Game 19 - BYU at New Mexico

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

GAME #19 FAST FACTS

BYU COUGARS (12-6, 4-3 MWC)

at

NEW MEXICO LOBOS (12-8, 3-4 MWC)

Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2006

The Pit/Bob King Court (18,018)

Albuquerque, N.M.

7:07 p.m. MST

Coaches:

BYU, Dave Rose (12-6 in first year; same overall)

UNM, Ritchie McKay (62-47 in fourth year; 145-136 in 10 years overall)

Series:

BYU leads 67-50 after dropping two of three meetings last year, including an MWC Quarterfinal loss

TV:

SportsWest -- Comcast local channel 60 and local channel 3 in Utah, KASY UPN-50 in Albuquerque and ESPN Full Court (Mike Powers, play-by-play; Craig Hislop, game analysis)

Radio:

KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (6 p.m. MST pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Russell Larson, game analysis)

Web:

Live audio and live stats broadcasts are available at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/

BYU TRAVELS TO NEW MEXICO WEDNESDAY

BYU (12-6, 4-3 MWC) continues its travels with a trip to New Mexico (12-8, 3-4 MWC) for a Wednesday night matchup with the Lobos. The Cougars are coming off their first conference road win of the year and back-to-back league victories while the Lobos have dropped their last two games, both on the road, but are 12-0 at home this season and own the nation's No. 4 homecourt winning streak at 21 games. The 7:07 p.m. tip will be broadcast on Comcast channel 3 in Utah and on KASY UPN-50 in Albuquerque as well as natinally via ESPN Full Court. The radio braodcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio. (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network.

UP NEXT

BYU returns home to begin the second half of Mountain West Conference play on Saturday against Air Force in the ESPN Regional Game of the Week. The 1 p.m. tip-off can be seen live in Utah on ESPN+ (KJZZ-14). BYU is offering a "1dollar at 1 p.m." ticket promotion with all seats above the concourse priced at $1.

COUGAR QUICK HITS

-- Cougar head coach Dave Rose is 12-6 in his first year at the helm after eight years as BYU's lead assistant.

-- The Cougars were picked to finish ninth in the Mountain West Conference in the league's preseason media poll. BYU is currently tied for fourth in the MWC with Wyoming with a 4-3 conference record.

-- BYU is 12-6 overall, including 9-1 at home, and has won nine straight in the Marriott Center. The Cougars are 2-5 away and 1-0 at a neutral site. BYU scores an MWC-leading 77.1 ppg and shoots .466 from the field, including .376 from long range and .715 from the line, second in the league. Cougar opponents average 71.1 points on .438 shooting, .340 from three and .724 from the line. BYU pulls down 35.6 rebounds per game, 2.0 more than its opponents. The Cougars dish out an MWC-leading 17.2 assists per game.

-- Redshirt freshman forward/center Trent Plaisted leads BYU in scoring (13.1), followed by senior guard Brock Reichner (10.9). Plaisted is also the Cougars' top rebounder (5.6) followed by junior forward Keena Young (5.4). Junior point guard Rashaun Broadus is second in the MWC in assists (4.12) followed by junior combo guard Austin Ainge (3.11), who is seventh. Ten Cougars are logging 10 minutes or more per game.

-- Among BYU's returning players, honorable mention All-MWC guard Austin Ainge was the team's second-leading scorer and top assist man last year, and forward Keena Young was BYU's leading rebounder. Other returners with starting experience last year include swingman Jimmy Balderson, who led Canada in scoring at the World University Games this summer; center Derek Dawes, who made 13 starts in the middle last year; and guard Mike Rose, who made seven starts last year and averaged 7.7 points while making a team-leading 56 treys. Lone senior Brock Reichner made two starts late last year after mostly limited action during the season.

BYU SERIES RECORD VS. NEW MEXICO

Overall Series Record: BYU leads 67-50

BYU Record in Provo: 39-15 (22-12 in the Marriott Center)

BYU Record in Albuquerque: 24-31 (14-26 in The Pit)

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 4-4

BYU Record under Dave Rose: 0-0

BYU Record in Overtime Games: 1-3 (1-1 Rd, 0-2 Hm)

Last Overtime Game: 1994, lost in Provo, 82-84

Longest BYU Win Streak: 14 (1950-57)

Longest New Mexico Win Streak: 5 (1996-98)

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 30, 92-62 two times in 1955 and 1959

