Keena Young has averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds in his two games against Air Force while shooting 80 percent from the floor. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
GAME #20 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (13-6, 5-3 MWC)
AIR FORCE FALCONS (18-3, 6-2 MWC)
Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006
Marriott Center (22,700)
1:05 p.m. MST
BYU, Dave Rose (13-6 in first year; same overall)
AFA, Jeff Bzdelik (18-3 in first year; 43-34 in third season overall)
BYU leads 42-12 after dropping the first meeting this season 75-59 at Air Force
ESPN+ (Rich Waltz, play-by-play; Irv Brown, game analysis)
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (12 p.m. MST pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)
Live audio and live stats broadcasts are available at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/
BYU HOSTS AIR FORCE SATURDAY
BYU (13-6, 5-3 MWC) returns home to begin the second half of Mountain West Conference play on Saturday against Air Force (18-3, 6-2 MWC) in the ESPN Regional Game of the Week. The Cougars have won their last three games while the Falcons have tied the best start in school history through 21 games with an 18-3 record. Air Force is currently tied for second in the MWC while BYU holds sole possession of fourth place. The 1:05 p.m. tip-off can be seen live in Utah on ESPN+ (KJZZ-14), and the radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network.
$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.
BYU faces in-state rival Utah on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City. The 7 p.m. game can be seen live in Utah on KJZZ-14. The Cougars defeated the Utes, 72-60, in the first meeting this year in Provo.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
-- Cougar head coach Dave Rose is 13-6 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 fourth in the MWC with a 5-3 conference record.
-- BYU is 13-6 overall, including 9-1 at home, and has won nine straight in the Marriott Center. The Cougars are 3-5 away and 1-0 at a neutral site. BYU scores an MWC-leading 77.1 ppg and shoots .468 from the field, including .381 from long range, third in the league, and .721 from the line, second in the league. Cougar opponents average 71.1 points on .442 shooting, .345 from three and .716 from the line. BYU pulls down 35.3 rebounds per game, 2.0 more than its opponents. The Cougars dish out an MWC-leading 17.3 assists per game.
-- Redshirt freshman forward/center Trent Plaisted leads BYU in scoring (13.1), followed by senior guard Brock Reichner (10.9). Junior forward Keena Young is the Cougars' top rebounder (5.6) followed by Plaisted (5.5). Junior point guard Rashaun Broadus is second in the MWC in assists (4.22) followed by junior combo guard Austin Ainge (2.95), who is eighth. Ten Cougars are logging 10 minutes or more per game.
LOOKING AT AIR FORCE
Under first-year coach Jeff Bzdelik, Air Force has tied its best start in school history after 21 games at 18-3. The Falcons are 12-0 at home, 3-3 on the road and 3-0 on a neutral court this season with neutral-court wins over Miami (57-53) and Georgia Tech (54-46) of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Their lone preseason loss came on the road at nationally ranked Washington (85-74) of the Pac-10 Conference. Air Force has since lost to MWC-opponents Wyoming and New Mexico on the road. Air Force coach Jeff Bzdelik (Illinois-Chicago, 1976) has returned to the college game after 15 seasons as a coach and scout in the NBA, most recently as head coach of the Denver Nuggets. Bzdelik has a collegiate career record of 43-34. He returns three starters and 12 lettermen from last year's 18-12 team that placed third in the Mountain West Conference standings with a 9-5 record. Bzdelik is without the services of preseason first-team All-MWC center Nick Welch, who was the league's Co-Player of the Year in 2004. Welch will miss the entire season due to injury. Returning starters Antoine Hood (6-4 senior guard), Jacob Burtschi (6-6 junior forward) and Matt McCraw (6-2 junior guard) are each scoring in double figures this season at 14.5, 13.0 and 11.5 points per game, respectively. With the loss of regular Tim Keller to graduation, junior forward Dan Nwaelele has filled a starting role nicely as the team's third-leading scorer at 12.7 ppg. In place of Welch, junior center John Frye is averaging 5.8 points while shooting .611 from the field, including .520 (13-of-25) from behind the arc. Burtschi is the top Falcon rebounder (6.4), and leads three different Falcons with 50 or more assists with 59 (2.8 apg). Burtschi also leads the team and the league in steals with 2.33 per contest and 49 total.
