PROVO, Utah -- BYU (12-6, 2-3 MWC) faces Utah (15-5, 3-2 MWC) in Salt Lake City Saturday at 1 p.m. (MST) in the Mountain West Conference game of the week on ESPN+Plus (KJZZ-TV in Utah). The game is also available pay-per-view via ESPN Full Court. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160, beginning with a one-hour pregame show. KSL's Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Mark Durrant providing analysis. Live audio and live stats are available by selecting the basketball schedule page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com. Live audio is also available on KSL.com, via BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
BYU returns home to host UNLV on Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. (MST) on ESPN+Plus (KJZZ-TV in Utah).
GAME #19 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (12-6, 2-3 MWC) @ Utah Utes (15-5, 3-2 MWC)
SATURDAY, JAN. 31, 2004
HUNTSMAN CENTER (15,000)
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH
1 p.m. (MST)
BYU, Steve Cleveland (120-84 in seventh year; same overall)
Utah, Kerry Rupp (acting coach 0-0 in first season; third season overall at Utah)
Utah leads, 118-116; Last year: Utah swept the season series
ESPN+Plus (KJZZ-TV-14 in Salt Lake City, Utah)
Available nationally via ESPN Full Court
Air Time: 1 p.m. (MST)
Play-by-Play: Rich Waltz
Game Analyst: Irv Brown
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time: Noon (MST)
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Mark Durrant
Live audio and stats links are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2003-04 schedule); live audio also available on KSL.com and via BYU Radio on Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
The Cougars (12-6, 2-3) finished nonconference play with a 10-3 record including the Cable Car Classic title and wins over No. 25 Oklahoma State and the Pac-10's USC. The preseason favorite to win the Mountain West Conference, BYU is 2-3 in MWC play. BYU returns four starters from last year's 23-9 co-championship team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Four-year starter Mark Bigelow and fellow senior Rafael Araujo were both named to the Preseason All-MWC Team. Senior guard Kevin Woodberry and junior forward Jared Jensen were also starters last season but are primarily come off the bench this year, with Jensen having missed the last two games with an injury. Key newcomers include junior transfer Mike Hall and freshmen Mike Rose and Garner Meads. Araujo is averaging 19.8 points and 10.4 rebounds to lead BYU this year. Bigelow adds 12.7 points and 4.2 rebounds while Hall contributes 12.1 points and 3.6 rebounds. First-year starter Luiz Lemes leads the team in assists (4.4). As a team, the Cougars shoot .490 from the floor, including .366 on threes, and .719 from the line while scoring 74.0 points per game. BYU allows 64.5 points while the opposition has shot .449 from the field and .340 from behind the arc. BYU has an average rebounding advantage of 6.6.
The University of Utah Utes are off to a 15-5 start and 3-2 MWC record. Utah is 11-0 at home this year, 4-3 on the road and 0-2 on a neutral floor. Like BYU, Utah is coming off losses at New Mexico and Air Force. The Utes are led by senior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 206). Jacobson leads the team in scoring with 15.4 points per game and steals with 18. He has scored in double figures in 10 of his last 11 games, including the last five games in a row. Jacobson also holds the Utah record for career three-pointers made (237) and career three-pointers attempted (550). Jacobson is joined by freshman forward Andrew Bogut (6-10, 233) who leads the team in rebounds per game with 9.9 and blocked shots with 19. He is second on the team in scoring, averaging 11.6 points per game. Bogut has scored in double figures in 13 games this year and has had double-digit rebounds in 10 games. He ranks 18th nationally in rebounds per game and has recorded nine double-doubles so far this season. Sophomore forward Rich Chaney (6-4, 195) averages 11.2 points per game and leads the team in three-point shooting percentage (.463). Sophomore guard Tim Drisdom (6-2, 212) leads the team in assists. The Utes are known for their stifling half-court defense and are ranked third in the nation in scoring defense, 18th in field goal percentage defense, 13th in three-point field goal percentage defense, and 14th in rebound margin, having out-rebounded 18 of their 20 opponents this season. The Utes are 11-0 at home this season and have the distinction of holding the nation's best home conference record over the last 10 years, going 67-3. Head Coach Rick Majerus, in his 15th year coaching at Utah, will not coach the Utes Saturday due to health issues. The University of Utah announced Wednesday that Majerus will be away indefinitely due to health concerns. The University also announced Majerus' resignation as Utah's coach effective at season's end. Assistant coach Kerry Rupp, in his third season with the Utes, will take over as acting head coach in Majerus' absence. Rupp coached the Utes to victory last season in Provo when Majerus was attending the funeral of former Ute great Andre Miller's step-father, ending BYU's nation-best homecourt winning streak at 44 games.
