Game 23 Notes - BYU Plays at UNLV Friday

Coming off its first Front Range road sweep since 1993, BYU (17-5, 6-1 MWC) will stay on the road to face UNLV (14-7, 3-4) Friday at 7:30 p.m. PST (8:30 p.m. MST) at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The game will be televised in Utah on a 30-minute tape-delay at 9 p.m. MST on KUWB (WB30). The SportsWest Productions telecast can be viewed live over the Church Satellite System, via ESPN FULL COURT, or on KLAS-TV inLas Vegas. 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 Mark Durrant 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.

At 6-1, BYU enters the second half of league play in a first-place tie with Utah. The Cougars are 3-0 on the road in conference entering Friday's game at UNLV. The Rebels are coming off a road win at San Diego State Tuesday, improving to 3-4 in a three-way fourth-place tie in conference. UNLV is 9-4 at home this year, including a 1-2 record in league games. The Cougars evened the series between the two teams at 7-7 with their win in Provo to open MWC play, 85-77.

UP NEXT FOR BYU

BYU returns home to host San Diego State (12-8, 3-4). The Aztecs enter the second half of league play in a fourth-place tie with UNLV and Colorado State entering their game at Utah on Saturday. The BYU-SDSU game Monday will start at 9 p.m. and be televised live on KJZZ-TV by SportsWest Productions.

GAME #23 FAST FACTS (MWC GAME #8)

BYU (17-5, 6-1 MWC) @ UNLV (14-7, 3-4 MWC)

FRIDAY, FEB. 16, 2003

THOMAS & MACK CENTER (18,500)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

7:30 p.m. PST (8:30 p.m. MST)

Coaches:

BYU, Steve Cleveland (102-74 in sixth year; same overall)

UNLV, Charlie Spoonhour (35-18 in second year; 354-189 in 18th year overall)

Series:

Series tied, 7-7; Last: BYU won 85-77 in Provo on Jan. 16, 2003

TV:

SportsWest Productions (KUWB tape-delay at 9 p.m. MST in Utah; KLAS in Las Vegas)

Pay-per-view: ESPN FULL COURT

Satellite: Telstar 5 TRANSPONDER K19

Play-by-Play: Dave McCann

Game Analyst: Craig Hislop

Radio:

KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)

Pregame Air Times: 7:30 p.m. MST (6:30 p.m. PST)

Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell

Game Analyst: Mark Durrant

Web:

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. 14.0 3.8

F 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 250 So. 8.1 3.5

C 55 Rafael Araujo 6-11 265 Jr. 11.5 8.8

G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Sr. 16.4 4.8 2.6 apg

G 24 Kevin Woodberry 6-0 170 Jr. 5.8 2.1 2.4 apg

BYU Reserves:

