Game 20 - BYU Hosts New Mexico Monday at 8 p.m.

Garner Meads and the Cougars hope to rebound after a 52-49 loss to Air Force Saturday when BYU hosts New Mexico Monday at 8 p.m. in the Marriott Center. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

BYU (6-13, 0-4 MWC) plays the second of a three-game homestand Monday by hosting New Mexico (14-4, 1-2 MWC) at 8 p.m. The SportsWest Productions telecast can be seen on UPN-Z24 in Utah and nationally via ESPN FULLCOURT. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 (KSL.com).

UP NEXT FOR THE COUGARS

The Cougars will next face in-state rival and league-leader Utah in the Marriott Center on Jan. 31 in a 10 p.m. ESPN tilt.

BYU GAME #20 FAST FACTS

BYU COUGARS (6-13, 0-4 MWC) vs. NEW MEXICO LOBOS (14-4, 1-2 MWC)

MONDAY, JAN. 24, 2005

MARRIOTT CENTER (22,700)

PROVO, UTAH 8 p.m. MST

Coaches:

BYU, Steve Cleveland (135-100 in eighth season; same overall)

New Mexico, Ritchie McKay (38-36 in third season; 121-125 in ninth season overall)

Series:

BYU leads, 66-48 (The two teams split the series last season, each winning at home)

TV:

SportsWest (UPN Z-24 in Salt Lake City, KASY in Albuquerque and available nationally via ESPN FULLCOURT, with Mike Powers calling play-by-play and Craig Hislop adding analysis)

Radio:

KSL 1160, BYU Sports Network (Greg Wrubell calls play-by-play with Mark Durrant adding commentary)

Web:

Live audio and live stats are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (see upcoming schedule)

COUGAR QUICK HITS

- BYU coach Steve Cleveland has utilized 14 different starting lineups this season in 19 games while dealing with injuries and some inconsistent play from a mostly inexperienced roster.

- The 10 BYU players averaging double-digit minutes this season include six sophomores, three seniors and one freshman. Only three players -- seniors Mike Hall and Jared Jensen and sophomore Garner Meads -- averaged more than 10 minutes during a prior season as a Cougar. Of BYU's freshmen top-20 signing class, only F/C Chris Miles is currently playing as David Burgess (ankles) and Trent Plaisted (knees) are out while top guard prospect and Arizona Player of the Year Lee Cummard has not been with the team this year after opting to serve an LDS Church mission. After returning early, he will join BYU next season.

- Senior guard Mike Hall leads BYU in scoring at 13.6 ppg. Sophomore guard Mike Rose adds 9.6 ppg with sophomore point guard Austin Ainge contributing 9.5 ppg. Senior center Jared Jensen averages 9.1 ppg from the post. Ainge leads BYU with 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals. Sophomore transfer Keena Young pulls down a team-best 5.8 rebounds with sophomore forward Garner Meads averaging 4.9 rpg and sophomore center Derek Dawes contributing 4.6 rpg.

- BYU shoots .428 from the floor, .365 from three and .749 (No. 1 MWC, 18th nationally) from the line while averaging 67.9 ppg. BYU opponents have shot .430 (FG) and .350 (3FG) while scoring 68.8 ppg. BYU has a slight 35.7 to 35.5 rebounding edge over its opponents on average over the first 19 games.

- BYU's schedule this season has included four Pac-10 opponents and two nationally ranked ACC teams (North Carolina and NC State). BYU (6-13, 0-4 MWC) is 4-5 at home, 1-5 away and 1-3 on a neutral floor.

- BYU coach Steve Cleveland needs two more victories to tie Frank Arnold (1975-83) for fourth place on BYU's all-time victory list. In the Marriott Center, Cleveland has the second-most wins and needs five more home victories to top the list.

- BYU is 0-4 in MWC play for the first time. BYU has lost its last three games since its non-league win over Montana State-BIllings. The Cougars haven't lost four straight since 1999 (as member of the WAC).