Largest New Mexico Margin of Victory: 42, 74-32 in 1997

Most Points Scored by BYU: 100 in 1979

Most Points Scored by New Mexico: 102 in 1987

LOOKING AT NEW MEXICO

The Lobos are currently 12-8 overall and 3-4 in the Mountain West Conference with wins against Colorado State, TCU and Air Force. New Mexico has dropped its last two games, at San Diego State and UNLV, but is 12-0 at home this season, owning the nation's fourth-longest home winning streak at 21 games. The 2005 MWC Tournament Champions are without the services of Third Team All-American and NBA First Round Draft pick Danny Granger but return two starters and eight letterwinners from last year's 26-7 team. Senior guard Mark Walters leads the Lobos and is fifth in the league averaging 16.3 points per game. The 2005 All-MWC honorable mention honoree also paces New Mexico in assists (55) and steals (42) while coming in second in rebounds with 5.1 per contest. His 2.1 steals per game ranks third in the conference. Senior forward David Chiotti is second on the team with 12.8 ppg on .553 shooting from the field, fifth in the league. Chiotti, a Third Team All-MWC pick last season, leads New Mexico with 6.2 rebounds per game, which is eighth in the MWC. Chiotti has also recorded 18 blocks on the season, eighth in the conference. Sophomore guard/forward Tony Danridge is third on the team in both scoring and rebounding (tied) with 9.9 points and 2.8 reboounds per game, respectively, while shooting .527 from the floor. Overall, New Mexico averages 66.7 points per game on .464 shooting from the field, including .345 from three-point range and .697 from the free-throw line. The Lobos allow just 63.7 points per game, second in the MWC, on .461 shooting from the floor, .341 from beyond the arc and .729 from the charity stripe. New Mexico opponents outrebound the Lobos 30.7 to 29.2. UNM head coach Ritchie McKay is 62-47 in his fourth year with the Lobos and 145-136 in 10 years overall.

UNM'S PROBABLE STARTERS

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

F 13 David Chiotti 6-9 250 Jr. 12.8 6.2

F 50 Kyle Prochaska 6-6 205 Jr. 4.2 2.8

G 5 Mark Walters 6-2 225 Sr. 16.3 5.1

G 21 Ryan Kersten 6-1 195 Fr. 5.9 2.1

G 32 Tony Danridge 6-5 205 So. 9.9 2.8

NEW MEXICO'S LAST OUTING -- Lobos Come Up Short at UNLV

LAS VEGAS -- Wendell White scored a career-high 16 points to lead UNLV over New Mexico 67-56 Saturday night. White, a junior guard, went 8-of-10 from the field and the Rebels used a 12-0 run to pull away late. New Mexico did not score in the final 5:03. JoVan Adams had 13 points and six rebounds for UNLV, while Louis Amundson added 12 points and 8 rebounds. The Rebels out-rebounded New Mexico 35-24. After the Lobos took their first and only lead of the second half at 56-55 with 5:03 left, the Rebels took the lead for good on a White field goal with 4:23 left. David Chiotti led New Mexico with 13 points. Mark Walters added 11 points and 7 rebounds. UNLV shot 26-of-50 (52 percent), while the Lobos were 22-of-53 (42 percent). UNLV ended the first half with an 11-4 run and led 37-32 at halftime

SERIES NOTES

This will be the 118th game in the series that started in the 1949-50 season. The Cougars lead the series 67-50. BYU dropped two of three meetings last season, winning 68-53 at home but falling 91-72 at The Pit and 85-71 in the quarterfinals of the MWC Tournament in Denver. BYU had a four-game winning streak in the series halted with a season series split in 2004. The Cougars swept the season series in 2003 and defeated the Lobos in the opening round of the 2003 MWC Tournament. BYU has won 10 of the last 14 games in the series after New Mexico had won eight of the prior nine contests. BYU has won five straight over UNM in the Marriott Center. New Mexico's last win in Provo was a 78-74 win in 2000, which was BYU's last loss in the Marriott Center prior to starting its school-record 44-game nation-leading homecourt victory string that was ended in 2003 by Utah. BYU is 14-26 in the Pit.

FACING HOMECOURT STREAKS AT THE PIT

The Lobos currently hold the fourth-longest homecourt winning streak in the nation with 21 straight wins at The Pit, but BYU is no stranger to streaks at New Mexico. On Feb. 26, 1998, the Cougars upset the then-No. 15 Lobos 83-62 at The Pit to end UNM's school-record 41-game home winning streak, which was second in the nation. The Cougars came into the game 2-10 in the WAC while the Lobos were 11-1. BYU senior Justin Weidauer scored 22 points while freshman Mekeli Wesley contributed 19 and junior Danny Bower finished with 17. BYU also ended New Mexico's second-longest home winning streak of 24 games, defeating the Lobos 96-78 on Jan. 25, 1975.