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

G 14 Ricky Bower 6-4 185 Jr. 6.4 1.8

F 15 John Allen 6-7 215 So. 3.1 1.4

F 5 Jake Shoff 6-9 265 Jr. 2.7 2.6

G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 So. 2.6 1.6 2.2 apg

G 12 Marc Roberts 6-3 205 So. 2.8 1.5

G 4 Luiz Lemes 6-3 180 Jr. 1.6 0.7

C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 Jr. 1.3 0.7

F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 Jr. 1.2 0.9

UNLV REBELS

UNLV coach Charlie Spoonhour returns two starters from last year's 21-11 team that advanced to the second round of the NIT after a 9-5, third-place conference record. In his second year, Spoonhour guided the Rebels to an 11-3 non-conference record, including Sunday's loss to USC at the Thomas & Mack Center. They finished the first half of league play in a three-way tie for fourth place at 3-4 along with Colorado State and San Diego State. The Rebels are 9-4 at home this year, but have gone 1-3 in Las Vegas in their last four outings with a win over Colorado State and losses to Utah, Wyoming and USC. They won their last league game at home when they trounced CSU, 90-57. UNLV's other loss was a 77-66 defeat to Stanford during the Las Vegas Showdown. UNLV is 5-3 on the road, including a 2-2 conference road mark. Since entering Provo to open league play at 11-2, UNLV has gone 3-5 over the last eight games. The Rebels have two of the MWC's top seven scorers in the MWC, led by senior point guard Marcus Banks at 19.3 points per game. He is second in scoring behind only New Mexico's Ruben Douglas. Senior forward Dalron Johnson is seventh in scoring among league players at 15.2 ppg. Demetrius Hunter has been slowed by an injury sustained during the BYU game in Provo but adds 10.1 ppg. Banks is the top assist-maker (5.7 apg) and defender on the perimeter (3.0 spg). The 6-foot-10 Johnson contributes a team-leading 6.7 rebounds per game, while 6-foot-4 senior guard Jermaine Lewis and 6-foot-8 junior center J.K. Edwards each add 5.8 boards per game. Led by Banks, last year's MWC Defensive Player of the Year, the Rebels are the MWC's leader in steals and turnover margin. UNLV intercepts 9.45 opponent passes each game while forcing teams into 18.5 turnovers per game. UNLV has a +2.35 turnover margin. UNLV is also the highest scoring team in the MWC, coming in with a 77.3 scoring average. The Rebels shoot .467 from the floor, .362 on threes, and .694 from the line. UNLV's opponents have shot .459 on field goals and .325 on treys. UNLV opponents have a rebounding edge, 35.6 boards to UNLV's 34.0.

UNLV'S PROBABLE STARTERS

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

F 10 Dalron Johnson 6-10 215 Sr. 15.2 6.7

C 55 J.K. Edwards 6-8 250 Jr. 8.5 5.8

G 5 Jermaine Lewis 6-4 200 Sr. 9.6 5.8

G 1 Demetrius Hunter 6-2 210 Jr. 10.1 1.7

G 3 Marcus Banks 6-2 200 Sr. 19.3 3.3 5.7 apg

SERIES BREAKDOWN

This will be the 15th meeting between the two schools dating back to 1981. BYU won the first meeting in Provo to even the series at 7-7. The two teams have split the regular season series with home wins the past two years. BYU last won in Vegas and went on to sweep the two regular season meetings in 1999-2000. The Rebels came back that year to achieved their largest margin of victory over BYU to win the 2000 MWC tournament title at the Thomas & Mack Center. BYU is 2-5 in Las Vegas against the Rebels. BYU has won five of the eight games as MWC opponents.

Overall Series Record: Tied 7-7

BYU Record in Provo: 5-2

BYU Record in Las Vegas: 2-5

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 0-0

BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 5-5

BYU Record in Overtime Games: 1-0 (1-0 in Las Vegas)

Last Overtime Game: 1981, won in 2OT in LV, 92-90

Longest BYU Win Streak: 2 (1981, 2000)

Longest UNLV Win Streak: 4 (1981-98)

