BYU (13-5, 2-1 MWC) hosts the New Mexico Lobos (7-10, 1-3 MWC) Saturday at 1 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center. The game is an ESPN+Plus game airing on KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City with Rich Waltz and Irv Brown describing the action. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 and the Cougar Sports Network, beginning with a one-hour pregame show. KSL's Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Mark Durrant providing game analysis. Live audio is available on the basketball page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com, and on KSL.com and via BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
LIVE, SILENT AUCTIONS SATURDAY TO BENEFIT WOMEN'S ATHLETICS
The first-ever live and silent auctions to benefit women's athletics will be held Saturday. The silent auction begins at 12:30 p.m. with items available for bidding on the concourse level of the Marriott Center. The auction will run throughout the men's game and until closing at 5:30 p.m. A live acution will take place courtside after the men's game and prior to the 4 p.m. women's basketball game vs. Utah. Some of the items in the live auction include a grand piano, Deer Valley ski package and golf getaway to St. George.
GAME #19 FAST FACTS (MWC GAME #4)
BYU (13-5, 2-1 MWC) vs. NEW MEXICO (7-10, 1-3 MWC)
SATURDAY, FEB. 1, 2003
MARRIOTT CENTER (22,700)
1:05 p.m. MST
BYU, Steve Cleveland (98-74 in sixth year; same overall)
UNM, Ritchie McKay (7-10 in first year; 90-99 in seventh year overall)
BYU leads, 62-47; Last: BYU won 68-62 in Provo on Feb. 16, 2002
ESPN+Plus (KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City, KRQE-TV in Albuquerque)
Available via ESPN FULL COURT (pay-per-view)
Play-by-Play: Rich Waltz
Game Analyst: Irv Brown
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Times: Noon MST
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Mark Durrant
A live audio link and live stats link are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2002-03 schedule); live audio is available on KSL.com and byuradio.org or via BYU Radio on Dish Network.
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 195 Jr. 13.3 3.6
F 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 250 So. 8.1 3.8
C 55 Rafael Araujo 6-11 265 Jr. 12.3 9.1
G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Sr. 15.8 5.0 2.8 apg
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 So. 3.0 1.7 2.0 apg
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 14 Ricky Bower 6-4 185 Jr. 6.6 1.8
G 24 Kevin Woodberry 6-0 170 Jr. 5.6 1.6 2.2 apg
F 15 John Allen 6-7 215 So. 3.4 1.4
G 12 Marc Roberts 6-3 205 So. 3.0 1.0
F 5 Jake Shoff 6-9 265 Jr. 2.8 2.0
C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 Jr. 1.4 0.8
G 4 Luiz Lemes 6-3 180 Jr. 1.3 0.7
F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 Jr. 1.3 1.0
BYU are 13-5 overall and 2-1 in Mountain West Conference play after having its nation-best 44 game homecourt victory streak snapped by Utah last Saturday. The Cougars opened MWC play with a home win over UNLV and a road triumph at San Diego State. New Mexico falls to 7-10 overall and 1-3 in the MWC after losing to UNLV late Monday night on ESPN. Despite a 40-point performance by Ruben Douglas and a nine-point halftime lead, the Lobos were unable to hold off the Rebels. New Mexico defeated San Diego State at home and lost at CSU and Wyoming in its other MWC games. The loss at Wyoming came in overtime. BYU leads the all-time series between the two teams, 62-47, and has won five of the last six games, including the last two meetings in Provo.
