Cougars Wrangle Cowboys

Lee Cummard posted 24 points and eight rebounds, shooting 13-for-15 from the free throw line to lead his Cougars to another win. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

LARAMIE -- Despite being behind at the half, the BYU men’s basketball team (23-6, 11-4) pulled into a three-way tie for first place in the Mountain West Conference defeating the Wyoming Cowboys 78-68. The Cougars are now tied for first in the conference standings with Utah and New Mexico.

“It’s great to coach guys who really, really compete,” said BYU head coach Dave Rose. “I think right now this group is in a position where we can find different ways to win and find different ways to shoot the ball. We were a little more aggressive going to the basket and getting to the free throw line."

Leading the Cougars in the Arena-Auditorium was senior Lee Cummard who posted 24 points, eight rebounds, one steal and one block. Jonathan Tavernari had his sixth double-double of the season throwing up 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Cougars.

Jimmer Fredette was also in double figures for the Cougars with 15 points and eight rebounds. He was perfect from the charity stripe, going 6-for-6.

As a team, the Cougars grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and 34 defensive, for 48 total rebounds on the night, posting 12 second-chance points. The team also scored 12 points off turnovers.

BYU started with the first points on the board at 2-0, the first and last lead of the first half. Wyoming answered with a two and a three, with BYU not scoring until Lamont Morgan, Jr. subbed in to post a bucket for the Cougars to bring the score to 4-5 at the 15:08 mark.

The Cougars and the Cowboys would trade baskets until Cummard made two free throws and a three pointer to knot the score at 13. The Cougars were 0-for-7 from the three-point line before Cummard chalked up a trey at the 11:55 mark.

The Cowboys then tallied three free throws in a row, answered by another jumper by Cummard—only to be answered by Wyoming again, giving them a five-point lead at 15-20.

Not willing to succumb to the Cowboys’ the Cougars put up a 5-0 run with Tavernari draining a three at the 8:55 mark, followed by two free throws from Fredette to tie the score at 20. The two free throws from Fredette were his first points on the night.

However, Wyoming would soon post its largest lead of the game at 10 – going on a 10-0 run. Not being able to respond with quite as many points, the Cougars posted a 6-0 run with buckets from Fredette, Cummard and Tavernari.

Fredette would make a tough turnaround jumper at the 2:17 mark to bring the Cougars within four. Wyoming head coach Heath Schroyer would voice his opinion on Fredette’s drive, giving him a technical foul, sending the Mountain West Conferene’s best free throw shooter, Cummard, to the line to drain the two baskets, cutting Wyoming’s lead to two.

Trading baskets for the last two minutes, the Cowboys would lead 40-35 going into the locker rooms. Sean Ogirri led Wyoming with 17 points on five threes in the first half.

“One of the things about Wyoming that is so difficult to defend is that they have four true scorers. It's difficult to figure out how they are scoring. When you get four scorers that are three-point shooters, it's something that you must shut down."

In the first half BYU shot only 32.4 percent from the field and 20.0 from the three-point line. Free throws kept the Cougars in the game, making 11-for-12 (91.7 percent). Cummard led in points with 11 at the half, followed by Tavernari with nine and Fredette with six.

Coming out running, the Cougars posted an 8-2 run to start the half, giving them their first lead of the game since 2-0 at 44-42.

Both teams would trade the lead until Tavernari posted an up-and-under move to take the lead at 48-47. A fast break dunk by James Anderson later put the Cougars up by four points at 53-49. The Cowboys answered with a 7-0 run to regain the lead at 56-53, keeping it until Cummard hit two free throws, sparking an 11-0 run. Following the free throws, Cummard also made a three-point play at the 7:22 mark to give the Cougars a two-point lead. In the 11-0 run, Cummard had eight of the points.

Wyoming knocked down 1-of-2 from the stripe at the 3:37 mark to end the 11-0 Cougar run. Trying to run down the clock, BYU kept the ball between the circles until Fredette made a three with the shot clock winding down, putting the Cougars up by nine points.

A defensive rebound by Tavernari and a long pass down-court from Fredette to Cummard for a dunk gave the Cougars their biggest lead of the game at the 43-second mark, 73-62.

