GAME 16 - BYU Hosts Colorado State Saturday

Senior Sam Burgess will begin his final conference campaign Saturday against Colorado State. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

BYU GAME #16 FAST FACTS

BYU COUGARS (11-4, 0-0 MWC)

vs.

COLORADO STATE RAMS (6-9, 0-1 MWC)

Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008

Marriott Center (22,700)

Provo, Utah

4:05 p.m. MT

Coaches:

BYU, Dave Rose (56-22 in third season; same overall)

CSU, Tim Miles (6-9 in first season; 218-141 in 13 years overall)

Series:

BYU leads, 81-46, after a split in last year's season series with both teams winning at home

TV:

The Mtn. (James Bates, play-by-play; Joe Cravens, game analysis)

Radio:

KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network 3 p.m. MT pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analyst)

Web:

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

BYU HOSTS COLORADO STATE SATURDAY

BYU will begin its Mountain West Conference title defense on Saturday hosting Colorado State at 4 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The Cougars (11-4) currently own the nation's second-longest active home win streak at 39 games but are coming off a loss at Wake Forest on Tuesday. The Rams (6-9, 0-1 MWC) have lost six of their last seven games, including an overtime loss to Oklahoma Panhandle Tuesday. Saturday's game will be televised on The Mtn. while the radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City and on the Internet at KSL.com beginning with the pregame show at 3 p.m. Fans who purchase two tickets to the game will receive two tickets of equal or lesser value to the BYU vs. SDSU game on Jan 23 or the BYU vs. TCU contest on Feb. 6.

UP NEXT

BYU will continue league play at UNLV on Tuesday in an 8 p.m. PT game televised on The Mtn.

COUGAR QUICK HITS

-- BYU currently owns the nation's second-longest active home win streak 39 straight wins in the Marriott Center, two victories behind Memphis. The Cougars went 17-0 at home last year and are 8-0 at home this year.

-- Two-time reigning MWC?Coach of the Year Dave Rose helped make BYU the second-most improved program in the nation in his first season with a 20-9 record and guided the Cougars to the outright MWC?title and a top-25 ranking in his second campaign in Provo as the Cougars went 25-9 last season.

-- BYU has been picked in the preseason poll to finish first in the MWC race this year by the league's media.

-- After five straight weeks in the top-25 polls, BYU dropped out of both polls in the Dec. 31 rankings after a 73-70 loss at Boise State. The Cougars' entrance into the national rankings on Nov. 26 marked the program's earliest appearance in the national polls since the 1980-81 season. With a ranking as high as No. 21 last year, BYU has now been ranked in back-to-back season for the first time since 1980-81 and 1981-82.

-- This year's BYU squad returns two starters among seven lettermen from last year's outright league leaders (13-3 MWC record) as well as returned missionary Chris Miles, who made six starts as a freshman in 2004-05. Headlining BYU's top returners in 2007-08 are MWC Player of the Year candidate Trent Plaisted, a two-time All-MWC Second Team selection in his first two seasons; versatile junior guard Lee Cummard, who earned All-MWC Third Team honors one year ago; and sophomore sharpshooter Jonathan Tavernari, who followed Plaisted's lead the prior season by being named the MWC Freshman of the Year in his first campaign as a Cougar.

LOOKING AT COLORADO STATE

Colorado State (6-9, 0-1 MWC) returns just two lettermen and one starter from last year's 17-13 team that tied for sixth in the Mountain West Conference at 6-10 under Dale Layer. First-year CSU coach Tim Miles has a 218-141 record in his 13th year as a head coach, recently coming from North Dakota State. The Rams started the year 5-3 but have dropped six of their last seven despite some close contests. The last four games have included a three-point loss to Colorado (73-70), a 40-point win over Western State (87-47), a three-point set back to UNLV (65-62) and a six-point overtime defeat to Oklahoma Panhandle (97-91). The Rams enter their first MWC road game Saturday against BYU after opening league play last Saturday with the down-to-the-wire home loss against UNLV. CSU is led in scoring by Marcus Walker, who is averaging 16.3 points per game and shares a team-high 22 three-pointers this season with Willis Gardner, who is second on the team in scoring at 12.9 points per game. Freshman Andre McFarland has the best three-point percentage on the team at 59.3 percent with 16-of-27 accuracy from long range. Returning 7-foot starting center Stuart Creason, who averaged 10.2 points and 5.5 rebounds last year, has contributed 12.2 points per game and a team-high 6.4 rebounds this year while shooting a team-best 57.6 percent. Creason, however, missed both the UNLV and Oklahoma-Panhandle games due to injury. As a team, CSU is scoring 67.1 points while allowing 68.3 points per game. The Rams are shooting a strong 47.5 percent as a team, including 37.7 percent from behind the arc, while converting 69.5 percent at the line. Their opponents have shot a combined 41.9 percent from the floor and .320 from three-point range. The Rams hold a slight advantage on the boards (34.4-33.7).

COLORADO STATE'S PROBABLE STARTERS (BASED ON LAST GAME)

Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG Hometown

G 04 Marcus Walker 6-0 175 Jr. 16.3 2.8 Kansas City, Kan.

G 12 Adam Nigon 6-3 175 So. 2.5 2.7 Broomfield, Colo.

G 21 Josh Simmons 6-4 185 Fr. 5.5 2.2 Houston, Texas

G 43 Willis Gardner 6-1 182 Jr. 12.9 4.1 Norristown, Penn.

F 13 Andre McFarland 6-6 225 Fr. 8.1 4.1 Las Vegas, Nev.

COLORADO STATE'S LAST OUTING -- OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE EDGES COLORADO STATE

FORT COLLINS -- Will Stephenson scored five of his 28 points in overtime to lead Panhandle State to a 97-91 overtime victory over Colorado State Tuesday night. Fred Durr added 25 for Panhandle State (7-4). Stephenson put the Aggies up 85-83 with a rebound basket over Ronnie Aguilar with 2:06 left in the extra period. Aguilar missed two free throws, turned the ball over, then missed a shot in Colorado State's next three possessions. Stephenson then scored on a breakaway layup to make it 87-83 and later put the game away with a free throw with 11 seconds left that made it 94-85. Marcus Walker led the Rams with 27 points and Aguilar added 12 points and 17 rebounds. Colorado State played a second straight game without 7-foot center Stuart Creason, who is out with an injured right foot. Colorado State couldn't shake the Aggies in the second half. Antoine Callum hit a jumper with 1:56 left to put Panhandle State ahead 78-76, but Colorado State tied it at 78 with 56 seconds left when Aguilar hit 2-of-4 free throws. Stephenson missed a layup for Panhandle State, but preserved the tie by blocking Aguilar's shot with 10 seconds left. Stephenson then missed a 3-pointer with 2 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime. Colorado State led 41-33 at halftime despite 12 turnovers. Panhandle State shot 34 percent in the first period, but tied the game at 23 on Stephenson's jumper with 7:31 left.