ROSE AT THE PIT

BYU head coach Dave Rose is also no stranger to The Pit. Rose was a member of the 1983 Houston team that played in the NCAA Final Four at The Pit, including the championship game against Jim Valvano's North Carolina State team. Rose's Cougars defeated Louisville, 94-81, to advance to the NCAA Championship game, losing 54-52 to NC State.

QUOTING BYU HEAD COACH DAVE ROSE ...

"Mark Walters has made himself a very good player over the course of the season. Chiotti has done the same. Those two guys have been starting since their freshman year. They played on a great team last year and are carrying the load this year. Those are the two guys that we have to look out for."

"I think this is a great opportunity for us. Playing at The Pit can be a lot of fun. It's a great atmosphere and a great place to play basketball. It's a good shooting arena, and the fans are close so it should be fun for our team. We just want to go in there and play well. We need to play tough, hit big shots and make big plays. New Mexico plays a lot of zone so we'll spend some time working on that."

RECENT SERIES RESULTS

LAST YEAR IN ALBUQUERQUE -- LOBOS SHOOT BY COUGARS

ALBUQUERQUE -- It was a tough night for the Cougars in New Mexico as sharp shooting and phenomenal play by Danny Granger gave the Lobos a 91-72 victory in the Pit to avoid a Cougar season sweep. Granger led the Lobos with 20 points, three rebounds and five assists, as New Mexico connected on 31-of-50 shots to shoot 62 percent from the field. Despite the loss, the Cougars shot an outstanding 55 percent from the field, with center Jared Jensen scoring on nine of his 10 shots to finish the game with 20 points and five rebounds. It was all Lobos in the first half with Danny Granger leading the way. The first basket came from a deep three-pointer by Granger to begin a 7-0 run as New Mexico never trailed. Jensen carried the Cougars as long as he could, scoring 10 points on 4-4 shooting, but foul trouble took Jensen out of the game. Without Cougar forwards Garner Meads and Keena Young, who were both out due to injury, BYU had no answer for Granger. The senior forward finished the half with 12 points, including a 2-point basket at the buzzer. New Mexico went into halftime with a 54-35 advantage and the largest lead of the half at 19 points. The Cougars finished the half shooting 48 percent from the field, while the Lobos shot an astonishing 76 percent from the floor. The hot shooting continued for the Lobos in the second half, never allowing the Cougars to crawl their way back into the game. Cougar guard Brock Reichner got his first start of a half this season and delivered for the Cougars during his 17 minutes of play, hitting a deep three-pointer to give BYU its first points of the second half. Jensen continued to battle in the post, adding another 10 points. With the loss against the Lobos, the Cougars have now dropped their eighth league game and are currently in seventh place, one game ahead of the Colorado State Rams, with a 3-8 record.

WHAT FORMER BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE GAME AT UNM LAST YEAR

"New Mexico played and shot the ball very well tonight. With how they played, we couldn't have beaten them no matter how well we shot. Jared (Jensen) was just exhausted after the game. He missed practice this week with the flu. He helped us be more efficient offensively with his play inside. He did a very nice job tonight. I give Chris Miles credit. He was put in a difficult position with Keena (Young) and Garner (Meads) not able to play. (Danny) Granger is a mismatch for him. Chris also hit his two shots and did some nice things."

LAST YEAR IN PROVO -- DAWES leads byu to first mwc victory

PROVO -- A career night for sophomore center Derek Dawes sparked BYU to a 68-53 win over New Mexico Monday at the Marriott Center, the Cougars' first Mountain West Conference victory of the season. The win improved BYU's record to 7-13 overall and 1-4 in the MWC while the Lobos dropped to 14-5 and 1-3. Dawes set career-highs in points and blocks with 14 and five while he tied a career-high with 10 rebounds. It was also his first career double-double. Sophomore forward Keena Young tied his career-high with 14 points and added seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Mike Rose led all scorers with 21 points while senior guard Mike Hall added 16. Sophomore guard Austin Ainge also tied his career-high with eight assists. Alfred Neale was the high scorer for New Mexico with 12 points, the only Lobo in double figures. Mark Walters was second on the team with nine points. Neale was also the top Lobo on the glass, collecting six boards. For the game, BYU shot 44.8 percent (26-58) and limited the Lobos to 32.7 percent (18-55) shooting. The Cougars scored 17 points on 11 New Mexico turnovers and won the battle of the boards, 40-34. The Lobos took their only lead of the night when Troy DeVries hit a three pointer for the game's opening basket. After Dawes hit the Cougars' first basket, Young scored to give BYU the lead for good. Dawes was strong throughout the first period, scoring eight points, grabbing six rebounds and blocking two shots. He hit two free throws to give BYU its biggest lead of the half at 24-16. The Lobos cut into the Cougar lead as Neale ran off five consecutive points to cut the lead to 24-22. But BYU would not allow the Lobos to get any closer as the Cougars ended the half on a 9-3 run to go into the locker room up 33-25. Rose capped the run with a three-pointer in the waning seconds of the first frame. Young was the high man of the half, finishing with 11 points and four rebounds. Rose and Hall each contributed seven while Ainge dished out four assists. As New Mexico came out cold to start the second period, missing its first five shots, BYU kept pushing. Dawes kept the Cougar run alive with a dunk on the opening possession, and Ainge connected with Hall on a fast break layup moments later to extend the advantage to 12 at 37-25. Another layup by Dawes pushed the BYU lead to 14. With a 16-point cushion at 42-26, the Cougars opened the door for the Lobos to make a run. New Mexico took advantage, scoring 12 straight points to get back into the game at 42-38. However, Rose kept New Mexico at bay, connecting from beyond the arc to spark a 13-4 BYU run and adding back-to-back treys to put the Cougars up 55-42. The lead was enough for BYU to coast to the 68-53 win.

