Game 10 - BYU Hosts Eastern Washington Tuesday

Point guard Rashaun Broadus leads the Mountain West Conference in assists (5.0). He scored a career-high 21 points in BYU's last game. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

GAME #10 FAST FACTS

BYU COUGARS (6-3, 0-0 MWC)

vs.

EASTERN WASHINGTON EAGLES (5-5, 0-0 BIG SKY)

Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2005

Marriott Center (22,700)

Provo, Utah

7:05 p.m. MST

Coaches:

BYU, Dave Rose (6-3 in first year; same overall)

EWU, Mike Burns (13-25 in second season; same overall)

Series:

BYU leads, 1-0, with 96-84 win in Provo on Nov. 25, 1989

TV: None

Radio:

KSL Newsradio (102,7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (6 p.m. pregame show --Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)

Web:

Live audio and live stats broadcasts are available at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/

BYU HOSTS EASTERN WASHINGTON TUESDAY

BYU (6-3, 0-0 MWC) hosts two games in the Marriott Center this week, facing Eastern Washington (5-5, 0-0 Big Sky) Tuesday and Tulsa (4-6, 0-0 C-USA) Friday. Both games start at 7 p.m. Eastern Washington is coming of home win over Cal Poly (76-62) after a loss at nationally ranked Gonzaga (75-65). The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network with Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant calling the action.

TUESDAY IS FAMILY NIGHT

Tuesday's BYU-Eastern Washington game includes a family night discount. A family of 5 can attend for $15, with a $3 charge for each additional person.

UP NEXT

BYU hosts the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes (4-6, 0-0 C-USA) Friday at 7:05 p.m. (No live TV).

COUGAR QUICK HITS

-- Coming off a disappointing 9-21 season after five straight postseason appearances, BYU looks to return to the ranks of conference contenders and postseason invitees under the direction of new head coach Dave Rose, who served the past eight seasons as Steve Cleveland's lead assistant.

-- Among BYU's returning players, honorable mention All-MWC guard Austin Ainge was the team's second-leading scorer and top assist man last year, and junior forward Keena Young was BYU's leading rebounder. Other returners with starting experience include junior swingman Jimmy Balderson, who represented Canada at the World University Games this summer; junior center Derek Dawes, who made 13 starts in the middle last year; and junior guard Mike Rose, who made seven starts last year and averaged 7.7 points while making a team-leading 56 treys. Lone senior Brock Reichner has started the last eight games this season after mostly limited action last year.

-- Trent Plaisted leads BYU in scoring (13.7), followed by Brock Reichner (10.3). Keena Young is the top Cougar rebounder (5.1), followed by Plaisted (5.0). Rashaun Broadus is the MWC's top assist maker (5.0), followed by Austin Ainge (3.9), who ranks third. The Cougars average an MWC-most 78.1 points and shoot .483 as a team, .398 from long range and .665 from the line. Cougar opponents average 69.8 points on .432 shooting, .331 from three and .718 from the line. BYU pulls down 35.2 rebounds per game, 1.6 more rebounds per contest than its opponents.

LOOKING AT EASTERN WASHINGTON

After taking a short break for Christmas following a 76-62 home victory over Cal Poly on Dec. 23, the Eagles come to Provo to begin a stretch of playing three games in a six-day span. Eastern plays at Boise State on Thursday and then has a New Year's Day home game against the University of San Diego. The Eagles are 5-5 on the year coming of home win over Cal Poly (76-62) after a loss at nationally ranked Gonzaga (75-65). EWU played common opponent USC at the Great Alaska Shootout, falling 69-51. The Trojans downed BYU in Los Angeles, 74-68. Eastern Washington has a pair of returning starters -- guard Deuce Smith and forward Jake Beitinger from last year's 8-20 team (5-9, 6th in Big Sky). The team's other two returning letterwinners are Paul Butorac and Henry Bekkering, but the remainder of the team consists of seven first-year players in the Eagle program. Among them, freshman guard Rodney Stuckey has made the biggest contributions with averages of 20.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.3 steals per game. In statistics through Dec. 19, Stuckey was the top-scoring freshman in NCAA Division I with a 19.9 average through nine games. Starting sophomore Kellen Williams is the other Eagle averaging in double figures as he has contributed 11.0 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Freshman redshirt Matt Penoncello has chipped in 5.5 points per game and outstanding defense off the bench Among the returning players, Beitinger is averaging 9.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and nearly two blocked shots per game, and Butorac is averaging a team-leading 7.3 rebounds, 7.5 points and 2.2 blocks. Bekkering has come off the bench to contribute 6.6 points per game and Smith has averaged 6.5 points and 1.3 steals per game thus far. An eighth newcomer, Nick Livi, left the team in late December for personal reasons. Livi played in five games from Nov. 19 until Dec. 10.

