Defense Sparks Cougars' Victory Over Saint Mary's

Center Rafael Araujo blocks an E.J. Rowland shot Friday in BYU's win over Saint Mary's. Araujo posted a career-best five blocks to go along with 17 points and nine rebounds. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Mark Bigelow scored a season-high 18 points and BYU recorded a season-high nine blocks, to pull away late, for a 70-55 win over Saint Mary's Friday night at the Marriott Center. The win improves the Cougars to 10-2, while the Gaels fall to 8-6.

Senior center Rafael Araujo led the block parade with a career-high five rejections, and barely missed his ninth double of the year with 17 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Luiz Lemes also had 17 points on 5-for-8 shooting and making both his 3-point attempts.

"I thought we were a step slow in the first half, but we executed our game plan," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "We did a great job on penetration, and our post guys did a nice job holding their guys under double figures.

"It shows a lot because this is a good team. I would give the game ball to our team defense."

The first half was closely played as neither team could muster a significant run. BYU held the lead for most of the first half, but for every Cougar surge the Gaels seemed to have an answer to stem the BYU tide.

BYU's biggest lead of the half was seven points at 29-22, after senior guard Mark Bigelow made a trey at the 3:58 mark. From there Saint Mary's would finish the half on a toughly contested 11-6 run, as BYU went into the locker room with a slim 35-33 lead. Bigelow and Araujo were both 5-for-10 shooting in the half with 14 and 11 points, respectively, to lead BYU.

The Cougars have been a strong second-half team of late, and they didn't disappoint against the Gaels coming out of the half with a 9-0 run to take control of the game. Lemes had the first seven points on a variety of shots as he made a fast-break lay-up, a trey out of the left corner and a shot from the top of the key.

At 44-33, BYU took its largest lead of the game up to that point, but as was the case for most of the game, the Gaels fought back to narrow the Cougar lead into single digits.

BYU proved too tough for Saint Mary's to handle down the stretch, though, as the Cougars made clutch shots and kept the Gaels at bay with solid team defense. Lemes stepped up and poured in 15 of his 17 points in the second half.

"Luiz Lemes gave us a great spark in the second half when we needed it," Cleveland said. "He had his hands full guarding E.J. Rowland. I think in the second half Luiz rose to the occasion offensively and defensively."

The Gaels scoring was balanced, but they were unable to find a go to scorer as BYU prevented them from registering a double-digit scorer. Saint Mary's was led on the night by Jonathan Sanders' nine points. Rowland, the Gaels' second-leading scorer was held to six points on 2-of-12 shooting.

"I thought we played well on Araujo," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said. "Our intent was not to double-team him. We just played him straight up. He's an all-around good player, but Lemes was the difference in the game.

"I thought BYU is one of the five-best teams in the West."

The Cougars' previous season high in blocks was six

In their final non-conference game before the beginning of Mountain West Conference and lone game next week, the Cougars will travel to play North Carolina State in a nationally televised contest on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. EST (6 p.m. MST).

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

Saint Mary's College vs Brigham Young University

01/02/04 7:06 p.m. at Provo, UT

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VISITORS: Saint Mary's College 8-6

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

14 KICKERT, Daniel..... f 3-7 0-1 2-2 2 3 5 5 8 0 4 0 0 21

50 ADJIWANOU, Frederic. f 2-4 0-1 4-4 2 1 3 1 8 0 3 0 0 27

02 ROWLAND, E.J........ g 2-12 0-0 2-2 2 3 5 5 6 2 5 0 2 34

21 HERR, Tyler......... g 2-6 2-4 0-0 0 2 2 0 6 1 1 0 0 26

32 SANDERS, Jonathan... g 3-7 1-3 2-2 3 5 8 2 9 0 3 0 1 28

00 POOLE, Chase........ 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 2 0 12

03 BOREMAN, Jordan..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

15 RHALIMI, Reda....... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 3

23 COLLINS, Brett...... 1-4 0-1 2-4 1 0 1 1 4 0 0 0 0 6

33 SHOLBERG, Blake..... 2-3 0-0 2-2 2 2 4 4 6 0 1 0 0 14

55 MARIGNEY, Paul...... 4-8 0-3 0-0 1 0 1 3 8 0 1 0 0 27

TEAM................ 2 3 5 1

Totals.............. 19-53 3-13 14-16 15 21 36 23 55 4 21 2 3 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-28 46.4% 2nd Half: 6-25 24.0% Game: 35.8% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-4 75.0% 2nd Half: 0-9 0.0% Game: 23.1% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-4 100 % 2nd Half: 10-12 83.3% Game: 87.5% 1

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HOME TEAM: Brigham Young University 10-2

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

03 BIGELOW, Mark....... f 6-11 2-5 4-4 2 3 5 4 18 2 0 1 1 28

52 JENSEN, Jared....... f 0-1 0-0 3-4 1 0 1 4 3 0 1 1 0 15

55 ARAUJO, Rafael...... c 8-18 1-4 0-0 3 6 9 3 17 2 6 5 1 32

01 HALL, Mike.......... g 2-9 1-2 0-2 1 3 4 1 5 3 1 1 2 33

04 LEMES, Luiz......... g 5-8 2-2 5-6 0 2 2 1 17 2 3 1 3 35

00 WOODBERRY, Kevin.... 0-0 0-0 2-4 1 0 1 2 2 1 1 0 0 19

02 ROSE, Mike.......... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

05 SHOFF, Jake......... 2-2 0-0 0-1 0 4 4 2 4 1 1 0 1 18

10 NASHIF, Terry....... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

13 AINGE, Austin....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1

15 DRESSER, Mike....... 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 1

41 MEADS, Garner....... 0-1 0-0 2-3 2 1 3 3 2 0 0 0 0 13

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

Totals.............. 24-53 6-15 16-24 11 21 32 20 70 12 13 9 9 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-27 44.4% 2nd Half: 12-26 46.2% Game: 45.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 4-10 40.0% 2nd Half: 2-5 40.0% Game: 40.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 7-10 70.0% 2nd Half: 9-14 64.3% Game: 66.7% 4

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Officials: Scott Thornley, Tom O'Neill, Rick Hartzell

Technical fouls: Saint Mary's College-COLLINS, Brett. Brigham Young

University-None.

Attendance: 13827

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Saint Mary's College.......... 33 22 - 55

Brigham Young University...... 35 35 - 70

Points in the paint-SMC 28,BY 26. Points off turnovers-SMC 12,BY 24.

2nd chance points-SMC 12,BY 10. Fast break points-SMC 2,BY 4.

Bench points-SMC 18,BY 10. Score tied-5 times. Lead changes-7 times.

Tags: Results