WHAT FORMER BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE GAME IN PROVO LAST YEAR

"We're preparing next year's team in the process. We've got some guys who haven't played a lot. Dawes is our future, but he just needs playing time. The effort has been there the last two games but the execution needs to improve. This group of guys is a special group of people. They found a way to win and they'll do it again."

LAST YEAR AT MWC TOURNAMENT -- Cougars Defeated by Lobos at MWC

DENVER -- BYU's season of ups and downs finally came to an end as the Cougars fell to the Mountain West Conference's hottest team, New Mexico, 85-71 in the Pepsi Center at the MWC Tournament. New Mexico has now won seven straight games and is 24-3 with star player Danny Granger in the lineup. The Cougars fought hard early in the first half, building their largest lead at the 16:30 mark to take a 9-4 advantage. Jared Jensen dominated the Lobos in the post, scoring eight of his 19 points to keep the Cougars' lead for over eight minutes of the half. The Lobos eventually heated up from the three-point line thanks to Alfred Neale, who finished the half 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. Neale's final three and 11th point came late in the half, giving New Mexico a 14-point lead. Fortunately for BYU, Brock Reichner would answer right back to Neale's three-pointer, connecting on a deep three to send the Cougars into the locker time at halftime down 11 points, 39-28. In the second half, senior Mike Hall delivered a three-point basket to bring the Cougars to within eight of the Lobos. That would be as close as BYU would get as New Mexico's Granger caught fire, scoring 23 points. The Cougars' effort never slacked throughout the contest. With 12 minutes remaining in the game, BYU would make one final run to bring its deficit to within 11 points. New Mexico put a halt to BYU's run and ended its shooting drought, going on a 6-0 run of its own to take away any hopes for the Cougars advancing to the next round of the MWC Tournament. In addition to Jensen's team-high 19 points, senior Mike Hall scored 13 in the final game of his BYU career, and Derek Dawes added 10. Dawes and Jensen also led the Cougar rebounding effort with six boards each. Jensen finished his four-year BYU career tied for second all-time in career field goal percentage with a 56.7 percent shooting mark. The Cougars finished the game shooting 39 percent to the Lobos 47 percent shooting from the field. As the No. 7 seed, BYU's loss to No. 2-seed New Mexico gives the Cougars a 9-21 overall record to finish the 2004-2005 season.

WHAT FORMER BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE TOURNAMENT GAME LAST YEAR

"New Mexico is a very good basketball team. They're a completely different team with Granger in the lineup. They're really talented and playing with confidence. They're just a better basketball team than we are right now. They're playing with a purpose, like we were last year. Ritchie McKay has put together a very special team and I wish them the best. I want to see them win this Tournament. I'm really proud of our effort. We had a lot of spirit, fight and energy tonight. We competed, but they were just better than us."