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 28, 91-63 in 2001

Largest UNLV Margin of Victory: 23, 79-56 in 2000

Most Points Scored by BYU: 92 in 1981

Most Points Scored by UNLV: 90 in 1981

Date Opponent Score W/L

1-3-81 at UNLV (2OT) 92-90 W

2-6-81 UNLV 86-77 W

12-5-81 UNLV 63-66 L

2-12-82 at UNLV 50-52 L

1-22-98 at UNLV 63-76 L

2-21-98 UNLV 76-84 L

1-10-00 at UNLV 77-75 W

2-19-00 UNLV 83-82 W

3-11-00 at UNLV (MWC Tourn.) 56-79 L

1-15-01 UNLV 91-63 W

2-10-01 at UNLV 56-68 L

1-15-02 UNLV 60-47 W

2-9-02 at UNLV 70-73 L

1-16-03 UNLV 85-77 W

LAST MEETING -- COUGARS OPEN MWC WITH WIN IN PROVO

PROVO -- The BYU basketball team took a 15-7 lead seven minutes into the game, and the intensity didn't let up until the final buzzer. BYU extended its home-winning streak to 44 as the Cougars beat UNLV 85-77 Thursday. With their first Mountain West Conference game of the season, the Cougars are 1-0 in conference play and 12-4 overall. UNLV came into the game with the best overall record in the conference, but they dropped to 11-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference. BYU head coach Steve Cleveland said, Three BYU players scored 20 points or more for the first time under Coach Cleveland. Rafael Araujo led the charge with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Junior Mark Bigelow scored 21 and senior Travis Hansen marked up 20. In the first half, Bigelow knocked down four three pointers on five attempts. Bigelow's 140 career three pointers have brought him only one three-pointer away from tying BYU's individual career three-point record. Araujo lit up the crowd with several commanding dunks. On one UNLV possession, Araujo stole the ball under the Rebel's basket and then finished the play with a backboard-shaking slam. At the half, the Cougars led by 10 and maintained a solid lead throughout the second half until a pair of Marcus Banks' free throws brought UNLV within five, with three minutes remaining in the game. UNLV senior Dalron Johnson led all scorers with 25 points, including three treys. BYU's defense held Banks, who is second in scoring in the conference (19.0), to four points in the first half and only 5-for-14 field goals on the game. In his first game in the Marriott Center last year, Banks was held to 1-for-8 on field goals.

WHAT COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE FIRST MEETING THIS YEAR ...

"What pleased me most about tonight's game was that we took care of the basketball. We were unselfish with the ball, and we had as good an execution offensively as we have had all year. Whether on the road or at home, every game is going to be like this. I was happy with the improvement that I saw on the team, and that is the most positive thing about it all. To win the basketball game makes it all even better."

LAST GAME IN VEGAS - COUGAR COMEBACK FALLS SHORT

LAS -- BYU's comeback effort fell one shot short when UNLV's Vince Booker hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Rebels a 73-70 win in Las Vegas. The Cougars (14-7, 4-4) fought back after being down by as many as 16 points to tie the game at 70 with 15 seconds remaining on a Jared Jensen layup. Jensen finished the game with 12 points and seven rebounds, continuing his consistent conference play. BYU forward Bart Jepsen played 22 key minutes to help the Cougars get back in the game. On the final play of the game, UNLV point guard Marcus Banks held the ball for 10 seconds before he drove to the basket, ultimately passing the ball out to Booker who then hit the game-winner. BYU shot 61 percent from the field in the second half but missed free throws at key points hurt the Cougars. Although BYU made 15-of-20 attempts, many of those misses were front-end shots on one-and-one opportunities. The Cougars fought back to bring the game within one, 54-53, after a Matt Montague drive and pass to Jepsen who finished the play with a dunk. UNLV (12-8, 4-4) then went on a 6-0 run before Eric Nielsen made a three-point play to bring BYU back within three. Nielsen was hit in the mouth, chipping his tooth and was briefly knocked out at the 4:13 mark. He left the game with a concussion after contributing 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. The score was 69-66 before Hansen stole the ball and made two free throws after being fouled on the breakaway, making the score 69-68 with 1:20 remaining. Hansen finished with 21 points in 23 minutes as he spent much of the game on the bench in foul trouble. Jensen's put-back made it 70-70 before Booker's three-pointer dashed the Cougars' hopes of victory. Mark Bigelow finished with 13 points. The Rebels started the game with a hot and consistent hand, making the first five shots they took to build an 11-5 lead. By the time Las Vegas had built the lead to 21-6, the Runnin' Rebels were 9-for-11 while BYU was 2-of-13 on shot attempts. A three-point play by Hansen again brought the Cougars within nine, 32-23, but the Rebels then went on a run of their own to increase their lead to 16 points, 43-27. Jimmy Balderson made four consecutive free throws to bring the score to 43-31 at the 1:20 mark where it would remain for the rest of the half. The Cougars made only 11-of-31 shots (36 percent) compared to UNLV's 17-of-31 (55 percent) from the field in the first half.

WHAT COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY IN LAS VEGAS LAST YEAR ...

"To win on the road, you have to rebound and make free throws and those are two things we didn't do well in the last few minutes of the game."

