Game 22 - BYU Plays at Wyoming Saturday

PROVO, Utah -- BYU (14-7, 4-4 MWC) travels to face Wyoming (9-12, 2-6 MWC) at 1 p.m. (MST) in the Mountain West Conference game of the week on ESPN+Plus (KJZZ-14 in Salt Lake City). The game is available pay-per-view via ESPN Full Court. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160, beginning with a one-hour pregame show. Live audio is available online by selecting the basketball schedule page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com. Live audio is also available on KSL.com, via BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.

UP NEXT

BYU plays at Colorado State Monday at 10 p.m. (MST) in the weekly featured MWC game on ESPN.

GAME #22 FAST FACTS (MWC GAME #9)

BYU COUGARS (14-7, 4-4 MWC) @ WYOMING COWBOYS (9-12, 2-6 MWC)

SATURDAY, FEB. 14, 2004

ARENA-AUDITORIUM (15,028)

LARAMIE, WYO.

1 p.m. (MST)

Coaches:

BYU, Steve Cleveland (122-85 in seventh year; same overall)

Wyoming, Steve McClain (109-64 in sixth year; same overall)

Series:

BYU leads, 90-67 First meeting: BYU defeated the Cowboys, 78-64, on Jan. 19 in Provo

TV:

ESPN+Plus (KJZZ-TV-14 in Salt Lake City, Utah)

Available nationally via ESPN Full Court

Air Time: 1 p.m. (MST)

Play-by-Play: Rich Waltz

Game Analyst: Irv Brown

Radio:

KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)

Pregame Air Time: Noon (MST)

Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell

Game Analyst: Brian Santiago

Web:

Live audio links are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2003-04 schedule); on KSL.com; and via BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.

COUGAR CAPSULE

The Cougars (14-7, 4-4) finished nonconference play with a 10-3 record, including the Cable Car Classic title and wins over No. 25 Oklahoma State and the Pac-10's USC. BYU has played its last two games at home after playing eight of its prior 11 games on the road, going 5-6 in those games. The preseason favorite to win the Mountain West Conference, BYU is currently tied for third with New Mexico. BYU returns four starters from last year's 23-9 co-championship team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Four-year starter Mark Bigelow and fellow senior Rafael Araujo were both named to the Preseason All-MWC Team. Senior guard Kevin Woodberry and junior forward Jared Jensen were starters last season but are primarily come off the bench this year. Key newcomers include junior transfer Mike Hall and freshmen Mike Rose and Garner Meads. Araujo is averaging 18.5 points and 10.2 rebounds to lead BYU this year. Bigelow adds 13.0 points and 4.0 rebounds while Hall contributes 12.5 points and 3.6 rebounds. First-year starter Luiz Lemes leads the team in assists (4.5). As a team, the Cougars shoot .477 from the floor, .341 on threes, and .736 from the line while scoring 73.1 points per game. BYU allows 64.5 points while the opposition has shot .447 from the field and .348 from behind the arc. BYU has an average rebounding advantage of 6.2.

WYOMING COWBOYS

Wyoming returns eight lettermen and three starters from last years 21-11 team that finished third in the Mountain West Conference with an 8-6 record and advanced to the second round of the NIT. This year the Cowboys have a 9-12 record and are 2-6 in MWC play. The Cowboys have lost five of its last six games starting with BYU's win over the Cowboys in Provo. Wyoming has dropped eight of 10 overall. The Cowboys are 8-3 at home, 0-9 away and 1-0 on a neutral floor. Wyoming is led by its guard tandem of junior Jay Straight (5-11, 178), who leads the team at 16.5 points and 3.7 assists while adding 3.7 rebounds, and senior David Adams (6-2, 185) chips in 10.5 points and 4.0 rebounds. Senior forward Mory Correa (6-9, 222) adds 8.3 points and a team-best 5.4 boards. Senior forward Joe Ries (6-8, 225) scores 7.6 points and grabs 4.8 rebounds. Junior center Alex Dunn (7-0, 240) is the team's fourth-leading scorer at 8.1 points and third-leading rebounder at 4.6 boards per game, primarily coming off the bench. Senior swingman David Rottinghaus (6-5, 195) is again a starter for Wyoming Coach Steve McClain after Orem native, Mountain View High School and Salt Lake Community College product Tim Henry (6-5, 185) decided to leave the program after starting in 17 of 19 games and averaging 5.7 points. Rottinghaus adds 3.2 points and 1.8 rebounds. As a team, the Cowboys shoot .450 from the floor, .361 on threes, and .668 from the line while scoring 71.3 points per game. Wyoming opponents have averaged 68.5 points on .423 shooting, including .323 from behind the arc. The Cowboys have a 2.0 advantage per game on the glass.

