Game 13 - BYU Hosts Santa Clara Friday at 1 p.m.

BYU coach Steve Cleveland's team has improved its play with back-to-back wins. The Cougars host Santa Clara Friday at 1 p.m. in the Marriott Center. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

BYU (4-8) hosts the Santa Clara Broncos (7-7) of the West Coast Conference Friday at 1 p.m. in the Marriott Center. There will be no live television broadcast. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 (KSL.com).

UP NEXT FOR THE COUGARS

BYU travels to play another WCC team, Saint Mary's, on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. PST (8:30 p.m. MST).

BYU GAME #13 FAST FACTS

BYU COUGARS (4-8, 0-0 MWC) vs. SANTA CLARA BRONCOS (7-7, 0-0 WCC)

FRIDAY, DEC. 31, 2004

MARRIOTT CENTER (22,700)

PROVO, UTAH, 1 p.m. MST

Coaches:

BYU, Steve Cleveland (133-95 in eighth season; same overall)

SCU, Dick Davey (209-155 in 13th full season; same overall)

Series:

BYU leads, 14-5 (Last meeting: BYU 68, SCU 66, last season in Santa Clara for Cable Car title - 12/30/03)

TV: None

Radio:

KSL 1160, BYU Sports Network (Greg Wrubell calls play-by-play with Mark Durrant adding commentary)

Web:

Live audio and live stats are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2004-05 schedule)

COUGAR QUICK HITS

- Coming off its first back-to-back wins of the season, BYU seeks a third straight victory for the the first time since last year's team went on a nine-game winning streak, which included its last eight regular-season contests.

- BYU is shooting .426 on the season, including .380 from three-point range. In BYU's last two games, however, the Cougars have made a combined .551 from the floor and .563 from behind the arc.

- The nine BYU players averaging double-digit minutes this season include six sophomores and three seniors. Of BYU's freshmen top-20 signing class, only F/C Chris Miles is currently playing (9.5 minutes). Both David Burgess (ankles) and Trent Plaisted (knees) are currently out while top guard prospect and Arizona Player of the Year Lee Cummard has not been with the Cougars this season after opting to serve an LDS Church mission. He will join the Cougars next season after returning from his mission early.

- Senior guard Mike Hall leads BYU in scoring as the only Cougar averaging double figures (13.9 ppg). Sophomore point guard Austin Ainge adds 9.6 ppg and senior center Jared Jensen contributes 8.9 ppg. Sophomore swingman Keena Young leads BYU in rebounding (6.4 rpg) while sophomore forward Garner Meads adds 5.0 and sophomore center Derek Dawes 4.9. Meads is currently out with a foot injury.

- BYU's tough schedule has included four Pac-10 opponents this season and two nationally ranked ACC teams (North Carolina and NC State). BYU's wins are over Chaminade (77-56), Boise State (90-77), Weber State (79-61) and Southern Utah (77-52).

- BYU and Santa Clara have played two common opponents this season as both schools have faced North Carolina and Stanford. The Broncos upset No. 3 North Carolina 77-66 at the Pete Newell Challenge in Oakland and downed Stanford at home, 86-76. BYU lost to both teams to open the season at the Maui Invitational, falling to the Tar Heels 86-50, followed by a 62-53 Cardinal win.

LOOKING AT SANTA CLARA

Santa Clara returns four starters among the 11 lettermen returning from last year's 16-16 team. The Broncos are off to a 7-7 start this season and boast wins over then No. 3 North Carolina (77-66) and Stanford (86-76) -- two teams who defeated BYU this season. Santa Clara is coming off back-to-back losses this week at the Cable Car Classic to Central Connecticut State and Yale. Friday's game will be the Broncos' third game in five days and its last nonconference contest before starting West Coast Conference play next week. After starting the year 6-2, the Broncos have lost five of their last six games, including three straight. Santa Clara lost on Wednesday to Yale in overtime, 90-84. The Broncos have three players scoring in double figures with junior forward Travis Niesen averaging 15.4 ppg, followed by senior guards Doron Perkins at 14.7 and Kyle Bailey at 11.6. Perkins pulls down a team-leading 5.9 rebounds per game junior forward Tristan Parham contributing 5.4 rpg. Bailey leads the team with 66 assists in 14 games while freshman guard Brody Angley has 47 assists. Santa Clara scores 75.0 points while allowing 74.1. The Broncos are shooting 43 percent from the floor, 32.5 percent from behind the arc, and 69.8 percent from the line. SCU opponents have combined to shoot .433 from the field and .387 from long range. Santa Clara is 3-3 at home, 1-4 away and 3-0 on a neutral floor. The Broncos' road win came at Montana (77-75) while they have suffered road losses at Arizona State (68-63), Cal Poly (98-89), Pacific (71-65) and the MWC's New Mexico (93-59).

