Cougars' Win Streak Ends at UNLV

Lee Cummard's career-high 18 points were not enough as the Cougars fell 83-75 at UNLV Saturday night. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

LAS -- The BYU men's basketball team saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end Saturday night as the Cougars fell, 83-75, at UNLV. The loss drops BYU to 12-5 overall and 2-1 in the Mountain West Conference while the Rebels improve to 15-4 overall and 2-2 in league play.

"Tonight we didn't have a good enough offensive game combined with a good enough defensive game to get this done," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "UNLV is a pretty good team, and we had a hard time guarding them. A lot of time we were guarding them well, but they jumped up and made a shot. There's a reason they have 15 wins."

Sophomore Lee Cummard was the high scorer for the Cougars as he posted a career-high 18 points while tying his personal-best with a team-high five assists. Senior Keena Young scored 16 points in the game, all after halftime, while sophomore Trent Plaisted added 13 points and senior Mike Rose posted 12. Plaisted paced BYU on the boards with nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Wink Adams led UNLV with a career-high 27 points.

UNLV struck first with a layin at the 18:37 mark, but Plaisted matched the Rebel bucket with one of his own to get BYU on the board. Plaisted and Cummard set the tone early for the Cougars as the pair scored BYU's first 11 points, including a dunk from Plaisted and a three-pointer from Cummard, to give the Cougars an early 11-8 lead despite two quick fouls on leading scorer Keena Young.

The Cougars went cold from the field from there, but the Rebels didn't fare much better as both teams were plagued by turnovers. After UNLV cut the lead to one at 11-10, Fernando Malaman ended a 3:23 BYU drought with a jumper from the free-throw line to maintain the Cougar advantage. UNLV got back to within one on the next possession, but Mike Rose extended the Cougar lead to 16-12 with his 18th three-point make of the year, marking the ninth straight game in which he has drained one from long range. Cummard and Plaisted then scored on back-to-back BYU trips to cap a 7-0 Cougar run and give BYU a 20-12 lead at the 9:14 mark.

Cummard kept the Cougar momentum going with his second three-pointer of the night at the 7:37 mark to give BYU its largest lead of the game to that point at 25-14. The Rebels responded with a three ball of their own and then picked off Austin Ainge to get another score and cut the lead to 25-19. Ainge made up for the turnover with a three-point make on the other end, but Malaman picked up his second foul on the next UNLV possession, resulting in two Rebel free throws.

With both Malaman and Young on the bench with two fouls apiece, Coach Rose called on true freshman Jonathan Tavernari, who scored 18 points on 6-for-7 shooting from three-point range in BYU's last outing on Wednesday against TCU. Tavernari's hot hand from downtown continued in Las Vegas as he drained his first two three-point attempts to give BYU a 34-25 advantage.

However, 11 straight UNLV points gave the Rebels their first lead since 6-4 with a 36-34 advantage with 41 seconds to play in the half. A layin from Plaisted to end a 3:37 BYU scoring drought sent the Cougars into the locker room with their first halftime tie of the year at 36-36.

Jimmy Balderson put BYU back in front with a pair of free throws just 26 seconds into the second half. UNLV could not convert three early Cougar turnovers, going 0-for-6 to start the half, allowing BYU to extend its lead to 41-36 on a three-pointer from Cummard. However, after struggling to find the basket to begin the half, UNLV put together a 14-4 run to take a 50-45 lead. Young, the only Cougar to score during the spurt, added his second dunk of the year to get BYU within three at 50-47, but the Rebels weren't done scoring as they increased their lead to 54-47 thanks in part to strong rebounding on the offensive glass.

The UNLV scoring continued as the Rebels matched BYU's large lead of the game with a 59-48 advantage at the 9:22 mark. Young continued his second-half scoring run with a three-point play but was answered on the other end with a three-pointer to maintain the 11-point Rebel lead.