NEW MEXICO LOBOS
New Mexico is 7-10 overall and 1-3 in the MWC after a 75-66 setback to UNLV, despite 40 points from senior guard Ruben Douglas. The Lobos defeated San Diego State at home for its lone MWC win but also suffered a tough loss at league-leader Wyoming, dropping a four-point decision in overtime. The Lobos have won two of their last three. They are 7-5 at home and 0-5 on the road. New Mexico has dropped 12 straight road games with the last victory away from Albuquerque being at Colorado State on Jan. 28, 2002. The last time New Mexico lost 13 straight away games was in a 14-game slide during the 1980-81 and 1981-82 seasons. Ritchie McKay (Seattle Pacific '87) is in his first season at New Mexico . He has also headed the programs at Portland State (1996-98), Colorado State (1998-2000) and Oregon State (2000-02). He has a career record of 90-99. While at Mountain West Conference member CSU, McKay led the Rams to the 1999 NIT. McKay was 1-1 in his career against BYU while coaching at Colorado State. He replaced Fran Fraschilla at UNM. Fraschilla was 55-41 in three seasons, from 1999-2002. The Lobos are led by senior guard Ruben Douglas , who is enjoying one of the most prolific offensive seasons in New Mexico's history. He is averaging 31 ppg over the past 5 games and is third in the nation in scoring overall at 26.2 ppg. He should become the first Lobo to average more than 20 points a game for an entire season since Hunter Greene in 1986-87. Highlighted by Douglas, the Lobos return three starters but only one is currently starting for coach McKay and is no longer able to play because of a series injury. Lobo senior guard Senque Carey (East Palo Alto, Calif.) had surgery Jan. 27 to remove a disc between vertebrae in his neck. The procedure took place at the Stanford Medical Center and his rehabilitation could take up to 18 months. Carey suffered a spinal cord injury on Nov. 25 in a game against Northwestern (La.) State. After 13 days of paralysis in his legs from Nov. 25-Dec. 7, Carey attended a Lobo practice on Sunday, Dec. 8, and walked with assistance. Carey played in all 30 games last season after transferring from the University of Washington. He started 20 games overall, including the final 16. Carey's absence has left the Lobos with just 10 players, including two walk-ons. Seven of the 10 players are in their first year at UNM. McKay used a different starting linuep in its first 12 games and 14 separate units in the first 15 contests but has used the same starting five in its past three games: Ruben Douglas, Jamaal Williams, Javin Tindall, Ryan Ashcraft and David Chiotti. Williams is the only other Lobo in double figures at 13.1 ppg. Douglas pulls down 5.9 rebounds with Williams grabbing 5.8 and Mark Walters 5.7. Chad Bell (6-11, 255, So.), who had some starting experience last year, has five starts this year. Eleven of 12 Lobos to play this year have started a game. New Mexico is shooting 42 percent from the floor, 34.6 percent on threes and 69.5 percent from the line. The Lobos are allowing opponents to shoot .466 on field goals, including .333 on threes. They average 70.2 ppg while being slightly outscored at 70.4. New Mexico has been out-rebounded by an average of 2.7 boards per game. New Mexico has taken good care of the ball, committing only 12.9 turnovers per game, which ranks 28th in the nation. The Lobos have an all-time record of 1,189-938 (.560).
NEW MEXICO'S PROBABLE STARTERS
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG OTHER
F 24 Jamaal Williams 6-6 220 So-1L 13.1 5.8 21 points at Wyoming
C 13 David Chiotti 6-9 250 Fr-HS 2.7 3.6 21 pts, 9 rebs. vs.W.NM
G 5 Ruben Douglas 6-5 200 Sr-2L 26.2 5.9 3rd in NCAA in scoring
G 11 Javin Tindall 5-11 175 Jr-Tr 8.8 2.0 17 pts, 5-6 3s vs. SDSU
G 12 Ryan Ashcraft 6-2 175 Jr-2L 3.1 1.6 Top defensive guard
This will be the 110th game in the series that started in the 1949-50 season. BYU has won five of the last six games after New Mexico had won 8 of th prior 9 contests. BYU had a string of four straight wins come to an end with UNM's victory at The Pit last January. The Lobos had their own four-game streak in the series prior to BYU's. New Mexico's last win in Provo was a 78-74 win in in 2000, which was BYU's last loss in the Marriott Center prior to starting its 44-game nation-leading homecourt victory string that was ended Saturday vs. Utah. BYU has won the last two games in Provo but is only 4-6 at home vs. the Lobos in the last 10 outings in the Marriott Center. BYU is 41-16 in Provo overall and leads the all-time series, 62-47. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 6-6 vs. the Lobos.
