Coming off a victory at Wyoming Saturday afternoon, BYU (16-5, 5-1 MWC) will stay on the Front Range to face Colorado State (14-7, 3-3) Monday at 7 p.m. MST at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo. The game will not be televised. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 and the Cougar Sports Network, beginning with a one-hour pregame show. KSL's Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Brian Santiago providing analysis. Live audio is available on the basketball page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com, and on KSL.com and via BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
BYU is 16-5 and shares the league lead with Utah at 5-1. BYU is 6-4 away from home this year, including a 3-3 record on an opponent's homecourt. BYU is 2-0 on the road in MWC play. CSU is 3-3 in the league standings and 14-7 overall after dropping its last two games, a road loss at UNLV and a home setback vs. Utah. The Rams are 13-2 at home this year. CSU has won six straight over the Cougars in Moby Arena. BYU's last victory in Fort Collins was a 72-70 overtime win in 1993-94.
RARE FRONT RANGE OPPORTUNITY
With its win over Wyoming Saturday, BYU has the opportunity to sweep 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 that year 25-9, tied for the WAC title and advanced to the NCAA tournament, going 1-1 with a win over SMU before a loss to Kansas. This year is the first time since the 1992-93 Front Range sweep that BYU has even won the first of the two games on the trip.
UP NEXT FOR BYU
BYU returns home Tuesday and will leave again Thursday to begin the second half of the MWC in Las Vegas, facing UNLV Friday (Valentine's Day) at 7 p.m. in the Thomas & Mack Center. The Rebels are 13-6 overall and 2-4 in conference play entering a non-league showdown with USC Sunday in Las Vegas. UNLV will then travel to San Diego to complete the first half of MWC play at SDSU before hosting BYU on Friday. BYU defeated the Rebels in the league opener in Provo, 85-77.
GAME #22 FAST FACTS (MWC GAME #7)
BYU (16-5, 5-1 MWC) @ COLORADO STATE (14-7, 3-3 MWC)
MONDAY, FEB. 10, 2003
MOBY ARENA (8,745)
FORT COLLINS, COLORADO
7 p.m. MST
BYU, Steve Cleveland (101-74 in sixth year; same overall)
CSU, Dale Layer (41-38 in third year; 208-125 in 12 year overall)
BYU leads, 73-43; Last: CSU won 79-75 in overtime in Fort Collins on Mar. 2, 2002
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Times: 6 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Brian Santiago
Live audio links are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2002-03 schedule) and on KSL.com and byuradio.org or via BYU Radio on Dish Network.
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 195 Jr. 13.7 3.8
F 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 250 So. 8.3 3.4
C 55 Rafael Araujo 6-11 265 Jr. 11.9 9.0
G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Sr. 16.0 5.0 2.7 apg
G 24 Kevin Woodberry 6-0 170 Jr. 5.3 2.1 2.3 apg
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 14 Ricky Bower 6-4 185 Jr. 6.7 1.9
G 12 Marc Roberts 6-3 205 So. 3.4 1.8
F 15 John Allen 6-7 215 So. 3.2 1.5
F 5 Jake Shoff 6-9 265 Jr. 2.7 2.4
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 So. 2.6 1.7 2.2 apg
G 4 Luiz Lemes 6-3 180 Jr. 1.7 0.8
C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 Jr. 1.4 0.7
F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 Jr. 1.3 0.9
COLORADO STATE RAMS
Eight returning letterwinners currently are on Colorado State's 2002-03 roster, along with six newcomers. Despite the experience of returning five starters from last year's squad, Colorado State still possesses one of the MWC's most youthful rosters. Only five of the 13 players have been in the program at least three years, including fourth-year seniors G Andy Birley and F Brian Greene. The average length of service on the roster is 2.1 years. Colorado State has outrebounded 15 of 20 opponents in 2002-03. Entering the UNLV game, Colorado State had a 3-1 conference record, the first time in the MWC's four-year history that the Rams had won three of the team's first four outings. The Rams have dropped the last two games at UNLV and vs. Utah to fall to 3-3. They are tied for fourth place in the MWC standings. Colorado State has won 13 home games in 2002-03, already tying