UTAH's LAST OUTING -- League-Leading Falcons Top Utes to Win 12th Straight Game
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- A.J. Kuhle scored 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting Monday to lead Air Force to a 62-49 win over Utah, keeping the Falcons atop the Mountain West Conference. Air Force (14-2, 4-0 MWC) won its 12th consecutive game, while Utah (15-5, 3-2 MWC) lost its second straight conference contest. Air Force won the battle between the nation's top two scoring defenses, forcing 20 turnovers while committing only nine. After trailing 29-24 at the half, Utah rallied to a 40-38 lead with 10:05 to play on a 3-pointer by Richard Chaney. A layup by Tim Keller (16 points) gave the Falcons the lead back for good with 8:13 left. Two free throws by Chaney pulled the Utes to within three (49-46) with 4:22 left, but a layup by Joel Gerlach on the following possession put Air Force up 51-46. After going 0-for-3 from the field in the first half, Gerhlach responded with six points at critical points in the second half. The Utes outshot the Falcons, 55.3 percent to 51.4 percent, but the Air Force defense prevailed. The Falcons held Utah's Nick Jacobson to 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting.
UTAH'S PROJECTED STARTERS (BASED ON LAST GAME)
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG
F 13 Richard Chaney 6-4 195 So. 11.2 4.0
F 4 Andrew Bogut 6-10 233 Fr. 11.6 9.9
C 54 Tim Frost 6-9 244 Sr. 7.9 3.9
G 11 Tim Drisdom 6-2 212 So. 5.0 3.2
G 15 Nick Jacobson 6-4 206 Sr. 15.4 1.5
BYU and Utah will meet for the 235th time Saturday. The series ranks 10th in the NCAA record book in terms of most games in a rivalry and is the 11th longest running rivalry dating back to 1909. Utah is the opponent that BYU has played the most in its history (234 games) and is BYU's second longest running series (Utah State series began in 1905 and includes 220 games). BYU won the inaugural game, 32-9 in Provo, on Jan. 23, 1909, and won again on March 5 of that year, 40-27, in SLC on its way to winning the first eight games against the Utes. Utah swept the season series last year, including a victory in Provo to end BYU's nation-best 44-game homecourt victory streak. With its sweep of the season series last year Utah now leads overall by two games at 118-116. It is Utah's first two-game lead in the overall series against BYU since it began in 1909. Utah has led the series only three times overall but each time by a single game until its last victory. Utah swept the regular season series in 2000 to take its first lead (114-113) in the overall series since it began in 1909 and again held a one-game edge (116-115) in 2002 with its win in Salt Lake City before the Cougars staged second-half comeback from 21 points down to even the series again at 116-116. Prior to Utah's breakthrough in Provo last year, the two teams had split with home wins the prior two seasons. Utah has won four of the last seven games since BYU ended a string of 12 straight Utah wins, its longest in the series, with the Cougars' 58-54 win at the 2000 MWC tournament semifinals. The Utes have won nine straight at the Huntsman Center. BYU's last win at Utah was a 64-62 victory on Jan. 8, 1994. That win started a four-game BYU winning streak that preceded Utah's 12-game streak. BYU has a 46-69 record in Salt Lake City.
THE OLD OQUIRRH BUCKET
The Old Oquirrh Bucket (named after the Oquirrh Mountains to the west of Salt Lake City) is the symbol of instate basketball supremacy in Utah. Each year the trophy is awarded to the instate college team (Utah, BYU, Southern Utah, Utah State and Weber State) which has the best won-loss record against instate competition. In 2001, BYU posted a 4-1 record against instate schools and brought home the bucket for the first time since 1994. BYU went 3-2 in 2002 as Utah State took the Bucket, thanks to its OT win over BYU. Utah won the Bucket last season. This year BYU is 2-1 with wins over Southern Utah and Weber State and a loss at Utah State. The Aggies are also 2-1 with a win at Weber State and a loss at Utah. Utah is 3-0 with home wins over Southern Utah and Utah State and a road win at Weber State. Utah has won the Oquirrh Bucket 11 times, while BYU has claimed seven Buckets since the first year in 1974-75. Utah State has won the instate battles six seasons and Weber State has earned the Bucket four times, the last time being in 2000.