SERIES NOTES

Saturday's game will be the 128th meeting between the two schools in a series that dates back to 1938. BYU leads the series 81-46 after 76-67 home win and a 90-78 loss in Fort Collins last year. The Cougars own a 53-10 record in Provo while the Rams hold a 33-27 advantage in Fort Collins. The Cougars have won 10 of the last 14 games overall and eight straight in Provo since CSU swept the series in 1998. The two teams did not meet in 1999. BYU swept both meetings in 2006 with an 86-84 win in Fort Collins and a 77-69 victory in Provo. In 2005, the two teams split the season series with each school defending its homecourt. In 2004, BYU swept the regular-season series for the second consecutive year, beating the Rams in Fort Collins and again in Provo. CSU has a 3-1 advantage in neutral court games.

BYU SERIES RECORD VS. COLORADO STATE

Overall Series Record: BYU leads 81-46

BYU Record in Provo: 53-10 (31-6 in the Marriott Center)

BYU Record in Fort Collins: 27-33 (19-17 in Moby Arena)

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 1-3

BYU Record under Dave Rose: 3-1

BYU Record in Overtime Games: 4-3* (1-1 Hm, 3-1 Rd, 0-1 Neutral)

*1-0 in 2OT (1971, won 98-92 in Ft. Collins)

Last Overtime Game: 2003, CSU 86, BYU 80

at MWC Tournament in Las Vegas

Longest BYU Win Streak: 9 (two times 1985-89, 1991-94)

Longest CSU Win Streak: 7 (1960-70)

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 39, 91-52 in 1939

Largest CSU Margin of Victory: 25, 74-49 in 1958

Most Points Scored by BYU: 105 in 1972

Most Points Scored by CSU: 100 in 1996

QUOTING COACH ROSE

"CSU is a very good athletic team. They're really good at dribble penetration and rebounding the ball. They've played some good games at a very high level in nonconference play, but thy've just had some issues with consistency."

LAST YEAR AT BYU -- CUMMARD AND YOUNG LIFT BYU OVER CSU

PROVO -- The No. 21 BYU men's basketball team improved its winning streak to eight games by defeating Colorado State Wednesday night, 76-67, in the Marriott Center. Senior forward Keena Young continued his league MVP campaign as he scored 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting, and Lee Cummard put up 20 points going 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. The Cougars showed the Rams early on how difficult it is to win in the Marriot Center as center Trent Plaisted connected on a three-point play and then put down a two-handed slam that got all 18,767 fans screaming. Plaisted finished the night with eight points and three boards. After CSU center Jason Smith tied the game with an alley-oop dunk, BYU captain Austin Ainge answered with the Cougars' first three-pointer of the game and then two field goals to put the Cougars up 17-12 with 8:250 left in the half. Ainge tied his career high in assists with eight and contributed 11 points on the night. As the Cougars took a nine-point lead on free throws by Cummard, the Rams opened up into a two-three zone to defend BYU's outside shooting attack and Young and Plaisted's inside game. Seeing the zone defense BYU went right at the Rams and connected on seven straight free throws, four from Cummard and three from guard Ben Murdock, to go up 27-20 with 3:37 left in the half. Right when the Rams began to make a run at the Cougars' 27-24 lead, Cummard hit a fade-away jumper and Ainge finished on a transition layup to put BYU's lead back to seven. Young then got hot as he went to work on CSU scoring the last four points of the half and sending the Cougars into the locker room up 37-28. CSU wished Young was done for night the way he ended the first half but he took his hot shooting right into the second half scoring nine of BYU's first 11 points and extending the Cougar lead to 48-35. Young took a short trip to the bench and then came back in and followed up his own miss to keep BYU up by 13. Right when the Cougars thought the game was won at the five-minute mark, CSU opened up into a full-court press that frustrated BYU into two consecutive turnovers and seven straight points for the Rams. The Cougars found their lead reduced to seven until Cummard stole the ball in the open court and took it the distance for a crowd-raising two-handed throwdown. CSU's Smith answered with a layup to silence the Marriot Center fans but Ainge kept pacing the Cougars to victory as he connected on two free throws the next time down. Jimmy Balderson then took the life out of the Rams and any sort of run they wanted to start as he took a charge. The Rams weren't going to give the Cougars the easy victory as they tried to force BYU to win the game at the free-throw line down the stretch. BYU hit 77 percent of its free throws and eliminated any sort of comeback by CSU, making the game final at 76-67.

WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...

BYU Head Coach Dave Rose

-- "I thought it was a good team win. We defended well, rebounded well and got a good win despite not shooting the ball that well."

-- "A lot has happened since we last played Colorado State. Being able to fight through this and win a complete game is good for our team."

-- "Lee (Cummard) gets himself in position to make big plays. He hit some big free throws in the second half."

-- "You can see improvement in Keena (Young). He is a hard worker. He knows how to attack bigger guys. At times tonight he made some great moves."

Colorado State Head Coach Dale Layer

-- "It was a hard fought game. They're a good team."

-- "Turnovers really killed us. You can't give BYU twenty extra possessions and win here in the Marriott Center."

-- "We're close at pulling these out; that's the good thing about it and the frustrating thing about it."

BYU NOTES FROM LAST YEAR AT BYU

-- Individual Career Highs: Lee Cummard -- 20 points, 1.000 free-throw percentage (10-for-10); Austin Ainge - 8 assists (tied).

-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Lowest three-point percentage - .118 (2-for-17).

-- BYU's win over Colorado State extended its home winning streak to 30 games, which is currently tied for the longest active home victory streak in the nation. The Cougars are 16-0 at home this season and 402-116 (.776) all-time in the Marriott Center.

-- At 11-2 in the MWC, BYU is now just one win away from clinching at least a share of the MWC regular-season crown. The Cougars would win the title outright with two more victories.