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 62-47
BYU Record in Provo: 41-16
BYU Record in Albuquerque: 21-31
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 3-3
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 6-6
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
LAST GAME - BYU STAGES COMEBACK TO DOWN LOBOS
PROVO -- BYU came out on top over New Mexico 68-62 at the Marriott Center Saturday afternoon in a seesaw battle that saw the Cougars repeatedly battle back from behind to win their 33rd straight home game. Down 51-39 with 13 minutes remaining in the game, BYU went on a tear outscoring the Lobos 29-11 to come away with the victory. Before the victory, BYU had not come back to win a game when trailing with five minutes left (0-6 for the season entering the game). New Mexico led 57-53 with five minutes remaining today. Cougar Travis Hansen led the comeback, scoring 14 in the second half to finish with a game-high 20 points. Hansen also spurred his teammates on with four assists, one shy of his career high of five. Mark Bigelow also came around in the second half as he scored 10 points in the last period. He finished with 14 points, marking his fifth consecutive game in double figures. In contrast to Hansen and Bigelow, Eric Nielsen led all scorers at the half with 10 points but didn't score at all in the second and only took one shot. The Cougars as a team shot 49 percent from the field but only 20 percent from three-point range for the game. Matt Montague led all players with eight assists as he continues to be a national leader in assists per game (apg). He averages 7. 5 apg which is good for third nationally. Cougar center Dan Howard again provided solid play off the bench, scoring three points and grabbing two rebounds in 12 minutes of play. Against SDSU, Howard had eight points and seven rebounds in 17 minutes, making this back-to-back performance the most impressive of his career. The outcome of the game was never clear as each team scored in spurts. Down 7-4, BYU went on a 10-3 run to go up 14-10 with 12:27 left in the first half. New Mexico then went on an 11-4 run to make the score 21-18 at the 6:31 mark of the first half. Another Cougar run, 7-4, brought them into the lead, 25-24, before the teams ultimately ended the half in a tie, 34-34. New Mexico started the second half with a 17-5 run of their own to make the score 51-39 with 13 minutes left in the game. From there, BYU battled back with their impressive run of 29-11 to defeat the Lobos for the fifth time in six meetings. The win gives the Cougars a split with New Mexico for the season as BYU lost 73-58 down at The Pit in Albuquerque Jan. 19.
WHAT COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY IN PROVO LAST YEAR ...
"This game said something about the character of the team. I told our players after the game that this may be the most gratifying win of the season. I was really pleased with the way Travis and Mark made big baskets toward the end. We played really, really intelligent ball in the last minutes of the game."
LAST YEAR AT UNM - BIG LOBO SECOND HALF TOO MUCH FOR BYU
ALBUQUERQUE -- BYU fell 73-58 to New Mexico at The Pit Saturday. The Cougars took a one-point lead into the locker room at the half but were outscored 42-26 to lose the game by 15, their worst loss of the season. BYU (12-4, 2-1) fell victim to a hot-shooting New Mexico team that made 53 percent from the field for the game. The Lobos (12-4, 2-0) got solid contributions from their guards, with Ruben Douglas, Eric Chatfield and Tim Lightfoot each scoring 13 points in the contest. A bright spot for the Cougars continues to be Jared Jensen, who had a game-high 15 points in 24 minutes of play. Jensen got little help from the outside, however, as BYU struggled from the floor. BYU was 24-for-54 from the floor and made only 3-of-13 three-pointers. Mark Bigelow failed to extend his BYU record of 22 consecutive games with a three-pointer. Bigelow also ended his string of 14 straight games in double figures. He was 2-7 with four points, a season low. "It was tough," said Jensen. "Obviously, we're disappointed a little bit but we still have unity, we're still going to go out and compete. We've got to keep this thing rolling." The Cougars came out aggressive and sharp in the first half, going toe-to-toe with the sharp-shooting Lobos. Cougar forward Eric Nielsen was 2-2 from beyond the arc, equaling the career-best effort he had against Stanford this season. He finished the game with 10 points, his fifth straight game in double figures. Travis Hansen had six early points, including an authoritative one-handed dunk over Lobo center Chad Bell. But Hansen - like the rest of the Cougars - cooled off in the second half, not scoring again until 6:47 remained in the game. New Mexico went on a 12-2 run to start the second half, going up 43-34 and never looking back. The hot-shooting Lobos shot nearly 60 percent in the second half, compared to BYU's 41 percent. Free throws also plagued the Cougars as they only shot 58 percent from the line on 7-for-12 shooting, their worst effort since Jan. 13, 2001, when they shot 50 percent against SDSU. BYU guard Daniel Bobik, however, pushed his free throw streak to 24 on 2-for-2 shooting, passing Hansen's previous season high of 23. Senior guard Matt Montague dished out 11 assists, his fourth double-digit assist game this year and second-highest total behind the career-high 15 assists he had against the University of Idaho. He also grabbed six boards to lead the team in rebounding for the second time in the last three games.