BYU NOTES

BYU's LAST OUTING -- Balderson, Reichner Lead BYU To Road Win

FORT COLLINS -- The Cougars snapped their seven-game MWC road losing streak Saturday night with an 86-84 win over Colorado State in Moby Arena thanks to big nights from Jimmy Balderson and Brock Reichner. Balderson finished with a career-high 24 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the floor while Reichner added 23 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and a perfect 7-of-7 mark from the free-throw line before fouling out. Trent Plaisted added 15 points and a team-high seven rebounds, and Fernando Malaman contributed 10 points. BYU started the game slow, making just one of its first eight shots while watching the Rams drain seven of their first eight and jump out to a 17-6 lead. Reichner single-handedly kept the Cougars in the game, scoring BYU's first 10 points until Malaman stroked a three-pointer at the 12:21 mark. The Cougars recorded six turnovers in the first 4:40, resulting in 11 CSU points. With his team, down 11, junior Austin Ainge entered the game at the point guard spot and got the Cougar offense clicking, as BYU went on a 30-11 run over the next seven minutes to take a 36-28 lead. The run featured 12 points from Balderson and two dunks from Plaisted, including a spectacular one-handed slam off of an alley-oop pass from Austin Ainge on the fastbreak. The Rams attempted a comeback late in the first half as they held BYU to just one field goal in 5:42 to take a 39-38 advantage. But the lead was short-lived as the Cougars scored five of the next six points to take a 43-41 lead into the locker room at the half. Colorado State made the first bucket of the second half to retake the lead, but Balderson made quick work of the Rams from there, scoring six points during a 12-4 run to give BYU a 55-47 lead. Colorado State battled back at the free-throw line with a 9-2 spurt featuring five makes from the stripe to cut the lead to just one point at 57-56. But the Cougars answered right back with an 13-2 run to take their largest lead of the game at 70-58 with 10 minutes to play. However, BYU went cold from the floor from there, going 7:21 without a field goal and allowing the Rams to take their first lead since the opening bucket of the half at 78-77 with 2:56 left to play. With the fans going wild, Reichner stroked a three-pointer on the other end to give the Cougars an 80-78 advantage. The Rams threatened again with two free-throw opportunities but could not convert the second shot, allowing Rashaun Broadus to drain a three-pointer off the fastbreak for a four-point cushion with just under two minutes to play. Colorado State sank two free throws but Balderson converted a layin to maintain BYU's lead. But Colorado State was not going down easily, stroking a three-pointer on its next trip down the floor to cut the lead to one point with 55 seconds left to play. A turnover by Balderson gave the Rams the chance play for the win with 33 seconds left but a missed jumper and a subsequent rebound by Malaman with 14 seconds to play took the wind out of the Rams' sails.

WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...

BYU Head Coach Dave Rose

-- "Jimmy really stepped up tonight, and Brock played like a leader and settled things down. Trent made the big plays we needed. Those are the guys that we need to play well in order to win, and they did for us tonight. They made the big plays when we needed them."

-- "Trent's dunk was spectacular. When Austin let that pass go, I thought it would be our eighth or ninth turnover. I never thought he would make the dunk. To see it go down like that was amazing. It was one of the best dunks I've ever seen in my experience at any level."

-- "This has been a big week for our team. We got down early tonight, but we've shown that we have the character to overcome challenges and have good results. Both teams played hard tonight and left everything out there on the floor. I'm just proud of our guys for finishing it off and getting the win."

-- "I really believe that this win had a lot to do with our win on Wednesday night against TCU. You can just see the guys start to believe that they can win games. There's just a feeling in this group that it's going to happen."

-- "The press gave us some problems early but once we figured it out, it actually helped us because we were able to attack it and break it and then score out of it. Our quickness gave us an advantage."

BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING

- Individual Career Highs: Jimmy Balderson - 24 points; Brock Reichner -- 4 steals; Trent Plaisted -- 3 assists.

- Team Season Highs/Lows: Steals -- 17; Highest Field Goal Percentage Allowed in the First Half - .650.

- The Cougars' win at CSU snaps a seven-game MWC road losing streak dating back to Feb. 5, 2005.

- BYU's 57 percent mark from three-point range marks the first time in conference play that the Cougars have shot over 40 percent from beyond the arc. BYU shot over 40 percent from three-point range in five of its 11 nonconference games.

- With a 51 percent mark from the field, BYU had its best shooting night in conference play and its best since a 64.5 percent performance against Eastern Washington.

- BYU's 43 first-half points against Colorado State marks just the third time this season that the Cougars have scored at least 40 in the first half.

- The Cougars' two-point halftime lead (43-41) at CSU marks the first time in five games that BYU has had a lead at the half. On the season, the Cougars are 9-0 when leading at the half and enjoy an average halftime lead of 10.7 points.

- Junior Jimmy Balderson followed up a 10-point outing against TCU with a career-high 24 points at CSU, marking the eighth time this season he has scored in double figures and the 17th time in his career. Balderson entered the CSU game averaging 7.6 ppg.

- Trent Plaisted threw down his 19th and 20th dunks of the season on back-to-back slams in the first half, including a one-handed throwdown off an ally-oop pass from Austin Ainge, and added his 21st dunk of the year in the second half. As a team, the Cougars have recorded 31 dunks on the year.

- Senior walk-on Brock Reichner, who entered the game averaging 10.2 points per contest, scored BYU's first 10 points of the game until Fernando Malaman hit a three-pointer with 12:21 left in the first half. Reichner finished with 23 points before fouling out.

- Reichner also went 7-for-7 from the free-throw line against the Rams, bringing his consecutive free-throws made streak to 19.