LOOKING AT NEW MEXICO

Without who many considered the MWC's top returning player, Danny Granger, the Lobos have dropped back-to-back conference games against reigning regular-season champion Air Force (64-62) and reigning MWC Tournament champion Utah (58-69). New Mexico is currently 14-4 overall and 1-2 in league play. This season the Lobos have played only 4 of 18 games away from home, posting a 1-3 record away from the Pit. Granger, who had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee, leads the Lobos and MWC in steals and ranks second in the league in points, blocked shots and rebounding. Senior Troy DeVries is the Lobos second leading scorer, averaging 11.7 points per game and leads New Mexico with 2.9 assists. DeVries' is MWC's leading 3-point scorer, connecting on 43 three's and averaging 3.1 per game. Since Granger and Devries joined the team on Dec. 21, 2003, New Mexico is 23-3 at home. Junior forward David Chiotti and junior guard Mark Walters rank third and fourth in scoring for the Lobos as Chiotti averages 10.5 points per game and Walters adds 10.3 points per game. Chiotti is shooting a stifling 60.7 percent from the field to lead the lobos and is second in block shots behind Granger. New Mexico is shooting a staggering 52.5 percent from the field to lead the country. The Lobos top all charts in the MWC in scoring 81.8 points per game, shooting 39.7 percent from beyond the arc, 8.4 3-point field goals made, dishing out 16.5 assists and beating teams by an average scoring margin of 16.4 points. Ritchie McKay is in his third season at the helm for the Lobos and has a 38-34 career record at New Mexico. McKay is 10-21 in MWC games, 10-5 at home and is winless on the road in all 16 games in conference play.

LAST OUTING - NEW MEXICO FALLS TO STREAKING UTAH, 69-58

SALT LAKE CITY -- Andrew Bogut scored 24 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds to lead Utah to a 69-58 victory over New Mexico Saturday afternoon. The victory was the 11th in a row for the Utes (16-3, 4-0 Mountain West), and their 16th straight home win over the Lobos since 1989. Bryant Markson added 14 points for the Utes, who held the Lobos far below their league-leading scoring average of 81.8 points per game. The Lobos (14-4, 1-2 Mountain West) shot just 37.3 percent from the field, compared to 62.8 percent for Utah. New Mexico played without its leading scorer, senior forward Danny Granger, who missed his second straight game following knee surgery, and lost its 24th straight road game against conference opponents. Bogut scored 18 of Utah's first 19 points, and the Utes trailed only once - for 34 seconds early in the second half. The Lobos cut a 14-point lead to eight on a pair of free throws by Kris Collins with 5:29 left, but the Utes never let them get any closer. Troy DeVries led New Mexico with 19 points, including five three-pointers.

NEW MEXICO'S PROJECTED STARTERS

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

F 13 David Chiotti 6-8 240 Jr. 10.5 5.9

F 21 Alfred Neale 6-5 200 Sr. 9.2 4.5

G 2 Troy DeVries 6-3 190 Sr. 11.7 1.9

G 3 Kris Collins 6-2 195 Jr. 8.1 2.1

G 5 Mark Walters 6-2 220 Jr. 10.3 3.7

BYU SERIES RECORD VS. NEW MEXICO

Overall Series Record: BYU leads 66-48

BYU Record in Provo: 38-15 (21-12 in the Marriott Center)

BYU Record in Albuquerque: 24-30 (14-25 in The Pit)

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 4-3

BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 10-7

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

SERIES NOTES

This will be the 115th game in the series that started in the 1949-50 season. The Cougars lead the series 66-48. BYU had a four-game winning streak in the series halted with UNM's controversial 65-63 win at The Pit last year before getting the 88-71 home win. BYU swept the season series in 2003 and defeated the Lobos in the opening round of the 2003 MWC Tournament. BYU has won nine of the last 11 games in the series after New Mexico had won eight of the prior nine contests. BYU has won four 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 44-game nation-leading homecourt victory string that was ended in 2003 by Utah. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 10-7 vs. the Lobos.

