Game 16 - Cougars Open MWC Action vs. UNLV at Home

Brandon Davies will play in his first MWC contest when the Cougars face UNLV on Wednesday in the Marriott Center. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

Cougars Open Conference Play vs. UNLV

BYU men’s basketball (14-1) begins its quest for a fourth-straight Mountain West Conference regular season title when it opens league play at home against UNLV on Wednesday, Jan. 6, at 8 p.m. The game can be heard live on KSL Newsradio beginning with the pregame show at 7 p.m. MST on 102.7 FM and 1160 AM or via the Internet at KSL.com. It will be televised live on The Mtn.

Up Next

The Cougars step out of MWC action when they head to El Paso, Texas, to take on UTEP on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m. MST. Listen to the game live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 7 p.m. MST on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM or via the Internet at KSL.com. The game will be televised live on CBS C.

Cougar Quick Hits

Jimmer Fredette set BYU single-game records with 49 points and nine threes against Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl Classic in Tucson, Ariz., at the McKale Center. BYU handed Arizona its worst loss at the McKale Center, 99-69.

Jimmer Fredette was named MVP of the HoopTV Las Vegas Classic after averaging 28.5 points, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals in wins over Nevada and Nebraska. Jackson Emery (24.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 3.0 spg) and Tyler Haws (13.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg) earned all-tournament honors.

— Fredette is now 37th all-time in scoring at BYU with 1,083 career points. He leads the conference in scoring at 21.6 points per game. He is also 15th at BYU in career assists with 275 and 12th in steals with 103.

— Since Rose took over as head coach of BYU basketball, the Cougars are 68-3 (.958) in the Marriott Center, including a 53-game home winning streak from 2005 to 2008 — the longest in school history. With the win over Eastern Washington, the Cougars have a 13-game home winning streak.

— Two-time MWC Coach of the Year Dave Rose has guided BYU to three-straight MWC regular season titles and three-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament. Under Rose, BYU also has four-straight 20-win seasons and four-straight postseason appearances. At 111-35 (.760) overall, he is the fastest BYU coach to reach 100 wins.

— Senior forward Jonathan Tavernari became BYU’s all-time leader in three-pointers with two treys vs. San Francisco to give him 214. He is now at 222 after hitting three vs. Eastern New Mexico. He is also climbing the lists for points (19th with 1,297) and steals (6th with 130).

BYU GAME #16 FAST FACTS

BYU (14-1, 0-0) vs. UNLV (12-2, 0-0)

Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010

Marriott Center (22,700)

Provo, Utah

8 p.m. MST

Coaches

BYU, Dave Rose (111-35 in fifth season; same overall)

UNLV, Lon Kruger (124-55 in sixth season; 442-288 in 24th season overall)

Series

UNLV leads 16-13, including a 2-0 sweep of the series in 2008-09

TV

Live on The Mtn. (James Bates, play-by-play; Blaine Fowler, game analysis)

Radio

KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM and online at KSL.com) and the Cougar Sports Network (7 p.m. MST pregame show — Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)

Web

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

Looking at UNLV

UNLV opens MWC action after going 12-2 in nonconference play. The Rebels opened the season with seven-straight wins before losing to Kansas Sate. UNLV then won five straight before losing in the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic to USC. The Rebels have been ranked as high as No. 20 this season. Tre’Von Willis, who has rotated between starting and coming off the bench, leads the team in scoring at 14.5 points per game while shooting .926 from the free throw line, first in the MWC. Oscar Bellfield is second in scoring (11.1 ppg) and three-point baskets (19) while leading the team in assists (3.9). Chace Stanback averages 8.6 points while leading the team in rebounding (4.9 per game), blocks (12) and steals (23). Five other players average five-plus points, including Derrick Jasper (7.6), Matt Shaw (7.0), Kendall Wallace (6.5), Darris Santee (5.6) and Anthony Marshall (5.6). Eleven different Rebels play at least 10 minutes per game with Bellfield leading the way at 26.5 minutes per game. As a team UNLV averages 76.4 points per game while shooting .445 from the field. Opponents average 64.9 points and shoot .396 from the field against the Rebels. Lon Kruger is in his sixth season at UNLV where he is 124-55.

UNLV’s Last Outing — UNLV Falls to USC

HONOLULU (AP) -Marcus Johnson had 19 points and nine rebounds to help USC beat UNLV 67-56 on Christmas night in the Diamond Head Classic final.

Johnson, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound senior forward, was 8-of-14 from the field. Dwight Lewis added 14 points for the Trojans (8-4), and tournament MVP Mike Gerrity had 13.

Oscar Bellfield led UNLV (12-2) with 17 points. The Rebels shot 34 percent (17-of-50) from the field, going 5-of-22 from 3-point range.

USC had a 12-0 run late in the half, capped by Lewis’ layup, and the Trojans had a 39-25 lead at the break. The Trojans led by 19 late in the second half.

Series Notes

BYU and UNLV will play for the 30th time in the history of the series on Wednesday. The Rebels have won the last three matchups and five of six. BYU has a 9-4 record in the Marriott Center against UNLV and had won three straight in Provo before a 76-70 loss last season.

Rare Company

With averages of 21.6 points and 5.6 assists per game, Jimmer Fredette is the only player in the nation ranked in the top 20 in scoring and assists. He is 12th in the nation in points and 19th in assists.

1,000-Point Scorers

With two points at Arizona, Jonathan Tavernari has 1,280 career points and is ranked 20th all-time in scoring at BYU. He is three points from passing Alan Taylor for 19th all-time.

Jimmer Fredette eclipsed 1,000 career points when he hit a three with 10:04 remaining against Nevada. He reached the milestone in 80 games. After scoring a BYU record 49 points at Arizona he has 1,083 career points — 37th all-time. He is two points from passing Mel Hutchins for 36th all-time.

Downtown Record Watch

Jonathan Tavernari hit two threes vs. San Francisco to become BYU’s all-time leader in career threes, passing Mark Bigelow who had 213 for his career. He is also the leader for career attempts. Tavernari owns the record for threes in a season with 88 in 2007-08. He now has 222 makes and 599 attempts. Jimmer Fredette is ninth with 123 makes and seventh with 327 attempts.

Top-10 Pick Pockets

Senior forward Jonathan Tavernari had two steals vs. Nevada to give him 130 for his career. He is sixth all-time in BYU history and two from passing Russell Larson for fifth all-time. Jimmer Fredette is 12th all-time with 103 steals and Jackson Emery is 17th with 92.

When Jimmer Scores 20...

Jimmer Fredette had a Cougar record 49 points in BYU’s 99-69 win at Arizona, his ninth 20-point game this season — including fourth straight and fifth in six games — and 17th of his career. BYU is 15-2 when Fredette scores 20 or more and has won the last 14 games in which he has reached the 20-point mark.

Perfection From the Field

Freshman Tyler Haws posted a perfect shooting game against Nevada, scoring a career-best 20 points while hitting 7-of-7 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Noah Hartsock added a perfect shooting effort against Eastern New Mexico, hitting 6-of-6 for 12 points.

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