BYU'S LAST GAME -- COUGARS SWEEP FRONT RANGE WITH CSU WIN

FT. COLLINS, Colo. (February 10. 2003) -- Travis Hansen scored a season-high 27 points to lead BYU to a 77-68 victory over CSU Monday. After winning at Wyoming Saturday, the victory gave the Cougars their first Front Range road sweep since 1992-93. The win is the first for the Cougars in Ft. Collins since the 1993-94 season. BYU improves to 17-5 on the season and atop the MWC standings with Utah at 6-1. The Cougars have a 6-1 conference record for the first time since 1994-95 in the WAC. That team started 8-1. CSU drops to 14-8 overall and 3-4 in the conference. "This was a very satisfying weekend for us and we will enjoy it, but we need to get back to work and try to play the best we can every game," BYU head coach Steve Cleveland said. Back in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game, guard Kevin Woodberry had his best performance of the season and a BYU career-high with 17 points, including three treys, five assists and five steals. "I just wanted to be solid on defense and be more aggressive on offense and that's what I did," Woodberry said. "I felt comfortable and they left me open and I knocked them down." Mark Bigelow added 21 points on 5-of-16 shooting. Bigelow was 9-for-9 from the line and moved into BYU's top 20 in scoring all-time with 1174 career points. BYU broke a 33-33 halftime tie with a 14-1 run to open the final half, jumping out to a 13-point lead at 47-34 with 15:25 left. Hansen took over in the second half and sparked the run. The senior scored nine points during the stretch. BYU led by 12 on a three-pointer by Bigelow with just over 10 minutes to play, but CSU dropped a five-point play on the Cougars with a trey and foul underneath, adding two free throws, to cut the lead to 57-50. As in Laramie on Saturday, BYU stretched out to a lead against the Rams and then withstood every push the Rams made with big buckets. BYU held on to a nine-point lead with 6:06 to play when Araujo picked up his fourth foul. CSU stayed close on back-to-back threes by Andy Birley, bringing the Rams to within six with just under six minutes left. Moments later CSU center Matt Nelson scored and was fouled by Araujo sending him to the bench. Nelson's play cut the lead to four with three-and-a-half minutes left. Down the stretch BYU got stops when they needed them and knocked down clutch free throws to seal the game. BYU was 19-of-21 from the stripe (91 percent). The Cougars played great defense on CSU forward Brian Greene. With Hansen assigned to guard him, the Rams second-leading scorer (13.4 ppg) was not a factor as he spent most of the first half on the bench with two fouls and no points. Greene did not score until the 2:05 mark in the second half and finished the game with two points. Andy Birley led the Rams with 18 points on six treys. Nelson added 16 and Ronnie Clark chipped in 13. The Cougars managed to enter the locker room at halftime tied at 33 despite great shooting by the Rams. At one point CSU made 11 straight field goal attempts. That streak came to an end with 52.9 seconds left before the break on a missed jam by Ronnie Clark, who paced the Rams with 11 first-half points. BYU was out-shot 65 percent to 39 percent in the first half but capitalized on 11 Rams' turnovers to stay in the game. BYU big men Araujo and Jensen went just 1-for-4 from the floor in the opening half, scoring just two points between them on a layup by Jensen. The Rams shot 50 percent for the night, including 6-of-12 three-point shooting, while converting 66.7 percent from the line. The Rams had a 30-27 edge on the glass. BYU shot 46.3 percent from the floor, including 8-of-19 threes, along with a season-high 90.5 free throw shooting.

COUGAR BRIEFING

Led by senior guard Travis Hansen, junior swingman Mark Bigelow and junior center Rafael Araujo, the Cougars (17-5) earned an 11-4 non-conference record and are tied for first with Utah atop the MWC standings at 6-1. Hansen leads the team in scoring (16.4) and assists (2.6) and is second in rebounding (4.8), Bigelow is second in scoring (14.0), third in rebounding (3.8) and the team's top three-point shooter (50-105, .476), while Araujo has come on strong as the third-leading scorer (11.5) while ranking second in the MWC in rebounds (8.8). Sophomore forward Jared Jensen adds 8.1 points and 3.5 rebounds while the point has been shared between JC transfer Kevin Woodberry, who has started in 16 games and averages 5.8 points and 2.4 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 6.4 points and shooting 45 percent from behind the arc. The Cougars shoot .475 from the floor, .417 on threes, ranking third nationally, and an MWC-best .747 from the line. BYU is among the top MWC defensive teams, allowing .402 shooting, including .301 on threes. BYU scores 74.0 ppg while allowing 64.0. BYU is 10-1 at home and 7-4 away from the Marriott Center, including a 3-1 neutral record and 4-3 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.

