Game 16 - Cougars to Play TCU in MWC Home Opener

Gavin MacGregor and the Cougars will face TCU in an MWC contest on Tuesday in the Marriott Center. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

BYU GAME #16 FAST FACTS

BYU (13-2, 1-0)

vs.

TCU (11-5, 2-0)

Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009

Marriott Center (22,700)

Provo, Utah

8 p.m. MT

Coaches:

BYU, Dave Rose (85-28 in fourth season; same overall)

TCU, Jim Christian (11-5 in first season; 149-63 in seventh season overall)

Series:

BYU leads, 11-3, including a 2-0 record last season

TV:

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

Radio: KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (7 p.m. MT pregame show — 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/

Cougars to Play Conference Home Opener against TCU

BYU (13-2, 1-0) opened its 2009 MWC schedule with an 86-60 win at Colorado State and will play its first home conference game when TCU (11-5, 2-0) visits the Marriott Center on Tuesday at 8 p.m. The two-time defending league champion Cougars are off to their best start since the 1987-88 season and their only losses this season have come against ranked foes Arizona State (No. 20) and Wake Forest (No. 6). BYU leads the all-time series against TCU 11-3 and has won the last eight meetings, including seven-straight since the Horned Frogs joined the MWC. Tuesday’s game can be heard live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 12 p.m. MT on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City or via the Internet at KSL.com. The game will be televised live on the The Mtn.

Up Next

BYU hits the road to play New Mexico at The Pit on Saturday, Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. MT. The Cougars will be looking to improve to 6-0 on the road overall and 2-0 on the road in MWC play. Follow the game on www.byucougars.com and listen live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 1 p.m. MT on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City or via the Internet at KSL.com. The game will be televised live on Versus.

Cougar Quick Hits

— At 13-2 BYU is off to its best start since the 1987-88 season when the Cougars started 17-1 and 20-2.

— BYU’s school record 53 game home winning streak ended with a 94-87 loss to Wake Forest. The Cougars are looking to make it two-straight at home when they play TCU on Tuesday.

— Two-time MWC Coach of the Year Dave Rose has guided BYU to three-straight 20-win seasons and three-straight postseason appearances. In his first season the Cougars were 20-9 and made a trip to the NIT. In his second campaign he guided the Cougars to the outright MWC title, a top-25 ranking, a trip to the NCAA Tournament and a 25-9 overall record. Last season he led BYU to a 27-8 overall record, a second-straight outright league title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. He has the best record through 110 games of any BYU basketball coach.

— BYU has been picked to finish second (five first-place votes) in the MWC preseason poll by the league’s media.

Looking at TCU

TCU is 11-5 overall and 2-0 in MWC action this season, including an 80-73 win at home against preseason favorite UNLV. The Horned Frogs are on a four-game winning streak with home wins against Colgate, Colorado State and UNLV and a road win at Texas Tech. After starting the season 1-3 TCU won six straight before losing two road games at Lousiana Tech and Indiana. The Horned Frogs will be playing their first road conference game when they visit the Marriott Center. TCU averages 67.2 points per game and shoots 45.5 percent from the floor while limiting opponents to 60.6 points and 43.1 percent shooting from the floor. The Horned Frogs have been more offensive minded as of late scoring 80--plus points in their last three games. Senior forward Kevin Langford leads the squad in scoring at 13.2 points per game and is second in rebounding at 5.1 boards per contest. Forward Zvonko Buljan, a junior transfer from Vincennes University, is second on the team in scoring (12.4 ppg) and first in rebounding (7.0 rpg) and shooting percentage (56.7 percent). Edvinas Ruzgas also averages double figure (11.8 ppg) and leads the team in three-point shooting with 36 makes on 39.1 percent shooting from downtown. Point guard Jason Ebie leads the team in assists with 67 for a 4.2 per game average.

Series Notes

Saturday’s game will be the 15th meeting between the two schools and the eighth since TCU joined the Mountain West Conference in a series that dates back to 1953. BYU leads the series 11-3 and has won the last eight meetings, including all seven MWC matchups. Last season the Cougars won 83-72 in Provo and 61-54 in Fort Worth, Texas. BYU is 6-1 in Provo (4-1 in the Marriott Center) against the Horned Frogs with the only loss coming in 1997. The Cougars won the first three meetings in the series — two games in 1953 and one in 1960 — before losing three straight. BYU has since won eight straight.

1,000-Point Man

Including a career-high 36 points against Long Beach State and performances of 30 points against Weber State, 28 against Cal Poly and 26 at Tulsa, Lee Cummard now has 268 total points for the season and 1,281 for his career. He is now 19th all-time in scoring in BYU history and is four points from passing Alan Taylor for 18th all-time.

15. Marty Haws (1986-90)1,337

16. Joe Nelson (1947-50)1,317

17. Dick Nemelka (1962-66)1,299

18. Alan Taylor (1976-80)1,284

19. Lee Cummard (2005-present)1,281

Approaching 1,000 Points

Junior forward Jonathan Tavernari is fast approaching the 1,000-point club. Coming into the season he had 640 career points and with 266 points so far this season, Tavernari is now 94 points from reaching 1,000 for his career.

Downtown Record Watch

With one trey at Colorado State Jonathan Tavernari has 157 career threes, including 40 this season. He started the season with 117 and has passed Andy Toolson for third place and is seven downtown makes from passing Mike Rose (163) for second. Tavernari also has 428 attempts from downtown, good for second all-time in school history. Lee Cummard has 135 threes for his career, now seven threes from passing Andy Toolson for fourth.

This Year’s Losses

BYU’s two losses this year have come against No. 16 (then No. 20) Arizona State (76-75) on a neutral floor and No. 3 (then No. 6) Wake Forest (94-87) at home. BYU led Wake Forest until the Demon Deacons tied the score at 72-all at the 8:33 mark. The Cougars were within two at the 1:25 mark at 87-85 and within three at 88-85 at the 0:45 mark. Against Arizona State BYU led throughout the second half until the Sun Devils tied the score at 75-all with 1:00 remaining. James Harden hit a free throw with nine seconds remaining to give Arizona State its only lead of the half. Charles Abouo hit a potential game winner for BYU that was initially called good on the court but was overturned after a review by the officials. Arizona State and Wake Forest have a combined record of 28-2.

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