for the fifth most home wins in a single-season in Moby Arena history. The Rams are 13-2 at home. The Rams have three remaining home games during the current season. Boyd Grant's 1987-88 squad set the school record for home wins in a season, 15. Colorado State began play this week ranked 10th nationally in field goal percentage. Colorado State is the only MWC team that has not shot below 40 percent from the field in a game in 2002-03. The Rams shot 50 percent from the floor Saturday vs. Utah. Colorado State's worst shooting night of the year was 40.8 percent (20-of-49) at Purdue on Dec. 30. Coach Dale Layer is 41-38 in his third year. He has used a vareity of different starting lineups this year. A season ago, he used 14 starting combinations in 30 games. Jon Rakiecki suffered a left ankle injury in October prior to the beginning of preseason workouts that required surgical repair. He played for the first time in 2002-03 during the Rams' win at San Diego State and the game at UNLV. Andy Birley is the league's career record holder with 203 three-point goals. He is seventh all-time at CSU with 268 assists.He is one of only two players in the MWC in 2002-03 to have 10 assists in a game. Brian Greene is 7th in MWC history in career scoring with 1,082 points, fifth all-time in rebounding, 598, fourth in steals, 117. Matt Nelson is third nationally in field goal percentage. The sophomore from Chicago has made 119-of-181 field goals, 65.7 percent. He was 7-for-10 vs. Utah Saturday while scoring a game-high 20 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. Nelson leads the league in field goal percentage and is the school's all-time career leader as well. Nelson is averaging 8.2 rebounds in six conference games. After coming off the bench in the team's prior three games, Nelson started against Utah. He has scored 72 points in the last four games, reaching 20 points in each of the last three games. He leads CSU in scoring overall at 15.2 ppg while adding 5.9 rebounds. Green pulls down 6.3 rebounds per game and is one of four Rams averaging double-figure points. Swingman Ronnie Clark has scored 20 or more points in a game five times in 2002-03, the fourth highest total in the conference. The Rams are the best shooting team in the conference, making 51.1 percent from the floor with the strong inside play. Unlike some past seasons, the Rams haven't excelled as much from long range, shooting 33.6 percent from behind the arc. The Rams went 1-9 on threes vs. Utah Saturday. They shoot 67.7 percent from the foul line. The Rams are a good defensive team, holding opponents to .421 shooting, including .304 on threes. CSU is averaging 76.5 ppg while allowing 70.9 and grabs 38.6 rebounds to 31.9.
RAMS COMING OFF LOSS TO UTAH SATURDAY
Utah used an 11-0 late-game run to defeat Colorado State, 71-66, Saturday night at Moby Arena. CSU had a 57-53 lead with 7:42 to play when Darien Chavis hit a layin. Over the next 4:37, Utah held the Rams scoreless and scored 11 points to take a 64-57 lead. Colorado State could come now closer than three points the rest of way. Center Matt Nelson took game honors with 20 points and eight rebounds. Teammate Brian Greene added 15 points. Utah had four double-figure scorers, led by forward Britton Johnsen's 15 points. CSU shot 50 percent from the floor, but was only 1-9 on threes. Utah shot 43.9 percent but did connect five times from behind the arc on 15 attempts. Utah out rebounded CSU 35-30.
COLORADO STATE'S POSSIBLE STARTERS
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG
F 20 Ronnie Clark 6-5 210 Jr. 12.4 5.1
F 33 Brian Greene 6-8 225 Sr. 13.4 6.3
C 54 Matt Nelson 7-0 245 So. 15.2 5.9
G 11 Andy Birley 6-4 200 Sr. 11.3 2.4 3.1 apg
G 32 Micheal Morris 6-3 185 Fr. 6.0 3.2 3.9 apg
Monday's game will be the 117th meeting between the two schools. BYU leads the series 73-43. CSU won the last meeting, a 79-75 overtime victory on March 2 in Fort Collins. CSU has won six straight over the Cougars in Moby Arena. BYU's last victory in Fort Collins was a 72-70 overtime win in 1993-94. BYU has won three straight in Provo since CSU swept the series in 1998. The two teams did not meet in 1999. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 3-5 against Colorado State, including an 0-4 record in Fort Collins. The series dates back to 1938.