WHAT COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AT NEW MEXICO LAST YEAR ...
"They made shots tonight, even when they were contested. Offensively, they had good balance. We competed with a lot more energy in the first half than in the second. Part of making plays is making shots when the game is on the line."
BYU'S LAST GAME -- 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. "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," said Utah assistant coach Kerry Rupp, who guided the Utes in Majerus' absence. 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. "I've never seen Utah play better this season than they played today at both ends of the floor," said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. "I will give them full credit." 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 to his total (148) and scored 16 points while Ricky Bower added 10. "I didn't feel like we played poorly at any time, I just felt like there were times late in the game when we didn't take care of the ball," Cleveland said. "You have got to do those things to win close ball games." 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.
UP NEXT FOR BYU
BYU will host Air Force Monday at 8:30 p.m. The game is not being televised. The Falcons enter a Saturday night game at Utah with a 10-7 record and 1-3 mark in the MWC. The Falcons have played well, dropping two 2-point road losses at CSU and Wyoming and gaining a home victory over UNLV. They opened MWC play with a home loss to San Diego State. Air Force leads the nation in scoring defense, yielding only 54 points per game. The Falcons are No. 8 nationally in three-point shooting.
Led by senior guard Travis Hansen, junior swingman Mark Bigelow and junior center Rafael Araujo, the Cougars (13-5) earned an 11-4 non-conference record and are 2-1 in MWC play. Hansen leads the team in scoring (15.8) and assists (2.8) and is second in rebounding (5.0), Bigelow is second in scoring (13.3) and the team's top three-point shooter (39-84, .464), while Araujo has come on strong as the third-leading scorer (12.3) while leading the MWC in rebounds (9.1). Sophomore forward Jared Jensen adds 8.1 points and 3.6 rebounds and sophomore point guard Terry Nashif has started the last four games, setting career bests of 7 assists vs. UNLV and 11 points at San Diego State. Coach Cleveland has more talent on the bench this year. Junior guard Ricky Bower leads the reserves, averaging 6.6 points and shooting 45 percent from behind the arc. Kevin Woodberry, who has started in 14 games, adds 5.6 points and 2.2 assists. The Cougars shoot .477 from the floor, .401 on threes and an MWC-best .740 from the line. BYU is among the top MWC defensive teams, allowing .409 shooting, including .289 on threes. BYU scores 74.0 ppg while allowing 65.3. BYU is 8-1 at home and 5-4 away from the Marriott Center, including a 3-1 neutral record and 2-3 road mark. Coach Steve Cleveland has a deeper bench this year than he did last seaon. He has used four starting lineups, but primarily gone with two lineups. He used the same starting five in 12 games with Kevin Woodberry manning the point, but has inserted Terry Nashif at point in the last four games. Sophomore guard Marc Roberts came out of a possible redshirt season after 13 games, playing at Weber State. Freshmen guards Austin Ainge and Jermaine Odjegba will redshirt.
o Junior swingman Mark Bigelow scored a team-high 21 points at San Diego State along with four rebounds and three steals. He followed with 16 points vs. Utah, adding five boards, three assists, one block and one steal. Last week, he shot 48.3 percent, 47.1 percent on threes.
o Senior guard Travis Hansen recorded his second double-double of the year with a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds vs. Utah. He added four assists, a career-best three blocks and two steals in 34 minutes. Including Monday's win over San Diego State, Hansen averaged 17.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks per game last week.
o Junior center Rafael Araujo has scored in double figures in 10 of the last 12 games. He has scored 17 or more points in seven of the last nine games. He had 19 points and 9 rebounds vs. Utah last Saturday.