AIR FORCE's PROBABLE STARTERS
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 21 Jacob Burtschi 6-6 225 Jr. 13.0 6.4
F 34 Dan Nwaelele 6-5 205 Jr. 12.7 2.6
C 54 John Frye 6-10 215 Jr. 5.8 3.1
G 5 Matt McCraw 6-2 185 Jr. 11.5 2.8
G 15 Antoine Hood 6-4 200 Sr. 14.5 3.5
AIR FORCE'S LAST OUTING -- Falcons Upend Rams
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) - Jacob Burtschi scored 21 points and the Air Force Falcons remained undefeated at home this season with a 71-56 win over the Colorado State Rams Wednesday night. Antoine Hood added 15 points and Dan Nwaelele scored 14 for the Falcons, who handed in-state rival CSU its fifth straight loss and 20th consecutive defeat on the road against a Mountain West Conference opponent. Air Force (18-3, 6-2 MWC) hasn't lost to the Rams (12-9, 1-7) at Clune Arena since the 2001-02 season. The Falcons have won 14 straight at home, dating back to last February. Jason Smith, the Rams' 7-foot leading scorer, led CSU with 27 points and seven rebounds, but the team never capitalized on its height advantage inside against Air Force's zone defense. Stephan Gilling added 11 points for Colorado State. The Rams held the Falcons - and their leading scorer Hood - at bay for most of a bruising first half, before Air Force went on a 12-0 run that gave it a 37-28 halftime lead. Hood scored five of those points, his first of the game. The Falcons continued to pull away early in the second half, with Burtschi making two 3-pointers and Matt McCraw and Keith Maren each adding another to give Air Force a 57-36 lead with 12:14 remaining. The Falcons finished 8-for-20 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, the Rams went cold, shooting 42.9 percent in the second half. At one point, CSU went almost 4 1/2 minutes without a field goal, before Smith dunked and hit a free throw to make it 61-43 with 5:50 remaining. Air Force center John Frye missed almost all the first half after cutting his forehead on the floor while trying to snag a rebound. He got nine stitches above his right eye, but failed to score after he returned.
This will be the 55th meeting between the two teams, with BYU leading the series 42-12. The Cougars are 21-4 in Provo, 18-7 at Air Force, and 3-1 at a neutral site. BYU has won eight of the 14 games in the series since the inception of the Mountain West Conference, but Air Force has won four of the last five meetings, including a 16-point win earlier this year in USAFA and its first-ever season sweep in the series last year. AFA's current three-game winning streak marks the longest Falcon win streak in the series and is the first time the Falcons have managed consecutive victories over the Cougars since the first two games in 1961 and 1963. The Falcons handed BYU its largest margin of defeat in an MWC game at last year's meeting in Clune Arena, downing the Cougars 70-39. The Falcons defeated BYU by a margin of 22 points the prior meeting at Clune Arena in 2004 while shooting 72.5 percent, AFA's highest percentage ever against a Division I team. BYU has won nine of the last 16 outings since winning a series-best 15 straight over the Falcons from 1990-96. AFA's three-point win at the Marriott Center last year ended 13 straight Cougar wins in the Marriott Center since a 79-78 Falcon win in 1989.
