Game 20 Notes - BYU Hosts Colorado State

BYU (13-6, 3-3 MWC) hosts Colorado State (9-11, 1-5) Monday at 8:30 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The Cougars are coming off an 85-70 win over Wyoming and have won 31 straight at home, the second-longest streak in the nation. Colorado State is coming off a 67-62 loss at Utah Saturday. The game will be televised by SportsWest Productions and taped-delay broadcast on WB30 at 9 p.m. in Salt Lake City.

Up Next

The Cougars return to the road to face UNLV Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PT before continuing on to play at San Diego State next Monday in another 7:30 p.m. PT start. Both games will be televised by SportsWest Productions.

BYU at Home on Monday Nights

BYU is 3-0 at home on Monday nights since playing its first home Monday night game vs. Southern Illinois on March 20, 2000 in the second round of the NIT. That game started at 9 p.m. Last year, BYU swept Utah and UNLV in 10 p.m. Big Monday games on ESPN. Colorado State will be the first of two Monday night home games this year. BYU will also face Air Force on Feb. 18 in an 8:30 p.m. start.

GAME FACTS (BYU Game 20)

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2002

BYU (13-6, 3-3) vs. Colorado State (9-11, 1-5)

Marriott Center [22,700]

Provo, Utah

8:37 p.m. MT

Coaches:

BYU, Steve Cleveland (80-63 in fifth year; same overall)

CSU, Dale Layer (23-24 in 2nd year; 191-111 in 11th year overall)

Series: BYU leads, 72-42

TV:

SportsWest Productions (WB 30 in SLC)

Air Time: 9 p.m. MT (taped delay)

Play-by-Play: Dave McCann

Game Analyst: Craig Hislop

Radio:

KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)

Pregame Air Time - 7:30 p.m. MT

Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell

Game Analyst: Mark Durrant

BYU's Probable Starters:

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

F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 190 So. 15.9 2.9

F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-9 215 Sr. 10.1 4.7

C 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 245 Fr. 9.4 3.7

G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Jr. 15.1 7.2

G 31 Matt Montague 6-0 190 Sr. 6.5 7.4 apg

BYU Reserves:

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

G 20 Daniel Bobik 6-6 205 So. 8.1 2.6

G 22 Jimmy Balderson 6-6 200 Fr. 4.7 1.6

C 42 Jon Carlisle 6-10 250 So. 2.2 2.0

F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 So. 1.0 1.7

C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 So. 0.6 1.0

G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 Fr. 0.4 0.6 apg

F 4 Jesse Pinegar 6-9 225 Fr. 0.4 0.6

Scouting Colorado State

Colorado State is 9-11 overall and 1-5 in conference play after a 67-62 loss at Utah Saturday night. The Rams return one starter and five lettermen from last year's 15-13 team. CSU's conference win was over Air Force in Fort Collins. Brian Greene leads the Rams at 16.2 ppg and has scored in double figures in 16 straight games for the Rams, including a 29-point effort at Utah Saturday. Through the first 14 games of the year, only Baylor shot 50 percent or better against the Rams but in conference play five of six teams have reached 50 percent.

COLORADO STATE'S PROBABLE STARTERS

33 Brian Greene F 6-8 225 Jr. 16.2 8.1 Leads team in scoring and rebounding

25 Matt Brown F 6-9 215 Sr. 5.4 3.5 Scored 12 points vs. Morris Brown

2 Joe Macklin G 5-11 175 Jr. 3.6 3.2 Scored career-high 10 points at Utah

10 Jon Rakiecki G 6-3 195 Fr. 5.6 3.2 Among MWC leaders in 3-point shooting

11 Andy Birley G 6-4 190 Jr, 12.5 2.7 Scored team-high 20 points vs. New Mexico

Series Information

This will be the 115th meeting between the two schools. BYU leads the series 72-42. The teams have each won at home the past two years since CSU swept the sereis in 1998. They did not play in 1999. BYU won the last meeting, a 68-51 Cougar win in Provo on Feb. 17, 2001. CSU won 60-55 in Fort Collins last season. The Cougars have won two straight in Provo, with last year's win and a 68-47 win in 2000. BYU has won eight of the last 10 games in Provo dating back to 1990, with CSU last winning in the Marriott Center on Jan. 22, 1998 (55-44). BYU's last victory in Fort Collins was a 72-70 overtime win in 1993-94. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 2-4 against Colorado State. The series dates back to 1938.