BYU STARTING LINEUP (RECORD)
Woodberry, Hansen, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo 9-3
Nashif, Hansen, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo 3-1
Woodberry, Bower, Bigelow, Hansen, Araujo 1-0
Woodberry, Hansen, Bigelow, Shoff, Araujo 0-1
BYU has received a vote the last two weeks after not receiving any votes the prior two weeks after suffering its third loss of the year vs. Oklahoma State and fourth at Weber State. In this week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, BYU is tied for 41st with five others with one vote, including Wyoming. Utah is the top ranked MWC team, tied for 37th with four votes. BYU did not receive votes in the Associated Press Poll for the fourth straight week. Utah is 35th with 17 points and Wyoming 42nd with five points. Two BYU opponents are in the top-25 of both polls. Oklahoma State is rated ninth (AP) and 11th (ESPN/USA Today) while Creighton is ranking 15th (ESPN/USA Today) and 16th (AP).
RPI AND SAGARIN RATINGS
BYU is the top-rated MWC team in the Sagarin Ratings and RPI. The Sagarin Ratings through Tuesday's results rank BYU 31st followed by Utah at No. 32, with Wyoming at 55 and UNLV at 56. As a conference, the Mountain West has been rated as high as 6th but is currently ranked 7th, with the Pac-10 in the No. 6 ranking. In the RPI computed by CBS.Sportsline.com after Tuesday's results, BYU has a No. 15 rating, followed by Utah at 24, UNLV at 44 and Wyoming at 51. In the RPI compiled by Collegiate Basketball News, updated weekly after Sunday's results, BYU is 17th, Utah 24th, UNLV 43rd, and Wyoming 49th.
MWC AND NCAA STATISTICS
BYU is ranked 14th in the NCAA statistics in three-point shooting (.401). Among MWC teams, BYU is the top free throw shooting team (.740) and also leads three point percentage defense 9.289). BYU is second in scoring margin (+8.7), field goal percentage defense (.409), steals (6.72) and three-point shooting (.401). Individually, Rafael Araujo is the top rebounder (9.1) and ranks second in field goal percentage (586) and fourth in steals (1.44). Mark Bigelow No. 2 in three-point percentage (.464) and Ricky Bower is 4th (.450). Jared Jense is 4th in FT percentage (.778) and Travis Hansen is tied for 4th in scoring (15.8). In MWC games, BYU is the top team in scoring average (80.0) and three-point shooting (.489) and is second in scoring margin (+5.0), free throw percentage (.771), assists (14.33) and turnover margin (+2.67). Individually in MWC games, Terry Nashif the top three-point percentage shooter (.750, 3-4) and No. 3 assist man (4.0). Bigelow is second in three-pointers made (4.0) and scoring (19.3). Hansen is 5th in scoring (18.3), while Araujo No. 2 in steals (2.0) and 3rd in rebounds (9.7).
COUGARS PLAY TOP MWC SCHEDULE, AMONG NATION'S TOUGHEST
BYU has achieved a 13-5 record playing the toughest schedule of any MWC team and among the tougest in the nation. BYU's schedule is currently rated the 9th toughest in the nation by CBS.Sportsline.com's computer analysis and 16th by Collegiate Basketball News. The Sagarin Ratings rank BYU's schedule No. 32. After BYU, the next toughest MWC schedule belongs to Utah (35th by Collegiate Basketball News and 51st by CBS Sportsline.com and 59th 75th by Sagarin). Of the 22 teams BYU will face on its regular season schedule this year, 17 have a winning record after Tuesday's play while four (UNM 7-10; USF 7-11; UCSB 8-9; SUU 8-9) have losing records and one is at .500 (Toledo 9-9). BYU's opponents have combined to win 64 percent of their games thus far this year. BYU's five losses have been at Creighton (17-2), at USF (7-11), vs. Oklahoma State (16-1) in Oklahoma City, at Weber State (14-5) and to Utah (14-4).
LOOKING AT THE 2002-03 SCHEDULE
This year's schedule features 17 games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year and included playing in the University of The Virgin Islands Paradise Jam (U.S. Virgin Islands) and Touchstone Energy All-College Classic (Oklahoma City). BYU's non-conference schedule included teams from 10 different conferences. Overall, 12 teams earned postseason bids last season, seven advancing to the NCAA tournament and five playing in the NIT. Six teams earned a conference regular season or league tournament title and 12 placed in the top three in their league standings. The Cougars will play 14 regular season games in the Marriott Center. Excluding the MWC Tournament, BYU plays 15 road games, including 11 away contests and four neutral site games. The 2003 MWC Tournament takes place March 12-15 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. The Pac-10, Big 12, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big West, Mid-American, Mid-Continent, Missouri Valley, West Coast and Western Athletic are represented on the non-league schedule. Nine teams -- Arizona State, Creighton, San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Utah State, Southern Utah, Weber State and Pepperdine -- were also on last year's nonconference schedule.