EASTERN WASHINGTON'S PROBABLE STARTERS

POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG

F 34 Kellen WIlliams 6-5 205 So. 11.0 5.1

F 32 Jake Beitinger 6-8 235 So. 9.0 3.8

C 43 Paul Butorac 6-10 215 Jr. 7.5 7.3

G 3 Rodney Stuckey 6-4 205 Fr. 20.3 4.7

G 10 Deuce Smith 6-3 205 Sr. 6.5 2.1

SERIES INFORMATION

BYU leads, 1-0, with 96-84 win over EWU in Provo on Nov. 25, 1989.

EWU's LAST OUTING -- EASTERN DEFEATS CAL POLY

Freshman Rodney Stuckey had 24 points, seven assists and seven steals as Eastern Washington surged past Cal Poly 76-62 Dec. 23 at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. Tied at 50, Eastern used a 15-3 lead to break open a game that Eastern led most of the way. "We were grinding at the end of the game and that's something that we needed to do," said Eagle head coach Mike Burns. "It was nice to see them do that tonight." "Cal Poly did a great job taking the fight to us early," he added. "They did a great job getting after us. For a while I thought our team was trying to depart from the game at 7:15 instead of at 9:00, so I was glad to see our guys rally to get through that." Stuckey, a 2004 graduate of Kentwood High School in Kent, Wash., made 9-of-15 shots from the field and 5-of-6 free throws. He scored 18 points and had five of his steals in the second half. Center Paul Butorac added 16 points -- one shy of his career high -- and seven rebounds. He made 8-of-9 shots from the field, including four dunks as he has a team-leading 12 dunks for the season. No other Eagle scored in double figures as EWU made 50 percent of its shots from the floor (28-of-56). Cal Poly made just 41 percent (22-of-54), but out-rebounded the Eagles 32-31 with 14 offensive boards.

EASTERN GIVES NO. 8 GONZAGA A SCARE

Eighth-ranked Gonzaga went on a late 16-4 run and spoiled a daring Eastern Washington upset bid with a 75-65 victory in the annual President's Trophy game Dec. 19 in front of a sell-out crowd of 11,879 at the Spokane Arena. Eastern freshman Rodney Stuckey scored 20 points to lead the Eagles, but Gonzaga's Adam Morrison and J.P. Batista combined for 51 points as Gonzaga improved to 8-2. The Bulldogs made their last nine free throws as Eastern fell to 4-5 with their 20th-straight loss to Gonzaga. Both of GU's losses have been to nationally-ranked teams (65-63 to #3 Connecticut and 99-95 to #18 Washington), but the Bulldogs have also registered victories over two Top 25 teams (#23 Maryland 88-76 and #12 Michigan State 109-106 in three overtimes). Eastern was coming off a 91-74 loss to then-No. 11 Washington on Friday (Dec. 16). The game featured 14 lead changes and 10 ties before Gonzaga pulled away in the final minutes. "We played very well tonight, and we played well enough to win," said Eagle head coach Mike Burns. "That's definitely a step in the right direction for us, especially after how we did at Washington. We had to come back from dealing with that and step up in this environment and play well. And we're young -- I'm proud as heck of our team." Eastern's last lead came mid-way through the second half when they took a 58-55 lead with 9:15 to play. But over the next nine minutes, the Eagles made just two field goals as Gonzaga went on its 16-4 run. "There was a stretch in the last four or five minutes where it got really physical," said Burns. "We were getting bumped around a little bit, we had a couple of turnovers and they made a couple of plays. A couple things go the other way and it could have been a different ballgame." Eastern was equal to Gonzaga in most statistical categories, with the lone exception turnovers and free throws. The Eagles had 16 turnovers, including 10 in the second half, while the Bulldogs had just six. Eastern made 13-of-19 free throws for 68.4 percent, while Gonzaga made 22-of-31 for 71 percent. The Eagles tied Gonzaga in rebounding 40-40, and made 41 percent of their shots compared to 43 percent for GU. Eastern sank 8-of-21 three-pointers for 38 percent, while GU made just 3-of-11 for 27 percent. Stuckey made 7-of-15 shots from the field and added seven rebounds and a pair of assists, but also had six turnovers. Jake Beitinger added 13 points and a pair of blocked shots, and Kellen Williams scored 12 first-half points and contributed four rebounds. Paul Butorac added seven points, eight boards and a three assists. For Gonzaga, Morrison finished with 29 points and Batista had 22 on combined 18-of-38 shooting. Each player had six rebounds, with Morrison adding four assists. Morrison entered the game as the nation's leading scorer in the most recent NCAA statistics. Stuckey and Batista were both 39th, with Stuckey leading the nation's freshmen in scoring.