After UNLV pushed its advantage to 13 points at 66-53, Rose drained his second three-pointer of the night, but the Rebels' hot shooting continued as they made their eighth shot in 10 attempts to take a 74-58 lead with 2:56 left to play. Rose drained back-to-back three-pointers between the two- and three-minute marks to get BYU to within 10 points at 74-64, and then Ben Murdock drained a three after two UNLV free throws to cut the deficit to single digits at 76-67.

The Cougars kept pushing as the clock wound down, getting to within seven points at 80-73 on a three-pointer from Cummard, but time was not on BYU's side as the Cougars could not complete the comeback.

BYU will now return home to take on Wyoming (11-6, 2-1 MWC) on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Marriott Center in a game that will be televised on the MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.). The Cougars have won 25 straight games at home, which is tied for the second-longest active home winning streak in the nation.

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

BYU vs UNLV

01/13/07 7:00 p.m. at Tarkanian Court, Thomas & Mack Center

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VISITORS: BYU 12-5, 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

03 YOUNG, Keena........ f 6-13 0-0 4-4 2 3 5 4 16 1 2 0 0 20

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... c 5-13 0-0 3-4 2 7 9 3 13 3 2 2 0 37

13 AINGE, Austin....... g 1-5 1-2 0-1 0 1 1 2 3 3 3 0 1 26

23 BALDERSON, Jimmy.... g 0-2 0-0 2-2 0 0 0 2 2 1 1 0 0 21

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ g 7-9 4-5 0-0 2 3 5 2 18 5 4 0 0 37

02 ROSE, Mike.......... 4-10 4-8 0-0 0 1 1 1 12 0 0 0 0 22

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

15 MALAMAN, Fernando... 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 2 2 2 1 0 1 12

24 MURDOCK, Ben........ 1-2 1-2 0-0 1 0 1 5 3 2 0 0 0 14

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. 2-4 2-4 0-1 0 1 1 3 6 0 0 0 0 9

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

Totals.............. 27-61 12-21 9-12 13 18 31 24 75 19 14 2 2 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-27 51.9% 2nd Half: 13-34 38.2% Game: 44.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-9 66.7% 2nd Half: 6-12 50.0% Game: 57.1% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 2-3 66.7% 2nd Half: 7-9 77.8% Game: 75.0% 1

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HOME TEAM: UNLV 15-4, 2-2 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

52 ESSENGUE, Gaston.... f 5-9 0-0 0-0 3 4 7 3 10 1 0 3 1 29

01 ADAMS, Wink......... g 7-14 4-7 9-12 0 3 3 2 27 0 3 1 1 36

03 UMEH, Michael....... g 0-3 0-3 2-2 0 1 1 1 2 1 2 0 0 19

05 WHITE, Wendell...... g 8-15 0-0 5-8 5 5 10 2 21 2 2 0 2 33

20 LAWRENCE, Marcus.... g 0-4 0-2 3-4 2 1 3 2 3 4 1 0 1 31

15 BAILEY, Corey....... 5-6 0-0 0-0 2 2 4 1 10 0 0 0 3 19

30 ANTHONY, Joel....... 1-3 0-0 0-0 2 1 3 3 2 0 2 3 0 11

31 TERRY, Curtis....... 2-3 1-2 3-4 0 2 2 2 8 2 0 0 0 15

45 DARGER, Joe......... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 7

TEAM................ 2 2 4 1

Totals.............. 28-58 5-15 22-30 16 23 39 17 83 11 11 7 8 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-29 48.3% 2nd Half: 14-29 48.3% Game: 48.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-7 28.6% 2nd Half: 3-8 37.5% Game: 33.3% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 6-11 54.5% 2nd Half: 16-19 84.2% Game: 73.3% 4

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Officials: Scott Thornley, Rick Batsell, Eric Curry

Technical fouls: BYU-None. UNLV-None.

Attendance: 12946

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU........................... 36 39 - 75

UNLV.......................... 36 47 - 83

ID-467771

Points in the paint-BY 24,LV 30. Points off turnovers-BY 11,LV 14.

2nd chance points-BY 10,LV 10. Fast break points-BY 2,LV 4.

Bench points-BY 23,LV 20. Score tied-3 times. Lead changes-8 times.

Tags: Results