SANTA CLARA'S LAST OUTING

Alex Gamboa scored 14 points, including four free throws in the final 10 seconds of overtime, to lift Yale to a 90-84 victory over Santa Clara in the consolation game of the Cable Car Classic on Wednesday night. Edwin Draughan scored 17 points and Eric Flato added a career-high 16 as the Bulldogs (3-7) snapped a four-game losing streak. Sam Kaplan and Dominick Martin each scored 14. Travis Niesen scored 23 points to lead Santa Clara (7-7), which has lost three straight games and five of six. Brody Angley, who scored 15 points, hit a desperation 3-pointer with no time left in regulation to send the game into overtime. Ethan Rohde added 14. The Broncos lost both games of their own tournament for the first time since 1998, and only the second time since 1980. Yale, which played nine of its first 10 games on the road, played its third overtime game of the season, losing the previous two. Kaplan hit a 3-pointer with 2:26 left in overtime to put Yale ahead to stay. The Bulldogs scored nine points in the final 36 seconds, including Flato's 3-pointer which gave them a 73-72 edge. Gamboa hit two free throws with four seconds left to extend the advantage, setting up Angley's 3-pointer. Yale grabbed an early 10-point lead in the first nine minutes but Rohde hit a 3-pointer as the Broncos came back to take a 22-21 lead at the 7:14 mark. The Bulldogs responded with 11 unanswered points, with Flato scoring five of them, en route to a 42-36 halftime lead.

SANTA CLARA'S PROBABLE STARTERS

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

F 41 Travis Niesen 6-7 220 Jr. 15.4 4.1

C 15 Sean Denison 6-10 230 So. 1.5 4.0

G 40 Ethan Rohde 6-5 205 Sr. 8.1 2.1

G 30 Doron Perkins 6-2 200 Sr. 14.7 5.9

G 5 Brody Angley 5-11 195 Fr. 6.5 3.4

OTHER KEY PLAYERS

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

G 11 Kyle Bailey 6-2 200 Sr. 11.6 5.1

F 34 Tristan Parham 6-8 225 Jr. 6.7 5.3

F 43 Jordan Legge 6-8 220 Sr. 3.7 3.9

F 31 Scott Borchart 6-8 225 Jr. 3.7 2.1

G 12 Scott Dougherty 6-4 190 So. 2.9 0.9

F 21 Mitch Henke 6-7 205 Fr. 1.8 1.7

BYU SERIES RECORD VS. SANTA CLARA

Overall Series Record: BYU leads 14-5

BYU Record in Provo: 8-2

BYU Record at Santa Clara: 3-3

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 3-0

BYU Record Under Steve Cleveland: 1-0

BYU Record in Overtime Games: N/A

Longest BYU Win Streak: 4 (1964-65)

Longest Santa Clara Win Streak: 2 (1961)