BYU vs. UTAH SERIES BREAKDOWN
Overall Series Record: Utah leads, 118-116
BYU Record in Provo: 64-46
BYU Record in Salt Lake City: 46-69
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 6-3
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 3-11
BYU Record in OT Games: 4-6* (1-1 Rd, 2-5 Hm, 1-0 Ntrl)
*1-0 in 2OT, 0-2 in 3OT - all in Provo (from 1983-85)
Last Overtime Game: 1991, won v. Utah @ WAC, 51-49
Longest BYU Win Streak: 8 (1909-12)
Longest Utah Win Streak: 12 (1995-2000)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 31 two times (1965, 94)
Largest Utah Margin of Victory: 36, 85-49 (1997)
Most Points Scored by BYU: 115 (1966)
Most Points Scored by Utah: 106 two times (1962, 1963)
LAST YEAR'S RESULTS VS. UTAH
AT UTAH -- COUGARS UNABLE TO END UTES NINE-GAME WINNING STREAK
SALT LAKE -- In a match-up of the two top teams in the Mountain West Conference on ESPN's Big Monday, Utah (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) got 44 points from Tim Frost and Nick Jacobson to continue its streaking play with a 71-64 win over BYU at the Huntsman Center. The loss drops the Cougars to 18-7 overall and 7-3 in the MWC, while Utah improves to 21-4 and 9-1 with a two game lead over BYU and Wyoming. Held to a 42 percent from the field and 26 percent from behind the arc, the Cougars stayed in the game by forcing the Runnin' Utes into 20 turnovers, one off their season high. BYU scored 23 points off the Utah turnovers, but Utah's stifling defense held the Cougar triumvirate of Rafael Araujo, Travis Hansen and Mark Bigelow to 38 points on 13-of-34 shooting. After Utah scored first to take a 2-0 lead, BYU reeled off a 7-0 run to take its largest lead of the game, but the Utes turned around with a quick 6-0 run of their own to retake the lead at 8-7. The two teams would battle for the lead as the first half unfolded, but the Utes started to pull away on threes by Frost, Richard Chaney and Nick Jacobson. The shot by Jacobson with 2:04 remaining in the first half saw the Utes lead bulge to nine points, 31-22. BYU would clamp down on the final four Utah possessions of the half, though, and went into the locker room on a 4-0 run to trail at the break 31-26. Utah, which improved to 64-2 in home conference games over the past nine seasons, came out in the second half with a 12-4 run to enjoy its largest margin at 43-30. BYU would chip away with timely baskets, but the Utes would seemingly answer almost every Cougar challenge. Bigelow hit a trey at 12:26 to draw the Cougars within eight at 43-35, but Jacobson would answer with his own three at 12:04. After a Frost jump hook put the Utes up 51-40, the Cougars stormed back with a 7-0 run, behind two free throws by Hansen, a free throw by Kevin Woodberry and baskets from Araujo and Luiz Lemes to narrow the gap to four at 51-47 and forcing the Utes into a timeout. Utah would then extend its lead back up to nine at 60-51, but a triple by Woodberry would draw the Cougars to within four again at 63-59. On the ensuing Utes possession Woodberry and Ricky Bower teamed up to strip Jacobson of the ball. Woodberry had a clear path to the basket but was fouled by Jacobson, sending him to the line where he made 1-of-2 free throws. The Ute lead was cut to three, but the Cougars couldn't get any closer as Utah sealed the game by making free throws down the stretch. With the win Utah extended its MWC record by winning its ninth consecutive conference game, and also extended its home winning streak to 16 games. The Utes shot 44 percent from the field and three-point line as well as 92 percent from the free-throw line.
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE GAME IN SALT LAKE CITY LAST YEAR ...
"I was proud of our effort defensively and offensively, especially in the second half. We didn't have our best offensive night, but it wasn't for a lack of effort. It's never nice to lose, but I like the fact that we put ourselves in a position to win tonight. We had three or four opportunities to tie or win the game, but we didn't execute when we needed to. We can't dwell on this loss, because we've got the biggest weekend of the year coming up."