BYU STARTING LINEUP (RECORD)

Woodberry, Hansen, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo 11-3

Nashif, Hansen, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo 4-1

Woodberry, Bower, Bigelow, Hansen, Araujo 1-0

Nashif, Bower, Bigelow, Hansen, Araujo 1-0

Woodberry, Hansen, Bigelow, Shoff, Araujo 0-1

WHO'S HOT

o Junior swingman Mark Bigelow scored a season-high 23 points at Wyoming and made 3-4 treys. He followed with 21 points vs. CSU, the second time this year and fifth time of his career that he has recorded back-to-back 20-plus point games. He is averaging 18.0 ppg in MWC games.

o Junior point guard Kevin Woodberry had a BYU season-high 5 steals in back-to-back games at Wyoming and CSU. His two steals late in the game at CSU helped seal the victory. He had a career-high 17 points at CSU, adding five assists along with his five steals.He also equaled his career-best 6 rebounds vs. the Cowboys with three assists.

o Senior guard Travis Hansen scored a personal and BYU season-high 27 points while holding CSU forward and second-leading scorer Brian Greene to only two points in Monday's win in Fort Collins. He has reached double-digit points in 18 straight games. He leads BYU in scoring overall at 16.4 and in league games at 18.9 ppg.

o Junior forward Jake Shoff is pulling down 8.0 rebounds in the last two games.

NATIONAL POLLS

BYU received votes in both polls this week. prior In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, BYU is is 32nd with 13 points while Utah is rated 28th with 33 points. In the Associated Press Poll, BYU is ranked 41st with 8 points while Utah is 29th with 65 points. Two BYU opponents are in the top-25 of both polls. Oklahoma State was rated 13th (AP) and 14th (ESPN/USA Today) while Creighton was ranking 12th in both polls.

RPI AND SAGARIN RATINGS

BYU is the top-rated MWC team in the Sagarin Ratings and RPI. The Sagarin Ratings through Tuesday's results rank BYU 24th followed by Utah at No. 27, with UNLV at 61 and Wyoming at 69. As a conference, the Mountain West has been rated as high as 6th but is currently ranked 7th, with the Pac-10 in the No. 6 ranking. In the RPI computed by CBS.Sportsline.com after Tuesday's results, BYU has a No. 11 rating, followed by Utah at 19, UNLV at 47 and Wyoming at 61. In the RPI compiled by Collegiate Basketball News, updated weekly after Sunday's results, BYU is 15th, Utah 21st, UNLV 58th and Wyoming 59th.

MWC AND NCAA STATISTICS

BYU is ranked 3rd nationally in three-point shooting (.417), 23rd in free throw shooting (.747) and is ranked 30th in scoring margin (10.0). In MWC stats, BYU was ranked first or second in seven categories. BYU is the top MWC team in Scoring Margin (+10.0), FT% (.747), 3-FG% (.417), FG% Defense (.402), 3-FG% Defense (.301) and is second in FG% (.475) and steals (7.00). In conference-only stats, BYU is the top MWC team in seven categories and is second in eight others. BYU leads in Scoring Offense (76.6), Scoring Margin (+11.4), FT% (.780), FG% Defense (.409), 3-FG% (.487), Rebounding Offense (36.1) and Assists (14.3). BYU is second in FG% (.471), Rebounding Defense (30.1), Rebounding Margin (+6.0), Steals (7.57), Assist/TO Ratio (1.14), Offensive Rebounds (12.1), Defensive Rebounds (24.0)and 3-FG Made (7.9). Individual highlights in all games include Travis Hansen ranking 4th in scoring (16.4), Rafael Araujo being tied for second in rebounding (8.8) and Mark Bigelow (.476) being No. 1 and Ricky Bower (.453) No. 3 in 3-FG%. In MWC-only stats, Hansen (18.9) and Bigelow (18.0) rank 3rd and 4th in scoring, Araujo is second in rebounding (8.6), Bigelow is first in FT% (.958) and is second in 3-FG Made (3.29), Terry Nashif leads in Assist/TO Ratio (4.00) and is third in Assists (3.43). Bigelow and Kevin Woodberry are tied for third in steals (1.86).