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 45, 91-46 in 1967

Largest SC Margin of Victory: 17, 72-55 in 1961

Most Points Scored by BYU: 109 in 1964

Most Points Scored by Santa Clara: 85 in 1965

Date Opponent Score W/L

12-21-51 Santa Clara 64-59 W

12-22-51 Santa Clara 66-61 W

2-8-53 at Santa Clara 64-72 L

12-19-58 Santa Clara 80-59 W

12-20-58 Santa Clara 75-65 W

12-8-61 at Santa Clara 53-64 L

12-9-61 at Santa Clara 55-72 L

12-18-64 Santa Clara 102-82 W

12-19-64 Santa Clara 109-80 W

12-17-65 at Santa Clara 103-85 W

12-18-65 at Santa Clara 87-79 W

12-22-67 Santa Clara 75-80 L

12-23-67 Santa Clara 91-46 W

12-22-70 at Santa Clara* 68-67 W

12-1-72 Santa Clara 84-73 W

12-2-72 Santa Clara 64-66 L

12-30-86 at Santa Clara# 77-66 W

12-30-94 vs. Santa Clara+ 76-55 W

12-30-03 at Santa Clara# 68-66 W

*Rainbow Classic

+Cable Car Classic in San Jose

#Cable Car Classic in Santa Clara

LAST YEAR -- BIGELOW BUCKET, BYU DEFEAT SANTA CLARA FOR CABLE CAR TITLE, ARAUJO MVP

SANTA CLARA -- With its top three post players fouled out of the game, BYU looked to Mark Bigelow and he delivered a slashing bucket-and-one with 14.9 seconds remaining to lead the Cougars to a 68-66 win over host Santa Clara to claim the Cable Car Classic title Tuesday at the Leavey Center. The win improves the Cougars to 9-2, while the Broncos fall to 8-6. Senior center Rafael Araujo again loomed large, posting his eighth double-double in nine games with 18 points and 12 rebounds -- with all 18 points scored in the second half. Araujo was named the Cable Car Classic Most Valuable Player after combining for 41 points and 23 boards in the two Cougar wins. Despite holding a distinct size advantage, it was BYU that was plagued with foul trouble throughout the night. SCU made 21-of-30 free throws, while BYU was just 9-of-11 from the charity stripe. Before the night was done, BYU pivots Araujo, Jake Shoff and Jared Jensen had all fouled out of the game. "This is a real feel-good win, considering everything we had to overcome -- especially our really poor play in the first half," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. Shoff had a dominating night on the boards grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds. The Cougars also had four players score in double figures for the second consecutive night. Bigelow, Hall and Luiz Lemes had 14, 13 and 10 points, respectively. The game started out as a relatively low-scoring affair, and SCU nudged out to an early 6-2 lead following a Travis Niesen bucket. A pair of free throws and a tip-in by Hall at the 14:50 mark tied the game. That was preceded, though, by a slew of fouls called on BYU in the first four minutes of the game. The Cougars were called for the first six fouls in the game, within the first four minutes, and a Jared Jensen foul put the Broncos in a 1-and-1 situation with 14:41 to go in the first half. BYU fought though its foul woes, however, and Hall gave the Cougars their first lead, 9-7, with a three-pointer at the 14:23 mark. The Broncos would retake the lead, but it was short-lived, as Lemes hit consecutive threes on back-to-back possessions. The second Lemes trey, which gave BYU a 15-10 lead, was set up after Araujo grabbed an offensive rebound and popped it out to Lemes. Jensen then drained a 12-foot jump shot to cap an 8-0 BYU run and extend its lead to 17-10. SCU countered with a 5-0 run, but a Hall trey and Jensen bucket again gave BYU a seven-point lead at 22-15. From there the Broncos scored 15 straight points in a 21-4 run to end the half with a 36-26 advantage. Hall led the Cougars with 10 points in the half, but Araujo was held scoreless at the half for the first time this season. A demonstrated strong second-half team this season, BYU didn't disappoint and, as expected, Araujo led the way. Araujo hit a quick basket to get on the board then drained a trey in the opening minutes of the period, which ignited a 13-0 BYU run capped by a second Araujo three, as the Cougars suddenly seized the lead, 41-39. The two teams would exchange leads as the half wore on, but Araujo powered BYU down the stretch, as the Cougars grabbed the lead. A pair of Bigelow free throws bulged the Cougar lead to a second-half high six points at 63-57. SCU, though, reeled off a 7-0 run to retake the lead 64-63 with 1:01 remaining. On the ensuing BYU possession, Lemes hit a tough jumper just inside the 3-point arc to put the Cougars back in the lead. SCU retook the lead after Kyle Bailey hit a pair of free throws, before Bigelow's heroics. After Bigelow's three-point play, Bailey's desperation three with seconds remaining missed the mark. The longest-running holiday tournament in the nation, 2003 marked the 37th year of the Cable Car Classic. With its title, BYU won for the third time in four Cable Car appearances and tie the University of San Francisco for the second-most Cable Car Classic titles. The Cougars hold the most titles of any non-Bay Area team. SCU leads with 13 titles and the Cougars have beaten the Broncos for each of their three titles.