Overall Series Record: 72-42

BYU Record in Provo: 48-10

BYU Record in Fort Collins: 23-30

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 1-2

BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 2-4

Longest BYU Win Streak: 9 (two times 1985-89, 1991-94)

Longest Utah Win Streak: 7 (1960-70)

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 39, 91-52 in 1939

Largest Wyoming Margin of Victory: 25, 49-74 in 1958

Most Points Scored by BYU: 105 in 1972

Most Points Scored by Utah: 100 in 1996

Colorado State Quick Facts:

General Info

Location: Fort Collins, Colo.

Founded: 1870

Enrollment: 22,600

Nickname: Rams

Colors: Green and Gold

Home Arena: Moby Arena (8,754)

Conference: Mountain West

Athletic Director: Jeffrey Hathaway

Basketball Info

Head Coach: Dale Layer

Alma Mater: Eckerd College (1980)

Best time to call: Mornings

Office Phone: (970) 491-6232

Overall Record (Years): 182-100 (10)

Record at School (Years): 14-13 (1)

Assistant Coaches: Pat Eberhart, Bill Peterson, Buzz Williams

2000-2001

Overall Record: 15-13

Conf. Record/Finish: 15-13/T5th

Final Ranking/Post Season Finish: NA

2001-2002

Letterman Returning/Lost: 5/5

Starters Returning/Lost: 1/5

Returning Starters (last year's stats)

Brian Greene, 6-8, 225, So., F (7.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg)

Media Relations

Basketball Contact: Gary Ozzello

Office: (970) 491-5067

Home: (970) 493-5574

Email: ramsid@lamar.colostate.edu

Fax: (970) 491-1348

Press Row: (970) 491-3981

Athletics Web Site

www.csurams.com

LAST YEAR VS. CSU

BYU Falls 60-55 at CSU

FORT COLLINS -- A cold shooting night from three-point range helped doom BYU as they fell to the Colorado State Rams 60-55 at Moby Arena in Fort Collins. BYU shot a season-low 6.3 percent on three-point attempts, going 1-16 from behind the arc. After missing their first 13 treys, Trent Whiting finally connected for the Cougars at the 4:50 mark of the second half to pull BYU even at 47-47. BYU, who had trailed the entire game, would never get over the hump in the final minutes, as the Rams were able to make the key shots to maintain their advantage. Following Whiting's trey, CSU's John Sivesind turned the momentum back to the Rams with his own three-pointer and then cut backdoor on the next possession after a Nate Knight miss to put the Rams up by five at 52-47. Mekeli Wesley, out with four fouls, was put back in the game and quickly brought BYU to within one with back-to-back buckets. The Cougars would get within one point two more times during the final moments, including a 56-55 deficit with only 34 seconds remaining. After two Sivesind free throws put the Rams up three with 11 seconds, Wesley was unable to connect on a heavily contested shot from behind the arc and CSU's Ron Grady added two more charity tosses to give the Rams the final 60-55 margin. BYU had four players reach double figures led by Whiting with 13 points. Wesley added 12, followed by Terrell Lyday with 11 and Travis Hansen with 10. Whiting added a career-high seven rebounds to share team-high honors with Wesley. BYU totaled only five assists on the night with no Cougar dishing out more than one pass that directly contributed to a basket. BYU trailed 35-29 at the half as CSU controlled the boards with 24 rebounds to BYU's 11. The Cougars changed their rebounding woes in the second half with 22 boards to CSU's 17 but the Rams were able to make the critical plays down the stretch. BYU finished the night shooting 37.7 percent from the floor and held CSU to nearly nine percentage points below its season average at 41.7 percent. CSU made 5-15 threes. The Rams had trouble pulling away from BYU in part because of a 55.6 percent shooting night at the line. Sivesind led CSU with 18 points while Grady added 13 and David Fisher 10. Brian Greene pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.