-- BYU has now won its last eight straight games, its longest winning streak since 2003-04.

-- With the win against CSU, BYU has now avenged both of its conference losses this season (also UNLV).

-- BYU is now 20-3 when scoring at least 70 points and 17-0 when holding opponents under the 70-point threshold.

-- With a 31-29 rebounding advantage against the Rams, the Cougars are now 20-0 when winning the battle of the boards.

-- With a 36-34 edge in points in the paint and a 15-10 advantage in second-chance points against the Rams, BYU remained undefeated this season when winning those two statistical categories, improving to 16-0 and 18-0, respectively.

-- With a 37-28 advantage at the break, the Cougars enjoyed their 21st halftime lead of the season. Overall, the Cougars are 19-2 when leading at the break, 2-3 when trailing and 0-1 when tied this season.

-- Three Cougars scored in double figures against Colorado State, led by Keena Young's 24 points. BYU is 10-2 when led by Young and 10-3 when three players score in double figures. The Cougars are also 18-5 when Young scores in double figures, 8-1 when Austin Ainge scores in double digits (13 points) and 10-2 when Lee Cummard reaches double digits (20 points). BYU is undefeated (5-0) in league play when Ainge reaches double digits.

-- With 24 points against Colorado State, Young has now scored in double figures in 23 of 27 games this season including nine outings -- and five of the last six -- with at least 20 points. BYU is 18-5 when he scores in double figures. After scoring eight points in the first half, Young scored nine of BYU's first 11 points of the second period.

-- With a 10-for-10 night from the free-throw line, Lee Cummard became the first Cougar to go perfect from the charity stripe with a minimum of eight attempts since Keena Young was 8-for-8 on Feb. 8, 2006.

-- BYU's post players, Trent Plaisted and Keena Young, combined to score the Cougars' first 10 points of the game, contributing 6 and 4 points, respectively, until Austin Ainge hit BYU's first three-pointer of the night at the 10:22 mark of the first half.

-- Ainge followed that bomb with back-to-back layins, one on the reverse and the second on a fastbreak opportunity, to score seven straight points for the Cougars and turn a 10-10 tie into a 17-12 BYU lead while sparking a 14-5 Cougar run.

LAST YEAR AT CSU -- COUGARS COME UP SHORT AT CSU

FORT COLLINS -- Despite a career-high 27 points from Trent Plaisted, BYU was unable to hold off the Colorado State Rams Saturday, falling 90-78 in Fort Collins. Plaisted's game-high 27 points surpassed his 23-point mark set earlier this season vs. then-No. 25 Michigan State and included four dunks. Jimmy Balderson also topped the 20-point mark with 21 points on 5-for-8 shooting from three-point range, tying his career high in three-point makes. The duo became the first pair of Cougars to top the 20-point mark since last season's game at CSU on Jan. 28 when Balderson scored 24 and Brock Reichner added 23 points. Austin Ainge led BYU in assists, tying his season high with six, while three Cougars -- Plaisted, Ainge and Lee Cummard -- each pulled down four rebounds. BYU quickly established a presence in the post as Young and Plaisted scored the Cougars' first eight points of the game while CSU's two seven-footers, Jason Smith and Stuart Creason, each picked up an early foul, leading to an 8-6 BYU lead. But back-to-back buckets from the Rams swung the advantage back to the home team at 11-8. The Cougars got a break at the 14:04 mark as Smith picked up his second foul and was forced to check out. However, the Rams kept up the pressure and held on to the lead at 18-13 despite a second foul on Creason. Young heated up for BYU from there, recording back-to-back buckets to get the Cougars within one point at 18-17 with 10:10 left to play in the half. But the Rams responded with two straight makes of their own, including a three-pointer, to push the lead to 23-17. A dunk from Plaisted sparked a 10-2 BYU run as the Cougars drained two three-pointers to take a 27-25 lead. The two teams traded scores from there until a third throw down from Plaisted followed by a short jumper from Fernando Malaman on the next BYU possession gave the Cougars their largest lead of the game to that point at 33-30 with 4:06 left in the half. Neither team would score back-to-back again in the first half as BYU held on to a 39-37 lead at the break. BYU jumped out to a 44-39 lead after halftime, including a three-pointer from Balderson, until a 7-0 Ram run gave CSU a 46-44 lead. But the Cougars responded with an 8-0 spurt of their own with four points each from Young and Balderson to retake the lead at 52-46. However, CSU put on a shooting clinic during a 23-5 run, making eight of 10 shots while allowing BYU just five free throws to take a 69-57 lead with 9:45 left to play. The Cougars began climbing back into the game with a dunk from Plaisted and a three-pointer from Balderson to cut the lead to seven points, but the Rams' hot hand continued as BYU was unable to get a stop on the defensive end and CSU was unable to miss from the floor, leading to a 79-66 Ram lead with 5:20 left to play. BYU attempted a late rally with a 10-4 run to get within seven points, but it wasn't enough as the Rams pulled out the 90-78 win.

WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...

BYU Head Coach Dave Rose

-- "We did some good things today, but Colorado State played very well and hit big shots. We need to do a better job of defending and trying to limit the six-, seven-, eight-point scoring runs."

-- "I thought Trent (Plaisted) played with a lot of energy and gave a great effort. I think it's a real positive that he was being aggressive and going strong to the basket and still drawing fouls despite struggling at the free-throw line."

-- "Colorado State's chemistry is really good right now because they're getting a lot of consistent play out of their guys."

Colorado State Head Coach Dale Layer

-- "What an incredible game. Both teams played their hearts out. I thought the second half defensive effort was excellent."

-- "The guards stepped up with some threes. We had eight or nine guys really contribute. We were attacking the rim better in the second half. We got touches down low by Jason (Smith) and Stu (Creason)."

-- "I thought the board work was what got us over the hump. Give BYU credit. I thought Trent (Plaisted) and Keena (Young) were tremendous."

BYU NOTES FROM LAST YEAR AT CSU

-- Individual Career Highs: Trent Plaisted - 27 points, 11 field goals made, 16 field goals attempted; Jimmy Balderson - 5 three-pointers made (tied).

-- Individual Season Highs: Austin Ainge -- 6 assists (tied).

-- Team Season Highs: 90 opponent points; .567 opponent shooting; 53 opponent points in a half.

-- The Cougars are now 13-3 when scoring at least 70 points with all three losses coming on the road (at Lamar, at UNLV, at CSU). BYU is also 2-6 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold. The Cougars have scored at least 70 points in 11 straight games.