BYU is 12-0 this year when holding opponents below 70 points but 1-5 when the opposition reaches the 70-point mark. In the five-plus season Steve Cleveland has been BYU's coach, the Cougars are 79-15 (.840) when holding opponents below 70 points. BYU's winning percentage drops off substantially when BYU opponents have scored between 70-79 points. BYU's record is 17-34 (.333) in those games during the Cleveland era.
AT THIS POINT ...
At this point last year BYU was also 2-1 in the MWC standings, with two home wins and a road loss. BYU was on the road for its fourth and fifth games last year, dropping both to fall to 2-3 after five games. BYU was 4-3 at the half-way point with four home wins. BYU was also 2-1 and then 2-2 in 2001, but went on to start 5-2 during the first half with five home wins. BYU started 3-1 after four games during the inaugural MWC season in 2000 with two home wins and one road victory, opening with a win at UNLV. Its loss was at home to Utah. BYU finished the first half 4-3 with four games being on the road.
After three straight wins, BYU lost to Utah Saturday, ending the Cougars' nation-leading 44-game homecourt victory streak. BYU has lost back-to-back games only once this year (vs. Oklahoma State and at Weber State). BYU had defeated 18 straight MWC teams at home prior to the loss to Utah. The Cougars have won 34 straight home games over a non-conference opponents. The Cougars won five straight games overall to open this season, the longest overall streak since winning eight straight games last year in preseason. The Cougars won four straight away from home (3 neutral, 1 away) this year before losing their next four (3 away, 1 neutral) until winning at San Diego State last week. The four wins away from home was the team's best streak away from home since BYU's 2001 NCAA team won five consecutive games (2 away, 3 at the MWC tournament) in March 2001. BYU has made a three-point shot in 197 consecutive games since going 0-9 in a 75-67 loss to CS Fullerton on Nov. 22, 1996.
SHOOTING, REBOUNDING SUCCESS
BYU has out shot 14 of 18 opponents this year (except USF, OSU, Weber State, Utah) and outrebounded 12 (except Creighton,USU, USCB, SDSU, Utah). BYU is shooting .477, including .401 on threes, while limiting opponents to .409 shooting from the floor and only .289 on threes. BYU averages 35.1 boards to its opponents' 32.1. BYU has shot 45 percent or better in 13 games this year (losing only once twice at Creighton and vs. Utah), including a string of six straight until shooting a season-low 36.5 percent at USF. BYU rebounded to shoot 58 percent (SUU) and 54.2 percent (Pepperdine) in its next two games. BYU shot 58.3 percent vs. Idaho State, the fifth time this year, and fourth time at home, that BYU has shot better than 50 percent. BYU has shot 54 percent or better in three of its last five home games. BYU out boarded Idaho State 43-19.
FROM THE LINE
BYU topped 80 percent (27-33) free throw shooting for the sixth time this year vs. UNLV. BYU shot a season-high 85.2 percent from the line vs. UCSB, going 23-27. The Cougars have shot better than 70 percent in all but four games, a season-low 55.0 percent (11-20) vs. San Diego, 65.4 percent vs. Pepperdine, 65.7 percent at USF and 66.7 percent vs. Idaho State. Individually, eight Cougars are shooting 70 percent or better from the line, with six topping 77 percent. John Allen made his first 19 straight until missing his last attempt vs. Utah (19-20), while Ricky Bower is shooting 89.1 percent (41-46). BYU is shooting a MWC-leading 74.0 percent as a team.
BYU has held 10 opponents to 42 percent or lower shooting, and has held five opponents below 35 percent shooting. BYU held Pepperine, coming in shooting 47.1 percent, to its second-lowest percentage of the year at 34.5 percent. BYU held UCSB, a team that came in after seven games shooting 50.3 percent from the floor and 45.5 percent on threes, to 36.5 percent and 26.1 percent on threes. BYU has held nine opponents this year to 60 points or less. BYU is 49-3 under Steve Cleveland when holding opponents below 60 points. BYU held USD to a BYU-opponent low of 49 points. On the year, BYU's defense yields a combined 65.3 points per game.