LAST YEAR IN PROVO -- HOT-SHOOTING COUGARS DOWN LOBOS

PROVO -- Rafael Araujo led four Cougars scoring in double figures with 18 points while grabbing eight rebounds as the Cougars defeated New Mexico 88-71 Saturday night in front of 18,367 screaming fans at the Marriott Center. The Lobos used an early 9-0 run to jump out to a seven-point lead before the Cougars outscored New Mexico 22-3 to give BYU the lead for good at 32-23. New Mexico would pull within two points just before the half before Luiz Lemes buried a three to put BYU up by five at the half. The Cougars shot well in the first half, hitting 53.6 percent of their shots, including 50 percent from behind the arc. BYU didn't cool off in the second half, opening the half on a 13-2 run to put the game out of reach. Senior forward Mark Bigelow helped ignite the Cougar run, scoring nine of his 16 points during the run. The Cougars finished the game shooting a red-hot 60 percent from the floor and a season-high 52.3 from three-point land. Fan-favorite Mike Rose entered the game in the second half and promptly hit three of his four attempts from three-point range for nine points. The Lobos and Cougars tied a Marriott Center record set last year by the same two teams with a combined 23 three-pointers. The Lobos went 14-of-32 (.438) while BYU finished 9-of-17 from long range. BYU also had an excellent game on the defensive end of the floor, holding the Lobos to just 41.1 percent from the floor. Mike Hall frustrated New Mexico's Danny Granger, who lit up the Cougars for 27 points in their previous meeting, holding him nearly 12 points below his average with just nine points. Besides his excellent defense, Hall poured in 16 points and grabbed five rebounds. Lemes was BYU's fourth player to score in double figures, finishing with 12 points. Troy DeVries led the Lobos with 16 points on the strength of 5-of-9 three-point shooting. Javin Tindall contributed 12 points, including three treys. With the victory, the Cougars improve to 7-4 in conference (17-7 overall), while the Lobos fall to 4-6 in conference (13-10 overall).

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

"Certainly, offensively I felt like we got the touches I wanted and we shot well. We had good movement. I thought Mike Hall played extremely well. Guarding Granger is not easy and he responded really well. It was a solid win. It was exactly what we needed. We had a lot of guys step up and play well."

LAST YEAR AT UNM -- COUGARS LOSE WILD ONE AT THE PIT

ALBUQUERQUE -- In five seconds of playing time, the Cougars (12-6, 2-2) went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows Monday night, losing a tight contest at New Mexico (11-6, 2-2), 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, at the time the officials did not acknowledge the whistle and consequently Bigelow was called for the technical foul. An MWC official was later suspended because of the incident). Amazingly, DeVries missed both attempts, leaving the game tied with 3.8 seconds still on the clock. But a well-placed Lobo inbounds pass sailed 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.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. 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 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.

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

"It was a difficult game to lose, one in which I thought we played very well and put ourselves in a position to win. I'm disappointed in losing, but I'm not disappointed in this basketball team. Almost everything that we wanted to do and that we challenged our team to do happened."

BYU's LAST OUTING - AIR FORCE STRIKES DOWN COUGARS

PROVO -- Marriott Center magic is slowly disappearing for the Cougars as BYU fell to the Air Force Falcons, 52-49, Saturday afternoon. Keena Young played big for the Cougars, posting his first double-double of the season, tying his career-high with 14 points and grabbing a new career-high 11 rebounds. "I couldn't be prouder of our effort," BYU head coach Steve Cleveland said. "But I'm disappointed that we lost." The Falcons jumped on the Cougars early in the first half, scoring the first 10 points of the game. Slowly the Cougars crawled their way back into the game, connecting on an 11-0 run of their own to take their first lead of the half 21-20. During that time, BYU held the Falcons scoreless for eight and half minutes. In the last few minutes of the half, late turnovers by BYU allowed the Falcons to regain a quick lead until Young, who led the Cougars in scoring at the half, scored on a tip-in with one second remaining to tie the game 29-29 at halftime. In the second half, both teams battled back and forth as neither team could pull away with a comfortable lead. The Cougars' largest lead of the half came at the 10 minute mark, with BYU on top by four, 43-39. Late in the second half, Jimmy Balderson delivered a two-point basket to bring the Cougars within one, 49-50. The next play down the floor, the Falcons missed a shot within the key and BYU's Young grabbed the rebound but the ball was stripped, leading to a Cougar foul. With 11 seconds left in the game, Air Force's Matt McCraw hit two clutch free throws to take a three point advantage. A desperation 3-pointer by Austin Ainge was not enough to secure the win. The Cougars' second-leading scorer was senior Mike Hall, who finished the game with 13 points. Sophomore Ainge contributed an overall effort with five points, six assists and six rebounds. BYU finished the game shooting 47.6 percent from the field, 40 percent from the arc and an uncharacteristic 37.5 percent shooting from the charity stripe. "There's no time to feel sorry for ourselves," Cleveland said. "And there's no time to get distracted. We have to come back and find a way to beat New Mexico."