-- With a .538 (7-for-13) three-point shooting mark at CSU, BYU has now shot above .400 from behind the arc in five straight games and 10 on the season. The Cougars have shot above .500 in six games.

-- With a 34-25 rebounding deficit against the Rams, the Cougars are now 1-6 when losing the battle of the boards.

-- Leading 39-37 at CSU, BYU went into the locker room with a halftime lead for the 14th time this season. BYU had won 12 straight games when leading at the break prior to the loss at CSU and is now 12-2 when leading at the half.

-- BYU's two 20-point scorers (Plaisted - 27, Balderson - 21) marked the first time since last season's game at CSU on Jan. 28 that two Cougars topped the 20-point mark.

-- Mike Rose did not score for the first time since Dec. 9, ending a streak of 10 straight games with a made three-pointer, which tied his career streak.

-- With 18 points against the Rams, Young has now scored in double figures in 17 of 19 games this year.

-- The BYU post duo of Plaisted and Young scored 16 of the Cougars' first 19 points of the game as they each recorded eight points in the first 11:32 of the half. Both scored in double figures in the first period of play as Plaisted scored 14 points on 6-for-8 (.750) shooting and Young added 10 points on 5-for-7 (.714) shooting from the field before the break. Plaisted's mark tied his highest point total in a half this season (14 vs. Michigan State).

--Jimmy Balderson became the third Cougar to score in double figures with seven second-half points in the first 3:47, bringing his game total to 10 and marking the eighth time this year he has posted double digit points. Balderson entered the game averaging 5.5 ppg in MWC play but finished with 21 points at CSU.

-- Balderson's career-high-tying five three-point makes against the Rams marked just the third time this season he has made multiple three-pointers in a game and the first time since Nov. 29 against Boise State. Balderson was third on the team last year in three-pointers made with 32.

-- Plaisted posted four dunks in the game, including three in the first half, to bring his season total to 21 and his career mark to 54. The Cougar big man has recorded a dunk in 13 games this season including multiple throw downs in five contests.

BYU NOTES

BYU'S LAST OUTING -- COUGARS FALL AT WAKE FOREST

WINSTON-SALEM -- Plagued by turnovers and missed shots, the BYU men's basketball team was unable to overcome its double-digit first-half deficit, falling 79-62 at Wake Forest on Tuesday. With the loss, the Cougars fall to 11-4 on the year as they head into Mountain West Conference play this weekend. The Deacons have yet to lose a game at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum this season, improving to 11-3 on the year and 10-0 at home. Shooting by the Deacons two starting freshmen, Jeff Teague and James Johnson, proved too much for the Cougars as the underclassmen scored a combined 45 points. Lee Cummard and Jimmer Fredette were the lone Cougars scoring in double figures with 15 points apiece. Despite his 3-for-10 shooting night, Trent Plaisted pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds. The Deacons struck early, scoring the first two points of the game. Back-to-back dunks by Plaisted tied the game, 4-4, but poor ball handling by the Cougars gave Wake Forest the chance to quickly score. The shots wouldn't fall for Cummard, who went 0-for-5 before making his first three-pointer of the night with 13:51 remaining in the first half. Coming off the bench, Fredette made his presence known, closing the lead to five points after a make from beyond the arc. The freshman continued to score, ending the first half with a team-high eight points. Wake Forest jumped out to a double-digit lead after Johnson's 2-for-2 trip to the charity stripe. Both teams traded three-pointers as the first half came to a close, but the Cougars' attempt to cut the deficit to single digits fell short, heading into the break down 49-32 with the Deacons recording a 21-8 run. Wake Forest's 49 points at the half marked the most allowed by BYU this season. At the break, the Deacons were shooting 58.8 percent from the field compared to the Cougars' 31.4. The second half started similar to the first, with BYU turning the ball over three times in the first four minutes. Four quick points by Lee Cummard were not enough to claw into the Deacons' large lead heading into the first timeout of the half. Fredette's third triple of the night came with 15:03 remaining in the game and was soon followed by a Cummard layup, bring the Cougars to within 12 points. BYU's comeback attempt would stop there, however, as Wake Forest went on a 6-0 run, returning to its 17-point lead. With 11:23 remaining, Plaisted was sent to the charity stripe for the first time in the game, going 2-for-2. Cummard tipped in a missed jumper by Jonathan Tavernari but picked up his third foul on the night following a Wake Forest field goal. Missed free throws and ball miscues maintained the Deacons' lead despite makes by Cummard and Fredette as the clock wound down to under three minutes. Chris Miles scored his first points of the game on a turn-around jumper. He followed by blocking a Wake Forest shot on the opposite end of the floor. Cummard fouled out of the game with 2:10 remaining on the clock. Six consecutive made free throws by the Deacons and one final field goal brought Wake Forest's lead back to rest at 17 points.

WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...

BYU Head Coach Dave Rose

-- "I was obviously very disappointed. I thought the game would be a lot more competitive. I haven't seen that game from this team this season. Early in the game we got intimidated, we were getting beat in the post, and we didn't get into a rhythm."

-- "It's a battle. You don't plan on having nights where you don't score, but you hope you can adjust and make things happen, but we didn't do that."

-- "We got ourselves back in the first half after a slump, but then we turned the ball over and it got away from us. We played against some good athletes with some good anticipation. It just seemed like they did things to keep us from getting into a rhythm."

-- "I just think that when you're not shooting the ball well, there are still a lot of opportunities for you to win a game. You can still win with 62 points if you're smart enough and if you're tough enough. Right now a lot of our intensity is based on how we're playing offense. We have to have another way to fight back on off nights."

Wake Forest Head Coach Dino Gaudio

-- "I thought that was a terrific, terrific win for us against a very, very good basketball team. That's an NCAA tournament team. They'll be back in the Top 25. I thought they were very, very good."

-- "I thought our guys played very hard. I thought they [Wake] played very well. We practiced really hard for four days in preparation for this, and I think it had a long way to go for us winning the basketball game. It was a great win for us against a great, great team. They'll [BYU] be dancing in March. I'm happy for our guys."

BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING

-- Ben Murdock, Sam Burgess, Lee Cummard and Trent Plaisted have each started all 15 games for BYU this season. Jonathan Tavernari started the first nine games and started again Tuesday after Chris Collinsworth received the starting nod in the previous five contests.