AT BYU -- HOME VICTORY STREAK ENDS AS UTES PREVAIL
PROVO -- BYU fell to the University of Utah at home last Saturday, 79-75, snapping the nation's longest homecourt winning streak at 44 games. On hand was the Cougars' largest crowd of the year -- 21,412. BYU's last loss in the Marriott Center was a 78-74 victory by New Mexico on Feb. 17, 2000. Utah guard Mark Jackson hit four free throws in the final 18.7 seconds to seal the victory for the Utes, who played the game without head coach Rick Majerus. The Utah coach was attending the funeral of former Utah player Andre Miller's stepfather. Jackson led Utah in scoring with 17 points, including 13-for-13 from the free throw line. In a game so closely played, neither team held a lead of more than seven points. It came down to the free throw line where the Utes eventually put the game away. The Utes held on to a three-point lead courtesy of a Nick Jacobson trey in the final seconds. Jacobson led the way for Utah in the first half, scoring the team's last seven points of the half. The second half was as tightly played as the first. The two teams traded buckets most of the final period leading up to the dramatic finish and Jackson's four charity tosses. The Cougars cut the Utah lead to two, 77-75, on a jam by Araujo, but had to foul and Jackson knocked down two more for the Utes. Travis Hansen led BYU with his second double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Hansen made a career-high 14 free throws, missing only once,making many of those late in the game to counter Ute baskets. Rafael Araujo was one rebound away from a double-double performance of his own with 19 points and nine boards. Mark Bigelow added three more treys and scored 16 points while Ricky Bower added 10. Utah big man Tim Frost scored 16 points including two big threes, stretching BYU's defense. Jacobsen finished with 13 and Britton Johnsen totaled 12 points and 12 rebounds. Utah freshman forward Bryant Markson played only seven minutes but scored six points in the second half to help the Utes stay on top. With the win Utah improves to 14-4 overall and 2-1 in the MWC. Utah also takes a one-game lead in the overall series record against BYU at 117-116.
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE GAME IN PROVO LAST YEAR ...
"We tried a lot of things on Ruben but they didn't work. In the second half, when we made our run, we doubled him and he missed a few. He may be the best player in our league."
WHAT UTAH ASSISTANT COACH KERRY RUPP HAD TO SAY AFTER THE GAME IN PROVO LAST YEAR ...
"It felt really good to win this game. Coach Majerus did a great job putting together a game plan and the players executed it well."
BYU'S LAST OUTING -- COUGARS LOSE WILD ONE AT NEW MEXICO MONDAY NIGHT
ALBUQUERQUE -- In five seconds of playing time, the Cougars went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows Monday night, losing a tight contest at New Mexico, 65-63. In an incredible finish, BYU guard Kevin Woodberry tipped in a Cougar miss to tie the game with 3.8 seconds left. A technical foul was then called on the Cougars as Mark Bigelow came onto the court from the bench to celebrate the shot, sending the Lobos' Troy DeVries to the line for two free shots (later scrutiny on video tape showed a whistle was blown after the Woodberry bucket, which prompted Bigelow onto the court; however, the officials did not acknowledge the whistle and consequently Bigelow was called for the technical foul). Amazingly, DeVries missed both attempts, leaving the game tied with 3.8 seconds still on the clock. But inbounding the ball near midcourt thanks to the technical foul, UNM executed a well-placed inbounds pass over the out-stretched hands of Rafael Araujo and into the hands of New Mexico's Danny Granger, who scored the game-winning lay-up. Without any timeouts, BYU launched an unsuccessful desperation shot from the Cougar backcourt as time expired. "It was a difficult game to lose, one in which I thought we played very well and put ourselves in a position to win," said BYU coach Steve Cleveland. "I'm disappointed in losing, but I'm not disappointed in this basketball team." Cleveland has every reason to respect his team's effort. The Cougars outrebounded the Lobos 35-28 and outshot them, going 23-52 (.442) from the field. Turnovers, which have plagued the Cougars during the season, were actually even, with each team losing the ball just nine times. Against a New Mexico team that blew out Utah by 16 points just two days before, BYU kept the score tight, with 14 ties and 18 lead changes. "Almost everything that we wanted to do and that we challenged our team to do happened," said Cleveland. Rafael Araujo continued his dominance, scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to pick up his 11th double-double of the season. Mike Hall also came up big for the Cougars, scoring 21 points, his second-largest scoring output of the season. No other Cougars scored in double figures. Kevin Woodberry came off the bench for eight points, including two big three-point shots in the first half and the game-tying shot with 3.8 seconds left. Mark Bigelow set a new season-high in rebounds as he pulled down nine boards. New Mexico's Granger, a 6-8 forward, led all scorers with 27 points. Hall and Araujo started BYU off right by scoring 15 of the Cougars' first 18 points. BYU went into the locker room at the half down just one point, 33-32, but missed two scoring opportunities at the line by failing to convert front-ends. Araujo scored 10 in the first half and Hall had nine points. With the loss, the Cougars fall to 2-3 in the Mountain West Conference and 12-6 overall. The Lobos improve to 2-2 in the MWC and 11-6 overall.