COUGARS PLAY TOP MWC SCHEDULE, AMONG NATION'S TOUGHEST

BYU has achieved a 17-5 record playing the toughest schedule of any MWC team and among the tougest in the nation. BYU's schedule is rated 15th by Collegiate Basketball News and the 19th toughest in the nation by CBS.Sportsline.com's computer analysis. The Sagarin Ratings rank BYU's schedule No. 42. After BYU, the next toughest MWC schedule belongs to Utah (39th by Collegiate Basketball News, 45th by CBS Sportsline.com and 64th by Sagarin). Of the 22 teams BYU will face on its regular season schedule this year, 16 have a winning record entering the week while four have losing records and two are at .500. Six teams sit atop their league standings. BYU's losses have come against Oklahoma State (18-3), Creighton (21-2), Utah (18-4), Weber State (18-5) and San Francisco (10-11). All but USF are in first place or tied for first in their respective conferences and the Dons are currently third.

LOOKING AT THE 2002-03 SCHEDULE

This year's schedule features 17 games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year and included playing in the University of The Virgin Islands Paradise Jam (U.S. Virgin Islands) and Touchstone Energy All-College Classic (Oklahoma City). BYU's non-conference schedule included teams from 10 different conferences. Overall, 12 teams earned postseason bids last season, seven advancing to the NCAA tournament and five playing in the NIT. Six teams earned a conference regular season or league tournament title and 12 placed in the top three in their league standings. The Cougars will play 14 regular season games in the Marriott Center. Excluding the MWC Tournament, BYU plays 15 road games, including 11 away contests and four neutral site games. The 2003 MWC Tournament takes place March 12-15 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. The Pac-10, Big 12, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big West, Mid-American, Mid-Continent, Missouri Valley, West Coast and Western Athletic are represented on the non-league schedule.

70-POINT BAROMETER

BYU is 16-0 this year when holding opponents below 70 points but 1-5 when the opposition reaches the 70-point mark. In the five-plus season Steve Cleveland has been BYU's coach, the Cougars are 83-15 (.847) when holding opponents below 70 points. BYU's winning percentage drops off substantially when BYU opponents have scored between 70-79 points. BYU's record is 17-34 (.333) in those games during the Cleveland era.

AT THIS POINT ...

BYU is 6-1 for the first time in MWC play, with a 3-1 home record and a 3-0 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, going on to share the regular season title at 10-4 with Wyoming and Utah. BYU finished the first half 4-3 in 2000 with four of the seven games being on the road.

BYU ACHIEVES RARE FRONT RANGE ROAD SWEEP

With its wins over Wyoming and Colorado State, 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. This 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 this season. BYU's last victory in Laramie was in 1996 and its last in Fort Collins was in 1994.

STREAKS

BYU has won its last four games after suffering a loss to Utah, which ended the Cougars' nation-leading 44-game homecourt victory streak. The Cougars won five straight games overall to open this season, the longest overall streak since winning eight straight games last year in preseason. The Cougars have won the last three road games. They won four straight away from home (3 neutral, 1 away) to open the year. The four wins away from home was the team's best streak away from home since BYU's 2001 NCAA team won five consecutive games (2 away, 3 at the MWC tournament) in March 2001. BYU has lost back-to-back games only once this year (vs. Oklahoma State and at Weber State). BYU had defeated 18 straight MWC teams at home prior to the loss to Utah. The Cougars have won 34 straight home games over a non-conference opponents. BYU has made a three-point shot in 201 consecutive games since going 0-9 in a 75-67 loss to CS Fullerton on Nov. 22, 1996. Travis Hansen has scored in double figures in 18 straight games. Mark Bigelow has made a three in 12 consecutive contests.