-- Individual Career Highs: Chris Miles - four assists; Jimmer Fredette - six field goals (tied).

-- Including 10 three-point makes against the Demon Deacons, BYU has made double-digit treys in five games this year. The Cougars have made at least six threes in every game this season except against SUU when they made five. With 130 makes from long range already this year and at least 17 games left to play, BYU is on pace to break the single-season three-point record the Cougars set last year with 256.

-- BYU has scored at least 30 first-half points in every game this season.

-- Cummard scored in double figures for the 13th time this season and the 29th time in his career with a team-high 15 points (tied with Fredette).

-- Cummard has now drained at last one three-pointer in the last nine games and 14 of 15 contests on the year. Tavernari has also hit a trey in 14 of 15 games while Sam Burgess has hit from long range in 12 contests.

-- Plaisted's 10 boards mark the fifth time this season the junior has reached double figures in that category. Plaisted's eight points marked the first time this year he has not scored in double figures.

-- Fredette's 15-point performance is his fifth double-digit scoring outing this season and is his second-highest point total of the year. His career high was a 19-point game at Hartford.

-- Wake Forest's 79 points and 51.7 percent shooting from the field marked the highest totals in both categories by a BYU opponent this season.

-- After shooting above 50 percent in four of the first seven games this season, BYU has topped 50 percent jsut twice in the last eight games after a season-low 35.9 percent shooting mark against Wake Forest.

-- BYU outrebounded the Demon Deacons 38-35 on the night, the 12th game this year the Cougars have bested opponents in that category.

-- Wake Forest is only the second team this season to shoot better than 50 percent from the floor against the Cougars this season. Louisville was the other team (50.9 percent).

BYU AND THE NATIONAL RANKINGS

The BYU men's basketball team fell out of the top-25 polls released on Dec. 31 after a 73-70 road loss at Boise State and is receiving votes in both polls this week. The Cougars had appeared in the top-25 rankings the previous five weeks. In the Dec. 24 polls, BYU was ranked 20th in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll and 21st in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll. This season BYU first entered the national rankings on Nov. 26, earning the program's earliest appearance in the national polls since the 1980-81 season when the Cougars entered the rankings at No. 21 in the AP Poll and No. 23 in the Coaches Poll.

In his third year guiding the program, Rose has seen his team earn the respect of the national voters for the second consecutive season. Last year, BYU entered the polls on Feb. 19 to receive the program's first national ranking since 1993. BYU finished last year ranked No. 24 in the final AP Poll, something a Cougar team had not accomplished since 1988.

BYU has now been ranked in back-to-back season for the first time since 1980-81 and 1981-82. The Nov. 26 entry into the national rankings marks the earliest the Cougars have been included in the polls since receiving a No. 18 ranking in the 1980-81 AP preseason poll. It also marked the first time BYU's football and men's basketball teams have been nationally ranked the same week in the AP poll since Dec. 28, 1992.

The Cougar basketball program has now been ranked in the AP Poll during 16 seasons since its first national ranking in 1950-51 (see list below).

SEASONS BYU HAS BEEN RANKED IN THE AP POLL

SEASON HIGHEST RANKING

1950-51 11

1952-53 19

1955-56 5

1964-65 9

1965-66 6

1966-67 7

1970-71 20

1971-72 6

1972-73 12

1979-80 12

1980-81 15

1981-82 15

1987-88 3

1992-93 21

2006-07 21

2007-08 20

VS. RANKED TEAMS

BYU's victory over No. 6 Louisville marked the highest-ranked team the Cougars have defeated since beating No. 2 St. Joseph's, 103-83, on Dec. 21, 1965. BYU is now 50-111 all-time against teams ranked in the Associated Press Poll and 1-2 this season including a 73-63 loss to No. 1 North Carolina in the championship game of the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Invitational and a 68-61 loss to No. 9 Michigan State at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. Prior to the UNC game, the Cougars had not faced the nation's top-ranked team since Dec. 23, 1992, an 89-66 loss to No. 1 Duke at the Maui Invitational. The Cougars were 3-3 in their games vs. ranked teams last year with a 78-70 loss at then-No. 25 and evential Sweet-16 participant UNLV in the MWC Tournament Championship game, a 62-58 victory at then-No. 20 Air Force, a 90-63 win over then-No. 25 UNLV, a 61-52 win over then-No. 13 Air Force, an 82-69 loss at then-No. 5 UCLA and a 76-61 neutral court loss against then-No. 25 Michigan St.

PLAYING THE BEST

BYU's game against No. 9 Michigan State was its third game in three weeks against a top-10 opponent, including a victory over No. 6 Louisville on Nov. 23 and a loss to No. 1 North Carolina on Nov. 24. BYU has played at least three regular-season games against top-10 opponents in a season just six times previously in program history with the last coming in 1983-84. Only twice previously have the Cougars played three top-10 teams during a three-week stretch, once in 1990-91 with a loss to No. 9 Utah on March 2, a win over No. 8 Utah on March 9 in the WAC Tournament and a loss to No. 8 Arizona on March 16 in the NCAA Tournament and once in 1980-81 with a victory over No. 9 Utah on March 7 in the WAC Tournament, a win over No. 10 UCLA on March 14 in the NCAA Tournament, a victory over No. 7 Notre Dame on March 19 in the NCAA Tournament and a loss to No. 5 Virginia on March 21 in the NCAA Tournament.

COUGARS BY THE NUMBERS

1 Number of points Trent Plaisted needs to surpass Keena Young, last year's Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, on BYU's all-time career scoring list. Plaisted and Young are currently tied at 1,068 career points.

3 Number of top 10 teams BYU has played this season - No. 1 North Carolina, then-No. 6 Louisville and then-No. 9 Michigan State. The Cougars beat the Cardinals, 78-76, before falling, 73-63, to the Tarheels despite battling UNC through six second-half lead changes. BYU held a double-digit halftime lead against the Spartans before losing, 68-61.

4 Number of games in which BYU has scored at least 90 points, tying last year's total for the most since 1995-96. The Cougars currently lead the Mountain West Conference in scoring at 78.7 points per game.

7 Number of games in which Lee Cummard has been perfect from the free-throw line out of 10 games in which he taken free throws. Cummard has made his last 12 straight free throws and had made 19 straight prior to a miss against Southern Utah. He ranks 20th nationally shooting 89.7 percent from the free-throw line.

