Cougars Repeat as MWC Champions

Senior Sam Burgess, playing in his final home game, helped BYU win its second-straight outright MWC title Wednesday night at the Marriott Center. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU men's basketball team clinched the outright regular-season Mountain West Conference championship on senior night with a 78-61 win over Wyoming Wednesday night at the Marriott Center.

The Cougars (24-6, 13-2 MWC) sealed their first back-to-back outright conference crowns since the 1979 and 1980 seasons and became the first MWC team to win two outright titles in the nine-year history of the league.

"It was a special thing to win the Mountain West Conference title on your home court," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "This title has come through great leadership and hard work. These players deserve this title after how hard they have worked all season long."

BYU guard Jonathan Tavernari also broke Andy Toolson's 18-year single-season record of 74 made three-point shots in a season. Tavernari hit four treys on the night to improve his season total to 76.

Center Trent Plaisted notched his eighth double-double of the season with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Guard Lee Cummard had a solid all-around game, tallying 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Tavernari was BYU's second leading scorer with 18 points.

Plaisted started the game off with BYU's first five points. Wyoming would respond with a long three-point shot from Brandon Ewing to bring the score to 5-3. The Cougars would then go on a 7-2 run over a three-minute span that ended midway through the half. After the run, BYU was up 17-7.

With 12:07 left in the half, Tavernari made a three-pointer to not only give BYU a 22-10 lead, but also etch his name in BYU's record books. Tavernari hit his 75th three-point shot of the season to give him the BYU record.

BYU would close the half on an 11-4 run starting at the 5:34 mark. The Cougars led 38-27 at the break. Tavernari scored 18 first-half points. Plaisted had 11 points and five rebounds at the break. Wyoming's Tyson Johnson led the Cowboys at the half with 11 points. Brandon Ewing had the more balanced stats with eight points and six boards. Only four Cowboys scored in the period.

The Cougars jumped out to a quick 15-point lead to open the second half, and they would only extend that lead as the half progressed. Cummard and Plaisted tallied six early points that were part of BYU's 19-6 run over the first seven minutes of the second half.

Midway through the period, Plaisted came alive, scoring 12 points and nabbing five rebounds in the first 13 minutes. With a 50 percent second-half field-goal percentage and a 57.1 percent three-point percentage, BYU closed the deal for good.

"Although we had a few slower spots on the offensive end of the court, I thought we were defensively pretty solid the whole night," Rose said. "This was a good win for the team, and we are ready to move on to the next game."

BYU will close out the regular season at TCU on Saturday at 7 p.m. With a 24-6 overall record to date, the Cougars have a chance to become the only BYU team in program history to record 25 regular-season victories.

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Official Basketball Box Score

Wyoming Cowboys vs BYU Cougars

03/05/08 8:05 p.m. at Marriott Center, Provo, Utah

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VISITORS: Wyoming Cowboys 12-17, 5-11

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

05 DERMODY, Ryan....... f 2-6 1-4 0-0 0 3 3 3 5 3 4 1 2 31

21 JOHNSON, Tyson...... f 7-15 0-1 6-7 5 4 9 1 20 2 5 0 0 34

13 LINSKENS, Mikhail... c 2-4 0-0 0-1 0 1 1 4 4 0 1 0 0 13

01 JONES, Brad......... g 1-2 0-0 4-4 1 5 6 3 6 3 1 0 1 38

23 EWING, Brandon...... g 7-13 3-7 3-5 0 7 7 3 20 0 4 0 0 36

20 TAYLOR, Joseph...... 1-4 0-1 0-0 0 3 3 3 2 0 1 2 0 16

31 PLATT, Eric......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

32 NELSON, Travis...... 2-5 0-0 0-1 0 1 1 2 4 1 0 0 0 16

55 BUNKER, Travis...... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 4 4 0 0 0 1 0 1 14

TEAM................ 2 2

Totals.............. 22-50 4-14 13-18 8 28 36 19 61 9 17 3 4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 9-24 37.5% 2nd Half: 13-26 50.0% Game: 44.0% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-6 33.3% 2nd Half: 2-8 25.0% Game: 28.6% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 7-8 87.5% 2nd Half: 6-10 60.0% Game: 72.2% 1

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HOME TEAM: BYU Cougars 24-6, 13-2

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 4-9 2-4 2-2 3 4 7 2 12 5 0 2 0 33

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. f 5-12 4-6 4-4 1 4 5 1 18 2 0 0 5 30

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... c 8-12 0-0 7-16 3 8 11 2 23 1 3 1 2 33

20 BURGESS, Sam........ g 3-6 2-4 5-6 0 3 3 3 13 2 1 0 2 32

24 MURDOCK, Ben........ g 1-5 1-3 0-0 1 1 2 1 3 2 0 0 1 23

01 LOYD, JR., Michael.. 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 1 11

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

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... 2-6 0-3 1-2 0 2 2 0 5 4 0 1 2 20

41 COLLINSWORTH, Chris. 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 2 0 0 1 10

54 MILES, Chris........ 0-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 4 0 0 2 0 0 7

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

Totals.............. 25-56 9-21 19-30 9 25 34 14 78 19 7 4 14 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-30 40.0% 2nd Half: 13-26 50.0% Game: 44.6% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-14 35.7% 2nd Half: 4-7 57.1% Game: 42.9% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 9-15 60.0% 2nd Half: 10-15 66.7% Game: 63.3% 4

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Officials: Scott Thornley, Randy McCall, Mark Reischling

Technical fouls: Wyoming Cowboys-None. BYU Cougars-None.

Attendance: 14724

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Wyoming Cowboys............... 27 34 - 61

BYU Cougars................... 38 40 - 78

Points in the paint-WY 30,BY 22. Points off turnovers-WY 4,BY 15.

2nd chance points-WY 7,BY 12. Fast break points-WY 2,BY 8.

Bench points-WY 6,BY 9. Score tied-0 times. Lead changed-0 times.

Last FG-WY 2nd-00:44, BY 2nd-01:23.

Largest lead-WY None, BY by 26 2nd-12:51.

Tags: Results