BYU SERIES RECORD VS. AIR FORCE
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 42-12
BYU Record in Provo: 21-4
BYU Record in Colorado Springs: 18-7
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 3-1
BYU Record under Dave Rose: 0-1
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 2-0
Last Overtime Game: 1989, won at AFA, 89-88
Longest BYU Win Streak: 15 (1990-96)
Longest Air Force Win Streak: 3 (2005-present)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 35, 103-68 in 1993
Largest Air Force Margin of Victory: 31, 70-39 in 2005
Most Points Scored by BYU: 110 in 1965
Most Points Scored by Air Force: 93 in 1987
RECENT OUTINGS IN THE SERIES
THIS YEAR IN USAFA -- Cougars Fall In MWC Opener
USAFA -- The Cougars opened up Mountain West Conference play with a 75-59 loss Thursday night at Air Force, falling to 8-4 on the season and 0-1 in the MWC. In a game reminiscent of last season's 70-39 loss at Air Force, which began with a 19-0 Falcon lead, BYU came out cold to start the game, allowing Air Force to open up with a 10-1 run. Brock Reichner, the Cougars' lone senior, recorded BYU's first seven points on a free throw and back-to-back three-pointers to cut the lead to 10-7. However, the Falcons responded with an 11-0 run to take a 21-7 lead. Keena Young ended the 5:32 BYU scoring drought with a make from underneath the basket at the 10:41 mark, the first Cougar besides Reichner to score, but the Falcons continued to light up the scoreboard as they led by as many as 26 points in the first half. However, despite Air Force making eight three-pointers in the first half while BYU made just nine baskets, the Cougars put together a 7-0 spurt to end the half and cut the lead to 42-23. BYU's comeback magic continued to start the second half as the Cougars added to their scoring streak with an 8-2 run to begin the second period of play, cutting the lead to 44-31. BYU held the Falcons without a bucket for 5:09 in the half after Air Force scored the first bucket of the period. The BYU bench contributed to most of the Cougars' second-half scoring, recording 32 of BYU's 59 points in the game, as the Cougars tried to find the right scoring combination. But BYU could not complete the comeback as Air Force's lead proved too large to overcome. Despite the Cougars actually outscoring the Falcons 36-33 in the second half, they could get no closer than 12 points at 63-51 at the 5:41 mark, eventually falling by 16 points, their largest margin of defeat this season. Young proved to be a bright spot for BYU in the loss as he scored a career-high 16 points while tying his career-best with 11 rebounds to record the second double-double of his career. Young and Reichner combined for 29 of BYU's 59 points as Reichner added 13 to Young's total, his eighth game scoring in double figures. The two combined to shoot 13-for-23 from the field. Austin Ainge and Mike Rose each recorded six points in 15 and eight minutes off the bench, respectively. Rashaun Broadus was BYU's top assist maker with four but struggled from the floor, shooting 1-for-7 on the night. As a team, BYU shot 41 percent from the field (24-for-59) while allowing Air Force to shoot 52 percent from the floor (24-for-56), including 44 percent from three-point range (11-for-25). The Cougars outrebounded the Falcons 37-27, resulting in a season-high 22 second-chance points compared to just seven for Air Force.
WHAT BYU COACH DAVE ROSE HAD TO SAY AFTER THE GAME IN USAFA THIS YEAR
"Air Force is a really good team. You try to get an idea of how good they really are on film, but they're better than they look. Their guards were really hard for us to contain. Defensively, we made a pretty good effort but Air Force made the big shots. We didn't keep our composure offensively. We turned the ball over too much and never got into a good flow in the first half. We got down big and then had to fight from behind the whole time. I think that we didn't do a very good job capitalizing on what our strengths are. We didn't get the ball into guards who were posting up, which is a real strength of our team. Trent Plaisted was having a hard time getting into position and wasn't getting the ball underneath.The loss was a compilation of a lot of things; we didn't get good looks at the basket and when we did, we didn't make them. Keena Young picked up really well in the second half. It was obvious how much better our offense was when he was able to get in there and make some moves."
LAST YEAR IN PROVO -- FALCONS EDGE COUGARS
PROVO -- 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. 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."
WHAT FORMER BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE GAME IN PROVO LAST YEAR
"I couldn't be prouder of our effort, but I'm disappointed that we lost. There's no time to feel sorry for ourselves, and there's no time to get distracted. We have to come back and find a way to win games."
LAST YEAR IN USAFA -- FALCONS SLAM COUGARS
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY -- Records were broken at the Clune arena, as the Falcons dominated the Cougars in every way possible to give BYU its worst lost in MWC history, 70-39. For the Cougars and head coach Steve Cleveland, it is the lowest point total for BYU in the MWC and also is the Falcons' first-ever sweep against the Cougars. "There were too many no-shows in tonight's game," said Cleveland. "It's impossible to compete with teams in this conference if we can't have two or three players producing every night." It was another nightmarish start for BYU, as the Falcons left the Cougars scoreless until Austin Ainge hit a deep three-point shot with 9:21 remaining in the first half. The Falcons Antoine Hood scored 14 points in the game, including the first two points of the game to start a 19-0 run. The Falcons continued to overwhelm the Cougars in the opening half, leading by as many as 26 points on their way to a 37-13 advantage. The frustration continued for the Cougars in the second half. BYU had no answer for the Flacons offense and struggled to find a high quality shot to close the gap on Air Force's hefty lead. A bigger BYU team struggled inside the paint, being outrebounded 36-24 and outscored in the low-post 38-10. Cougar guard Sam Burgess led the way for all Cougar scoring, finishing with nine points and center Chris Miles added seven points. Overall, BYU made a season-low 28 percent on 14-of-50 shooting from the field.