Senior Trio Leads Cougars to Victory over CSU in Final Home Game

PROVO, Utah (Feb.17, 2001) On senior night, it was only fitting that the BYU seniors scored 55 of the Cougars' 68 points to lead them past Colorado State, 68-51, on Saturday night to complete a perfect 15-0 season in the Marriott Center this season. To lead the Cougars, Mekeli Wesley scored 23, behind 3 of 4 from three-point land, his third highest point total of the season. Whiting added 18 points, including 4 three-pointers, and Terrell Lyday added 10. "Perseverance is the best word I can use to describe the game tonight," said BYU coach Steve Cleveland. "We had good help from the crowd, they were a huge help." That crowd of 17,630 watched as BYU increased their home-winning streak to 20 games, the sixth best in the nation. Despite a slow start, BYU caught on fire in the second half, behind 3 three-pointers by Whiting in the first seven minutes. "I thought they took the same shots to start the second half as they did in the first half, but they made them," said Colorado State coach Dale Layer. "That is a team that is very confident here. They have won 20 straight here for a number of reasons: they are a good team, well-coached, and play hard." To start the game, Wesley hit a three-pointer only 29 seconds after the tip-off, but the scoring slowed down after that. The 25-19 half-time score was the third lowest for the Cougars this season, and the second lowest for an opponent. Eric Nielsen started strong, getting three offensive rebounds, two blocks, one steal and four points in the first 12 minutes of the game. "Colorado State is the most difficult team in the league to defend because they are so patient and they execute so well," said Cleveland. "I thought that defensively we just hung in there. We had opportunities and good looks in the first half." Adding to the slow start was a scoreless first half by Lyday. But, the senior was not denied in the second half. After the Rams came within four points, Lyday scored his first points of the game on a three-pointer with 10:11 left in the game, followed by a steal and a lay-up, which triggered a 13-2 run to put the Cougars up by the score of 54-39. David Fisher was the leading scorer for the Rams with 16 points, Brian Greene added 13 and Andy Birley had 10. BYU finishes the regular season with three straight road games. They have a week off until they face Utah next Saturday in the Huntsman Center. They then travel to New Mexico and Air Force before the Mountain West Conference Tournament in Las Vegas March 8-10.

BYU NOTES

Cougars Shoot Their Way to Win over Wyoming

PROVO -- Travis Hansen and Mark Bigelow each scored 19 points to lead the BYU men's basketball team to an 85-70 win over league-leading Wyoming. The game marks the first time both players scored in double digits in four games, and not coincidentally, it is also BYU's first win in those four games. The Cougars shot 68 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from beyond the arc in the first half and 58.6 percent and 57.1 percent respectively for the game. BYU's sharp shooting allowed them to build a 12-point halftime lead. "It's been a long couple of weeks but it was great to see the kids start making baskets," Cleveland said. "This was a very important game just for the whole mental framework of this team." Hansen and Bigelow got plenty of support from Eric Nielsen's 12 points , seven rebounds and career-high three blocks and Jared Jensen's 10 points and two blocked shots. Senior guard Matt Montague's 15 assists tied a career high he set this season against the Idaho Vandals on Dec. 15. "You can't say enough about Matt," Wyoming head coach Steve McClain said. "He plays solid and does what his team asks and that is what makes him a good player." The Cougar bench got into the act as well with Jimmy Balderson, Daniel Bobik and Jon Carlisle combining for 19 points. Carlisle had BYU career bests of four-of-four free throwshooting, eight points and 19 minutes played. "I thought we got great play off the bench," said Cleveland. "Daniel Bobik, Jimmy Balderson and Jon Carlisle, even though they did not play a lot of minutes, did a great job coming off the bench. They gave us offense and defense." BYU's 58.6 percent field goal shooting against the Cowboys is the first time the Cougars have shot over 50 percent since the Southern Utah game Dec. 29. The Cougars have only shot better from the arc once this season when they played Stanford Dec. 22, going 7-of-11 for 63.6 percent. "We caught them on a night when everything was going good and we couldn't do anything to stop that. That is a credit to Steve Cleveland, his staff and his players," said McClain. With the win, the Cougars (13-6, 3-3) extend their home winning streak to 31 games, second in the nation behind the University of Detroit. BYU has won three straight over Wyoming (14-5, 5-1) in the series. Wyoming has lost the last four meetings in Provo, last defeating the Cougars in the Marriott Center during BYU's 1-25 season in 1996-97. BYU was able to hold the Cowboys to 29 rebounds, 13 below the Pokes' season average. BYU was only out-rebounded by two against a Wyoming team that leads the nation in rebounding margin (+10.3). The Cougars' defense was also able to hold Wyoming to 70 points, 11 below its 81points-per-game average (tied for 19th best nationally). "I think we ran into a team coming off [three] losses that knew they had their backs against the wall," McClain said. "They had a game plan and it worked. I thought they had a solid defensive effort."

Cougars After Six/Seven Games in Conference Play

Off to a 3-3 conference record thus far, the Cougars started 2-4 in 1998, 3-3 in in 1999 and 2000 and 4-2 last year. BYU was 2-5 after seven games in 1998, 3-4 in 1999, 4-3 in 1999 and 5-2 last year.

Cleveland in Conference Games Overall

After the win over Wyoming, Cleveland's conference record is 30-32. After three conference road losses at New Mexico, Air Force and Utah, Cleveland's conference record dropped below .500 after he had reached a .500 mark with the UNLV win at home. Taking over after BYU's 1-25 season, Cleveland has improved BYU's conference record each year. The win over UNLV in the last home game marked was the first time since a 2-2 mark early in his first season that Cleveland reached .500 in conference play. Overall, he has been at .500 three times (1-1, 2-2, 29-29) and has had a winning mark twice (1-0, 2-1). Cleveland has a 19-14 (.576) MWC record.

Shooting Numbers

BYU is shooting 50.1 percent in its 13 victories and 43.3 percent in its five losses. The Cougars are shooting .508 at home and .439 on the road. BYU has shot at least 45 percent in 13 games this year. BYU has shot 50 percent or better four times this year and is making 47.8 percent from the floor overall.

From Three-Point Range

BYU is shooting 39.2 percent on threes. BYU's 57.1 percent from three-point range vs. Wyoming was its second highest mark from downtown this season. BYU made eight threes against the Cowboys -- the first time since equaling a season-high 11 treys vs. Southern Utah on Dec. 29 that BYU has made more than five threes in a game. BYU made eight three pointers in the first half (season best) against SUU. The Cougars also had 11 three pointers against Idaho. BYU attempted a season-high 22 threes vs Southern Utah. Mark Bigelow made five treys vs. SUU. Bobik has also made five threes in a game, going 5-7 vs. Idaho. Mark Bigelow has made a team-high 42 threes (.412) and made a three in 17 of 19 games this year (including a BYU-record 22 straight games dating back to his freshman season). Travis Hansen has made 24 treys (.444) and Daniel Bobik has made 23 (.383).

One-Two Scoring Punch

BYU's Mark Bigelow and Travis Hansen are the Cougars one-two scoring punch. Both players have had a 30-point scoring game with Bigleow totaling 31 vs. Arizona State and Hansen having a 30-point performance at Pepperdine. Bigelow has reached double figures in 16 of 19 games and Hansen has been double-digits in 14 of 19 games. The only game this year when neither player reached double-digit points was at UNM. Hansen had a team-high 22 ponts at Utah after a season-low five points at Air Force. Bigelow equaled a season-low four points at Utah, but shared game-high honors with Hansen vs. Wyoming with 19. Overall, Bigelow averages 15.9 ppg and Hansen 15.1 ppg.

Other Scoring Options

The Cougars have three players scoring in double figure points. After leaders Mark Bigelow (15.9) and Travis Hansen (15.1), senior Eric Nielsen averages 10.1 ppg and has scored a career-high 29 points vs. Stanford. He has scored in double-digits in his last seven starts and seven of last eight games. In addition, freshman center Jared Jensen is averaging 9.4 ppg and had a career-high 20 points at Air Force. Reserve guard Daniel Bobik is adding 8.1 ppg off the bench and has twice scored highs of 17 points. Freshman guard Jimmy Balderson has reached double figures three times with a high of 19 points while point guard Matt Montague has reached double digits four times, including a season-high 13 points at Utah.

Home is What the Doctor Ordered

In the first 11 games this year, Mark Bigelow shot 46.9 percent, Travis Hansen shot 46.0 percent, and Daniel Bobik shot 45.2 percent. Prior to Saturday's game with Wyoming, Bigelow was 24-71 (.338) Hansen 31-83 (.373), and Daniel Bobik 14-40 (.350) over the next seven games. Returning home after three straight road games, Bigelow and Hansen went 8-12 and Bobik 2-3 vs. Wyoming. BYU's three other players getting double-digit minutes have shot well over the last eight games. Eric Nielsen is 32-62 (.516) over the eight-game stretch while Jared Jensen is 28-53 (.528). Matt Montague has gone 22-41 (.537) in the last seven games.

Numbers at the Line

BYU is shooting 78.4 percent from the line for the year. Last year, BYU led the nation at 78 percent from the line. This year the Cougars are fourth nationally. Since shooting its worst percentage from the line at UNM, making only 7-12 free throws (.583), BYU has shot 82.6 percent (Air Force) and 86.7 percent (Utah) and 81.8 percent (Wyo) in the last three games.

Bobik, Hansen Made Run at Consecutive Free Throw Record

Daniel Bobik made 27 consecutive free throws before missing his last attempt (3-4) at Utah. His string of successes spanned 17 games, last missing in the second game vs. Arizona State. The BYU record is 32 set by Michael Smith. Travis Hansen reaching 23 straight makes this year until missing on his fourth attempt vs. SDSU.

Six Seeing Majority of Minutes

Six players play the majority of the minutes for BYU coach Steve Cleveland. Only Daniel Bobik averages double-digit minutes off the bench. Four starters, Matt Montague, Eric Nielsen, Mark Bigelow and Travis Hansen average more than 30 minutes a game, with Montague playing a team-high 37.1 minutes per outing. Players who could likely see some more time off the bench depending on matchups include Bart Jepsen and Jon Carlisle in the post and Jimmy Balderson on the perimeter. With Shawn Opunui injured, BYU suits up 12 players.

Streaks

BYU ended a three-game losing streak with a win vs. Wyoming Saturday. BYU's three-game losing skid was its first in Mountain West play and its first since February 1999 when BYU lost at Fresno State, San Jose State (OT) and vs. New Mexico in Provo as a member of the WAC. BYU has dropped six straight road games (not including the Stanford win on a neutral court) since opening the season with a win at the University of San Diego. BYU's road losses include Utah State (OT), UCSB, Pepperdine (OT), UNM, AFA and Utah. Including this year, the Cougars have had eight two-game losing streaks since losing the three straight in 1999. BYU had a season-best eight-game winning streak halted at Pepperdine. The eight straight wins was the longest streak since the 1992-93 team won 13 in a row. Coach Cleveland's teams have had six five-game streaks over the last three seasons, which they twice extended it to six games before the most recent streak was extended to eight games. BYU has won 31 consecutive home games.

Home Winning Streak

BYU has a 31-game home court winning streak. The streak, which is a school record topping the 24 straight won between March 1994 and Jan. 1996, is the second-longest current streak in the nation behind Detriot's 39 straight wins at home (Detriot at home again on Feb. 11). BYU is 11-0 this year and was a perfect 15-0 in the Marriott Center last season. BYU's last loss in the Marriott Center was on Feb. 17, 2000 when New Mexico edged the Cougars 78-74. BYU has won 13 straight at home over MWC teams.

On the Glass

The Cougars have only been out rebounded five times overall this year. BYU out rebounded Utah 36-29 but has been out boarded in four of six MWC games. BYU's low on the glass was 24 at Utah State, when BYU was out boarded 35-24. The Cougars and UCSB each had 35 rebounds. BYU has had the rebounding edge in 13 of 19 games, earning a 11-2 record when winning the battle of the boards. Overall, BYU averages 34.7 rebounds while its opponents grab on average 30.6. BYU out boarded Fort Lewis, 47-17. BYU's 42-26 rebounding advantage over ASU was the third worst margin suffered by ASU coach Rob Evan's in his coaching career and his worst at ASU. BYU has been getting a good effort on the boards from the guard line. Shooting guard Travis Hansen leads the team (7.2) and point guard Matt Montague is second with Eric Nielsen at 4.7. Hansen has had highs of 17 and 15 rebounds and had an 11-board effort at Utah. Montague had seven rebounds at Utah and has grabbed six or more rebounds in eight of the last 11 games.

BYU Defense

After holding San Diego State to 37 percent shooting and UNLV to 39 percent at home to open MWC play, BYU yielded 53.6 percent shooting to the Lobos at The Pit and 54.3 percent to Air Force -- the two highest highest percentages allowed by BYU this year. The Cougars stepped up their defense against Utah, who was shooting 60 percent from three-point range over the first four MWC games. BYU held the Utes to 42 percent overall, including 22 percent on threes. Wyoming shot 45 percent. Only three teams have shot better than 50 percent against BYU. The Cougars have held nine opponents this year below 40 percent shooting while only five teams have shot better than 45 percent against BYU (Arizona State, .462; Utah State, .509 and New Mexico, .536; AFA, .543; Wyoming, .453).

Biggest Crowd in Two Years

Attendance vs. San Diego State in the MWC opener was 19,411, the largest Marriott Center crowd since Jan. 15, 2000 when 22,580 showed up to see BYU play Utah. The largest crowd last season was 19,098, also against Utah. Unlike many schools, BYU's announced attendance is actual attendance instead of paid attendance.

From the Training Room

Reserve point guard Shawn Opunui will be out for approximately another month. He reinjuring his left thumb vs. Idaho (torn ligaments). He originally suffered ligament damage in his thumb while playing three minutes at Utah State on Dec. 1. After getting out of a hard cast, he now will wear a splint for several weeks and then undergo more therapy. Eric Nielsen and Mark Bigelow have both had trouble with lingering illness over the past several weeks but not missed any games although Nielsen did not start at Air Force because he was sick. Starting point guard Matt Montague broke his nose during practice on Christmas day. He has not missed any playing time.

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