7 Number of statistical categories in which Lee Cummard ranks among the top 10 in the MWC including field-goal percentage (1st - .587), free-throw percentage (2nd - .897), scoring (T3rd - 16.1), offensive rebounds (4th - 2.13), total rebounds (T7th - 6.1), assists (7th - 3.47) and blocked shots (T10th, 0.87).

T7th Rank in BYU program history of Jonathan Tavernari's 12-game streak with a made three-pointer to start the season.

9 Number of statistical categories in which a BYU player ranks among the top three in the MWC out of the 12 categories tracked by the league.

10 Number of times this season BYU has held its opponents under 30 points in the first half. The Cougars have scored at least 30 first-half points in every games this season while racking up halftime leads in 13 of 15 games, including 10 by double digits.

13 Number of games in which BYU has led by double digits. The Cougars have also led by at least 20 points in nine contests and 30 points in three. BYU has led wire-to-wire in six games this year.

14 Number of games this season Lee Cummard and Jonathan Tavernari have each made a three-pointer. Sam Burgess has made a trey in 12 of 15 games this year.

15 Number of starts made this season by Sam Burgess after the senior made just one start in his two prior seasons as a Cougar. Fellow senior Ben Murdock has also started all 15 games after not starting last year in his first season in Provo.

22.7 The Cougars' average margin of victory in their 11 wins this season. BYU has won seven games by more than 20 points, including two by more than 30. The Cougars' 40-point win at Long Beach State to begin the year was BYU's largest margin of victory over a Division I opponent since defeating Morgan State by 41 points (110-69) on Dec. 28, 1995.

52-7 Combined record of the four teams BYU has lost to this season - North Carolina (16-0), Michigan State (14-1), Boise State (11-3) and Wake Forest (11-3) (as of Jan. 9).

56 Number of wins Dave Rose has recorded in his 2+ seasons as a head coach, going 56-22 for a 71.8 winning percentage and winning back-to-back Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year honors in his first two years.

75.4 BYU's free-throw shooting percentage this season with under five minutes to play.

LEAGUE OPENERS

BYU is 5-3 in MWC openers, with a 4-1 record at home and a 1-2 mark on the road. The Cougars snapped a three-game losing streak in league openers with an 80-58 win over SDSU in last year's opener, their largest margin of victory in MWC play since a 29-point win (82-53) on Jan. 17, 2004 against Colorado State. BYU won its first four MWC openers and has faced either San Diego State or UNLV to begin league play in every season prior to this year except 2006 when the Cougars lost at Air Force. BYU has gone on to earn a postseason invite in seven of the eight previous MWC?seasons, finishing as league champs three times (2001, 2003 and 2007) and MWC?Tournament champions once (2001). BYU's opening opponent has advanced to postseason in five of the eight seasons, with one (UNLV?in 2000) claiming a share of the league regular season and two (UNLV in 2000 and SDSU?in 2002) winning the conference tournament.

Year Game Result Score MWC?Record/Finish Overall Record/Postseason Opponent's MWC Overall/Postseason

2000 at UNLV W 77-75 7-7/6th 22-11/NIT *10-4/T1st 23-8/NCAA

2001 San Diego State W 79-50 *10-4/T1st 24-9/NCAA 4-10/7th 14-14/--

2002 San Diego State W 75-64 7-7/T4th 18-12/NIT *7-7/T4th 21-12/NCAA

2003 UNLV W 85-77 11-3/T1st 23-9/NCAA 8-6/T3rd 21-11/NIT

2004 at San Diego State L 61-65 10-4/2nd 21-9/NCAA 5-9/T5th 14-16/--

2005 San Diego State L 57-59 3-11/T7th 9-21/-- 4-10/6th 11-18/--

2006 at Air Force L 59-75 12-4/T2nd 20-9/NIT 12-4/T2nd 24-7/NCAA

2007 San Diego State W 80-58 13-3/1st 25-9/NCAA 10-6/T3rd 22-11/NIT

DEFENDING THE HOME COURT

With 39 straight wins in the Marriott Center, the Cougars currently own the nation's second-longest active home victory streak, just two wins behind No. 2 Memphis. The Cougars are 8-0 at home this year and won 17 home games last season after going 14-1 at home in 2005-06. BYU's last home loss was in the 2005-06 season opener against Loyola Marymount. BYU?has since won 23 straight over nonconference opponents and 16 consecutive over MWC foes since losing its season finale in 2005 to UNLV. BYU?is 410-116 (.779) all-time in the Marriott Center. The Cougars' longest home winning streak came from Feb 19, 2000 to Jan 16, 2003 when BYU won 44 straight in the Marriott Center.

Active Homecourt Winning Streaks (As of Jan. 10, 2008)

Wins Team This year Next home game

41 Memphis 9-0 Jan. 19 vs. Southern Miss

39 BYU 8-0 Jan. 12 vs. Colorado State

ON THE ROAD

The Cougars are 2-2 in true road games this year coming off a 79-62 loss at Wake Forest on Tuesday. With a 1-2 record on neutral courts, BYU is 3-4 this season away from home. BYU won five of its last seven games on the road last season including a win at then-No. 20 Air Force (62-58), snapping the Falcons' 30-game home winning streak. BYU was 6-7 on the road last year and 5-3 in conference play, becoming the only Mountain West Conference team with a winning record on the road in league play last year.

MAGIC NUMBER: 70

BYU is 11-1 when scoring at least 70 points this season and 9-1 when holding opponents under the 70-point mark while averaging 78.7 points and allowing just 64.5 ppg. The Cougars have scored 90 or more points in four games this season, reaching 100 against Jackson State, and are 6-0 when scoring over 80 points on the year. Overall, BYU leads the Mountain West Conference in scoring.

CLEANING THE GLASS

BYU has won the battle of the boards in 12 of 15 games this year with the only deficits coming against No. 6 Louisville (39-37), No. 9 Michigan State (37-29) and Boise State (36-34). BYU is besting opponents by an average of 7.0 boards per contest, which ranks 26th nationally. The Cougars posted a season-high +19 rebounding margin (38-19) against Hartford as four Cougars pulled down at least five rebounds. BYU began the season with a 55-40 rebounding advantage at Long Beach State, matching last year's season high of 55 boards against Seton Hall. Five Cougars posted at least six rebounds in BYU's win over Lamar, marking the first time since Jan. 8, 2005 that feat has been done.

