Fast-Paced Victory for Cougars

Keena Young once again came up big for BYU, scoring 20 in the Cougars 100-90 win over San Diego State. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- In a furiously paced game between two of the Mountain West Conference's best teams, BYU ran past San Diego State, 100-90, Wednesday night at the Marriott Center.

The Cougars (17-7, 9-4 MWC) shot a season-best 75.9 percent from the field in the second half while maintaining their place in the MWC and gaining a game on the first-place Aztecs (18-8, 11-3).

Six Cougars scored in double figures, led by Keena Young with a career-high 20 points. Austin Ainge scored 16 off the bench while shooting a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and 4-for-4 from three-point range. BYU head coach Dave Rose was pleased with the all-around team effort.

"A lot of guys stepped up and made a lot of good plays for us tonight," Rose said.

The game started out like a track meet, with BYU's fast-paced offense jumping out to an early 6-2 lead.

SDSU came back behind Mohamed Abukar and Kyle Spain, who combined for 15 early points on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting from the field to give the Aztecs a 21-19 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

Jimmy Balderson and Ainge came off the bench to spark BYU, leading the Cougars on a 7-2 run and giving them a 24-21 lead with 7:57 left. Balderson and Ainge started a combined 4-for-4 from behind the three point line.

"Ainge was fantastic," SDSU coach Steve Fisher. "He came in and gave BYU a boost when they needed it."

BYU also held the Aztecs' two-headed scoring monster of Marcus Slaughter and Brandon Heath to just three points on 1-for-9 shooting in the first 16 minutes. The Cougar defensive intensity powered a 7-0 run and put BYU ahead 35-31 at the 2:44 mark in the first half.

The half ended at the same fast pace that it started with as BYU maintained a three-point lead, 41-38, after Abukar hit a desperation three-pointer at the buzzer.

The Cougars were led in the first half by Balderson, who scored 12, and Ainge, who added 11 on 3-for-3 shooting from behind the arc.

The second half started with the Aztecs running to take a 50-48 lead and forcing BYU to take an early timeout.

With SDSU leading 55-51, BYU knocked down 13 straight shots without a miss to help the Cougars build a 10-point lead at 80-70. Young began to establish inside presence, scoring on consecutive trips down the court. After a nice hustle play the produced an Aztec turnover, Jackson Emery threw down a dunk and later made a nice move for an assist setting up a Trent Plaisted dunk.

The crowd intensified during the Cougars' run as BYU built a 76-68 lead with 7:30 remaining in the game. The Cougars reached a double-digit lead at 80-70 thanks to their lights-out shooting from the field and held on to the advantage with clutch foul shooting after some early struggles from the line.

"In the second half, we shot the ball as well as we have shot all year," Rose said. "We had the momentum and kept it going to make huge plays."

BYU scored 100 points for the first time in a conference game since defeating San Diego State 101-87 in 1994. The win ended a three-game losing skid to the Aztecs and improved BYU's overall record against SDSU to 39-19. Picked to finish last in the MWC, BYU has won seven of its last eight games and has now defeated every team in the conference while earning a third-place standing, one game back of the front-running Aztecs in the loss column.

BYU next takes on TCU (5-22, 1-12 MWC) Saturday in the Cougars' last road game of the season. Tip time is 6 p.m. (MST). The game is not being televised.

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

San Diego State Aztecs vs BYU Cougars

2-22-06 7:07 pm at Marriott Center, Provo, UT

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VISITORS: San Diego State Aztecs 18-8, 11-3 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

33 SPAIN, Kyle......... f 4-7 0-1 2-2 1 5 6 2 10 0 2 1 1 20

34 ABUKAR, Mohamed..... f 7-15 2-3 4-4 2 4 6 3 20 1 1 0 0 33

42 SLAUGHTER, Marcus... f 4-12 0-0 7-11 6 6 12 4 15 3 9 0 2 30

01 HEATH, Brandon...... g 6-17 2-10 0-1 1 2 3 1 14 5 1 0 1 38

03 WILLIAMS, Richie.... g 8-12 1-2 2-3 3 1 4 2 19 2 2 0 4 35

15 SHARPER, John....... 1-6 1-5 5-5 2 0 2 3 8 1 0 0 1 26

20 DAVIS, Trimaine..... 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 4

21 THOMAS, Matt........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2

50 CAMARA, Mohamed..... 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 2 2 0 0 0 0 12

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

Totals.............. 32-72 6-21 20-26 17 23 40 19 90 12 15 1 9 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-29 44.8% 2nd Half: 19-43 44.2% Game: 44.4% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-9 33.3% 2nd Half: 3-12 25.0% Game: 28.6% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 9-13 69.2% 2nd Half: 11-13 84.6% Game: 76.9% 1

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HOME TEAM: BYU Cougars 17-7, 9-4 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

03 YOUNG, Keena........ f 9-14 0-0 2-3 4 3 7 1 20 1 3 2 0 29

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... c 6-12 0-0 2-5 3 4 7 3 14 2 2 1 0 29

01 BROADUS, Rashaun.... g 2-5 1-2 2-2 0 5 5 3 7 4 5 0 2 22

04 EMERY, Jackson...... g 2-5 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 3 4 3 2 0 0 20

11 REICHNER, Brock..... g 4-5 0-1 4-5 0 3 3 2 12 4 2 0 0 23

02 ROSE, Mike.......... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

13 AINGE, Austin....... 6-6 4-4 0-0 0 2 2 1 16 3 1 0 2 18

15 MALAMAN, Fernando... 4-7 1-3 1-2 0 4 4 2 10 1 1 0 0 20

23 BALDERSON, Jimmy.... 5-8 2-2 5-7 2 4 6 3 17 4 0 1 0 31

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 3

43 DAWES, Derek........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

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

Totals.............. 38-64 8-16 16-24 9 28 37 19 100 22 16 5 5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-35 45.7% 2nd Half: 22-29 75.9% Game: 59.4% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 4-11 36.4% 2nd Half: 4-5 80.0% Game: 50.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 5-8 62.5% 2nd Half: 11-16 68.8% Game: 66.7% 2

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Officials: Stanley Reynolds, Mike Reed, Mike Giarrantano

Technical fouls: San Diego State Aztecs-None. BYU Cougars-None.

Attendance: 11316

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

San Diego State Aztecs........ 38 52 - 90

BYU Cougars................... 41 59 - 100

This is the 500th game in the Marriott Center.

Points in the paint-SD 28,BY 42. Points off turnovers-SD 24,BY 21.

2nd chance points-SD 18,BY 16. Fast break points-SD 4,BY 12.

Bench points-SD 12,BY 43. Score tied-4 times. Lead changes-10 times.

Tags: Results