SHOOTING, REBOUNDING SUCCESS

BYU has out shot 17 of 22 opponents this year (except USF, OSU, Weber State, Utah, CSU) and outrebounded 15 (except Creighton,USU, USCB, SDSU, Utah, CSU). BYU is shooting .475, including .417 on threes, while limiting opponents to .402 shooting from the floor and only .301 on threes. BYU averages 35.8 boards to its opponents' 31.2. BYU has shot 45 percent or better in 17 games this year (losing only once twice at Creighton and vs. Utah), including a string of six straight until shooting a season-low 36.5 percent at USF. BYU has shot better than 45 percent in each of the last eight games. BYU shot 58.3 percent vs. Idaho State, the fifth time this year, and fourth time at home, that BYU has shot better than 50 percent. BYU out boarded Idaho State 43-19, Air Force 55-21 and Wyoming 37-31, including 15 offensive rebounds.

FROM THE LINE

BYU topped 80 percent free throw shooting for the eighth time this year by topping 90 percent shooting for the first time at CSU (19-21, .905). The Cougars have shot better than 70 percent in all but five games (.550 (11-20) vs. San Diego, .652 vs. AFA, .654 vs. Pepperdine, .657 at USF and .667 vs. Idaho State). Seven Cougars are shooting 70 percent or better from the line, with six topping 78 percent. John Allen made his first 19 straight until missing his last attempt vs. Utah (19-20), while Ricky Bower is shooting 89.6 percent (43-48). BYU is shooting a MWC-leading 74.7 percent as a team.

FROM LONG RANGE

Six Cougars are making 45 percent or better on their three-point attempts. BYU is shooting 41.7 percent as a team on three-pointers, which ranks 3rd in the country. BYU is 11-1 this year when shooting 40 percent or better from three-point range. The lone defeat was at Creighton, where BYU shot 41.2 percent. BYU has shot 50 percent or better in nine games, topping 60 percent once in the season-opening win vs. Toledo (8-13, .615).

DEFENSIVE NOTABLES

BYU has held 13 opponents to 42 percent or lower shooting, and has held six opponents below 35 percent shooting, including holding Air Force to 21.6 percent, including 15.2 percent on threes. The Falcons came in ranked 8th in the nation in three-point shooting. BYU held Pepperdine, coming in shooting 47.1 percent, to its second-lowest percentage of the year at 34.5 percent. BYU held UCSB, a team that came in after seven games shooting 50.3 percent from the floor and 45.5 percent on threes, to 36.5 percent and 26.1 percent on threes. BYU has held 10 opponents this year to 60 points or less. BYU is 50-3 under Steve Cleveland when holding opponents below 60 points. BYU held Air Force to only 33 points, the lowest output vs. BYU since the Cougars beat Princeton 51-32 on Dec. 31, 1982. BYU held the Falcons to a Marriott Center record 10 points in the first half. On the year, BYU's defense yields a combined 64.0 points per game.

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 20th on BYU's scoring list with 1,174 points and needs 22 points to move into 19th place. Senior Travis Hansen has 961 career points despite an injury-shortened first season at BYU as a sophomore. He needs 39 points to become the 35th Cougar to reach 1,000 points.

BYU ON THE ROAD

BYU is 4-3 on the road this year. Counting neutral court games, BYU is 7-4 away from the Marriott Center. With its three wins at the Paradise Jam -- BYU achieved its first win streak away from home since the end of the 2001 season.

BYU VS. ITS CONFERENCE PEERS

BYU was picked to finish fourth this year in the Mountain West Conference by the league's media members. BYU has a won 58.6 percent (424-300) of its games all-time vs. MWC opponents. As an overall athletic program, BYU has dominated the Mountain West in its first three seasons, winning 63 percent of all MWC titles, including the 2001 men's basketball championship.

AttachmentSize
Game-23-Notes---BYU-Plays-at-UNLV-Friday.pdf3.08 MB

Loading Touchdowns