FREE THROW RECORDS SET THIS SEASON

The Cougars set a school record by making 33 consecutive free throws until finally misfiring against San Diego State. BYU set a single-game record to start the streak by making 24 straight free throws against Santa Clara on Dec. 31. The 33 straight free throws spanned three games. No. 1 in the MWC, BYU is ranked No. 18 nationally in updated free-throw percentage statistical leaders after Saturday's games. (source ESPN). BYU went only 3-for-8 at the line in its three-point loss to Air Force Saturday.

AINGE PROVING POINT

Point guard Austin Ainge is one of BYU's young players taking advantage of his opportunity for playing time this season. He has earned the starting position, making the last 11 starts. He scored a career-high 25 points at CSU. He had a career-high 7 rebounds vs. Santa Clara and a career-most 8 assists vs. NC State and MSU-Billings. He is now earning the majority of the point guard minutes with sophomore Sam Burgess coming off the bench to play backup point in the last two games. Overall, he is third on the team in scoring at 9.5 ppg and leads the team in assists at 3.7 apg and steals (1.4 spg).

JENSEN MODEL OF EFFICIENCY

Jared Jensen has made 39 of his last 60 field goal attempts (.650) and has made 26 of his last 27 free throws. On the season Jensen leads the team in both categories, shooting .574 (7th in MWC) and .875 from the line (No. 2 in MWC).

JENSEN GOING TO THE BOARDS

Jared Jensen's 10 rebounds at CSU tied his career high. In the first 12 games, Jensen averaged 3.2 rebounds but over the last seven games he is averaging 6.1 rebounds.

SCORING SPREE

BYU's 59-point second half against Santa Clara is its most points in a half under head coach Steve Cleveland. BYU also achieved its largest first-half production in the Cleveland era with 57 points in the first 20 minutes vs. Montana State-Billings. Prior to this season, the previous high for a half under Cleveland was 56 first-half points against Rice in 2002. BYU's 110 total points against MSUB is its highest point total since 1995.

SHOOTING PERCENTAGE/WINNING PERCENTAGE

BYU is 6-1 when outshooting its opponent and 0-12 when the opponent has the better percentage. After shooting below 40 percent in six of its first 10 games, the Cougars topped 50 percent shooting the three games (all wins -- the Cougars made a season-high 60 percent from the floor and 54.5 percent on threes in its win at Weber State, shot 50 percent from the floor and 57 percent on threes (12-of-21) vs. Southern Utah and made 52 percent vs. Santa Clara) prior to shooting 41 percent at Saint Mary's. BYU then rebounded with another great shooting night against MSU-Billings, shooting 54.8 percent from the floor and a season-high 62.5 percent from three-point range. Against Air Force, BYU shot 47.6 percent.

CURRENT BYU WIN/LOSS STREAKS ...

At home 0-1

On the road 0-3

On a neutral floor 0-1

At home vs. Nonconference 3-0

At home vs. MWC 0-2

On the road vs. Nonconference 0-2

On the road vs. MWC 0-2

On a neutral floor vs. Nonconference 0-1

On a neutral floor vs. MWC 0-1

at regular season tournament 1-0

at MWC Tournament 0-1

at NCAA Tournament 0-5

at NIT 0-1

AttachmentSize
Game-20---BYU-Hosts-New-Mexico-Monday-at-8-p.m..pdf731.62 KB