- The Cougars began the game 1-for-8 from the field while allowing the Rams to make seven of their first eight shots and jump out to a 17-6 lead.

- After allowing the Rams to record 11 of their first 14 points off of Cougar turnovers, BYU outscored Colorado State 19-2 off of turnovers, including 16 straight, to finish the first half with a 19-13 advantage.

- Junior Austin Ainge made an immediate impact upon entering the game at the 15:19 mark of the first half with BYU down 17-6. With Ainge at the point, the Cougars went on a 30-11 run over the next seven minutes.

- After taking a 36-28 lead with 7:12 left in the first half, BYU made just one basket in the next 5:42, allowing CSU to go on a 10-2 run and take a 39-38 lead.

- After enjoying their largest lead of the game at 70-58, the Cougars did not make a basket from the field for 7:21, allowing CSU to take a 78-77 lead.

PLAISTED NAMED MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK

COLORADO SPRINGS -- BYU forward/center Trent Plaisted was named Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week. This is the first weekly honor of the season and career for Plaisted.

A 6-11 freshman from San Antonio, Texas, Plaisted led the Cougars to conference wins over TCU (89-80 OT) and Colorado State (86-84) last week, establishing career highs in eight different categories in the process. Against TCU, he recorded his second career double-double, scoring a career-high 22 points and pulling down a career-best 16 rebounds. Plaisted, who entered the game shooting 66.7 percent from the free throw line, knocked down all eight of his shots from the stripe while also tying a personal-best in blocked shots (two). Against Colorado State, he scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds, setting career highs in assists and steals (three each) along the way. For the week, Plaisted averaged 18.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game, while shooting 51.9 percent (14-for-27) from the field and 90.0 percent (9-for-10) from the free-throw stripe. He leads BYU in scoring (13.1 points per game) and rebounding (5.6 rebounds per game) this season, ranking 10th in the conference in both categories.

MWC Men's Basketball Player of the Week:

Nov. 21 Justin Williams, Sr., F/C, Wyoming

Nov. 28 Jason Smith, So., F, Colorado State

Dec. 5 Antoine Hood, Sr., G, Air Force

Dec. 12 Marcus Slaughter, Jr., F, San Diego State

Dec. 19 Kyle Spain, Fr., F, San Diego State

Dec. 26 Michael Harrison, Jr., F, Colorado State

Justin Williams, Sr., F/C, Wyoming

Jan. 2 John Frye, Jr., C, Air Force

Jan. 9 Dan Nwaelele, Jr., F, Air Force

Jan. 16 Brandon Heath, Jr., G, San Diego State

Brandon Ewing, Fr., G, Wyoming

Jan. 23 Marcus Slaughter, Jr., F, San Diego State

Jan. 30 Trent Plaisted, Fr., F/C, BYU

COMEBACK COUGARS

With its 12-6 overall record, BYU has yet to suffer consecutive defeats this season, having bounced back from each loss with victory. BYU had alternated wins and losses since beginning league play before getting back-to-back wins against TCU at home and Colorado State on the road. BYU's three conference road defeats have been against the MWC's top three teams in the standings in San Diego State, UNLV and Air Force. The Cougars have achieved four winning streaks this year -- two three-game streaks and two two-game streaks. A win at New Mexico would extend BYU's current winning streak to three games.

MAGIC NUMBER: 70

BYU is 8-0 this season when holding opponents under 70 points and 4-6 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold. Cougar foes are currently averaging 71.1 points per game. BYU is also 10-3 when scoring 70 or more points and 2-3 when falling below the 70-point mark. The Cougars lead the league in scoring, averaging 77.1 ppg.

ON THE BOARDS

BYU stepped up on the boards in its three games prior to Colorado State, outrebounding its opponents by an average of 5.3 rpg, 41.3 to 36.0. Prior to a +9 rebounding margin against TCU, BYU outrebounded the league's top two rebounding teams in Wyoming (43-38) and SDSU (38-34). The Cougars are 6-3 this season when outrebounding opponents and are second in the MWC in rebounding in conference play (36.3) and third in rebounding margin (+2.4) in conference play.

FOR STARTERS

Overall this year, eight players have started while Coach Dave Rose has used six starting lineups. Junior Rashaun Broadus reappeared in the starting lineup against Colorado State while junior Keena Young made his third start of the season. Trent Plaisted has started each game while Fernando Malaman has started every game but the last three, Brock Reichner has started 17 games, Broadus 15 games, Jimmy Balderson nine games and Austin Ainge four games. Lee Cummard has nine starts, the last nine games. The majority of BYU's starting lineups have featured two freshmen (Plaisted and Cummard), two junior transfers (Broadus and Malaman) and one senior (Reichner). Reichner is the only one of the five to have started a Division I game prior to this season. He made two starts late last year in his first season at BYU. Five Cougars who started between seven and 23 games on last year's team (Ainge, 23 starts; Balderson, 16 starts; Young, 15 starts, Derek Dawes, 13 starts; Mike Rose, 7 starts) have primarily been coming off the bench.

