BYU (17-6, 6-2 MWC) returns from a three-game road swing to host San Diego State (12-9, 3-5 MWC) Monday at 9 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center. The game is a SportsWest telecast being broadcast in Utah on KJZZ-TV and in San Diego on Cox 4. It is also available pay-per-view via ESPN FULL COURT. 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.
BYU is in second place in the MWC standings after going 2-1 on its recent road swing. Coming off its first conference road loss at UNLV Friday, the Cougars own 3-1 records on the road and at home in league games. The Aztecs have lost five of thier last six games, started with BYU's win in San Diego, after opening league play at 2-0. SDSU is 1-2 on the raod in league games after falling at Utah Saturday night. BYU won the first meeting, 80-69, at Cox Arena on Jan. 20.
UP NEXT FOR BYU
BYU will have a week to prepare for its ESPN Big Monday rematch with instate rival and current MWC-leader Utah. The Cougars and Utes will tipoff at 10 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24. Utah won the first meeting in Provo, 79-75, ending BYU's nation-leading 44-game homecourt victory streak. The Utes lead the overall series 117-116.
GAME #24 FAST FACTS (MWC GAME #9)
BYU (17-6, 6-2 MWC) vs. SAN DIEGO STATE (12-9, 3-5 MWC)
MONDAY, FEB. 17, 2003
MARRIOTT CENTER (22,700)
9:06 p.m. MST
BYU, Steve Cleveland (102-75 in sixth year; same overall)
SDSU, Steve Fisher (52-58 in fourth year; 236-140 in 12th year overall)
BYU leads, 36-15; Last: BYU won 80-69 in San Diego on Jan. 20, 2003
SportsWest Productions (KJZZ in Utah; Cox 4 in San Diego)
Pay-per-view: ESPN FULL COURT
Satellite: Telstar 6 TRANSPONDER C-11
Play-by-Play: Dave McCann
Game Analyst: Craig Hislop
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Times: 8 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Mark Durrant
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. 13.6 3.9
F 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 250 So. 8.3 3.6
C 55 Rafael Araujo 6-11 265 Jr. 11.2 8.9
G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Sr. 16.5 4.8 2.7 apg
G 24 Kevin Woodberry 6-0 170 Jr. 6.0 2.1 2.3 apg
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 14 Ricky Bower 6-4 185 Jr. 6.1 1.7
F 15 John Allen 6-7 215 So. 3.1 1.5
F 5 Jake Shoff 6-9 265 Jr. 2.6 2.7
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 So. 2.5 1.7 2.2 apg
G 12 Marc Roberts 6-3 205 So. 2.8 1.5
G 4 Luiz Lemes 6-3 180 Jr. 1.5 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
SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS
San Diego State (12-9, 3-5 MWC) adds some talented newcomers to three returning starters and six lettermen from last year's 21-12 team that advanced to the NCAA tournament after winning the Mountain West Conference Tournament title. The Aztecs got off to their best start since 1996-97 at 11-4, including a 2-0 mark in the MWC, before losing five of their last six games, beginning with the loss to BYU in San Diego. The Aztecs started league play at 2-0 for the first time since the 1995-96 season (first time in seven seasons). The Aztecs completed the first half of Mountain West Conference play with a 3-4 record. Although below .500, it does represent the best start for San Diego State in the four-year history of the league. Coming off a loss at Utah Saturday, the Aztecs are now 4-3 on the road this season and have won seven of their last 11 road games. Throw in neutral site games and SDSU has won nine of the last 13 away from Cox Arena. The Aztecs haven't fared well in the state of Utah, however. Since the beginning of the 2001-02 season, San Diego State has defeated five of the seven Mountain West Conference opponents on their home court. The only two teams to escape the Aztecs are Utah and BYU. SDSU is a combined 3-46 in road games at Utah and BYU. The Aztecs have made the Salt Lake City-Provo road swing 21 times in the last 24 seasons and have lost 41 of those 43 games. Only twice have the Aztecs so much as split the trip - defeating BYU in the first game of the 1984-85 swing and winning at Utah in the first game of the 1981-82 trip - and SDSU has never won both games. In fact, the Aztecs have never won the second game of the swing, going 0-21. The Aztecs sport one of the nation's most experienced backcourts in seniors Tony Bland and Deandre Moore. Both have played in more than 100 career games and are among the conference leaders in many categories. Bland scores a team-leading 16.0 ppg while Moore adds 8.0 ppg and 4.3 assists per outing. San Diego State's inside game is led by senior Mike Mackell. He averages a 15.7 ppg, and 4.8 rebounds. The reigning MWC Player of the Week, Aerick Sanders has started all 21 games this season at the power forward spot. The junior is third in the league in rebounding at 8.6 rpg and posts 6.6 ppg. He has produced 13 games with nine or more rebounds. The fifth starting spot had been largely determined by match-ups, being filled by wing players freshman Steve Sir and McDonald's All-American freshman Evan Burns or sophomores Tommy Johnson and Travis Hanour. SDSU scores 71.2 ppg while allowing 68.3. The Aztecs shoot .449 on field goals, including .347 on threes, and convert .676 from the free throw line. Defensively, the Aztecs surrender a .434 percentage to its opponents, including .352 on threes. On the boards, SDSU averages 36.4 to its opponents 30.5.