BYU's LAST OUTING -- BYU Starts Slow, Can't Recover

LOGAN -- An Aggie homecourt advantage proved too much for the Cougars Friday night, with BYU (6-3) falling 91-80 in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum against in-state rival Utah State (6-3, 0-1 WAC). Two Aggie runs, a 13-2 run to start the game and 9-0 surge to begin the second half, proved the difference as BYU outscored Utah State 78-69 the rest of the way. Although the Cougars trailed by as many as 24 points in the second half, they cut the deficit to seven on two occasions, but ultimately could not recover from a slow start. "We were always playing from behind," said BYU coach Dave Rose. "And that made us vulnerable." The Aggies took a quick lead on BYU, outscoring the Cougars 13-2 in the first five minutes of the game. The Cougars clawed back, getting into foul trouble and sending USU to the line for bonus points with more than six minutes left in the half. USU led 47-32 at halftime and came out with a 9-0 run to start the second period. Senior Brock Reichner stepped up by answering USU's run with back-to-back jumpers, including a three-pointer, to create momentum for the Cougars. Freshman Trent Plaisted also brought in his first bucket of the game early in the second half, after being kept to no baskets in the entire first half. Aggie defense held the Cougars to only 20 points in the paint on the game. "I knew we were in for a tough game inside," said Rose. "We have younger guys and they were taught a tough lesson tonight, but it wasn't for a lack of effort on their part." The Cougars came within seven points of the Aggies with less than six minutes in the second half, but could not hold on. Reichner led the Cougars with a career-high 26 points, shooting 10-13 from the floor and 6-8 from the three-point line. Junior Rashaun Broadus followed closely, adding his career-high 21 points for the Cougars.

WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...

BYU Head Coach Dave Rose

-- "We had a hard time getting started. It was definitely a learning experience for our new guys, but we recovered from it and got back in it. We just couldn't get over the hump.

-- "We didn't do a good job defensively. Their post guys had their way with us. They're a very good interior passing team."

-- "Brock did a good job of trying to keep composure of our guys. He made big shots for us and cut it close a couple of times. But our free throws weren't falling."

-- "The main thing to get from the game is we did not handle emotional pressure early in the game. It's hard to stay to the game plan with such a rough start."

-- "Freshman Lee Cummard and Jackson Emery played some minutes. Jackson gave us a really good lift and hit a couple big shots for us. Lee continues to get better and it's a good sign when you see young players stepping up."

-- "We've got to dwell on position things we've done here. Like I said before, it's learning, we've learned here tonight."

Utah State Head Coach Stew Morrill:

-- "They came at us hard in the second half, but I'm awfully pleased with our guys."

-- "Nate Harris was unbelievable -- defensively, offensively. What a great game for him in his senior year. I thought Cass [Matheus] played awfully well, too. We had a heck of a time containing their perimeter guys and they had a heck of a time stopping our posts."

BYU NOTES

-- Senior guard Brock Reichner scored a career-high 26 points in 29 minutes at Utah State. His 26 points matches Mike Rose (26 points Santa Clara, 12/31/04 and vs. Southern Utah, 11/21/03) as the most points scored by a Cougar since All-American center Rafael Araujo (28, 31, and 32 points in 2003-04). He made 10-of-13 shots, including 6-of-8 three-pointers, all career marks. His six triples are the most by a BYU player since Mike Rose made six treys on Dec. 8, 2004 against Boise State. Reichner also added two assists and held Utah State's leading scorer Jaycee Carroll six points below his season average.