BYU's LAST OUTING - COUGARS REGISTER SEASON-HIGH VICTORY

PROVO -- BYU scored 47 second-half points to record a 77-52 win over Southern Utah on Tuesday. With the season-high 25-point victory, the Cougars improve to 4-8 on the year and claim their first back-to-back victories of the season. Southern Utah slips to 6-4 on the year, ending a four-game win streak. "I thought in the first half we reflected the three to four day layoff," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "At halftime we talked about increasing the energy level in the second half and I was pleased with how the players responded." On the night, the Cougars shot 50 percent from the field, including 15-of-23 second-half field goals with 9-of-12 three-pointers. Mike Rose and Austin Ainge combined for 28 points on the night, each adding four three-pointers. "We have a lot of guys who can really shoot the ball," Cleveland added. "Austin hit a couple big three-pointers in the second half that put the game away. We talked about getting him more involved in the offense and I thought he really got us going." Mike Hall chipped in 12 points while Derek Dawes was just one rebound shy of a double-double. Dawes tied a career high with 10 points and had nine rebounds against the Thunderbirds. "I thought Derek played great tonight," Cleveland said. "He had nine rebounds, contested shots and most importantly gave us a lot of energy when we needed it." Mike Hall finished the night with 12 points, four rebounds and three assists, while Jimmy Balderson added 11 points on four-of-five shooting from the field. Tim Gainey and Rand Janes each had nine points for Southern Utah, while Gainey led SUU with six rebounds. Rose tallied a team-leading 11 points in the opening half, including three-of-five from behind the three-point stripe. Trailing by just two points early, Rose hit his second three-pointer of the half to give BYU an 8-7 lead with 13:35 left in the half. His long-distance bucket sparked a 9-3 run that gave the Cougars a slim 14-10 lead with 11:55 left in the half. Southern Utah rallied to a 21-19 lead with 6:51 left before the Cougars went on an 11-1 run over the final five minutes of the first half, taking a six-point lead into the locker room. In the second half, BYU added to its lead hitting three of its first four attempts (.750) to take a 12-point lead. With 14:25 left in the second half, Rose nailed his fourth three-pointer of the game to give BYU a 42-27 lead. Holding a 20-point lead, Balderson scored seven straight points for the Cougars--including a three-pointer with 3:53 left--to take a 71-47 lead. After a Southern Utah field goal, Sam Burgess drained a three-pointer to give the Cougars a 25-point lead. One minute later, Brock Reichner tossed in a three-point field goal to extend the BYU lead to a game-high 27 points.

HALL COMING OFF BIG WEEK

Hall scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting vs. Southern Utah Tuesday. Last week the senior guard averaged a team-best 20.5 ppg last week against nationally ranked NC State and at Weber State. He shot 55 percent from the floor, including 6-of-12 on threes while adding 3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals for the week. Hall scored a team-high 18 points vs. NC State, adding 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Hall tied his career-high with 23 points to lead BYU to a road win over Weber State. Hall scored BYU's first five points of the game and had 13 points in the game's first nine minutes to help BYU take control. Hall finished the first half with 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting and hit his fourth trey of the half in five attempts just before the break to cap a 9-0 BYU run and give the Cougars a 14-point advantage. For the game, Hall went 9-for-12 from the floor, and made a career-best 5 triples on 7 attempts while adding 4 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals.

JENSEN EFFICIENT IN THE POST

Senior Jared Jensen has made 15 of his last 21 field goal attempts (.714). He took only two shots vs. Southern Utah Tuesday, going 1-for-2 but last week averaged 15 ppg for the Cougars after missing a start due to food poisoning the prior game vs. Utah State. Jensen is shooting a team-best 56.5 percent on the year while averaging 8.9 ppg, third on the team.