BALANCED SCORING

BYU has had five players score in double figures in a game three times this season, already matching last year's total of three games in which at least five players reached double digits. Five different Cougars have led the team in scoring this year with Lee Cummard pacing BYU a team-best eight times. Team-high rebounding honors have been shared by four players and team-best assist accolades by five.

FROM DOWNTOWN

After setting a program record with 256 three-pointers last season, the Cougars are on pace to break that record this year having already made 130 treys so far. BYU has posted double-digit triples in a game five times this year with 10 at Wake Forest, 12 against Loyola Marymount, 11 against Lamar, 12 at Long Beach State and 13 vs. Hartford, marking just the sixth time in program history that the Cougars have posted at least 13 threes in a game, including a record 15 against UNLV last season. The Cougars have made at least six three-pointers in every game this season except vs. SUU when they made five. The Cougars tied the program record with 33 three-point attempts against Loyola Marymount. Individually, both Lee Cummard and Jonathan Tavernari have made a three-pointer in 14 of 15 games this season while Sam Burgess has done so in 12 of 15 contests. Cummard is currently riding a nine-game streak with a make from long range while Tavernari's 12-game streak to begin the year is tied for seventh all-time in BYU history. Tavernari is on pace to break the Cougars' single-season three-point record of 74 with 39 treys so far this season.

COMEBACK COUGARS

BYU has another chance to prove its resiliency this Saturday after losing at Wake Forest on Tuesday as the Cougars have rebounded from all three of their previous losses with wins. BYU bounced back from a setback against No. 1 North Carolina with a victory at Portland, a loss vs. then-No. 9 Michigan State with a win over Lamar and a loss at Boise State with a triumph against Loyola Marymount. The Cougars won those games by an average margin of 25.0 points. BYU head coach Dave Rose has only lost back-to-back regular-season games once in his Cougar career (vs. then-No. 25 Michigan State and at Lamar in 2006-07).

BURGESS COMIN' UP BIG

Senior co-captain Sam Burgess is making the most of his final BYU campaign as he is fourth on the team in scoring (9.1), third in field-goal shooting among players with at least 30 attempts (.469) and third in assists (2.2) while leading the team in three-point shooting (.474). He has increased his scoring total from last season by 5.5 ppg while averaging 15.9 more minutes per game. His six double-figure scoring games this year has already surpassed last year's mark of four double-digit scoring outings. Burgess has started all 15 games this season after starting just one game in his two prior seasons as a Cougar.

FOR STARTERS

After starting true freshman Chris Collinsworth in the previous five games, BYU head coach Dave Rose returned to the starting lineup he used in the first nine games of the season against Wake Forest. Seniors Ben Murdock and Sam Burgess along with juniors Lee Cummard and Trent Plaisted have started all 15 games this year while sophomore Jonathan Tavernari has made 10 starts.

BYU PLAYER OF THE WEEK

JONATHAN TAVERNARI (JAN. 5) -- Sophomore forward Jonathan Tavernari recorded game highs of eight rebounds and three steals while scoring 17 points in 18 minutes off the bench Thursday in BYU's win over Loyola Marymount. The Sao Bernardo, Brazil, native connected five times from behind the three-point arc while making 50 percent of his long-range attempts (5-for-10). He set up two teammate baskets while going 6-of-13 on his own attempts from the floor overall. Tavernari started in the second half and contributed 11 points and five rebounds to help the Cougars turn a nine-point halftime advantage into a lead that grew to as many as 34 points in the final 20 minutes. Tavernari's five triples are the most he has made in a game since converting six three-pointers against No. 1 North Carolina on Nov. 24 in the championship game of the Las Vegas Invitational. He also made five treys in BYU's win over then No. 6 Louisville.

PLAISTED REACHES 1,000-POINT MILESTONE

With 22 points against Lamar, junior Trent Plaisted became the 37th member of BYU's elite 1,000 Point Club, joining such Cougar greats as Danny Ainge, Michael Smith, Devin Durrant, Fred Roberts, Kresimir Cosic and Andy Toolson to score at least 1,000 points in their Cougar careers. Plaisted now has 1,068 career points. Keena Young was the most recent addition to the club as he posted 1,068 points during his three-year BYU stint from 2005-07. Of four-year players, Plaisted is just the 10th Cougar to reach the 1,000-point milestone as a junior. The last four-year player to reach 1,000 points as a junior was Mark Bigelow with 1,312 following the 2002-03 season. Plaisted also has 560 career rebounds, making him just the 21st player overall and fifth junior among four-year players to record at least 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.

FOUR FRESHMEN

Four Cougar freshman are making an impact this year as Chris Collinsworth, Jimmer Fredette, Michael Loyd, Jr. and Nick Martineau have made their respective BYU debuts with results that bode well for the future. All four saw their first action in the Cougars' season opener at Long Beach State and have continued to make a difference for BYU. Fredette and Collinsworth are both averaging over 16 minutes per game at 16.8 and 16.3 mpg, respectively, while Loyd is posting 9.0 and Martineau has seen an average of 7.3 minutes of action per contest. Fredette is fifth on the team in scoring with 7.1 ppg while tying for team-high honors with 20 steals. Collinsworth is fourth for BYU with 4.5 rebounds per game and has started five games. Martineau is third in the Mountain West Conference in assist/turnover ratio at 2.80.

WORTHY OF MENTION

- BYU's 20-point club this year includes Trent Plaisted, Lee Cummard and Jonathan Tavernari. Plaisted and Cummard have scored 20 points or more in four games while Tavernari has done so once. Among Plaisted's top scoring nights were 21 points against No. 6 Louisville and a season-high 24 points against No. 1 North Carolina. Cummard had a career-high 27 points against Lamar and 26 at Boise State while Tavernari totaled a career-best 29 vs. No. 6 Louisville.

- BYU has had six individual double-double performances this year with Plaisted accomplishing the feat four times and Cummard on two occasions. Cummard became the first Cougar to record a double-double this season with 13 points and 10 rebounds against Idaho State. He added his fifth career double-double with 27 points and 10 rebounds against Lamar. Plaisted had 21 points and 12 rebounds against No. 6 Louisville before tallying 24 points and 17 rebounds against No. 1 North Carolina. He totaled 14 points and 15 rebounds vs. Weber State and had 18 points and a career-high-tying 18 rebounds against Pepperdine.