WHAT FORMER BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE GAME AT AIR FORCE LAST YEAR
"There were too many no-shows in tonight's game. It's impossible to compete with teams in this conference if we can't have two or three players producing every night. I knew they would be very difficult places to win (Air Force and New Mexico), we were certainly undermanned. This was one of the most embarrassing efforts I've been a part of. It starts with me and the coaches. I thought we had a good plan but it didn't work. I can live with an occasional night when things just don't go right. But I felt tonight we didn't have a collective competitive effort. That's the thing that is most disappointing to me. It's something that hasn't been present all year. The timing of not having Keena (Young) or Garner (Meads) didn't help but I'm really challenged to find out what it will take to get these young men to play their best basketball. It's been a disappointing year but that being said, you can still have a game plan and execute and play hard. We're not going to go home and give up. It comes down to if these young men want to fight and scratch and claw to finish this season on a positive note."
BYU's LAST OUTING -- Cougars Snap New Mexico Win Streak
ALBUQUERQUE -- The Cougars' road victories kept coming Wednesday night as BYU snapped New Mexico's 21-game home win streak with a 77-71 victory at The Pit. BYU was not intimidated by the Lobos' win streak, the fourth longest in the nation, as the Cougars pounded out the win. BYU has snapped the three longest home winning streaks in New Mexico history, ending a 41-game streak in 1998 and a 24-game streak in 1975. Rashaun Broadus led the Cougars with 15 points while recording three rebounds, six assists and no turnovers, contributing to BYU's season-low-tying seven turnovers. Four other players scored in double figures as Jimmy Balderson scored 14 points, Trent Plaisted contributed 13, Keena Young added 12 and Brock Reichner posted 11 points. Young was BYU's high rebounder with nine boards on the night. After New Mexico took an early 4-0 lead, the Cougars responded with an 8-0 run, including Trent Plaisted's 22nd dunk of the year, to go up 8-4. New Mexico fought back with an 8-0 spurt of its own that saw Trent Plaisted, BYU's leading scorer, check out of the game with two fouls of his own. The Cougars' 4:03 scoring drought was finally ended with a jumper from Keena Young, who scored BYU's next six points. But it was not enough to stop the Lobos as New Mexico built a 26-16 lead. The Cougars responded with a bucket from Young and a three-pointer from Reichner at the 6:57 mark to cut the lead in half at 26-21. From there, the three-pointers began to rain down for the Lobos as four of their last six field goals of the half came from long range. BYU put together a little magic of its own with three-pointers from Fernando Malaman and Lee Cummard in addition to another Plaisted dunk and six free throws to maintain the five-point deficit, heading into the locker room down just 42-37. Both teams came out hot offensively in the second half as BYU made three of its four shots and New Mexico made four of its first five. After seeing the Cougars fall behind 51-44, Jimmy Balderson drained a three-pointer to bring BYU within four. BYU took advantage of the momentum, draining back-to-back three-pointers to take the lead at 53-52, the Cougars' first advantage since 8-7 in the first half. BYU managed to take a 62-59 lead at the 10:30 mark on a reverse layin from Balderson but saw the slim margin disappear with a 5-0 Lobo spurt. The Cougars did not score from the floor for 6:19 as they watched New Mexico take a 67-63 lead with 5:07 left to play. Enter Reichner. BYU's walk-on senior scored eight straight points from there, including two drained three-pointers, to give the Cougars a 71-67 lead with just 2:28 remaining. With 32 seconds left to play, Broadus drove to the hoop and drained the layin that put the nail in the coffin for the Lobos, leading to the 77-71 win.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "I'm just really, really proud of our players. They're in a position right now where their confidence is high and their resolve to do things right and play together and compete together is great."
-- "I think that the competitive spirit of the guys and their resolve to win has been key for us during this stretch. There were a couple times in the timeout tonight when I didn't even need to say anything. Everyone was involved and engaged and working together to get the win."