Junior point guard Terry Nashif will not play in Saturday's game at Utah (mononucleosis). Junior forward/center Jared Jensen was injured (back) against Wyoming. He did not make the trip to Air Force and New Mexico. His status for Saturday is still undetermined. He will be evaluated day-to-day. Saturday's game against Air Force was the first Jensen had missed during his career, ending a string of 78 straight games.
Monday at New Mexico, Mark Bigelow pullled down a season-high nine rebounds. Mike Hall scored 21 points, one below his season-high, and Rafael Araujo recorded his 11th double-double (21 points, 11 rebounds). Saturday against Air Force Mark Bigelow scored a season-high 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Against Wyoming last Monday, freshman Garner Meads recorded his first double-double with career highs of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Mark Bigelow dished out a career-best 9 assists. The prior game against CSU, Jared Jensen tied his career-high 10 rebounds, Terry Nashif set a new personal best of 6 rebounds, and Austin Ainge got his first extended playing time, logging 10 minutes and scoring a career-best 6 points while dishing out a high of 2 assists.
DETERMINED TO IMPROVE
Rafael Araujo was determined over the summer to improve his shooting, spending an hour each morning from 6-7 a.m. casting off shots at the Smith Fieldhouse. Last year he shot a solid .558 (155-278) from the floor but this year he is making 59.4 percent of his attempts while taking more shots per game. He has made 130-of-219 attempts. He made three treys on .273 shooting last year from behind the arc while this year has already connected seven times on .350 shooting from long range. At the line, Araujo has already surpassed the number of free throws he made all of last season, when he went 70-for-109 (.642). He has upped his success rate at the charity stripe this year, having made 89-of-122 attempts (.730).
The Cougars have won their eight games at home this season by an average of 24 points. The closest final margin was their 14-point victory over Wyoming. BYU achieved its largest halftime lead of the season vs. CSU, taking a 26-point advantage to the break. The Cougars also equaled their largest first-half scoring output of the season with 49 points. The most points BYU has scored in a half this year is 51 points in the second half against Idaho State at the Cable Car Classic. The Cougars' 29-point victory over CSU, however, is not the largest margin of victory for the Cougars in Mountain West play. Last year BYU defeated Air Force in Provo by 32 points, 65-33. BYU's largest margin of victory this season overall was a 36-point win over Western Oregon. On the losing side of the big numbers, BYU was down 23 points at the half on the way to suffering its largest margin of defeat in a Mountain West Conference regular season game with its 22-point setback at Air Force. The league-leading Falcons had their best shooting night ever against a Division I team (and second best against any team) at 72.5 percent.
CLEVELAND NOW FIFTH ON BYU VICTORY LIST; THIRD IN MARRIOTT CENTER WINS
With BYU's seventh win this season, Cougar head coach Steve Cleveland moved into fifth on BYU's career coaching victories list. He moved past Ladell Andersen (114-71 record from 1983-89). Cleveland now has a 120-84 record in his seventh season in Provo. Legendary Cougar coach Stan Watts has the most wins in school history with 372 triumphs from 1949-72. Ott Romney (1927-35) and Roger Reid (1989-96) both achieved 152 victories and Frank Arnold (1975-83) is fourth with 137 wins. Cleveland currently has the third-most wins in the Marriott Center with a 79-18 record in the Cougars' home arena. Reid has the most Marriott Center wins with 92, followed by Arnold with 81. Andersen is fourth with 71.