The Cougars will conclude the regular season on Saturday, March 7, at home against Air Force. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. BYU will honor its seniors, Lee Cummard, Archie Rose and Gavin MacGregor, Saturday night prior to the game.

“Saturday is going to be tough for us to say goodbye to Lee Cummard,” said Rose. “He has been one of the greatest players BYU has ever seen and he will be greatly missed.”

Only 3,000 tickets remain for the final regular season game. Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-800-322-BYU1 or by visiting www.byutickets.com. BYU won the first meeting this season 71-50 in Colorado Springs. Follow the game on www.byucougars.com and listen live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 6 p.m. MT on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City or via the Internet at KSL.com. The game will be televised live on The Mtn.

CLICK HERE for postgame notes and quotes.


Official Basketball Box Score

BYU vs Wyoming Cowboys

3-4-09 6:00 PM at Laramie, Wyo. (Arena-Auditorium)

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VISITORS: BYU 23-6 (11-4 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 5-12 1-3 13-15 1 7 8 3 24 0 4 1 1 39

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. f 7-16 3-6 2-3 1 10 11 3 19 0 0 1 0 35

54 MILES, Chris........ c 1-7 0-0 2-2 5 3 8 3 4 0 3 1 1 24

04 EMERY, Jackson...... g 2-5 1-4 0-0 1 2 3 4 5 6 0 0 1 35

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... g 4-13 1-4 6-6 1 7 8 3 15 2 3 0 0 36

01 ABOUO, Charles...... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

02 MORGAN, JR., Lamont. 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 6

15 ANDERSON, James..... 3-4 0-0 1-3 2 3 5 3 7 0 1 0 1 10

34 HARTSOCK, Noah...... 0-1 0-0 2-2 1 1 2 1 2 0 0 2 0 12

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

Totals.............. 23-61 6-18 26-31 14 34 48 21 78 8 12 5 4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-34 32.4% 2nd Half: 12-27 44.4% Game: 37.7% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-10 20.0% 2nd Half: 4-8 50.0% Game: 33.3% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 11-12 91.7% 2nd Half: 15-19 78.9% Game: 83.9% 2

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HOME TEAM: Wyoming Cowboys 18-11 (7-8 MWC)

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

11 MUOJEKE, Afam....... f 4-7 0-2 3-5 0 7 7 3 11 4 3 1 2 35

21 JOHNSON, Tyson...... f 3-12 1-1 1-2 0 10 10 3 8 0 1 0 1 32

15 WADDELL, Adam....... c 2-3 0-0 1-2 1 5 6 4 5 0 2 1 0 23

00 OGIRRI, Sean........ g 7-17 6-15 5-6 1 1 2 2 25 1 1 0 2 40

23 EWING, Brandon...... g 6-14 0-5 4-5 0 0 0 2 16 7 1 1 2 38

05 DERMODY, Ryan....... 0-1 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 6

13 LINSKENS, Mikhail... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

25 THIAM, Djibril...... 1-3 0-0 1-3 1 4 5 2 3 0 2 2 0 24

51 DAVIS, A.J.......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1

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

Totals.............. 23-58 7-24 15-23 6 27 33 20 68 12 10 5 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-31 45.2% 2nd Half: 9-27 33.3% Game: 39.7% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-16 37.5% 2nd Half: 1-8 12.5% Game: 29.2% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 6-8 75.0% 2nd Half: 9-15 60.0% Game: 65.2% 3

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Officials: Verne Harris, Rick Batsell and Shawn Lehigh

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

Attendance: 6749

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU........................... 35 43 - 78

Wyoming Cowboys............... 40 28 - 68

Points in the paint-BY 24,WY 28. Points off turnovers-BY 12,WY 12.

2nd chance points-BY 12,WY 2. Fast break points-BY 4,WY 8.

Bench points-BY 11,WY 3. Score tied-7 times. Lead changed-10 times.

Last FG-BY 2nd-00:35, WY 2nd-00:20.

Largest lead-BY by 11 2nd-00:43, WY by 10 1st-05:56.

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Tags: Results