougars have now won two straight in the Huntsman Center for the first time since the 1983-84 and 1984-85 seasons and three straight over Utah overall. BYU also improved its overall lead to 21-6 over the Utes in the newly created Deseret First Duel rivalry series.

"Our team this season has really won games with their offense. But when you get into conference play, everyone's competing and playing hard and you have to be able to win games in a lot of different ways. We really showed ourselves tonight that we could do that. We weren't the best offensively, but our defense got it done. This is a big win for us."

Junior guard Lee Cummard once again filled the stat sheet as he posted a game-high 19 points along with a team-high nine rebounds, two steals and one assist. Senior Sam Burgess also scored in double figures with 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the field. Despite another tough shooting night for the Cougars, BYU's defense held the Utes to their lowest point total of the season in the win.

The Utes drained their first two buckets of the night, including a three-pointer from Lawrence Bohra, until Cummard got the Cougars on the board with two free throws and a layin. Utah converted a three-point play on the next trip down the floor to make it 8-4 with 17:19 to play in the first half.

The Cougars' road shooting woes continued early on as they made just one of their first 10 shots from the field. However, stifling BYU defense, including a block from Trent Plaisted, kept the game in hand as neither team was able to score for almost four minutes.

Burgess finally turned defense into offense with a steal and a fastbreak layin at the 13:28 mark. After another Utah turnover, Cummard drove the paint and scored, earning the and-one opportunity and draining the free throw to give BYU its first lead of the game at 9-8.

Utah finally ended a 7-0 Cougar run and a 5:49 scoring drought with a jumper from Johnnie Bryant, and moments later, an 11-8 Cougar lead was 15-13 back in the Utes' favor midway through the first half. The two teams traded buckets from there to a 17-15 Ute lead until another 7-0 Cougar spurt, featuring five points from freshman Jimmer Fredette, gave BYU its largest lead of the game to that point at 22-17 with 5:20 left in the half.

Bryant finally ended the 5:30 Utah scoring drought with two free-throw makes at the 2:39 mark as Utah scored six of the next eight points. But BYU had the last word in the half as Cummard drained two free throws and freshman Michael Loyd, Jr. blocked a shot on the other end to send the Cougars into the locker room up 26-23.

Utah came out hard and fast to begin the second half, scoring seven of the first eight points to go up 30-27 and force a Cougar timeout 68 seconds in. Plaisted made two free throws in the early going before Cummard scored BYU's first bucket of the half to knot the score at 30-30. Moments later, Burgess drained the first Cougar trey of the night to put BYU back on top with 16:09 left in the game.

The lead see-sawed from there as neither team was able to lead by more than two points. BYU's guard play continued to dominate as Cummard and Burgess took turns in the scoring column. Freshman Chris Collinsworth finally made it back-to-back Cougar buckets for the first time in six minutes with an offensive rebound and putback. After a Ute miss on the other end, Collinsworth made it six straight Cougar points with a long jumper to put BYU up 43-38 with 10:25 left to play.

Utah came back with three straight points to cut the lead to two, but Cummard once again responded with a bucket, and Fredette quickly converted a Ute miss into a three-point make on the other end to give BYU its largest lead of the game to that point at 48-41. However, a 9-2 run the other way had the Huntsman Center rocking and the game tied at 50-50 with 3:20 left to play.

But Burgess hit a huge three-pointer from the corner to put BYU up three points with 2:27 left. Utah got within one point with a bucket from Tyler Kepkay, but couldn't convert at the free-throw line after a Cougar miss. BYU got the ball back up one point with under a minute to play but couldn't find the hoop, giving Utah once more chance with 30 seconds left. The Utes ran the clock down before taking one more shot, which sailed to the side of the basket and into the hands of Cummard. Fittingly, Cummard was fouled and iced the game with two free throws on the other end, making him a perfect 7-for-7 from the line on the night and securing the 55-52 BYU win.

BYU will now return home to the Marriott Center to face San Diego State on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The Cougars are riding a 40-game home win streak, the second-longest active homecourt streak in the nation.

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Official Basketball Box Score

BYU Cougars vs Utah

01/19/08 2:05 p.m. at Salt Lake City, Utah (Huntsman Center)

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VISITORS: BYU Cougars 13-5, 2-1 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ f 6-15 0-3 7-7 3 6 9 3 19 1 2 0 2 34

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. f 0-6 0-3 0-0 2 3 5 2 0 0 1 0 1 24

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... c 2-11 0-0 2-4 3 1 4 3 6 2 3 1 1 27

20 BURGESS, Sam........ g 5-8 2-5 0-0 0 4 4 2 12 0 2 0 1 33

24 MURDOCK, Ben........ g 0-2 0-2 2-2 0 0 0 1 2 4 1 0 0 32

01 LOYD, JR., Michael.. 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 7

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... 3-6 1-4 1-1 1 3 4 1 8 0 1 0 0 14

41 COLLINSWORTH, Chris. 3-5 0-0 0-1 2 6 8 0 6 0 0 0 0 16

54 MILES, Chris........ 1-6 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 2 2 0 0 1 0 13

TEAM................ 4 4

Totals.............. 20-60 3-17 12-15 12 30 42 14 55 8 10 3 5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 9-32 28.1% 2nd Half: 11-28 39.3% Game: 33.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 0-7 0.0% 2nd Half: 3-10 30.0% Game: 17.6% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 8-9 88.9% 2nd Half: 4-6 66.7% Game: 80.0% 1

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HOME TEAM: Utah 10-6, 1-2 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

15 BROWN, Carlon....... f 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 11

21 GREEN, Shaun........ f 3-5 2-4 0-0 1 8 9 2 8 2 1 1 1 33

50 NEVILL, Luke........ c 5-12 0-0 1-2 1 8 9 3 11 1 2 2 0 32

11 BORHA, Lawrence..... g 5-10 1-4 1-1 0 0 0 3 12 1 1 0 0 23

32 KEPKAY, Tyler....... g 1-8 0-2 0-0 0 5 5 1 2 1 0 0 0 33

01 BRYANT, Johnnie..... 3-10 0-2 2-2 2 0 2 3 8 1 2 0 0 28

05 DRCA, Luka.......... 3-8 0-2 1-3 1 4 5 2 7 1 2 0 3 29

14 TILLIE, Kim......... 2-3 0-0 0-0 1 4 5 2 4 0 1 1 0 10

45 GRIM, Morgan........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

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

Totals.............. 22-57 3-14 5-8 6 30 36 16 52 7 10 4 4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 9-26 34.6% 2nd Half: 13-31 41.9% Game: 38.6% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-6 33.3% 2nd Half: 1-8 12.5% Game: 21.4% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 3-3 100 % 2nd Half: 2-5 40.0% Game: 62.5% 2

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Officials: David Hall, Eric Curry, Mike Reed

Technical fouls: BYU Cougars-None. Utah-None.

Attendance: 14224

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU Cougars................... 26 29 - 55

Utah.......................... 23 29 - 52

ID-578766

Points in the paint-BY 24,UT 30. Points off turnovers-BY 9,UT 2.

2nd chance points-BY 7,UT 6. Fast break points-BY 7,UT 4.

Bench points-BY 16,UT 19. Score tied-6 times. Lead changed-11 times.

Last FG-BY 2nd-02:32, UT 2nd-01:41.

Largest lead-BY by 7 2nd-08:48, UT by 5 1st-18:19.

Tags: Results