-- BYU point guard Rashaun Broadus scored a career-high 21 points while adding eight assists and two steals against Utah State. He connected on 7-of-11 shots, including 3-of-6 three-point attempts, while going 4-for-6 from the line. The junior college transfer leads the MWC in assists (5.0) and ranks second to teammate Austin Ainge in assist/turnover ratio (1.96).

-- Austin Ainge dished out seven assists without a turnover in 22 minutes at Utah State. The junior co-captain boasts a MWC-leading 4.38 assist/turnover ratio.

-- Fernando Malaman had two blocks at Utah State. He has recorded two or more blocks in each of the last four games after making a total of two blocks in BYU's first five games. He is averaging 3.8 blocks over the last four games.

-- BYU's 15.4 percent three-point shooting (2-for-13) in the first half was the Cougar's worst first-half effort from long range. The Cougars responded by converting 9-of-12 treys in the second half to spark a run that cut a 24-point deficit to seven points.

-- Freshman Lee Cummard's seven rebounds set a new career mark. He was particularly active on the offensive glass, keeping five Cougar possessions alive. He gave BYU's offensive a lift in the early going with some put-back baskets. He scored six of his eight points in the first half when he had four offensive boards.

-- Keena Young pulled down a season-high nine rebounds to lead BYU at Utah State. He now has one more rebound on the season than Trent Plaisted to lead BYU overall at 5.1 rpg. He was BYU's leading rebounder last season at 5.6 rpg.

-- The Cougars failed to pick up the win for the first time this year when scoring 80 points or more. The Cougars are now 4-1 on the season when reaching 80 points. BYU averages an MWC-leading 78.1 points per game. BYU is 2-2 when scoring below 80 points.

-- Utah State's 91 points is the most scord against the Cougars this season. BYU is 0-2 this year when an opponent tops 80 points. Loyola Marymount scored 83 in BYU's season-opening loss at the Marriott Center.

-- Utah State's 60 percent shooting is the highest percentage made against the Cougars this year, topping the 54.8 percent made by Washington State. USU and WSU are the two teams to shoot 50 percent on BYU this year.

-- Last year BYU used 18 different starting lineups during a 9-21 season. This year BYU has used two starting lineups, using the same lineup in the last eight games (6-2 record). Junior Jimmy Balderson is the only current starter who started for BYU last season (16 starts last year).

-- BYU leads the MWC in scoring (78.1) and assists (17.56).

BYU'S 2005-06 RECORD WHEN ...

At home 4-1

On the road 1-2

On a neutral floor 1-0

On Television 1-1

On CBS 0-0

On ESPN 0-0

On ESPN2 0-0

On ESPN+Plus 0-0

On ABC 0-0

On SportsWest 1-0

On other local broadcast TV 0-1

On Monday 0-0

On Tuesday 1-0

On Wednesday 2-0

On Thursday 0-1

On Friday 0-1

On Saturday 3-1

Coming off a win 4-1

Coming off a loss 2-0

Had two or more days between last game 6-3

Had only one day between last game 0-0

Playing the next day after a game 0-0

BYU scores 100 or more points 0-0

BYU scores between 90-99 points 1-0

BYU scores between 80-89 points 3-1

BYU scores between 70-79 points 1-1

BYU scores between 60-69 points 1-1

BYU scores below 60 points 0-0

Opponent scores 90 or more points 0-1

Opponent scores between 80-89 points 0-1

Opponent scores between 70-79 points 2-1

Opponent scores between 60-69 points 2-0

Opponent scores between 50-59 points 1-0

Opponent scores below 50 points 1-0

BYU leads at half 5-0

Opponent leads at half 1-3

Score tied at half 0-0

BYU leads with 5 minutes left 6-0

Opponent leads with 5 min. left 0-3

Score tied with 5 minutes left 0-0

BYU leads with 1 minute left 6-0

Opponent leads with 1 min. left 0-3

Score tied with 1 minute left 0-0

Game goes into overtime 0-0

BYU shoots 50 % or better 4-0

Opponent shoots 50 % or better 2-0

BYU outshoots opponent 5-0

Opponent outshoots BYU 1-3

BYU outrebounds opponent 3-1

Opponent outrebounds BYU 2-2

BYU and opponent tie in rebounds 1-0

vs. top-25 ranked opponent 0-0

vs. 2005 conference champions 0-1

vs. 2005 postseason teams 0-1

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