$1 AT 1 P.M.

Tickets to BYU's game against Air Force on Saturday will be available for just $1 for seats above the concourse level. "Our goal is to pack the Marriott Center by providing our fans an opportunity to come and watch a very good and exciting BYU basketball team," said BYU Marketing Director Tony Jewkes. "This is a very important conference game against an excellent Air Force team." The game tips off at 1 p.m.

MAKING NOISE

Trent Plaisted improved his play in the last four games, averaging 9.3 boards while scoring 16.5 points. Prior to that, Plaisted was averaging 12.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. The redshirt freshman is now averaging 13.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest. As a team, BYU has shot 81.0 percent (81-of-100) from the line in its last four games, improving its season percentage to 71.5 percent. BYU is now second overall in the MWC in free-throw percentage and first in league play (.792).

BYU REDSHIRTS: SAM BURGESS, VUK IVANOVIC

Junior guard Sam Burgess is redshirting this season. The 6-foot-3 guard from Alpine, Utah, is one of nine juniors on the roster this year. Fellow junior Vuk Ivanovic will also redshirt while he sits out the season due to NCAA transfer rules.

TRANSFERRED: DAVID BURGESS

David Burgess, a 6-foot-10 redshirt freshman center, announced on Dec. 15 that he was transferring from BYU to complete his eligibility. BYU granted his request for a release. Burgess appeared in three of seven games this year, averaging 0.7 points and 1.7 rebounds. Said Burgess, "I thoroughly enjoyed my time at BYU and I think Coach Rose is an unbelievable coach but his system just isn't a good fit for me personally. When I signed, Coach Cleveland's system was a half-court offense, which fits me better as a player. I was excited for Coach Rose to be named the coach and I worked hard to lose some weight and try to prepare myself for his system but it's just not the best fit for me." Burgess has since announced he will transfer to Gonzaga.

SCORING FOR THE COUGARS

BYU is averaging an MWC-leading 77.1 ppg led by redshirt freshman Trent Plaisted's 13.1 points per game. Six different Cougars have led the team in scoring in BYU's first 18 games. Plaisted has led BYU seven times (20 at USC, 13 vs. Southern Utah, 19 vs. Boise State, 15 vs. Weber State, 16 vs. Tulsa, 17 vs. Wyoming and 22 vs. TCU), and junior Keena Young has led the team four times (12 vs. Northern Kentucky, 15 vs. Eastern Washington, 16 at Air Force and 16 at San Diego State) while junior Jimmy Balderson has led the team three times (18 vs. Loyola Marymount, 21 vs. Lamar and 24 at Colorado State), senior Brock Reichner has led the team twice (18 at Washington State and 26 at Utah State) and juniors Rashaun Broadus (17 vs. Utah) and Fernando Malaman (13 at UNLV) have led the Cougars once. Eleven different Cougars have had a double-digit scoring outing for BYU this year (all except Jermaine Odjegba, high of 2).

HALFTIME REPORT

With its win against Colorado State, BYU is now 9-0 when leading at the half and 3-6 when trailing with all three wins coming at home. The Cougars' average halftime lead is 10.7 points, and they have led by double digits six times. BYU has been more impressive in the second half this season. The Cougars have outscored their opponents in the second period of play in all but four games this year (42-41 vs. Loyola Marymount, 45-42 at UNLV, 46-37 at San Diego State, 43-43 at Colorado State). BYU averages 5.7 more second-half points than its opponents.