CLEVELAND GETTING IT DONE (2003 MWC COACH OF THE YEAR)
BYU coach Steve Cleveland was named MWC Coach of the Year in 2003. At 23-9 last year, BYU achieved its fourth straight postseason tournament invitation and third 20-win season in the last four years. Only eight BYU teams have ever achieved more wins in a season than last year's team.
ARAUJO SELECTED TO WOODEN AWARD MIDSEASON TOP 30 LIST
Senior Rafael Araujo has been selected as one of the top-30 candidates for the Wooden Award Player of the Year and All-America Team by the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Committee. On March 30, the 10-player Wooden All-America Team will be announced. One member of the team will be selected April 10 to receive the Wooden Award as the nation's "Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year." BYU's Danny Ainge was recognized as the nation's top player in 1981 when he received the Wooden Award.
ARAUJO ACHIEVED MWC DOUBLE-DOUBLE MARK -- CURRENLTY TIED FOR THIRD IN THE NATION
Araujo has 11 double-doubles this year and 19 for his career. His 11 double-doubles is tied for the third nationally this season, one behind UNLV's Odartey Blankson and two behind Connecicut's Omeka Okafor. Araujo tied an MWC record by posting five consecutive double-doubles starting with the UVSC game until his streak ended with his 23 points and 7 rebounds in 24 minutes against Weber State Saturday. He tied the Mountain West record held by former Wyoming Cowboy Uche Nsonwu-Amadi. Nsonwu-Amadi recorded five in a row from the last game of the 2001-02 season through his first four appearances in 2002-03. Araujo is the only MWC player to record five consecutive double-doubles in the same season. During his five-game double-double streak, Araujo averaged 26 points and 13.6 rebounds.
ARAUJO RATES HIGH IN NATIONAL AND MWC STATISTICS
Senior center Rafael Araujo is eighth in the nation in rebounds, 20th in field goal percentage and 29th in scoring in the latest release of NCAA statistics (Jan. 27). Among MWC players after Monday's games, he is the top scorer and rates second in offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds and third in total rebounds and field goal percentage. He is sixth in blocked shots, 12th in free throw percentage and 15th in steals.
BIGELOW PASSES COSIC AS THE NO. 9 ALL-TIME SCORER AT BYU
Senior Mark Bigelow (1,541 points) moved past former Cougar great Kresimir Cosic into ninth place on BYU's all-time scoring list against Wyoming. Cosic scored 1,512 points in only three seasons from 1971-73. Bigelow moved out of a tie with Jay Cheesman (1,408 points from 1974-77) in 10th place against Utah State on Dec. 23. He surpassed current BYU assistant coach Andy Toolson (1,388 points from 1985, 88-90) against USC on Dec. 13 after overtaking Roland Minson (1,375 from 1949-51) against Western Oregon on Dec. 10.
BYU has played seven games this year where the outcome was in question entering the final two minutes. The Cougars have gone 3-4 in those games. BYU has lost those four games by a combined nine points. BYU's nine other wins have been by a margin of 14 or more points, with six being by more than 20 points, including two 30-plus point blowouts. BYU has suffered two blowout losses, a 27-point setback at North Carolina State and a 22-point defeat at Air Force. BYU is 11-0 when leading with five minutes remaining and 10-1 when holding the advantage with one minute on the second-half clock.
ON THE ROAD
BYU is 4-6 away from the Marriott Center this year with a 2-6 away record and a 2-0 neutral court mark. For the second straight season, the Cougars played more nonconference games away from Provo than they did in the friendly confines of the Marriott Center. This year, BYU played six games at home and seven out-of-town contests while going 10-3 in nonconference. BYU went 6-0 at home and 4-3 away from Provo, with a 2-0 neutral court mark and a 2-3 record in an opponent's arena. Among those games included a neutral court win over then No. 25 Oklahoma State; a win at Boise State; and a victory over host Santa Clara to win the Cable Car Classic. Last season BYU played seven home games and eight away from the Marriott Center while earning an 11-4 record before starting Mountain West Conference play. BYU finished 4-4 away from home last year during nonconference play. The Cougars went 3-1 on a neutral floor, including a 3-0 mark to win the Paradise Jam, and were 1-3 in true away games, with a win over Arizona State.