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 73-43
BYU Record in Provo: 49-10
BYU Record in Fort Collins: 23-31
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 1-2
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 3-5
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 4-2* (1-1 Rd, 3-1 Hm)
*1-0 in 2OT (1971, won 98-92 in Ft. Collins)
Last Overtime Game: 2002, lost 75-79 at Ft. Collins
Longest BYU Win Streak: 9 (two times 1985-89, 1991-94)
Longest CSU Win Streak: 7 (1960-70)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 39, 91-52 in 1939
Largest CSU Margin of Victory: 25, 74-49 in 1958
Most Points Scored by BYU: 105 in 1972
Most Points Scored by CSU: 100 in 1996
LAST GAME - RAMS STAGE COMEBACK, DOWN BYU IN OVERTIME
FORT COLLINS -- In its last conference game of the season, the BYU men's basketball team lost in overtime, 79-75, to Colorado State in Fort Collins Saturday night. With 10 minutes remaining in the game, BYU led the Rams 52-38. CSU then went on a 21-7 run, capping that drive with a Brian Greene basket with 6.2 seconds remaining in regulation. That sent the Cougars to overtime for the first time in conference play. BYU was 0-2 overall in its prior two overtime games this season. "We had the lead and then they started to make a run and we didn't do the little things you need to do to win," said BYU center Dan Howard, who started the game for only the second time this season. "It just goes to show you can never be too comfortable with a lead, especially when you're playing at their place." Early in the overtime period, CSU made two free throws to take its first lead of the game since it led 2-0 at the game's inception. The Rams then built a five-point lead, 75-70, before Travis Hansen hit a three-pointer with nine seconds remaining to pull the Cougars within two, 75-73. Hansen finished the game with 15 points. But solid free throw shooting sealed the victory for CSU, 79-75, as the Rams finished the season 12-17 overall and 3-11 in MWC play. BYU opened the game with an 11-1 run and maintained that lead throughout the first half. Coming off the bench, Jared Jensen led the Cougars with 10 first half points, earning six of those on 6-of-6 shooting from the free throw line. Jensen led all Cougars with 18 points for the game. The Cougars pushed their lead to 35-21 with 4:50 remaining in the half, riding on its solid post play and accurate shooting. However, BYU would not score for the remainder of the half while the Rams went on a 7-0 run to make the score 35-26 at the break. With the loss, BYU finishes the regular season 17-10 overall and 7-7 in the MWC, with all seven of its losses coming on the road. Eric Nielsen poured in 14 points before fouling out late in the game, and Mark Bigelow scored 12 second-half points after not scoring at all in the first half.
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY IN FORT COLLINS LAST YEAR ...
"They made some tough shots. We had a chance to win the game, but we didn't rebound, we missed free throws and we didn't get a stop with 12 seconds to go. Those are things we can control." "
LAST YEAR IN PROVO - BIGELOW, JEPSEN HELP COUGARS EDGE RAMS
PROVO -- BYU held on for its 32nd consecutive win in the Marriott Center, narrowly escaping with a 57-52 win over physical Colorado State team. Mark Bigelow continued to resurface for BYU, leading the Cougars with 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting, including 4-of-7 from downtown. Bigelow's four long-range buckets are the most for him in conference play, just one short of his career high of five. Bigelow scored 20 for the first time since going for 20 against Southern Utah on Dec. 29. The Cougars, rated third in the nation in free throw percentage, struggled from the line throughout the second half, shooting 11-for-20 from the stripe to keep the game close. BYU finished the game 21-of-31 from the line, only the second time this season the team has shot below 70 percent in a game. The team also overcame a poor night from the field, hitting a season-low 37.5 percent. Before the game, BYU's lowest percentage from the Marriott Center floor this year had been 42.9 percent, against San Francisco on Jan. 2 and also against UNLV on Jan. 15. The game was not decided until the final minute, when Bart Jepsen blocked a Brian Greene shot that would have put the Rams within one. After Jepsen's block, Eric Nielsen went to the line and sank two free throws with 22 seconds left, giving the Cougars the victory. For the second consecutive game, Matt Montague had double-digit assists, finishing with 11. The feat marks the first time in his career Montague has had back-to-back games with more than 10 assists. Travis Hansen also had a good night, finishing with 17 points on 5-9 shooting. Hansen and Bigelow tied for the team lead in rebounds with five apiece. The teams went into the break deadlocked at 30 but BYU responded in the second half, pushing its lead to as many as six points. The Rams made several runs to keep the score close but the Cougars responded with big buckets to maintain the lead. BYU never trailed in the second half and only trailed twice in the game. A Travis Hansen three with 1:30 left in the first half gave the Cougars a 28-26 lead and the team never trailed from there.
WHAT BYU ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH DAVE ROSE HAD TO SAY IN PROVO LAST YEAR ...