BYU AT THE POINT

BYU's Rashaun Broadus (4.12 apg) and Austin Ainge (3.11 apg) rank second and seventh, respectively, among Mountain West Conference players in assists per game this season while helping the Cougars lead the MWC in team assists at 17.2 apg. Broadus and Ainge have combined for 88 assists compared to 43 turnovers in BYU's 12 wins while totaling 38 assists and 28 turnovers in the Cougars' six defeats. Broadus has 49 assists and 28 turnovers in the wins with 21 assists and 19 turnovers in the losses. Ainge boasts 39 assists to only 15 turnovers in the victories while totaling 17 assists and 9 turnovers in defeats. With his overall 56 assists to 24 turnovers, Ainge leads the conference in assist/turnover ratio at 2.33 while Broadus ranks fourth (1.49). In BYU's season-opening loss to Loyola Marymount the two guards combined for six assists and five turnovers, and in the loss at USC they totaled seven assists and five turnovers. Broadus and Ainge showed marked improvement in the Cougars' win at Washington State, where the two combined to dish out 10 assists while committing only two turnovers, as each posted a line of a game-high 5 assists with only one turnover. In BYU's victory over Southern Utah, they combined for 13 assists with only one turnover, as Ainge tied a career high with 8 assists without a turnover and Broadus had 3 assists and one turnover while scoring 11 points. Against Lamar, Broadus dished out a career-best 9 assists, including an assist on BYU's first six baskets, while Ainge added two assists to help BYU achieve 22 assists for the second straight game. Broadus recorded a team-high 6 assists against Boise State and the two combined for 7 assists (4 Ainge, 3 Broadus) and only 1 turnover (Broadus) vs. Northern Kentucky and 7 assists (4 Ainge, 3 Broadus) and only 2 turnovers vs. Weber State. Ainge had 7 assists without a turnover at USU while Broadus had 8 assists and 4 turnovers while scoring a career-best 21 points. Broadus tied a career-best 9 assists while Ainge added 4 to fuel BYU to a season-high 29 assists vs. Eastern Washington. In conference play, Ainge has 16 assists and 13 turnovers while Broadus has 14 assists and 19 turnovers. As a team, BYU has made an assist on 62.7 percent of its field goals this season.

BYU IN THE POST

Trent Plaisted (13.1) leads BYU in scoring while fellow post players Fernando Malaman (8.5) and Keena Young (8.4) are third and fourth, respectively. Plaisted (12.3) and Young (10.3) rank first and third, respectively, in league games. Overall, Malaman is shooting a team-best .563 (63-of-112), fourth in the league. Young, who has made 55.2 percent (58-of-105) of his shots, and Plaisted, who has converted 53.4 percent (86-of-161) of his attempts, rank sixth and 10th, respectively, among MWC players in field goal percentage. Derek Dawes is making .436 (17-of-39). Malaman also boasts a team-leading 50.0 percent success rate (14-of-28) from behind the three-point arc.

BYU ON THE WING

Senior Brock Reichner has started the last 17 games at 2-guard and is second on the team in scoring at 10.9 ppg, including a team-high 32 threes, while junior Jimmy Balderson started the first nine games at small forward and is third in scoring at 8.5 ppg with 12 treys. Balderson scored a career-high 24 points at Colorado State while Reichner added 23. BYU's two freshman wings are playing significant roles. Lee Cummard has started in place of Balderson the last nine games and is averaging 5.8 points in 15.6 minutes while shooting 47.4 percent from the floor. Jackson Emery is shooting 41.3 percent from the floor and has made nine triples while averaging 2.9 points in 9.3 minutes. He has also been a solid defender for the Cougars, often helping guard the opponent's top perimeter player. Junior Mike Rose plays 10.4 minutes in the rotation on the wing, averaging 4.1 points, including 18 treys.

COUGAR OFFENSE

BYU's 77.1 points per game are coming in a variety of ways as the Cougars outscore their opponents in every statistical category on the season. BYU has scored 49 more points in the paint this season, outpacing its opponents underneath in eight games, tying in three and being outscored in seven. The Cougars have also capitalized on opponent miscues in their 18 games to date, scoring 21 more points off of turnovers while outscoring foes in that category in nine games, tying in one and being outscored in eight. BYU enjoys a 38-point advantage in second-chance points, partly due to the Cougars' +2.0 rebounding margin, as BYU has outscored opponents in that category in 10 games. The Cougars' largest advantage, however, comes on the fastbreak as BYU has only been outscored on the break in five games this year, with a 181-119 margin.

BYU BASKETBALL ON KSL NEWSRADIO

(102.7 FM and 1160 AM)

The "Voice of the Cougars" is KSL Newsradio 1160's Greg Wrubell. He is in his 10th season as the play-by-play voice of BYU basketball. Wrubell, also the voice of BYU football, is joined by former Cougar lettermen Mark Durrant and Russell Larson (for select broadcasts) as color analysts. Durrant has been part of the KSL broadcast team for nine years while Larson is in his first season as an analyst. In addition to live coverage of every Cougar game, the following programs can be heard each week on KSL Newsradio.

COACH ROSE ON KSL NEWSRADIO ...

ý Coach's Corner with Dave Rose

Mondays at 8:45 a.m.

ý The Dave Rose Show

Mondays from 7-8 p.m.

THE DAVE ROSE SHOW ON KSL-TV

BYU coach Dave Rose's weekly television show airs each Sunday evening at 11 p.m. on KSL-TV, channel 5 in Salt Lake City.

AttachmentSize
Game-19---BYU-at-New-Mexico.pdf624.62 KB