Game 13 - BYU to Host UTEP on Thursday

BYU returns to the Marriott Center to host UTEP on Thursday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

BYU Returns to the MArriott Center to Play UTEP

No. 23/23 BYU basketball will play its first game in the Marriott Center in exactly one month when the Cougars host UTEP on Thursday at 7 p.m. MT. BYU last played a home game on Nov. 23, an 84-34 win over Mississippi Valley State. The Cougars are coming off a 72-66 road win over Weber State in which Jimmer Fredette scored a game-high 28 points. Fredette is now averaging 24.2 points while Jackson Emery adds 11.4 points per game and Brandon Davies adds 10.6 points per game. UTEP is 9-2 on the season and has won six-straight games. The Miners are 7-1 at home, 1-0 on the road and 1-1 in neutral site games. Randy Culpeper leads the Miners in scoring at 19.8 points per game while Christian Polk (11.5 ppg) and Jeremy Williams also average double figures (10.9 ppg). UTEP is coached by Tim Floyd.Thursday’s game can be heard live on KSL Newsradio beginning with the pregame show at 6 p.m. MT on 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City or via the Internet at KSL.com. The game will not be televised.

Up Next

BYU will play in New York for the second time this month when the Cougars play at Buffalo on Thursday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. ET. Live stats, video and audio links will be available on www.byucougars.com and fans can listen live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 6 p.m. ET on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City.

Cougar Quick Hits

— No. 23/23 BYU head coach Dave Rose is 138-41 in his six seasons at BYU and is the program’s all-time leader in winning percentage at .771.

— The Cougars were ranked in the AP Preseason Poll for the first time since the 1980-81 season and are currently ranked No. 23 in the AP Poll and No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

Jimmer Fredette has been named to eight preseason All-America teams (AP, ESPN.com, Sporting News, SI.com/Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times, Athlon Sports, Dick Vitale and Blue Ribbon Magazine). Fredette is averaging 24.2 points, 3.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game this season.

— Senior guard Jackson Emery is second on the team in scoring at 11.4 points per game and adds 3.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and a team-best 2.8 steals per game. He has posted four-plus steals five times this season. Brandon Davies is third on the team in scoring at 10.6 points per game on .573 shooting. He has scored in double figures seven times this season, including the last four-consecutive games.

BYU GAME #13 FAST FACTS

No. 23/23 BYU (11-1) vs. UTEP (9-2)

Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010

Marriott Center

Provo, Utah

7 p.m. MT

Coaches

BYU, Dave Rose (138-41 in sixth season at BYU; same overall)

UTEP, Tim Floyd (9-2 in first season at UTEP; 337-182 in 17th season overall)

Series

BYU leads 40-25 including last season’s 83-77 win at UTEP

TV

None

Radio

KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network

(Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)

Web

Live audio and live stats links are available on the basketball schedule page at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/

Looking at UTEP

2010-11 Record: 9-2, 0-0

Conference: Conference USA

2009-10 Record: 26-7, 15-1 (1st place in Conference USA)

2010 Postseason: NCAA First Round

Highlights:

- UTEP is 9-2 this season and has won six in a row. The Miners started the season with a home loss to Pacific and also lost to Georgia Tech in the Legends Classic in Atlantic City, N.J. UTEP has defeated Michigan State, New Mexico State, Arkansas Pine Bluff, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas Tech and Stephen F. Austin during its six-game run.

- Randy Culpepper leads UTEP in scoring (19.8 ppg) and adds 2.7 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.

- Julyan State leads the team in rebounds and assists per game at 6.5 and 4.5, respectively.

- As a team, UTEP averages 72.5 points and shoots .482 from the field, .371 from three and .654 from the free throw line. Opponents average 62.4 points and shoot .376 from the field and .271 from three.

Coach: Tim Floyd (first season at UTEP)

UTEP’s Last Outing — UTEP Grinds Out 61-52 Win Over Stephen F. Austin

Randy Culpepper scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half as UTEP knocked off Stephen F. Austin, 61-52, on Monday at the Don Haskins Center for its sixth straight win.

The Miners (9-2) survived a knock-down, drag-out battle with the Lumberjacks (7-3), who led the nation in scoring defense at 52.2 points per game coming into the contest. The game was tied at 15 before UTEP outscored SFA 8-2 over the final 4:02 of the first half.

After the Lumberjacks cut the deficit to four points (28-24) on a jumper by Mark Gomillia with 15:52 to play, UTEP utilized a 10-1 spurt to build a 38-25 lead with 11:38 left. The Miners had one more run in them, scoring nine consecutive points to expand a 45-36 lead to 54-36 with 4:05 to go.

UTEP shot 60 percent in the second half to finish at 46.3 percent for the night. The Miners outrebounded their fifth opponent in the last six games, 33-32.

Christian Polk added 10 points, Julyan Stone nine and Jeremy Williams eight for UTEP. Jereal Scott was the lone Lumberjack in double figures with 14 points and 15 rebounds.

SFA, which saw its three-game winning streak come to an end, shot 38.2 percent and made just 5-of-13 free throws -- all in the second half.

Winners of a school-record tying eight straight road games, the Miners will play their final game prior to the Christmas break on Thursday at BYU (7 p.m.).

Series Notes

Thursday’s game will be the 66th meeting between BYU and UTEP. BYU leads the series 45-20 with the Cougars winning 83-77 at El Paso last season. BYU is 23-10 at home vs. UTEP including an 85-64 win in the last meeting between the teams in Provo on Feb. 27, 1999.

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