-- "Our emphasis tonight was to make them get the ball out of the post and make big shots from the outside. They made some from three-point range in the first half, but we made some adjustments at halftime and did a much better job of guarding the three-point shot."
-- "One of the big keys in this game was not only how we guarded them but that we didn't turn the ball over. We got down in the first half when they scored off of our turnovers. We only had one in the second half, which was a huge factor."
New Mexico Head Coach Ritchie McKay
-- "BYU did a great job of executing their game plan and they are a hot team in the conference. Obviously, they played better than we did and were successful in winning the game. This is the third time they have broke our (homecourt victory) streak and hopefully we'll pay them back when we get to Provo."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Fewest Turnovers - 7 (tied); Free-throw Percentage - .917 (11-for-12).
-- The Cougars' victory at New Mexico snaps the Lobos' 21-game home win streak, the fourth longest in the nation. BYU snapped a 41-game Lobo home win streak in 1998 and a 24-game home win streak in 1975.
-- BYU's wins at New Mexico and at Colorado State mark the first time since 2004 that the Cougars have won back-to-back Mountain West Conference road games.
-- The Cougars' won the game despite being down 42-37 at halftime, marking the first time this season that BYU has come back from a halftime deficit to win a game on the road.
-- Three-pointers were big for New Mexico as the Lobos made 7-of-15 (.467) from beyond the arc against BYU on the night. In the last three games of the series. UNM has made 38-of-53 (.566) from long range.
-- New Mexico shot 57.1 percent in the first half, marking the fourth time in the last five games that BYU has allowed its opponents to shoot over 50 percent in the first period of play. Ironically, has BYU won the four games in which opponents shot over 50 percent in the first half (vs. Wyoming, vs. TCU, at CSU and at New Mexico) and lost the one game in which the Cougars held their opponent under 50 percent (at SDSU).
-- Five Cougars scored in double figures for the second time this season and the first since Jan. 18 against Wyoming as Rashaun Broadus scored 15 points, Jimmy Balderson scored 14, Trent Plaisted recorded 13, Keena Young added 12 and Brock Reichner contributed 11 points.
-- Trent Plaisted recorded his 22nd dunk of the year on BYU's second basket of the game and added his 23rd with 4:32 left in the half and his 24th midway through the second half. Jimmy Balderson also dunked with 16 seconds left in the game, bringing the Cougars' season total to 35. Plaisted has recorded eight slams in the last three games.
-- Keena Young scored 10 of 12 Cougar points during 8:51 of the first half, single-handedly keeping BYU in the game. Young finished the game with 12 points and has averaged 11.6 points per game in the last five contests.
-- After New Mexico began the game with a 4-0 lead, the two teams traded 8-0 runs. BYU did not score for 4:03 during the Lobo spurt.
-- Neither team scored in the last 1:41 of the first half as New Mexico's last bucket came from three-point range with 2:42 left and Lee Cummard responded 1:01 later with a bucket of his own from long range.
-- BYU began the second half 5-of-7 from three-point range after going 3-for-8 in the first half. The Cougars finished the game 10-for-22 (.455) from long range.
-- After taking a 62-59 lead at the 10:30 mark in the second half, BYU did not score from the field for 6:19, allowing the Lobos to go on an 8-1 run.
- Brock Reichner came up big for the Cougars with BYU trailing 67-63. Reichner scored eight straight points, including two three-pointers, to the Cougars a 71-67 lead with 2:28 to play.
BYU AT THE POINT
BYU's Rashaun Broadus (4.22 apg) and Austin Ainge (2.95 apg) rank second and eighth, respectively, among Mountain West Conference players in assists per game this season while helping the Cougars lead the MWC in team assists at 17.3 apg. Broadus and Ainge have combined for 94 assists compared to 45 turnovers in BYU's 13 wins while totaling 38 assists and 28 turnovers in the Cougars' six defeats. Broadus has 55 assists and 28 turnovers in the wins with 21 assists and 19 turnovers in the losses. Ainge boasts 39 assists to only 17 turnovers in the victories while totaling 17 assists and 9 turnovers in defeats. With his overall 56 assists to 26 turnovers, Ainge would rank second in the conference in assist/turnover ratio at 2.15 but is one assist short of the 57 required to be officially ranked. Broadus ranks third (1.62). After starting the season slow, 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 15 turnovers while Broadus has 20 assists and 19 turnovers. Broadus totaled a team-high 6 assists with no turnovers in BYU's most recent game at New Mexico. As a team, BYU has made an assist on 62.8 percent of its field goals this season.