WYOMING's LAST OUTING -- COWBOYS FALL TO LOBOS IN ALBUQUERQUE

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Danny Granger scored 30 points before being knocked out of the game by a blow to the chin and New Mexico was nearly flawless at the free throw line in an 87-75 win over Wyoming Monday night. Granger matched his season high point total by hitting 9 of 13 shots, including 11 of 13 free throws. New Mexico (13-8, 4-4 MWC) hit 29 of 31 free throws. Wyoming (9-12, 2-6) was led by Jay Straight with 19 points. Granger, who also had 30 points against Wyoming in an 82-77 win by the Cowboys in Laramie last month, was hit while trying to block a shot by Wyoming forward Joe Ries with 43 seconds left in the game. Granger, the leading scorer in the Mountain West Conference, lay on the court for several minutes. After trying unsuccessfully to get to his feet, the groggy Granger had to be helped off by teammates. New Mexico went up 14-0 as Wyoming failed to score on its first 10 possessions. The Cowboys missed several shots in that stretch and had seven turnovers before Mikel Watson hit a 3-pointer with 13:19 left in the first half. Wyoming, which finished with a season-high 11 3-pointers, steadily chipped away at the deficit by hitting eight 3s in the first half. The Cowboys hit their last five shots from behind the arc in the first half, but New Mexico still managed a 40-30 halftime lead. A field goal by Straight with 16:28 left got Wyoming within 44-41, but that was a close as Wyoming would come. New Mexico point guard Javin Tindall hit a 3-pointer and after Cowboy David Rottinghaus was called for a charge, Lobo Alfred Neale hit a 3-pointer. The two 3s kicked off a 15-3 run by New Mexico that made it 59-44 with 12:44 left. Wyoming cut the deficit to 61-54 with a 10-2 run that included seven points by Omoniyi Makun and a 3-pointer by Watson, but New Mexico stayed in front with its free throw shooting. David Chiotti added 20 points and Neale had 17 for New Mexico. The Cowboys lost for the eighth time in their last 10 games.

WYOMING'S PROJECTED STARTERS (based on last game)

POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG

F 25 Joe Ries 6-8 225 Sr. 7.6 4.8

F 31 Mory Correa 6-9 222 Sr. 8.3 5.4

G/F 20 David Rottinghaus 6-5 195 Sr. 3.2 1.8

G 3 Jay Straight 5-11 178 Jr. 16.5 3.7

G 23 David Adams 6-2 185 Sr. 10.5 4.0

SERIES NOTES

This will be the 158th meeting between the two schools. BYU leads the series 90-67, including its 78-64 win in Provo on Jan. 19. The Cougars swept the season series last year for the first time since 1996. BYU has won seven of 10 meetings between the two schools since the formation of the Mountain West Conference. BYU has won six of the last seven overall, including its win in Laramie last season. That victory ended five straight losses to the Cowboys at Arena-Auditorium. BYU's prior win in Laramie was an 81-71 triumph on Feb. 10, 1996. The two teams split the season series with home wins in 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1998. They did not meet in 1999. Wyoming swept the series in 1997 during BYU's 1-25 season to end four straight BYU wins in 1995 and 1996. After Utah (235 games) and Utah State (220 games), BYU has faced Wyoming the third-most times in its history. Wyoming has a 52-26 advantage in Laramie while BYU boasts a 61-13 record in Provo. BYU has won six straight in Provo since Steve Cleveland took over as head coach. Wyoming's last win in the Marriott Center was on Feb. 8, 1997 (72-60) during the Cougars' 1-25 season. Steve Cleveland is 8-4 vs. Wyoming.

COUGARS LOOK TO REPEAT RARE FRONT RANGE SWEEP

With its wins over Wyoming and Colorado State last year, BYU swept the Front Range road trip for the first time since the 1992-93 season when BYU won 70-63 at CSU and then 77-64 at Wyoming. BYU finished the 1992-93 season with a 25-9 record, tied for the WAC title and advanced to the NCAA tournament, going 1-1 with a win over SMU before a loss to Kansas. Last year BYU tied for the league title and advanced to the NCAA tournament before a 5-point loss to Connecticut. Last year was also the first time since the 1992-93 Front Range sweep that BYU even won the first of the two games on the trip. Wyoming had won five straight times over BYU in Laramie and CSU had won six straight games over the Cougars in Moby Arena prior to last season. BYU's prior victory in Laramie was in 1996 and its prior win in Fort Collins was in 1994.