"I thought, defensively, we did a very good job guarding them. Bart Jepsen was huge in the final minutes because he attacked the penetration. His blocked shot in the final minute was critical for us."
WHAT CSU HEAD COACH DALE LAYER HAD TO SAY IN PROVO LAST YEAR ...
"Bigelow was the difference in my mind. We would make some runs at them but he would come back, get a good look and make the big shot."
BYU'S LAST GAME -- COUGARS ROUNDUP COWBOYS IN LARAMIE
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. "Last year was a competitive game and the year before we were up 16 or 17 and couldn't finish it off," said head coach Steve Cleveland. "Tonight we were up and as things started slipping away one guy after another came up big for the team." Three of those players that came up big were juniors Mark Bigelow and Rafael Araujo and senior Travis Hansen. Cleveland said, "I told Travis and Mark that we aren't going to win anywhere in this leagues unless they play well every night." 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. "(Travis) is driven and he wants to win," said Cleveland. " He is willing to give everything every night. Nobody can every question his effort for this team." 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.
HITTING THE ROAD
After BYU's win at Wyoming Saturday, the Cougars play five of their next six games on the road. The Cougars have a single home date with San Diego State on Monday, Feb. 17, sanwiched between two three-game road stretches. After playing at Wyoming, BYU goes to Colorado State Monday and then to UNLV on Friday. After its home game with the Aztecs, BYU plays at Utah, Air Force and New Mexico before returning home for the final two games of the regular season against Wyoming and CSU. BYU is 6-4 away from the Marriott Center this year, including neutral court games.BYU is 3-3 on an opponents' homecourt and 2-0 in MWC games with wins at SDSU and Wyoming.
Led by senior guard Travis Hansen, junior swingman Mark Bigelow and junior center Rafael Araujo, the Cougars (16-5) earned an 11-4 non-conference record and are tied for first with Utah atop the MWC standings at 5-1. Hansen leads the team in scoring (15.9) and assists (2.6) and is second in rebounding (4.9), Bigelow is second in scoring (13.7), third in rebounding (3.8) and the team's top three-point shooter (48-99, .485), while Araujo has come on strong as the third-leading scorer (11.9) while ranking second in the MWC in rebounds (9.0). Sophomore forward Jared Jensen adds 8.3 points and 3.4 rebounds while the point is being shared between JC transfer Kevin Woodberry, who has started in 15 games and averages 5.3 points and 2.3 assists, and sophomore Terry Nashif, who has started the six games and had career bests of 7 assists vs. UNLV and 11 points at San Diego State. Coach Cleveland has more talent on the bench this year. Wisconsin transfer junior guard Ricky Bower leads the reserves, averaging 6.7 points and shooting 46 percent from behind the arc. The Cougars shoot .476 from the floor, .417 on threes, ranking fifth nationally, and an MWC-best .741 from the line. BYU is among the top MWC defensive teams, allowing .399 shooting, including .295 on threes. BYU scores 73.9 ppg while allowing 63.8. BYU is 10-1 at home and 6-4 away from the Marriott Center, including a 3-1 neutral record and 3-3 road mark. Cleveland has used five starting lineups. Sophomore guard Marc Roberts came out of a possible redshirt season after 13 games, playing at Weber State. Freshmen guards Austin Ainge and Jermaine Odjegba will redshirt.
o Junior swingman Mark Bigelow scored a season-high 23 points at Wyoming and made 3-4 treys. He is making 3.5 threes per game in league play while shooting 53.8 percent on threes. He is averaging 17.5 points in league play. Against Wyoming Bigelow was 6-6 from the line. He is shooting 93.3 percent from the charity stripe in MWC games.
AT THIS POINT ...
BYU is 5-1 for the first time in MWC play, with a 3-1 home record and 2-0 road mark. BYU was 4-3 at the half-way point last year with four home wins. BYU started 5-2 with five home wins in 2001. BYU finished the first half 4-3 in 2000 with four of the seven games being on the road.
BIGELOW, HANSEN MOVING UP SCORING CHARTS
Mark Bigelow become the 34th Cougar and only ninth junior to reach 1,000 career points vs. SUU. He is now 21st on BYU's scoring list with 1,153 points and needs just 4 points to surpass Kari Limo (1,156) and move into the top 20. Senior Travis Hansen has 934 career points despite an injury-shortened first season at BYU as a sophomore. He will become the 35th Cougar to reach 1,000 points if he continues his team-leading scoring pace.