BYU'S NATION-LEADING HOME WINNING STREAK COMES TO AN END
BYU won a school-record 44 straight home games in the Marriott Center before losing to Utah, 79-75 last Saturday. The streak was the longest active streak in the country over part of last season and this season. BYU's last home loss prior to the steak starting was on Feb. 17, 2000 when New Mexico edged the Cougars 78-74. BYU defeated 18 straight MWC teams during the streak, which began with an 83-82 win over UNLV on Feb. 19, 2000. BYU continues its string of non-conference home wins. The Cougars have defeated 34 straight nonconference 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. BYU went 16-0 at home last season and was 15-0 the prior year. BYU has had a perfect home record seven seasons since the Marriott Center opened for the 1971-72 season. The past two years, however, marks the first time it has happened in back-to-back seasons. Last year's team tied the BYU single-season record with 16 home wins and was only the fourth Cougar squad to win more than 14 home games in a season. The 1987-88 Ladell Andersen squad went 16-2 in the Marriott Center.
BIGELOW, HANSEN MOVING UP SCORING CHARTS
Mark Bigelow become the 34th Cougar and only ninth junior to reach 1,000 career points vs. SUU. He moved into a tie for 26th place with John Fairchild (1,106) with his 16 points vs. Utah, passing Mark Handy (1,099), and Terrell Lyday (1,105). He needs three points to pass Gary Earnest (1,109), which would put him among BYU's top-25 scorers, 12 points to overtake Joe Richey (1,117) and 23 points to surpass Steve Schreiner (1,128). Senior Travis Hansen has 884 career points despite an injury-shortened first season at BYU as a sophomore. He will become the 35th Cougar to reach 1,000 points before the end of the regular season if he continues his team-leading scoring pace.
BYU VS. ITS CONFERENCE PEERS
BYU was picked to finish fourth this year in the Mountain West Conference by the league's media members. BYU has a won 58.3 percent (420-300) of its games all-time vs. MWC opponents. As an overall athletic program, BYU has dominated the Mountain West in its first three seasons, winning 63 percent of all MWC titles, including the 2001 men's basketball championship.
CLEVELAND'S CONFERENCE RECORD
After opening MWC play with two wins, BYU coach Steve Cleveland has evened his conference (WAC/MWC) record before falling to 36-37 with the loss to Utah. Taking over after BYU's 1-25 season, Cleveland improved BYU's conference record in each of his first four seasons and exceeded many expectations with only one returning starter on last year's team that finished fourth with a 7-7 record. Cleveland has had a .500 conference record five times (1-1, 2-2, 29-29, 34-34, and 36-36). He has had an overall winning conference record twice (1-0, 2-1). Cleveland is 23-19 (.548) in MWC games only.
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF BYU BASKETBALL
BYU is celebrating 100 years of basketball. Since the first season of BYU basketball in 1903, BYU entered this season having achieved a 1440-927 (.608) overall record with 21 different coaches at the helm. The combined efforts of these men have provided the Cougars with 80 winning seasons in 100 years. BYU has won 25 conference titles and made 28 postseason tournament appearances with 19 NCAA bids and nine NIT berths. The Cougars won the 1951 and 1966 NIT titles and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in 1981, highlighted by Danny Ainge's length-of-the-court dash to defeat Notre Dame at the buzzer. Ainge was named the nation's top player as the John Wooden Award and Eastman Award winner. Twenty-three players have received All-America recognition while NBA teams have selected a Cougar 41 times in its annual draft. BYU has the nation's 11th longest rivalry, dating back to 1909, against the University of Utah. BYU and Utah have the 10th longest rivalry in terms of games played with 233 contests. Utah leads the series for only the third time with its win this year, holding a one-game edge at 117-116. For more information on BYU's 100-year history, please consult the 2002-03 BYU media guide.
BYU AMONG TOP-40 All-TIME WINNINGEST BASKETBALL PROGRAMS
With its all-time record of 1440-927 (.608), BYU is the ranked 40th all-time in winning percentage among all Division I basketball programs. In terms of total wins, BYU is in the top 25. The Cougars have had 80 winning seasons in their 100-year basketball history and have made 28 postseason appearances, including 19 NCAA bids, and won 25 conference championships.