BYU vs. WYOMING SERIES BREAKDOWN

Overall Series Record: BYU leads 90-67

BYU Record in Provo: 61-13

BYU Record in Laramie: 26-52

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 3-2

BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 8-4

BYU Record in Overtime Games: 1-3* (all in Laramie)

*0-1 in 2OT games (1981 in Laramie, 84-86)

Last OT Game: 1981, lost in Laramie, 84-86 (2OT)

Longest BYU Win Streak: 12 (1972-77)

Longest Wyoming Win Streak: 9 (1942-46)

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 35, 78-43 in 1966

Largest Wyoming Margin of Victory: 32, 63-31 in 1931

Most Points Scored by BYU: 102 in 1965

Most Points Scored by Wyoming: 107 in 1966

RECENT RECAPS

THIS YEAR AT BYU -- MEADS, BIGELOW SET CAREER MARKS IN WIN OVER WYOMING

PROVO -- Monday night's game at the Marriott Center saw both freshman Garner Meads and senior Mark Bigelow set career marks as the BYU men's basketball team (12-4, 2-1) defeated Wyoming (8-8, 1-2) 78-64. Meads became the first Cougar besides senior Rafael Araujo to record a double-double this season as he recorded his first career double-double, posting 13 points and pulling down 10 rebounds in 26 minutes, career highs in both categories for the forward. Bigelow contributed 10 points on the night, which were good enough to move him past Kresimir Cosic for No. 9 on the all-time BYU scoring list. He also set a career high in assists with nine dishes on the night. In all, four of the five Cougar starters scored in double figures led by senior Rafael Araujo who was active in every part of the game with 24 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocked shots. Senior guard Luiz Lemes contributed 17 points on 6-10 shooting and was 2-4 from behind the three-point line. Midway through the second half Cougar junior Jared Jensen went down with an injury as he fell to the floor trying to get a rebound and Araujo fell on top of him. Early reports indicate a sprained back and it is uncertain how long he will be out. In the first half, Wyoming jumped out to the early lead in the game after a three-point shot by Jay Straight that put the Cowboys up 2-5. The lead didn't last long as the Cougars used an 18-2 run to take a commanding lead in the first period. After the run the Cougars struggled to hold the lead as the Cowboys battled their way back into the ball game and closed the gap with another three-pointer this time by David Adams that tied the game up at 29-29 with 2:30 left in the half. The Cougars responded by outscoring the Cowboys 8-2 in the final minutes of the half, capping it off with a block by Araujo that sent the ball out to Bigelow. Bigelow raced down the court and found Michael Hall for an alley-oop dunk that brought the Marriott Center to its feet with 16 second left in the half. Meads came out strong for the Cougars in the second half, scoring the team's first six points of the half to put BYU up 43-34. With 11:53 left in the game, Bigelow hit a three pointer to put the Cougars up 50-43 and lifted him past Cosic on the career-scoring list. Wyoming made several attempts to get back in the game and take the lead, but the Cougars continued to pull away from the Cowboys, largely behind the team's free throw shooting, as BYU preserved its perfect 8-0 record at home this season and won the game 78-64. Araujo set a career-high in free throw attempts and free throws made as he went 12-17 from the line. Cleveland knows the margin of victory could have been greater had the team shot better than 66 percent on 27-57 shooting from the stripe.

WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE GAME IN PROVO THIS YEAR ...

"Offensively they (BYU players) did exactly what I wanted them to do. Hopefully we will continue that kind of offense throughout the season. We did miss some free throws, but other than that we played well."

LAST YEAR AT WYOMING -- COUGAR EARNED VICTORY IN LARAMIE FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1996

LARAMIE -- BYU coach Steve Cleveland got his first win in Laramie Saturday as the Cougars (16-5, 5-1) defeated the Wyoming Cowboys (16-5, 4-2) 74-66 in a battle for first place in the Mountain West Conference. Utah (5-1) defeated Colorado State (3-3) in Fort Collins later Saturday night to share the conference lead with the Cougars.The third largest crowd to ever assemble in Arena-Auditorium, 15,418, saw the Cougars break a five-game losing streak in Laramie dating back to 1996. Last season the Cougars lost in part due to the team's poor rebounding, but Saturday the Cougars out rebounded the Cowboys 37-21. Three players who came up big were juniors Mark Bigelow and Rafael Araujo and senior Travis Hansen. Hansen finished the game with 15 points including two crucial free throws in the final minute, as did Bigelow, who turned in another impressive game with a season-high 23 points that led all scores. Araujo chipped in 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Entering the game ranked fifth nationally in three-point percentage, BYU had another nice game from behind the arc, shooting an 42.9 percent, and was a solid 45.2 percent overall from the field. Junior Kevin Woodberry started at point guard for the Cougars and finished with five steals, the first time a Cougar has had five thefts since Matt Montague did more than a year ago against San Francisco. At halftime the Cougars led the Cowboys by seven at 35-28, and had managed to out rebound Wyoming 21-15. BYU took an early 10-4 lead. BYU trailed once, at 12-11, and the Cowboys came close to taking the lead again when Wyoming guard David Adams connected on a three-point shot and was fouled by Bigelow. After the foul shot the Cowboys had tied the game at 16-16. The Cougars came roaring back and pushed their lead up to 10 at 29-19, the team's largest lead of the half with 5:23 left in the half thanks to a Bigelow three-pointer. BYU led by seven at the half. In the second half the Cougars came out strong and extended their lead to 41-28, but Araujo picked up his fourth foul in the first two minutes of the second half and sat for the next nine minutes. The Cowboys and the Cougars battled back and forth throughout the half. With Araujo out, Wyoming took the ball into the paint again and again. Jared Jensen picked up his fifth foul with 12:20 remaining with the Cougars still up by 10 at 52-42. Jake Shoff and Bart Jepsen took over the job of defending the lane until Araujo returned to the game with just over eight minutes left to play in the game. Wyoming's Uche Nsonwu-Amadi led a Cowboy comeback after being down 62-52 and brought the Cowboys to within five. With just over two minutes left in the game the momentum seemed to have shifted to the Cowboys after finally getting the game to within one possession at 66-63. But clutch foul shooting from Bigelow and Hansen as well as two steals, including a Woodberry theft, kept the Cougars on top.

WHAT BYU HEAD COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY IN LARAMIE LAST YEAR ...

"Last year was a competitive game and the year before we were up 16 or 17 and couldn't finish it off. Tonight we were up and as things started slipping away one guy after another came up big for the team. I told Travis and Mark that we aren't going to win anywhere in this leagues unless they play well every night. (Travis) is driven and he wants to win. He is willing to give everything every night. Nobody can every question his effort for this team. "

BYU NOTES

GAME 21 RECAP -- MEADS CAREER NIGHT HELPS COUGARS DEFEAT AZTECS IN OVERTIME

PROVO -- It took overtime and a 16-0 run but the Cougars captured their second-consecutive conference win on Monday night at home against the San Diego Aztecs with an 83-69 win on ESPN's Big Monday. With the win the Cougars improved to 4-4 in Mountain West play and 14-7 overall while the Aztecs fell to 3-5 in MWC play and 12-11 overall. Senior Rafael Araujo was unusually quiet on offense for the night as he finished with seven points, six rebounds and four assists. What wasn't quiet about Araujo was his defense. "In the end, Rafa got a huge defensive ballgame going," BYU head coach Steve Cleveland said. "It's nice to win a game when he's not scoring 25 points a game." Five Cougars scored in double figures to lead the way for BYU, mostly off the open looks that many Cougars got as the Aztecs focused their defense on Araujo. "When Rafa gets as much attention as he does, it frees up other guys and Meads took care of that," said Cleveland. Redshirt freshman Garner Meads benefited greatly from the free looks as he recorded a career-high 19 points while junior Mike Hall finished two points short of his career high with 20 points on the night. Seniors Mark Bigelow, Luiz Lemes and Kevin Woodberry were the other Cougars to score in double figures with 10, 11 and 10, respectively. On defense, the Cougars held the Aztecs leading scorer, Brandon Heath, to only three points on the night. That's down a great deal from his usual 16.7 points per game average. San Diego opened up the game with a 7-0 run, which the Cougars followed with a 5-0 run of their own. BYU's first lead of the game came with 16:34 left in the half as Hall stole the ball and dribbled the length of the court for a slam-dunk and put the Cougars up 10-9. Araujo picked up his second foul only five minutes into the game and sat out the remainder of the half, entering intermission without having attempted a shot. With Araujo on the bench, the other big men were called on to fill up the middle, and Shoff responded by tying his season high of four points in 13 minutes of action in the half. Shoff scored the final basket of the half for the Cougars to keep BYU ahead of the Aztecs, 30-29, going into the break. The second half started with the Cougars going on a 9-0 run, capped with a dunk by Meads as he rebounded Bigelow's missed three-point attempt. BYU lead by as many as 10 at 58-48 with 7:52 left to play in the game, but the Aztecs went on a 9-1 run and made it a two-point game at 59-57 with 5:16 left to play. With 49 seconds left in regulation, Heath gave the Aztecs a two-point lead at 65-67. The Cougars came down the court and Bigelow spotted up from the right-hand corner and buried a jumper to tie the game at 67 apiece with 35 second left in the game. Heath brought the ball up for the Aztecs and dribbled down the clock and threw up a last second shot with the Lemes in his face that bounced around the rim and fell off with no time left, sending the game into overtime. From the opening tip in the overtime the Cougars looked like a completely different team as they dominated the Aztecs up and down the floor. Hall took the opening tip-off in for a two-handed jam with only five seconds ticking off the clock. BYU stopped the Aztecs on their end of the floor, came down the court and Lemes nailed a three-pointer to give BYU a 72-67 lead. The Cougars never looked back in the overtime as they went on a 16-0 run, not allowing the Aztecs a single basket until there was under a minute left. BYU went on to win 83-69.

POSTGAME NOTES ...

-- BYU went into overtime for the first time since an 86-80 OT loss to Colorado State in the MWC tournament last year. Prior to Monday's victory, the Cougars had lost four straight overtime contests. BYU's last overtime victory came at Florida International on Dec. 23, 1999. The Cougars last played in an overtime game at home on Nov. 28, 1998, losing to the Arizona 78-74. BYU's last home win in overtime before Monday was on Jan. 26, 1995, against UTEP. Monday's game was BYU's fifth overtime game against the Aztecs, with BYU now holding a 3-2 edge in those games, including a 2-1 mark in Provo. The last overtime game between the two schools was an SDSU win in Provo in 1997 (89-86) during BYU's 1-25 season.

-- With the victory BYU improves to 10-0 in the Marriott Center this season. Overall the Cougars have won 14 in-a-row at home and 59 of their last 60.

-- Steve Cleveland moved into second on the all-time Marriott Center wins list, passing Ladell Andersen with his 82nd win at home.

-- Garner Meads set a season and career high in points with 19. His previous career high of 13 came against Wyoming.

-- The Cougars had five players score in double figures for the first time since Western Oregon on Dec. 10, 2003. Scoring in double figures for BYU were Mark Bigelow (10), Garner Meads (19), Mike Hall (20), Luiz Lemes (11) and Kevin Woodberry (10).

-- Mike Hall extended his free throw streak to 18 consecutive free throws made before missing an attempt with 8:39 left in regulation. The streak dated back to the Cougars game at New Mexico.

-- Hall's 20 points were two shy of his career-high of 22 set against Weber State. Hall also set a career-high in steals with five.

GAME 20 RECAP/NOTES -- HALL'S HEROICS HELP COUGARS EDGE UNLV

PROVO -- Mike Hall's block of Demetrius Hunter and two free throws with 2.7 seconds left helped the Cougars seal a 64-61 victory over UNLV at the Marriott Center. "I thought it (the block) was a great individual effort," Coach Steve Cleveland said. "Someone has to make plays at the end to win a close game. I thought it was the most meaningful play of the game." Cleveland said he was pleased with his team's performance, even though the game wasn't very pretty. He said he felt his team showed a lot of toughness and resolve in winning the close contest.

-- Luiz Lemes led BYU with 10 assists setting a personal career high. The last time a BYU player had double-digit assists was in 2002 when Cougar all-time assist leader Matt Montague had 12 vs. UC Irvine.

-- Mike Hall (10-10) and Luiz Lemes (4-4) both shot 100 percent from the line against UNLV. Hall's last two free throws helped seal the win after his defensive stop (blocked shot) at the other end. Hall became the first Cougar to shoot 100 percent from the line on a minimum of eight attempts since Travis Hansen went 12-12 at New Mexico in 2002.

-- The win over UNLV was the first home game this season that was decided by less than 14 points.

-- BYU managed to win over UNLV despite its worst shooting night of the season from behind the arc. Luiz Lemes opened BYU's scoring with a trey but that would end up being the only triple made by the Cougars Saturday. BYU went 1-15 (6.7 percent) -- the Cougars lowest percentage in the Marriott Center by a Steve Cleveland team and the lowest shooting percentage overall since going 1-16 (6.2 percent) at Colorado State on Jan. 20, 2001 in a loss. The last time BYU did not make a trey in a game was the year before Cleveland's arrival when BYU went 0-9 against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 22, 1996 during the team's 1-25 season.

RPI RANKINGS

The current RPI rankings as of Thursday, February 12, 2004 (from ESPN Insider daily RPI) list BYU second among MWC teams at No. 44.

38 -- Utah

44 -- BYU

56 -- Air Force

83 -- UNLV

99 -- San Diego State

104 -- New Mexico

106 -- Colorado State

111 -- Wyoming

FREQUENT TRAVELERS

BYU returns to the road -- this time literally as the Cougars are busing to face Wyoming Saturday and Colorado State Monday. They will fly home from Denver on Tuesday. The Cougars have played eight of their last 13 games on the road, ending an 8-of-11 stretch with its home games last weekend vs. UNLV and SDSU. BYU went 5-6 in those games, including its first three-game losing skid since MWC play of 2002. The Cougars have traditionally finished strong under Steve Cleveland to earn postseason bids and have shared the conference title in two of the last three years. Last year BYU swept the Front Range trip to Wyoming and Colorado State for the first time since 1993.

PLAYER PERFORMANCE NOTABLES

Freshman Garner Meads had a career-high 19 points along with 8 boards vs. SDSU. Mike Hall recorded a personal-best 5 steals while scoring 20 points. He extended his free-throw streak to 18 straight before a miss, going 8-for-9 on the night. Against UNLV, Luiz Lemes recorded a career-high 10 assists, while Rafael Araujo posted his 12th double-double. At Utah, Mark Bigelow scored a season-high 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including three triples. Bigelow pullled down a season-high nine rebounds the prior outing at New Mexico. Mike Hall also scored 21 points, one below his season-high, and Araujo recorded a double-double (21 points, 11 rebounds) against the Lobos. Bigelow scored a 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting at Air Force. Meads recorded his first double-double with career highs of 13 points and 10 rebounds vs. Wyoming. Bigelow dished out a career-best 9 assists vs. the Cowboys. Against CSU, Jared Jensen tied his career-high 10 rebounds, Terry Nashif set a new personal best of 6 rebounds, and Austin Ainge got his first extended playing time, logging 10 minutes and scoring a career-best 6 points while dishing out a high of 2 assists.

INJURY UPDATE

Cougar backup point guard Terry Nashif has missed the past three games with mononucleosis and is listed as day-to-day but could make his return to the court Saturday at Wyoming. The Cougars have played the entire season without guard Ricky Bower, who was the team's sixth man last year with five starts, due to a back injury.

BIG NUMBERS

The Cougars have won at home this year by an average of 20.9 points. Last Saturday's three-point win over UNLV is the only home game in the Marriott Center, where BYU is 10-0 this year, with a final margin of less than 14 points. The Cougars, however, did win in overtime over SDSU by 14 and played a close game against Wyoming before the final margin of 14 points. BYU achieved its largest halftime lead of the season vs. CSU, taking a 26-point advantage to the break. The Cougars also equaled their largest first-half scoring output of the season with 49 points. The most points BYU has scored in a half this year is 51 points in the second half against Idaho State at the Cable Car Classic. The Cougars' 29-point victory over CSU, however, is not the largest margin of victory for the Cougars in Mountain West play. Last year BYU defeated Air Force in Provo by 32 points, 65-33. BYU's largest margin of victory this season overall was a 36-point win over Western Oregon. On the losing side of the big numbers, BYU was down 23 points at the half on the way to suffering its largest margin of defeat in a Mountain West Conference regular-season game with its 22-point setback at Air Force. The league-leading Falcons had their best shooting night ever against a Division I team (and second best against any team) at 72.5 percent.

HOME AND AWAY

BYU is averaging 61.9 points in true away games while shooting .450 from the floor, .323 on threes, and .750 from the line. BYU has lost by an average of 6.4 points in away games, giving up 68.3 points while earning a 2-7 record. Including BYU's two neutral court wins, BYU averages 65.7 points and allows 68.4 points away from home while shooting .462 on field goals, including .317 on threes, and .751 on free throws. At home where the Cougars are 10-0, BYU averages 81.2 points while giving up just 60.3. The Cougars shoot .492 in the Marriott Center, including .362 on threes, and .725 from the line. One big difference on the road has been the scoring output of BYU point guard Luiz Lemes. In 10 home games where he is averaging 29.2 minutes, he has scored 10.8 ppg while shooting .486 from the floor and .469 (15-32) on threes. In nine true away games he has averaged 32.7 minutes while scoring 4.0 ppg and shooting .304 from the floor and .250 (5-20) on threes. Including the two neutral court games, he is averaging 4.5 points, shooting .345 and .308 (8-26) in 33.0 minutes. Araujo averages 18.4 ppg at home and 16.7 in true away games. Among players who have scored more in true away games for BYU include Mark Bigelow (14.2 away, 12.0 at home) and Jared Jensen (5.7 away, 3.4 at home).

