Sam Burgess scored 12 points on 4-for-6 shooting in BYU's 73-59 win over Liberty Thursday to open the BYU Holiday Classic.
BYU GAME #13 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (8-4, 0-0 MWC)
ORU GOLDEN EAGLES (6-6, 0-0 Mid-Con)
Friday, Dec. 29, 2006
Marriott Center (22,700)
7:35 p.m. MT
BYU, Dave Rose (28-13 in second season; same overall)
ORU, Scott Sutton 127-97 in eighth season; same overall)
BYU leads 4-0 including a 95-73 win on Dec. 20, 1986, the last meeting in the series
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (6:30 p.m. MT pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)
Live audio and live stats links are available on the basketball schedule page at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/
BYU HOLIDAY CLASSIC SCHEDULE
Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006
5 p.m. Oral Roberts 76, Seton Hall 74
7:30 p.m. BYU 73, Liberty 59
Friday, Dec. 29, 2006
5 p.m. Seton Hall vs. Liberty
7:30 p.m. BYU vs. Oral Roberts
Saturday, Dec. 30, 2006
5 p.m. Liberty vs. Oral Roberts
7:30 p.m. BYU vs. Seton Hall
BYU HOLIDAY CLASSIC -- DAY 1
BYU earned a 73-59 win over Liberty University Thursday during the first day of the BYU Holiday Classic. In the opening game Thursday, Caleb Green sank a pair of free throws with :2.4 seconds remaining to lift Oral Roberts University to a 76-74 win over Seton Hall in the Marriott Center. BYU improves to 8-4 with the win while Liberty falls to 6-5. Oral Roberts evened its record at 6-6 with Seton Hall suffering only its third loss at 7-3.
COUGARS POUNCE ON LIBERTY
BYU earned a 73-59 win over Liberty University Thursday during the first day of the BYU Holiday Classic. Rashaun Broadus paced the Cougars in the early going scoring five points and dishing out an assist, helping BYU jump out to an early 11-6 lead. Liberty held tough with a balanced scoring attack led by forward Alex McLean who scored eight points and collected four rebounds in the first half. "I think we did a great job defensively and on the boards. Give the credit to Liberty," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "We watched a lot of film, and they had a different game plan than we were expecting. They ran the shot clock and then came after us. For whatever reason we were a little rushed and didn't make many shots in the first half." Jonathan Tavernari and Mike Rose were able to provide the energy the Cougars needed to take a 29-25 lead at halftime. The second half opened up with BYU trying to re-establish its dominance in the post. Young and Trent Plaisted answered the call sending the Cougars on a 13-2 run to start the half, capped by a three-pointer from forward Lee Cummard. Young finished with 17 points and four rebounds, while Plaisted finished with 11 points and nine rebounds. After trailing 51-38 Liberty hit back to back three-pointers to narrow the Cougars' lead to 51-44. BYU responded with a run of its own capped by a Plaisted dunk to make the score 61-45 in favor of the Cougars. The Cougars continued to pull away at the end of the game with another Plaisted dunk and two Sam Burgess three-pointers. The Cougars defense stepped it up in the second half, finishing the night with 12 forced turnovers and a season-high nine blocked shots. Liberty guards Larry Blair and Dwight Brewington had 12 and 14 points apiece, and McLean finished with a double-double with14 points and 10 rebounds. BYU's Sam Burgess had 12 points and tied a career high with three rebounds off the bench for the Cougars, while Broadus finished with 10 points and two assists. The Cougars had four players score in double figures.
ORAL ROBERTS EDGES SETON HALL, 76-74, IN HOLIDAY CLASSIC OPENER
In the opening game of the BYU Holiday Classic, Caleb Green sank a pair of free throws with :2.4 seconds remaining to lift Oral Roberts University to a 76-74 win over Seton Hall Thursday at Marriott Center. After leading by as many as 12 points late in the first half, the Golden Eagles (6-6) found themselves on the short end of a 72-64 score with 3:40 to play before mounting a comeback. Ken Tutt started the final surge with a pair of free throws at 3:17, trimming the Pirates lead to 72-66. A Seton Hall (7-3) miss on the other end led to a fastbreak layup for Tutt, trimming it to 72-68 with 2:55 left. Green converted a 3-point play with 2:20 left to pull the Golden Eagles within 72-71. Seton Hall's Eugene Harvey temporarily stopped the bleeding and gave the Pirates a 74-71 lead at 2:09. But Harvey was whistled for a taunting technical after the basket, and Tutt sank a pair of free throws to make it a 74-73 game. Green tied the game by making one-of-two free throws with :55.5 seconds left. Seton Hall -- which went 1-for-6 from the field in the final three minutes -- again missed on its next possession, setting the stage for Green's winning free throws. Tutt finished with 24 points, going 8-of-16 from the field and 7-of-11 from the line. Marchello Vealy grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds. Brian Laing led Seton Hall with 17 points, while Jamar Nutter scored 16.
LOOKING AT ORAL ROBERTS
Oral Roberts University (Tulsa, Okla.) is off to a 5-6 start this season. The Golden Eagles return five lettermen and two starters from last year's 21-12 team that finished tied for first in the Mid-Continent Conference with a 13-3 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. This year's team has played a tough schedule with five road losses, including setbacks at Loyola Marymount, Tulsa, Georgetown and Arkansas. ORU gained its lone road win by knocking off then No. 3 Kansas (78-71). Among ORU's other wins is an 88-63 home win over Lamar, who defeated BYU in Beaumont this season. Oral Roberts is led by forward Caleb Green and guard Ken Tutt, who average 19.7 and 16.3 points per game, respectively. Green is averaging a double-double with a team-best 10.2 rebounds per contest. ORU scores 67.9 points while allowing 64.1. ORU is coached by Scott Sutton, who is 126-97 in his eighth season.
BYU NOTES UPDATES
With wins against Utah State, Western Oregon and Liberty in their last three games, the Cougars have equaled their longest winning streak of the year. BYU also won three straight earlier this season with victories against Idaho State, Portland and Southern Utah.
MAGIC NUMBER: 70
This year the Cougars are scoring 76.8 points and allowing 67.0 points. BYU is 7-0 when opponents score less than 70 points this year and 1-4 when they score 70 or more. BYU is 8-1 when it scores 70 or more points (exception at Lamar) and 0-3 when scoring less than 70.
CLEANING OFF THE GLASS
BYU is 8-0 this season when outrebounding its opponents and 0-4 when losing the battle of the boards. Sophomore Trent Plaisted leads BYU with 6.8 rpg, followed by senior Keena Young at 6.1 rpg.
BYU has led at the half in nine of the team's first 12 games. The Cougars are now 8-1 when leading at the half and 0-3 when trailing this season and have had a double-digit lead at the break five times.
DEFENDING THE HOME COURT
With 21 straight wins in the Marriott Center, the Cougars currently are tied with Memphis for the fourth-longest active home victory streak in the nation. BYU has won its first seven home games this season after going 14-1 at home last year including wins in their last 14 straight home contests.
Active Homecourt Winning Streaks (As of Friday Dec. 29, 2006)
Wins Team This year Next home game
45 Gonzaga 5-0 Jan. 6 vs. Loyola Marymount
30 Connecticut 11-0 Jan. 2 vs. South Florida
23 Air Force 6-0 Jan. 6 vs. UNLV
21 BYU 7-0 Friday vs. Oral Roberts
21 Memphis 8-0 Jan. 4 vs. Cincinnati
19 George Washington 4-0 Jan. 3 vs. Fordham
18 Northwestern St. 4-0 Jan. 11 vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi