Trent Plaisted recorded a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds in BYU's last outing against UNLV. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BYU GAME #17 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (12-4, 2-0 MWC)
UNLV REBELS (14-4, 1-2 MWC)
Saturday, Jan. 13, 2007
Thomas & Mack Center (18,500)
Las Vegas, Nev.
7 p.m. PT
BYU, Dave Rose (32-13 in second season; same overall)
UNLV, Lon Kruger (48-31 in third season; 366-264 in 21st year overall)
BYU leads, 11-10, after the two teams split the season series last year, each earning home victories
The MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.) (Tim Neverett, play-by-play; Steve Wolf, game analysis)
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (6 p.m. PST 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 TRAVELS TO UNLV SATURDAY
BYU (12-4, 2-0 MWC) will play its first league road game of the season Saturday as the Cougars travel to Las Vegas to face the UNLV Rebels (14-4, 1-2 MWC) at 7 p.m. PT. The game will be televised on the MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.) and can be heard live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 6 p.m. on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City or via the Internet at KSL.com. The Cougars have won their last seven games, including league wins over defending-champion San Diego State and TCU. The Rebels have lost two straight games to end a 10-game winning streak.
BYU will return home to host the Wyoming Cowboys Tuesday night at 6 p.m. MT. The game will be televised on the mtn.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
-- 2006 All-MWC Third Team forward Keena Young leads BYU this year in scoring (15.6) and is second on the team in rebounding (6.8). 2006 Freshman All-American Trent Plaisted leads the Cougars on the boards (7.0) and is second in scoring (11.1), while senior Austin Ainge leads BYU with 3.6 assists per game.
-- At 2-0 in MWC play to start the year, the Cougars have a chance to begin the conference season 3-0 for the first time since 1995 when BYU started 5-0 in the WAC before finishing in second place at 13-5.
-- With 25 straight wins in the Marriott Center, the Cougars are currently tied for the nation's second-longest active home winning streak. BYU is 11-0 at home this season, 1-3 on the road and 0-1 on a neutral court.
-- The Cougars have won their last seven straight games, marking their longest winning streak since the 2003-04 season. BYU's seven-game win streak is tied for 12th nationally.
-- BYU was picked to finish second in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason MWC media poll behind reigning champion San Diego State.
LOOKING AT UNLV
The Rebels are 14-4 overall and 1-2 in the MWC. UNLV had won 10 straight games before dropping its last two at Air Force and Wyoming and is 9-1 at home this season. The Rebels are led by senior guard Wendell White, who averages 15.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game - both team bests. The 6-foot-6 MWC Player of the Week honoree (Dec. 11) has scored in double figures in seven straight games and has posted five double-doubles on the year, including the last two games. Sophomore guard Wink Adams is second on the team in scoring at 13.6 ppg while adding 4.3 rpg and 25 steals. Adams scored a career-high 23 points against BYU last year in Las Vegas and against Utah in UNLV's league opener this season. Arizona State transfer Kevin Kruger runs the point for the Rebels and is averaging 12.9 ppg and 4.11 assists per game. The senior guard who is also the son of UNLV head coach Lon Kruger bruised his thigh in the Rebels' last game, playing just two minutes. Senior Gaston Essengue is second on the team in rebounding at 5.1 rpg while adding 7.9 ppg on a team-best .545 shooting from the field. As a team, the Rebels average 76.6 ppg on .445 shooting from the field, including a .333 mark from three-point range, while holding opponents to 66.8 ppg on .432 shooting. UNLV holds a slight 35.5-35.4 rebounding advantage. Rebel head coach Lon Kruger is 48-31 in his third season at UNLV and 366-264 in his 21st year overall.
UNLV'S PROBABLE STARTERS
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 1 Wink Adams 6-0 190 So. 13.6 4.3
G 2 Kevin Kruger 6-2 185 Sr. 12.9 2.4
G 3 Michael Umeh 6-2 205 Sr. 6.3 2.7
G 5 Wendell White 6-6 215 Sr. 15.9 6.8
F 52 Gaston Essengue 6-8 245 Sr. 7.9 5.1
UNLV's LAST OUTING -- Cowboys Top Runnin' Rebels In Overtime
LARAMIE -- Brandon Ewing scored 30 points and Brad Jones added 24 for Wyoming in an 86-76 come-from-behind, overtime victory over UNLV on Wednesday night. Ewing scored the go-ahead basket for Wyoming, a pull-up jumper he banked in with 3:52 left in overtime to make it 75-73. Wink Adams hit a free throw for UNLV, but Wyoming went on a 6-0 run, with Joseph Taylor's baseline hook shot making it 81-74 with 54 seconds left. UNLV couldn't come back from that deficit. Ewing hit 19 of 22 free throws for the Cowboys, including all six tries in overtime. James Spencer added 17 points. The game remained close until midway through the second half, when UNLV began to pull away. With the score tied at 41, Adams scored on a spinning layup, and Joe Drager hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to make it 46-41. Ewing hit a pair of free throws for Wyoming, but Wendell White hit two free throws of his own, and the Rebels got baskets from Curtis Terry and Joel Anthony to go up 52-43 with 10:12 left. Wyoming fought back, pulling to 58-55 when Jones stole the ball from Terry in the backcourt and scored an easy layup, then to 59-57 on Ewing's pull-up jumper. Ewing hit a pair of free throws with 2:32 left to give Wyoming a short-lived 63-62 lead. White putting UNLV back up 65-63 with a bank shot from the block and a free throw with 2:16 left. But Wyoming tied the game four more times, the last time when a layup by Spencer tied the score at 71 with 25 seconds left. Adams missed on a drive to the basket, and Anthony's wild last-second toss fell short, sending the game to overtime. White finished with 30 points, 17 of them in the first half. Anthony finished with 10. Kevin Kruger, UNLV's third-leading scorer coming in, bruised his left thigh early in the first half and didn't return.
This will be the 22nd meeting in the series between the two schools that dates back to 1981. The series has been a close one with BYU owning a slight 11-10 advantage. The two teams split the season sereis last year with each squad winning on its home floor. BYU swept the season series in 2004 and split the series in 2005, with each team winning on the road. The series has been tied seven times over the last four years. The Cougars won the first two meetings in the series in 1981 before the Rebels ran off four straight victories. Prior to 2004, the last time the Cougars swept the regular season series was in 1999-2000. The Rebels came back that year to achieve their largest margin of victory over BYU (23 points) in the title game of the 2000 MWC Tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center. BYU is 7-3 in Provo against UNLV and 4-7 in Las Vegas against the Rebels. BYU has won nine of the 15 games as MWC opponents.
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 11-10
BYU Record in Provo: 7-3 (7-3 in the Marriott Center)
BYU Record in Las Vegas: 4-7 (3-7 in the Thomas & Mack Center)
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-0
BYU Record under Dave Rose: 1-1
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 2-0
Last Overtime Game: 2005, won in OT in Las Vegas, 82-72
Longest BYU Win Streak: 3 (2004-2005)
Longest UNLV Win Streak: 4 (1981-98)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 28, 91-63 in 2001
Largest UNLV Margin of Victory: 23, 79-56 in 2000
Most Points Scored by BYU: 92 in 1981
Most Points Scored by UNLV: 90 in 1981
MWC ROAD OPENERS
BYU is 2-5 all-time in MWC road openers. The last time BYU opened MWC road play at UNLV was Jan. 10, 2000 when the Cougars pulled out a 77-75 victory thanks in part to 30 points, 11 rebounds and six steals from Terrell Lyday. The game was also BYU's first MWC game.
Year Game Result Score MWC Record/Finish Overall Record/Postseason
2000 at UNLV* W 77-75 7-7/6th 22-11/NIT
2001 at Colorado State L 55-60 10-4/T1st 24-9/NCAA
2002 at New Mexico L 58-73 7-7/T4th 18-12/NIT
2003 at San Diego State W 80-69 11-3/T1st 23-9/NCAA
2004 at San Diego State* L 61-65 10-4/2nd 21-9/NCAA
2005 at Colorado State L 67-74 3-11/T7th 9-21/--
2006 at Air Force* L 59-75 12-4/T2nd 20-9/NIT
* also BYU's league opener
QUOTING COACH ROSE
"UNLV is a very aggressive team. They put a lot of pressure on you. They guard you really hard and can score in multiple ways."
"One of the things that really determines the success of a team is the leadership you get from your point guard, and Kevin Kruger has been outstanding for UNLV. He just gives the other guys a lot of confidence. He runs the offense, knows where he's supposed to be and where everyone else is supposed to be. You can just see him leading his guys and giving confidence to his team. It will be an interesting matchup between Austin (Ainge) and him."
"The Thomas & Mack Center is a good arena to play in. It has a different feel. Our guys like playing there. We're excited to go. We've responded well in a nice homestand. Now we need to go out and play as aggressive as we have been, shoot the ball well and play with the confidence we've been playing with."
LAST YEAR IN LAS VEGAS -- COUGARS FALL AT UNLV
LAS -- The Cougars could not mount the second-half comeback they needed Wednesday night at UNLV, losing 82-72. Both teams came out slow to start the game as each squad made just one shot in the first 4:48. UNLV scored first on the opening possession 21 seconds into the game while BYU did not make its first basket until the 17:22 mark when Fernando Malaman found the hoop. Neither team scored again from the field until the 16:12 mark when a Rebel three-pointer followed by a steal and a layin gave UNLV an early 8-2 lead. The Cougars put together a 7-2 spurt of their own from there as Rashaun Broadus hit a big three-pointer and Derek Dawes and Brock Reichner both contributed on the offensive end of the court. The two teams battled it out throughout the next several minutes until a long ball from Austin Ainge gave BYU its first lead of the game, 14-12, at the 9:42 mark. The Cougars continued fighting off the Rebels until, trailing 22-21, UNLV put together a 10-0 run, holding BYU scoreless for 3:53 until two free throws by Derek Dawes ended the drought. The remainder of the half was more of the same as the Rebels took a 37-30 lead into the locker room at halftime. BYU came into the second half ready to mount a comeback. BYU was able to keep the Rebel lead at seven points in the opening minutes of the half until a 10-0 UNLV run left the Cougars reeling. Broadus hit a three-pointer to end the drought, and BYU got a stop on the defensive end to put the ball in Jimmy Balderson's hands on the Cougar side of the floor. Balderson drove into the lane and thought he drew a charge, but no call was made, prompting a protest from Coach Rose that resulted in a technical foul, the first of Rose's head-coaching career. UNLV hit both free throws and a three-pointer on the ensuing offensive possession to take its largest lead of the game at 56-28. But the Cougars caught fire from three, hitting back-to-back-to-back three-pointers to cut the lead to nine points. After four straight points from the Rebels, BYU scored five of its own on a three-point play by Balderson and a jumper from Fernando Malaman to cut the lead to eight points at 60-52. The two teams battled it out for the next several minutes until another UNLV run, 10-1, pushed the lead to 74-57 and dashed any hopes of a BYU comeback, leaving the Cougars with the 82-72 loss. Only two Cougars managed to score in double digits as Fernando Malaman recorded 13 points and Brock Reichner added 10. Lee Cummard tied his career-high with nine points while Broadus also contributed nine. Malaman was also BYU's high rebounder, pulling down a career-high seven boards.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "I think that looking at the stats explains the problem. We had 18 turnovers and 11 assists. When we play well, that number is flipped around. We turned ball over way too much tonight. When you turn the ball over that many times, you have to shoot 60 or 70 percent to stay in the game. We didn't."
-- "We didn't win the hustle plays and the rebounding plays when we had to. Those are things we do well when we win. We had a hard time coming up with loose balls and getting big rebounds. The rebounding numbers don't tell the story. We got into a position three or four times to cut the lead and came up with the stops but couldn't get the rebounds."
-- "This is a setback for us, but we're halfway through the season, and everything we want to do as a basketball team is still right in front of us. We're going to get back home, work harder, get better and see what we can do the next time out."
LAST YEAR IN PROVO -- Cougars OUTLAST REBELS
PROVO -- Keena Young scored a career-high 17 points, but none were bigger than the two foul shots he hit with 23 seconds remaining to propel the Cougars to a 75-72 win in front of 11,466 screaming fans. Young led four BYU (15-7, 7-4 MWC) players in double figures. Trent Plaisted picked up his second straight double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. The game got off to a quick start with the two teams trading baskets in the early going. UNLV maintained 7-6 lead with 15:43 left in the first half after Curtis Terry hit a three-pointer. BYU scored six unanswered points with a Keena Young three-point play and a Jimmy Balderson three-pointer. The Cougars' 14-7 run gave them a 20-14 lead with 10:08 left. Sparked by Jimmy Balderson's 13 points, BYU continued running, opening up a 32-18 lead with 7:43 left in the half. After Lee Cummard nailed a three-pointer to put BYU up 37-20, the Rebels went on a scoring run of their own, cutting the lead to 37-28 with 3:00 remaining. UNLV used the foul line and the inside play of Louis Amundson to power a 14-2 run and cut the BYU lead to 39-34 with 32 seconds left. A Young foul shot gave the Cougars the six-point halftime advantage. Balderson scored 13 points and grabbed three rebounds in the first half while Young and Plaisted each scored nine and grabbed five boards. Jason Petrimoulx scored 15 for the Rebels including 7-for-7 on foul shots. Both teams came out of the halftime break hot. Brock Reichner hit two threes while the Rebels crashed the boards and converted second-chance points. Petrimoulx hit on a three-point play to cut the Cougars' lead at 50-48 with 16:16 remaining. Petrimoulx nailed threes on consecutive trips to give the Rebels a 54-53 lead. The lead was their first since 7-6. Moments later, UNLV pushed its lead to 56-53 with 13:10 remaining. BYU then assigned Balderson to guard Petrimoulx, holding him scoreless the rest of the game. Down five, the Cougars put together a 7-2 run to even the game at 60. A UNLV foul shot gave the Rebels a one-point lead with 7:59 left. The game turned into a see-saw battle down the stretch with the Rebels maintaining the advantage. BYU re-captured a 68-67 lead when Reichner nailed a trey from the corner. The Cougars then forced a turnover and came back with a three-point play. BYU got aggressive on the defensive side and built a 73-67 lead. The Rebels got physical in the post and scored five unanswered points to once again cut the Cougars' lead to 73-72. With under one minute to play, UNLV had a chance to take the lead but Balderson forced Petrimoulx into a difficult shot and Young made two clutch foul shots.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "It was a great game. We had a great first half and things just came down to a couple plays in the end. I'm really proud of our players."
-- "UNLV missed some shots early and from that we were able to come off and score in transition."
-- "I was really happy with our guys going in up six points at halftime. It's a very competitive group of guys."
-- "There is a really fine line between winning games and losing games, and right now we seem to be in a good frame."
BYU's LAST OUTING -- Hot Shooting Lifts Cougars Over Horned Frogs
PROVO -- The BYU men's basketball team tied a program record by hitting 14 three-pointers on the way to defeating TCU Wednesday night, 89-65. The Cougars improved to 12-4 (2-0 MWC) on the season while TCU falls to 10-5 (2-1 MWC). The win was BYU's 25th consecutive victory at home, which is tied for the second-longest streak active win streak in the nation. BYU was led by starting point guard Austin Ainge and freshman Jonathan Tavernari as they combined for 38 points and together shot 11-for-14 from three-point land. BYU set the up-tempo pace early on running TCU up and down the court. The Cougars converted on eight of their first 10 possessions and were led by Ainge's eight points during that run. BYU took a 17-5 advantage early on by forcing seven Horned Frog turnovers. TCU found out how difficult it is to win in Provo as the Horned Frogs trailed the Cougars 24-10 midway through the first half. Senior guard Mike Rose came off the bench to lift the Cougars by burying a deep three and nailing a mid-range jumper. Rose ended the night with 11 points. Aside from BYU's stellar shooting the Cougars' defensive pressure seemed to be too much for the Horned Frogs to handle as BYU held TCU to .241 shooting in the half. Tavernari gave the Cougars huge minutes off the bench blasting back-to-back triples to give BYU its biggest lead of the half, 33-17, with six minutes left. Rose ended the half with his hot shooting as he connected on a three-point play and hit a three as time expired to put BYU up 48-25. BYU came out of the locker room ready to end any sort of TCU comeback with a balanced offensive attack. Ainge and Jimmy Balderson hit from the outside while Trent Plaisted and Keena Young pounded the Horned Frogs down low. Though TCU allowed only one of the Cougar starters to score in double figures, the Horned Frogs had problems all night defending players that came off the BYU bench. Later in the second half Tavernari got all 10,806 fans in the Marriot Center screaming as he drilled back-to-back threes. His 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting was a career high. Ainge then decided to answer Tavernari's hot shooting by hitting back-to-back threes himself. Ainge's 20 points on the night was a season high and helped improve the Cougars' current win streak to seven games, the longest streak since the 2003-04 season.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "I think our guys responded really well to a unique style of play. We shot the ball really well."
-- "We got started well. Austin (Ainge) got some big shots and gave us some confidence and a little bit of a lead early on."
-- "The whole thing with Jonathan (Tavernari) is patience. He really gave our team a lift."
-- "TCU was really physical, coming at us and contesting our shots. They're playing really well."
-- "The whole situation in the last day or two was about opportunities, and I think Austin (Ainge) took advantage of his opportunity. I've got a lot of confidence in our players."
-- "Now well go out and try to initiate some pressure during these next few games."
TCU Head Coach Neil Dougherty
-- "My hat is off to what they did tonight. They had an unbelievable night offensively."
-- "I like our guys. We had a lot going on over there on the bench with Kevin (Langford) in foul trouble and Alvardo Parker with the knee trouble combined with a very good BYU team to deal with."
-- "I know that our team is better. The conference is better. What I don't know yet is if our team has grown as much as the conference, and that is what we are trying to figure out."
-- "The way they shot we may have had seven fouls apiece and still been up the creek."
-- "We missed a lot of shots that could have sustained us offensively in the first half. We missed four or five shots around the rim, and that extra eight or ten points would have given us a much-needed boost."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Individual Career Highs: Jonathan Tavernari - 18 points.
-- Individual Season Highs: Austin Ainge - 20 points, 6 assists (tied).
-- Team Season Highs: Field-goal percentage - .593; First-half points against DI opponent -- 48; Largest halftime lead against D1 opponent -- 23; Three-pointers made -- 14.
-- BYU's win over TCU extended its home winning streak to 25 games, which is now tied for the second-longest active home victory streak in the nation combined with a Connecticut home loss on Wednesday night. The Cougars are 11-0 at home this season..
-- With seven straight victories over Utah State, Western Oregon, Liberty, Oral Roberts, Seton Hall, SDSU and TCU, the Cougars are enjoying their longest winning streak since winning nine straight games during the 2003-04 season.
-- BYU's 24-point win (89-65) marked its largest margin of victory in MWC play since a 29-point win (82-53) on Jan. 17, 2004 against Colorado State.
-- During their seven-game win streak, the Cougars are outscoring opponents by an average of 22.0 points per game with six of their seven wins coming by double digits (exception 9 vs. Seton Hall).
-- BYU is now 12-1 when scoring at least 70 points in a game and 11-0 when holding opponents under 70 points. The Cougars have reached the 70-point mark in the last eight straight games and have scored 80+ points in their last two games.
-- With 14 three-pointers made in the game, BYU tied its program record in makes from beyond the arc. The Cougars also made 14 three-pointers on Dec. 28, 2003 against Southern Utah.
-- With a 48-25 halftime advantage, the Cougars led at the break for the 12th time this season, enjoying their sixth double-digit lead. BYU is outscoring its opponents by an average of 5.7 points in the first period of play with a +10.4 point margin during the Cougars' seven-game winning streak. BYU is now 11-1 when leading at the break.
-- All 12 of BYU'a active players saw action and scored against TCU.
-- Jonathan Tavernari came up big for the Cougars against TCU, making his first six three-point attempts until a miss at the 6:19 mark in the second half. Tavernari scored a career-high 18 points in the win.
-- Ainge made an immediate impact in his first start since Dec. 13, scoring eight of BYU's first 17 points on 3-for-3 shooting from the field, including two three-pointers, to help the Cougars jump out to a 17-5 lead. Ainge scored 11 first-half points on 4-for-5 shooting, the second time this season he has reached double digits before the half. Ainge finished the game with a season-high 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the field including a 5-for-7 mark from three-point range.
-- Vuk Ivanovic's bucket at the 9:21 mark of the first half marked his first points since scoring 10 on Dec. 22 against Western Oregon.
-- Ben Murdock also made the most out of his seven first-half minutes, scoring at the 3:28 mark for the first time since Western Oregon.
BYU's 24-point (89-65) win over TCU Wednesday in the Marriott Center marked the Cougars' largest margin of victory in MWC play since a 29-point win (82-53) on Jan. 17, 2004 against Colorado State. The big win came just one game after a 22-point victory over San Diego State to open MWC play. BYU has won just eight games by 20 points or more in MWC play since the formation of the league prior to the 1999-2000 season. During their current seven-game win streak, the Cougars are outscoring opponents by an average of 22.0 points per game with six of their seven wins coming by double digits.
With seven straight wins against Utah State, Western Oregon, Liberty, Oral Roberts, Seton Hall, San Diego State and TCU, the Cougars are currently enjoying their longest winning streak since winning nine straight games during the 2003-04 season. The streak is tied for the 12-longest active victory streak in the nation. Earlier this year with wins against Idaho State, Portland and Southern Utah, the Cougars put together a three-game win streak, which ended with a loss at Boise State. BYU had several winning streaks last season, including its longest since the 2003-04 season at six straight victories. That streak was tied for the seventh-longest active winning streak in the nation. The Cougars' prior victory streaks last year included one four-game streak, two three-game streaks and two two-game streaks. BYU won 10 of its last 13 games last year.
ON THE ROAD
BYU's win at Weber State marked the Cougars' first road win of the season. BYU is 1-3 on the road this year with a season-opening loss at current No. 1 UCLA, a Nov. 29 setback at Boise State and an overtime defeat at Lamar. The Cougars lost their only neutral court so far this season with a loss against No. 25 Michigan State at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. The victory over the Wildcats snapped a three-game road losing streak dating back to last year's season-ending defeat at Houston in the NIT and a five-game nonconference road losing streak since defeating Washington State last year in Spokane Arena on Nov. 22, 2005. BYU finished last year 6-8 away from home, including a 4-4 mark during MWC play.
BOUNCE BACK COUGARS
The Cougars' back-to-back losses vs. then-No. 25 Michigan State and at Lamar marked the first time under Dave Rose that BYU has lost consecutive regular-season games. Prior to the Lamar loss, BYU had bounced back from each of its two losses this season with wins, including back-to-back victories after their loss at Boise State on Nov. 29. BYU recovered from its season-opening loss at then No. 5 UCLA (now ranked No. 1 in the polls) with three straight wins. Last year with its 20-9 overall record, BYU suffered consecutive defeats only once -- against Utah in the Mountain West Conference Tournament and at Houston in the NIT in the last two games of the year, having bounced back from each prior loss with a victory.
MAGIC NUMBER: 70
This year the Cougars are scoring 77.5 points and allowing 66.1 points. BYU is 11-0 when opponents score less than 70 points this year and 1-4 when they score 70 or more. BYU is 12-1 when it scores 70 or more points (exception at Lamar) and 0-3 when scoring less than 70. Last year BYU was 12-0 when holding opponents under 70 points and 8-9 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold. Cougar foes averaged 71.7 points per game last year. BYU was also 17-4 when scoring 70 or more points and 3-5 when falling below the 70-point mark. The Cougars led the MWC in scoring last year, averaging 76.2 ppg, and scored 100 points in conference play for the first time since Feb. 10, 1994 in their home game against league-champion San Diego State.
CLEANING OFF THE GLASS
BYU is 11-0 this season when outrebounding its opponents and 1-4 when losing the battle of the boards. The Cougars lead the MWC in rebounding average (39.9) and rebounding margin (+6.7). Sophomore Trent Plaisted ranks fourth on the glass at 7.0 rpg while senior Keena Young is tied for fifth at 6.8 rpg. The Cougars recorded back-to-back season-high efforts of 52 rebounds vs. Oral Roberts and 55 against Seton Hall in the BYU Holiday Classic. BYU outrebounded the Pirates 55-34 as four Cougars had nine or more rebounds (Cummard 12, Young, Plaisted and Ainge 9). Cummard and Ainge achieved new career highs.
BYU is the only MWC team that has not had a game decided by three points or less this season. The Cougars have had some close games, however, as three games have required overtime this season. BYU is 2-1 in overtime with an 86-77 loss at Lamar on Dec. 13 and an 84-78 win against Idaho State on Nov. 18 and a 73-69 victory at Weber State on Dec. 2. This is the first season since 2001-02 that BYU has played multiple extra period games in one year (BYU was 0-3 in overtime that season). The Cougars' loss at Lamar ended a five-game overtime winning streak dating back to March 14, 2003, an 86-80 setback against Colorado State at the MWC Tournament. BYU is 50-45 (.526) all-time when playing past regulation.
VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
BYU is the only MWC team to face two ranked opponents during nonconference play. The Cougars lost 76-61 to then-No. 25 Michigan State at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. BYU suffered a season-opening (82-69) loss at then-No. 5 UCLA on Nov. 15. BYU's last win over a ranked team came at the Delta Center (recently renamed EnergySolutions Arena) in Salt Lake City on Dec. 6, 2003 with a 76-71 victory vs. 25th-ranked Oklahoma State, who advanced to the Final Four that season.
BYU's most consistent player this year has been senior forward Keena Young, who has scored in double figures in 14 out of 16 games. He leads BYU in scoring (15.6), which is tied for ninth in the league, and is second in rebounding (6.8), tied for fifth in the conference. The senior co-captain has led BYU in scoring six times and rebounding six times, including his career-high 16-rebound performance against Oral Roberts for his fourth double-double of the season (21 points). His 27 points at Weber State is the most by a Cougar since Dec. 13, 2003 (Rafael Araujo - 28).
Senior Austin Ainge is averaging a team-best 3.63 assists, fifth in the MWC, and leads the team in three-pointers (24). He posted a season-high 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the field, including a 5-for-7 mark from three-point range, to go along with six assists against TCU. He totaled 16 points with a career-best nine rebounds off the bench against Seton Hall. He scored 11 points off the bench-- all in the first half -- to give BYU early control of the game against Utah State. His 14 points -- all in the second half -- against Boise State fueled BYU's furious comeback attempt. Ainge has started seven games at the point and come off the bench in eight outings.
DOING IT ALL
Lee Cummard contributes across the box score and on the defensive end of the floor for BYU. In the Cougars' conference opener against San Diego State, he recorded his second straight double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds while contributing 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. In the BYU Holiday Classic, he averaged 11.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting .542 from the floor, .444 on threes and was perfect from the line. He was named to the all-tournament team. After coming one rebound away from the first double-double of his career against Oral Roberts with 13 points and a then career-high 9 rebounds to go along with 5 assists, he finished the Classic with career highs of 16 points and 12 rebounds vs. Seton Hall. He leads BYU with 22 treys. He has had at least one steal in 14 of 16 games. On the year, Cummard averages 9.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.7 blocks while shooting .523 from the floor, .468 on threes and .852 from the line. He guards the opponent's top perimeter player. One of his defensive highlights was helping hold Utah State's leading shooter Jaycee Carroll, who ranked 22nd in the nation shooting .629, to just .308 shooting (4-for-13) and seven points below his average.
BROADUS SUSPENDED FOR THE SEASON
On Monday, BYU men's basketball head coach Dave Rose suspended senior point guard Rashaun Broadus from the team for the remainder of the season. Broadus started in 11 of 15 games this season, averaging 6.1 points and 2.2 assists. Senior Austin Ainge, who has made eight starts this season and is averaging 6.6 points and a team-leading 3.63 assists, replaced him in the starting lineup while junior transfer Ben Murdock will see more time in a reserve role. "Our basketball program at BYU has expectations of behavior and high standards that we've set for ourselves," Rose said. "Unfortunately, Rashaun Broadus made some decisions not in keeping with these standards, and I've decided to suspend him for the remainder of the season. He will not be playing or practicing with the team. The whole thing is very unfortunate. We have great confidence in the point guards we have. Austin (Ainge) has played very well and continues to play well. He is a very aggressive player who has a lot of experience. Ben (Murdock) will get more minutes than he's been getting. He's very competitive and has competed well in practice."
BYU changed its starting lineup against TCU after using the same starting five in the previous six games as senior guard Austin Ainge re-entered the starting lineup as a result of the suspension of Rashaun Broadus. Coach Rose has used four different starting lineups so far this year. The original starting lineup of the season included Broadus at the point, Lee Cummard and Jimmy Balderson on the wing, and Keena Young and Trent Plaisted in the post with Ainge a key player coming off the bench. That lineup was 7-1 overall on the year, with the loss being at current No. 1 UCLA in the season opener. Sophomore Lee Cummard and senior Keena Young have started every game this year, while sophomore Trent Plaisted has missed just one start because of injury. Broadus started 11 games and Ainge eight with the two points guards starting together on three occasions.
BYU BASKETBALL ON TELEVISION
BYU's next televised game will be on Jan. 13 when the Cougars travel to UNLV. The game will be aired on the mtn. The Mountain West Conference's 2006-07 men's basketball television schedule features an unprecedented 99 games on national and regional television, including 65 of the 72 conference contests and all eight MWC Championship matchups. The television coverage provided by the MWC broadcast partners in 2006-07 is more than triple the national and regional telecasts MWC men's basketball has received in previous years. Seventy-five games will be shown on the MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.), with 17 to be broadcast nationally on College Sports Television (CSTV) and seven on VERSUS (formerly OLN). BYU will have 18 regular-season games televised as part of the 2006-07 MWC television schedule, including three games on CSTV, one on VERSUS and 14 on the mtn. With the exception of a road game at TCU, BYU's entire conference schedule will be televised in 2007. BYU's nonconference games featured in the MWC broadcast schedule include home dates with Southern Utah (Nov. 24, 8 p.m. MT), San Jose State (Dec. 6, 7 p.m. MT) and Utah State (Dec. 16, 4 p.m. MT). While not part of the MWC television package, BYU's regular-season opener at 2006 NCAA runner-up UCLA on Nov. 15 was televised on Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket, while the BYU-Michigan State matchup on Dec. 9 at The Palace at Auburn Hills was carried on ESPN2. BYU's game at Boise State on Nov. 29 was aired on KTVB in Boise and the matchup with Weber State was carried in Utah on KJZZ-TV.
DEFENDING THE HOME COURT
With 25 straight wins in the Marriott Center, the Cougars currently own the nation's second-longest active home victory streak. BYU has won its first 11 home games this season after going 14-1 at home last year including wins in its last 14 straight home contests.
Active Homecourt Winning Streaks (through games played Jan. 10, 2007)
Wins Team This year Next home game
47 Gonzaga 7-0 Jan. 27 vs. San Francisco
25 BYU 11-0 Jan. 16 vs. Wyoming
25 Air Force 8-0 Jan. 20 vs. San Diego State
22 Memphis 9-0 Jan. 16 vs. UAB
21 George Washington 6-0 Jan. 13 vs. St. Bonaventure
BYU has led at the half in 12 of the team's first 16 games, including a double-digit lead six times. The Cougars outscore their opponents by an average of 5.7 points in the first period of play with a +10.4-point margin during their seven-game winning streak. BYU's win over Seton Hall marked the first time the Cougars have won this year after trailing at the break. The Cougars' 82-69 loss at UCLA after leading 39-36 at the half marked the first time since the 2004-05 season that BYU has lost when leading at the half. The Cougars are now 11-1 when leading at the half and 1-3 when trailing this season. Last year, BYU was 14-0 when leading at the half, 5-9 when trailing and 1-0 when tied. Of the 14 games in which they led at the half, the Cougars led by double digits six times.