CLEVELAND MOVED INTO TIE FOR SECOND WITH 81ST MARRIOT CENTER WIN VS. SDSU MONDAY

Cougar head coach Steve Cleveland moved into a tie for the second-most Marriott Center wins with BYU's victory over SDSU Monday. He has an 81-18 record in the Cougars' home arena. He tied Frank Arnold for second at 81 victories. Roger Reid has the most Marriott Center wins with 92. Ladell Andersen is fourth with 71. With BYU's seventh win this season, Cleveland moved into fifth on BYU's career coaching victories list. He moved past Ladell Andersen (114-71 record from 1983-89). Cleveland now has a 122-85 record in his seventh season in Provo. Legendary Cougar coach Stan Watts has the most wins in school history with 372 triumphs from 1949-72. Ott Romney (1927-35) and Roger Reid (1989-96) both achieved 152 victories and Frank Arnold (1975-83) is fourth with 137 wins.

ARAUJO SELECTED TO WOODEN AWARD MIDSEASON TOP 30 LIST

Senior Rafael Araujo has been selected as one of the top-30 candidates for the Wooden Award Player of the Year and All-America Team by the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Committee. On March 30, the 10-player Wooden All-America Team will be announced. One member of the team will be selected April 10 to receive the Wooden Award as the nation's "Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year." BYU's Danny Ainge was recognized as the nation's top player in 1981 when he received the Wooden Award.

ARAUJO RANKS AMONG NATIONAL DOUBLE-DOUBLE LEADERS

Araujo has 12 double-double games this year and 19 for his career. His 12 double-double games is tied for sixth nationally. Araujo tied an MWC record by posting five consecutive double-doubles starting with the UVSC game until his streak ended with his 23 points and 7 rebounds in 24 minutes against Weber State. During his five-game double-double streak, Araujo averaged 26 points and 13.6 rebounds.

Double-Doubles, Division I Players Only (Through Games of 02/11/04) Source: STATS, Inc.

1. Emeka Okafor, Connecticut 15

2. Paul Millsap, Louisiana Tech 14

3. Odartey Blankson, UNLV 13

Kris Humphries, Minnesota 13

Jaime Lloreda, Louisiana State 13

6. Rafael Araujo, Brigham Young 12

Lawrence Roberts, Mississippi St 12

8. Andrew Bogut, Utah 11

Nigel Dixon, W Kentucky 11

Danny Gathings, High Point 11

Bryant Matthews, Virginia Tech 11

Leon Powe, California 11

Cuthbert Victor, Murray State 11

Keith Waleskowski, Dayton 11

Curtis Withers, Charlotte 11

ARAUJO RATES HIGH IN NATIONAL AND MWC STATISTICS

Senior center Rafael Araujo is 1oth in the nation in rebounds in the latest release of NCAA statistics (Feb. 10). Among MWC players after Monday's games, he is the top scorer and rates second in offensive rebounds, third defensive rebounds and in total rebounds, and is seventh in blocked shots and field goal percentage. He is tied for fifth in steals with teammate Mike Hall, with the Cougar duo leading all MWC players in steals in league games.

CLOSE CALLS

BYU has played nine games this year where the outcome was in question entering the final minute. The Cougars have gone 5-4 in those games, including an overtime win over SDSU Monday and a 64-61 win last Saturday against UNLV. BYU's four losses in close games have come by a combined nine points. BYU's nine other wins have been by a margin of 14 or more points, with six being by more than 20 points, including two 30-plus point blowouts. BYU has suffered two blowout losses, a 27-point setback at North Carolina State and a 22-point defeat at Air Force. BYU is 13-0 when leading with five minutes remaining and 13-1 when holding the advantage or it is tied with one minute left in the game.

COUGAR OPPONENTS HAVING STRONG SEASONS

BYU has played two of the nation's hottest teams this year, handing 18-2 Oklahoma State one of its two losses and losing by two points at 19-1 Utah State. The seven teams to beat BYU this year have a combined 105-42 (.714) record. Of those seven teams, all have a winning record and all but one (San Diego State) is in the top 3 in its league standings with five of the six being either first or second.

ON THE ROAD

BYU is 4-7 away from the Marriott Center this year with a 2-7 away record and a 2-0 neutral court mark. BYU has played eight of its last 11 games on the road. For the second straight season, the Cougars played more nonconference games away from Provo than they did in the friendly confines of the Marriott Center. This year, BYU played six games at home and seven out-of-town contests while going 10-3 in nonconference. BYU went 6-0 at home and 4-3 away from Provo, with a 2-0 neutral court mark and a 2-3 record in an opponent's arena. Among those games included a neutral court win over then No. 25 Oklahoma State; a win at Boise State; and a victory over host Santa Clara to win the Cable Car Classic. Last season BYU played seven home games and eight away from the Marriott Center while earning an 11-4 record before starting Mountain West Conference play. BYU finished 4-4 away from home last year during nonconference play. The Cougars went 3-1 on a neutral floor, including a 3-0 mark to win the Paradise Jam, and were 1-3 in true away games, with a win over Arizona State.