IN THE MARRIOTT CENTER
BYU is 8-0 at home this year and has won 13 straight overall in the Marriott Center. BYU has won 57 of its last 58 games at home and is 52-1 over in the past four seasons. BYU finished last season 13-1 at home in 2002-03. Lone senior Travis Hansen concluded his three seasons as a Cougar having lost only once at home. BYU earned a 44-1 record in Hansen's three years at BYU -- the best three-year home record in school history. The second-best home record over three years was a 39-2 mark from 1979-81 in Danny Ainge's final three seasons. The 44-1 record over the prior three seasons is the school's best-ever three-year home record. BYU won a school-record 44 straight home games in the Marriott Center before losing to Utah, 79-75, on Jan. 25. The streak was the longest active streak in the country over parts the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons. BYU continues its string of nonconference home wins.
NONCONFERENCE VICTORY STREAK IN THE MARRIOTT CENTER
The Cougars have defeated 40 straight non-conference opponents in the Marriott Center since starting the streak with a 61-59 win over Utah State on Jan. 2, 1999. The last non-league foe to win in Provo was the California Bears, who edged BYU 71-70 on Dec. 19, 1998.
Post players Rafael Araujo and Jared Jensen are in their second season as teammates. BYU is 4-1, 4-0 last season, when Araujo and Jensen both contribute 10 or more points in a game. The Cougars are 16-6, 10-3 this year, when Araujo leads the team in scoring and 12-7, 7-4 this season, when Araujo posts a double-double. BYU is 10-2 (0-1 this season) when Jared Jensen scores double-digit points from his forward slot.
COUGAR FANS SHOWING SUPPORT
BYU is ahead of last year's attendance pace with an average crowd of 13,991 after eight home games. Last year BYU averaged the 17th largest crowd in the nation overall at 14,468. The NCAA announced that BYU achieved the nation's largest average increase over the prior season in 2001-2002 (during the middle of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City). BYU's 22,702 attendance vs. CSU in its last home game last year was the largest crowd since 1992 and the 21st largest crowd in school history.
COUGARS CLAIM CABLE CAR CLASSIC TITLE, ARAUJO MVP
SANTA CLARA -- With its top three post players fouled out of the game, BYU looked to Mark Bigelow and he delivered a slashing bucket-and-one with 14.9 seconds remaining to lead the Cougars to a 68-66 win over host Santa Clara to claim the Cable Car Classic title at the Leavey Center. Senior center Rafael Araujo again loomed large, posting his eighth double-double in nine games with 18 points and 12 rebounds -- with all 18 points scored in the second half. Araujo was named the Cable Car Classic Most Valuable Player after combining for 41 points and 23 boards in the two Cougar wins. With its title this year, BYU won for the third time in four Cable Car appearances to tie the University of San Francisco for the second-most Cable Car Classic titles and the most of any non-Bay Area team. SCU leads with 13 titles and the Cougars have beaten the Broncos for each of their three titles. BYU also breaks SCU's six-game winning streak in the tournament, as the Broncos won the previous two titles.
Facing then No. 25 Oklahoma State, BYU played its first top-25 ranked team this season. The victory over the Cowboys was BYU's first over a top-25 team since an 81-76 victory over No. 13 Stanford on Dec. 22, 2001 at the Las Vegas Showdown.
RECORD AGAINST TOP TEAMS
BYU is 4-4 this year against teams that qualified for postseason last year (21-point win over Weber State at home; five-point win over No. 25 Oklahoma State on a neutral floor; 29-point win over CSU; 14-point win over Wyoming; two-point loss at Utah State; one-point loss at Cal, 27-point loss at North Carolina State, and four-point loss at SDSU). BYU finished last season with a 7-2 record against teams that were conference champions the prior season. BYU went 12-6 last year against teams that qualified for postseason play in 2002.
CURRENT BYU WIN/LOSS STREAKS ...
At home 13-0
On the road 0-4
On a neutral floor 2-0
At home vs. Nonconference 40-0
At home vs. MWC 7-0
On the road vs. Nonconference 0-1
On the road vs. MWC 0-3
On a neutral floor vs. Nonconference 2-0
On a neutral floor vs. MWC 0-1
BYU STARTING LINEUPS RECORD
Lemes, Hall, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo 4-2
Lemes, Hall, Bigelow, Meads, Araujo 4-2
Lemes, Woodberry, Hall, Bigelow, Araujo 3-0
Lemes, Woodberry, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo 1-1
Nashif, Lemes, Hall, Bigelow, Araujo 0-1