- Senior point guard Ben Murdock dished out a personal-best 10 assists with only two turnovers at Portland as the lone Cougar to reach double-digit assists in a game this year. He has dished out five or more assists in a game five times this year. He currently ranks 27th nationally with a 2.64 assist/turnover ratio.

- Freshman guard Jimmer Fredette has come up big in BYU's last two road games, making three three-pointers and scoring 11 points during his 21 minutes at Boise State and tying for team-high honors with 15 points at Wake Forest while also hitting three treys. He has hit from behind the arc in 10 games this season. Fredette is one of four true freshman playing for the Cougars this year, joining forward Chris Collinsworth and guards Michael Loyd and Nick Martineau. Collinsworth has started the last five games.

- BYU leads all MWC teams in scoring (78.7), field-goal percentage defense (.388), rebounds (41.1), rebounding margin (+7.0), assists (18.07), three-pointers made (8.67) and defensive rebounds (28.8).

- BYU has led at the half in 13 of 15 games this year, including 10 double-digit leads. The Cougars' two deficit scame when they trailed 38-31 against No. 1 North Carolina and 49-32 at Wake Forest. The Cougars are outscoring opponents by 10.2 points in the first period of play.

WINNING BIG

The Cougars' 11 victories this year have come by an average margin of 22.7 points, including a seaon-opening 40-point road win at Long Beach State (74-34). The win over the 49ers marked BYU's largest margin of victory over a Division I opponent since defeating Morgan State by 41 points (110-69) on Dec. 28, 1995. Including BYU's four losses, the Cougars still boast a scoring margin of 14.2 points this year, which ranks 24th nationally. BYU won 17 games by double-digits last year, including seven by 20 or more points, and was the only team in the Mountain West Conference to not have a regular-season game decided by less than four points. With an average scoring margin of +9.1 last season, the Cougars posted their largest margin of victory since 1993 over the course of the year.

THIS YEAR'S LOSSES

BYU's four losses this year have come on neutral floors against No. 1 North Carolina and No. 6 (then No. 9) Michigan State and on the road at Boise State and at Wake Forest. All tough defeats, BYU held double-digit leads over both Michigan State and Boise State and battled the top-rated Tar Heels through six second-half lead changes. North Carolina (16-0), Michigan State (14-1), Boise State (11-3) and Wake Forest (11-3) have a combined 52-7 record this year for a .881 winning percentage as of Jan. 9.

HITTING THE MARK

BYU is shooting 47.2 percent from the field this season while allowing opponents to shoot just 38.8 percent from the floor (No. 1 in the MWC). Overall, the Cougars have shot above 50 percent in six games this year. BYU has shot above 50 percent in the first half of six games this season and in the second half of seven contests, totaling 13 halves of play out of 30 with a shooting percetage of 50 percent higher, including three above 60 percent. The Cougars posted a season-high 60.4 percent efficiency against Hartford bolstered by a 63.6 percent second-half shooting mark (14-for-22). Individually, Lee Cummard and Trent Plaisted rank one and three among MWC players in field-goal percentage at 58.7 and 55.6 percent, respectively, and 23rd and 49th, respectively, in the national rankings as of Jan. 6.

HALFTIME REPORT

The Cougars are 11-2 this season when leading at the half with 10 of the 13 advantages coming by double digits. BYU suffered its first loss of the year after holding a halftime lead with a 68-61 defeat against No. 9 Michigan State after a 35-25 lead at the break. The Cougars led by 11 points at the half at Boise State but fell by three points to the Broncos. No. 1 North Carolina and Wake Forest are the only teams this season to post a halftime lead against BYU as the Tarheels posted a 38-31 advantage at the break and the Demon Deacons led 49-32. The Cougars are besting opponents by an average of 10.2 points in the first period of play after while scoring at least 40 points in the first half of seven of 15 games this season. BYU has scored at least 30 points in the first half of every game this season while holding opponents under 30 points 10 times. The Cougars' 36-12 lead at the break at Long Beach State marked their largest halftime advantage since being up by 28 points (51-23) against Western Oregon on Dec. 22, 2006. The 12 points given up by BYU in the first 20 minutes of the game at LBSU marked the fewest points allowed in a half by the Cougars since allowing a record-low 10 points against Air Force in 2003. BYU has topped 40 points in the second half of seven games this year while surpassing the 50-point mark in the second half three times.

PAINTING THE TOWN

The Cougars have outscored their opponents in the paint in 10 of 15 games this year, recording a +6.9 margin in that category. BYU has posted a double-digit margin in seven games, including a season-best +38 margin (54-16) against Jackson State. The Cougars are 10-0 when besting opponents in the paint while all four of BYU's losses on the season have come when the Cougars have been outscored in the paint.

MAKING THE MOST OF THE MISCUE

Despite recording 0.2 more turnovers than their opponents on the year, the Cougars have outscored foes in points off of turnovers in 12 games this season, posting a +7.5 scoring margin in that category. BYU scored a season-best 26 points off of turnovers in its last home game against Loyola Marymount.

FAST AND FURIOUS

BYU has dominated on the fast break this season, outscoring opponents in that category in 12 of 15 games by an average margin 6.0 points per contest. The Cougars scored a season-best 20 fast-break points against Jackson State while tying their season high with a +16 margin. BYU's three deficits in that category came in losses against No. 1 North Carolina (0-4), against No. 9 Michigan State (0-4) and at Wake Forest (0-8).

FROM THE BENCH

BYU's reserves have outscored the opposition's bench only six times this year but they have done it in each of the last four games after seven straight games in a scoring defecit off the bench. In BYU's first nine games with Jonathan Tavernari starting, BYU's bench was outscored by an average of 1.6 points. BYU's reserves have averaged 6.6 more points than the opposition in the five games Tavernari came off the bench. Jimmer Fredette stepped up at Wake Forest after Tavernari returned to the starting lineup, tying for team-high honors with 15 points off the bench. Overall, the BYU bench has outscored opponent reserves by 1.9 points per game this season, tallying 333 points or 22.2 points per game to opponents' 305 points.

LEADERS OF THE PACK

Including a game-high lead of 34 points against Loyola Marymount in BYU's last home game, the Cougars have posted a double-digit lead in 13 of 15 games and have led by more than 20 points in nine games and more than 30 points in three contests. The exception to the double-digit leads came against No. 1 North Carolina when the game-high BYU lead was two points and at Wake Forest when BYU never led. The Cougars have led wire-to-wire in six games this season.

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