IN THE MARRIOTT CENTER

BYU is 10-0 at home this year and has won 15 straight overall in the Marriott Center. BYU has won 59 of its last 60 games at home and is 54-1 over the past four seasons. BYU finished last season 13-1 at home. Lone senior Travis Hansen concluded his three seasons as a Cougar having lost only once at home. BYU earned a 44-1 record in Hansen's three years at BYU -- the best three-year home record in school history. The second-best home record over three years was a 39-2 mark from 1979-81 in Danny Ainge's final three seasons. The 44-1 record over the prior three seasons is the school's best-ever three-year home record. BYU won a school-record 44 straight home games in the Marriott Center before losing to Utah, 79-75, on Jan. 25. The streak was the longest active streak in the country over parts the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons. BYU continues its string of nonconference home wins.

NONCONFERENCE VICTORY STREAK IN THE MARRIOTT CENTER

The Cougars have defeated 40 straight non-conference opponents in the Marriott Center since starting the streak with a 61-59 win over Utah State on Jan. 2, 1999. The last non-league foe to win in Provo was the California Bears, who edged BYU 71-70 on Dec. 19, 1998.

COUGAR FANS SHOWING SUPPORT

BYU is averaging 14,067 after 10 home games this year. Last year BYU averaged the 17th largest crowd in the nation overall at 14,468. The NCAA announced that BYU achieved the nation's largest average increase over the prior season in 2001-2002 (during the middle of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City). BYU's 22,702 attendance vs. CSU in its last home game last year was the largest crowd since 1992 and the 21st largest crowd in school history.

COUGARS CLAIM CABLE CAR CLASSIC TITLE, ARAUJO MVP

SANTA CLARA -- With its top three post players fouled out of the game, BYU looked to Mark Bigelow and he delivered a slashing bucket-and-one with 14.9 seconds remaining to lead the Cougars to a 68-66 win over host Santa Clara to claim the Cable Car Classic title at the Leavey Center. Senior center Rafael Araujo again loomed large, posting his eighth double-double in nine games with 18 points and 12 rebounds -- with all 18 points scored in the second half. Araujo was named the Cable Car Classic Most Valuable Player after combining for 41 points and 23 boards in the two Cougar wins. With its title this year, BYU won for the third time in four Cable Car appearances to tie the University of San Francisco for the second-most Cable Car Classic titles and the most of any non-Bay Area team. SCU leads with 13 titles and the Cougars have beaten the Broncos for each of their three titles. BYU also breaks SCU's six-game winning streak in the tournament, as the Broncos won the previous two titles.

TOP-25 OPPONENTS

Facing then No. 25 Oklahoma State, BYU played its first top-25 ranked team this season. The victory over the Cowboys was BYU's first over a top-25 team since an 81-76 victory over No. 13 Stanford on Dec. 22, 2001 at the Las Vegas Showdown.

RECORD AGAINST TOP TEAMS

BYU is 6-5 this year against teams that qualified for postseason last year (21-point win over Weber State at home; five-point win over No. 25 Oklahoma State on a neutral floor; 29-point win over CSU; 14-point win over Wyoming; three-point win over UNLV; 14-point OT win over SDSU; two-point loss at Utah State; one-point loss at Cal, 27-point loss at North Carolina State, four-point loss at SDSU and eight-point setback at Utah). BYU finished last season with a 7-2 record against teams that were conference champions the prior season. BYU went 12-6 last year against teams that qualified for postseason play in 2002.

CURRENT BYU WIN/LOSS STREAKS ...

At home 15-0

On the road 0-5

On a neutral floor 2-0

At home vs. Nonconference 40-0

At home vs. MWC 9-0

On the road vs. Nonconference 0-1

On the road vs. MWC 0-4

On a neutral floor vs. Nonconference 2-0

On a neutral floor vs. MWC 0-1

BYU STARTING LINEUPS RECORD

Lemes, Hall, Bigelow, Meads, Araujo 6-3

Lemes, Hall, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo 4-2

Lemes, Woodberry, Hall, Bigelow, Araujo 3-0

Lemes, Woodberry, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo 1-1

Nashif, Lemes, Hall, Bigelow, Araujo 0-1

AttachmentSize
Game-22---BYU-Plays-at-Wyoming-Saturday.pdf1.19 MB