BYU IN THE POST
Trent Plaisted (13.1) leads BYU in scoring while fellow post players Keena Young (8.6) and Fernando Malaman (8.4) are fourth and sixth, respectively. Plaisted (12.4) and Young (10.5) rank first and third, respectively, in league games. Overall, Young is shooting a team-best .558 (63-of-113), third in the league, followed by Malaman, whose .555 shooting (66-of-119) is fourth in the league. Plaisted, who has made 53.8 percent (91-of-169) ranks ninth 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 (15-of-30) from behind the three-point arc.
BYU ON THE WING
Senior Brock Reichner has started the last 18 games at 2-guard and is second on the team in scoring at 10.9 ppg, including a team-high 35 threes, while junior Jimmy Balderson started the first nine games at small forward and is third in scoring at 8.8 ppg with 14 treys. Balderson is averaging 19.0 points in the last two games while Reichner is averaging 17.0. BYU's two freshman wings are playing significant roles. Lee Cummard has started in place of Balderson the last 10 games and is averaging 5.7 points in 15.6 minutes while shooting 47.5 percent from the floor. Jackson Emery is shooting 41.3 percent from the floor and has made nine triples while averaging 2.8 points in 8.9 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.
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 45 more points in the paint this season, outpacing its opponents underneath in eight games, tying in three and being outscored in eight. The Cougars have also capitalized on opponent miscues in their 19 games to date, scoring 18 more points off of turnovers while outscoring foes in that category in nine games, tying in one and being outscored in nine. BYU enjoys a 44-point advantage in second-chance points, partly due to the Cougars' +2.0 rebounding margin, as BYU has outscored opponents in that category in 11 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 193-127 margin.
With its 13-6 overall record, BYU has yet to suffer consecutive defeats this season, having bounced back from each loss with victory, and is currently enjoying its third three-game win streak of the season. BYU had alternated wins and losses since beginning league play before winning its last three games against TCU at home and at Colorado State and New Mexico. 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 -- three three-game streaks and one two-game streak.
MAGIC NUMBER: 70
BYU is 8-0 this season when holding opponents under 70 points and 5-6 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold. Cougar foes are currently averaging 71.1 points per game. BYU is also 11-3 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.
FROM THE LINE
The Cougars have made significant progress from the free-throw line in conference play, shooting .801 from the stripe in MWC play, which ranks first in the league, and .721 overall, which is second. BYU has shot 80 percent or above from the line in five of its eight league games while reaching that mark just twice in the Cougars' 11 nonconference contests. Senior Brock Reichner has made his last 19 straight free throws.
Overall this year, eight players have started while Coach Dave Rose has used six starting lineups. Junior Rashaun Broadus has started the last two games after losing his starting spot the three previous games while junior Keena Young made his fourth start of the season at New Mexico. Trent Plaisted has started each game while Fernando Malaman has started every game but the last four, Brock Reichner has started 18 games, Broadus 16 games, Jimmy Balderson nine games and Austin Ainge four games. Lee Cummard has 10 starts, the last 10 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.
Brock Reichner and Jimmy Balderson have stepped up their play in the last two games as the pair now rank second and third, respectively, in scoring for the Cougars. Balderson led BYU with a career-high 24 points against Colorado State while Reichner added 23. At New Mexico, Balderson scored 14 points and Reichner recorded 11. Over the last two games, Balderson is averaging 19.0 points per game while Reichner is scoring 17.0 ppg.
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 19 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), junior Rashaun Broadus has led the team twice (17 vs. Utah and 15 at UNM) 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).
With its win at New Mexico, BYU is now 9-0 when leading at the half and 4-6 when trailing. The win over the Lobos marked the first time this season the Cougars have overcome a halftime deficit on the road. 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 5.9 more second-half points than its opponents.
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.
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 ...
Coach's Corner with Dave Rose
Mondays at 8:45 a.m.
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.