AINGE PROVING POINT

Point guard Austin Ainge is one of BYU's young players taking advantage of his opportunity for playing time this season. He has earned the starting position, making the last four starts while being the team's most consistent player over the last eight games while averaging 13.1 points, including a career-best 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting vs. Utah State and a career-high 8 assists vs. NC State. He scored 14 points Southern Utah Tuesday while hitting a career-best 4 treys on 5 attempts. He is now earning the majority of the point guard minutes with senior Terry Nashif coming off the bench. Overall, he is second on the team in scoring at 9.6 ppg and leads the team in assists at 3.0 apg. He is second on the team in shooting percentage and leads among perimeter players at 49.4 percent and is the team's best three-point percentage shooter (.452).

COUGARS FINDING SHOOTING TOUCH

BYU has had its two best shooting games the past two outings -- both wins. BYU made 50 percent from the floor and a season-high 57 percent on threes (12-of-21) vs. Southern Utah Tuesday. The Cougars made a season-high 60 percent from the floor and 54.5 percent on threes in its win at Weber State. Those two games are the only contests this year that BYU has topped 50 percent shooting overall. Before the last two games, BYU shot below 40 percent in six of its first 10 games The Cougars have made 50 percent or better from long range four times.

IMPROVING TURNOVER/ASSIST RATIO

BYU has taken better care of the ball after averaging 23 turnovers to only 6 assists in its first two outings this year. Over the last 10 games, the Cougars are averaging 13.3 turnovers and 14.1 assists. It its last two games, BYU has averaged 16.5 assists and only 9.5 turnovers. BYU equaled its season low of eight turnovers and made 15 assists at Weber State and had 18 assists and 11 turnovers vs. Southern Utah.

INJURY ISSUES

BYU has suffered through many different injury issues in the post this year. The latest was the game-time diagnosis Tuesday that sophomore forward Garner Meads has a possible stress fracture in his foot. He will be out one-to-three weeks. Meads had already missed two games (ankle) earlier this season. Freshman center David Burgess is scheduled for ankle surgery and will be out for the season. Freshman forward Trent Plaisted is out indefinitely (knee). Sophomore center Derek Dawes has played the last four games with a broken thumb. Senior F/C Jared Jensen played limited minutes vs. Utah State due to food poisoning and junior forward Joshua Burgess has been slowed by back problems. Freshman F/C Chris Miles is the only Cougar post player not to have his play limited during the regular season due to illness or injury.

REISMAN NO LONGER WITH TEAM

Junior-college transfer Josh Reisman is having a second surgery to repair a broken nose he sustained during the summer. The junior point guard appeared in one game for five minutes playing behind sophomore Austin Ainge and senior Terry Nashif.

YOUNG TEAM FACING STRONG SCHEDULE

BYU's team includes seven sophomores and three freshman. Of the Cougars seeing double-digit minutes, six are sophomores and three are seniors, BYU's schedule includes 10 teams that finished in the top three in their respective league standings last year, with eight finishing as either the league champion or runner-up. Seven teams played in the NCAA Tournament and five were invited to the NIT, while eight opponents achieved 20-win seasons last year. North Carolina, North Carolina State and Stanford all finished the season in the final top-25 rankings. The Cougars have played two teams from the ACC in the same season for the first time in nearly 50 years and they also have faced four teams from the Pac-10 for the first time since 1998-99. The last time BYU had a schedule with two ACC teams was the 1955-56 season when the Cougars played at both NC State and Wake Forest.

CURRENT BYU WIN/LOSS STREAKS ...

At home 1-0

On the road 1-0

On a neutral floor 0-1

At home vs. Nonconference 1-0

At home vs. MWC 12-0

On the road vs. Nonconference 1-0

On the road vs. MWC 3-0

On a neutral floor vs. Nonconference 0-1

On a neutral floor vs. MWC 0-1

at regular season tournament 1-0

at MWC Tournament 0-1

at NCAA Tournament 0-5

at NIT 0-1

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