SDSU'S PROBABLE STARTERS
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG
F 34 Aerick Sanders 6-8 204 Jr. 6.6 8.6
C 30 Mike Mackell 6-9 250 Sr. 15.7 4.8
G 5 Travis Hanour 6-7 198 So. 3.6 3.3
G 4 Tony Bland 6-5 201 Sr. 16.0 3.6
G 1 Deandre Moore 5-10 191 Sr. 8.0 3.3 4.3 apg
BYU leads the overall series 36-15. BYU won the first meeting this year in San Diego, 80-69, to end an Aztec two-game winning streak in the series. The Aztecs defeated BYU in last year's MWC tournament after winning in San Diego to end a BYU eight-game winning streak in the series. It was SDSU's first win since defeating the Cougars in Provo, 89-86 in overtime, on Dec. 31, 1996, during BYU's 1-25 season. BYU holds a 21-2 advantage in Provo and is 15-12 in San Diego, including a 5-1 mark in Cox Arena. BYU defeated the Aztecs 73-59 in the first game ever played in Cox Arena on Nov. 14, 1997. It was BYU coach Steve Cleveland's first game as the Cougars' coach. He is 9-2 against San Diego State.
SDSU COMING OFF LOSS AT UTAH SATURDAY
Britton Johnsen scored 21 and Marc Jackson added 17 as Utah defeated San Diego State 76-62 Saturday night to avenge its only conference loss (a 58-56 defeat at SDSU). Tony Bland led the Aztecs with 16 points, while Mike Mackell added 13 points and Deandre Moore contributed 10. Utah shot 50 percent from the floor and 43 percent on threes while the Aztecs shot 38 percent overall but 41 percent from beyond the three-point line.
LAST MEETING -- BIGELOW LEADS BYU TO WIN IN SAN DIEGO
SAN -- BYU got a big night from Mark Bigelow as the Cougars beat the San Diego State Aztecs, 80-69, at Cox Arena Monday. With the win, the Cougars improved to 13-4 overall and 2-0 in MWC play. With 15:51 in the first half, Bigelow tied BYU assistant coach Andy Toolson with his 141st career three-pointer. Minutes later at 13:59, Bigelow became BYU's all-time leader on another bomb assisted from Terry Nashif following a steal by Rafael Araujo. Bigelow put down three more triples on the night to equal his single-game career high of five and bring his career total to 145 threes. BYU hit its first seven three-pointers and was 8-of-10 in the first half to build a lead as large as 19 points. After trailing 7-5 early, the Cougars went on a 25-4 run over the next seven minutes and earned its largest lead of the game at 30-11 on a Ricky Bower trey with 9:28 to play first half. SDSU fought back, outscoring BYU 20-11 the rest of the first half, including a Deandre Moore three just before the buzzer, to cut the Cougar lead to 10 at the break. The Aztecs out-rebounded BYU and held Araujo and Jared Jensen to 15 points combined with constant double and triple teaming, but could not overcome the Cougars' hot outside shooting. With Araujo on the bench in foul trouble, BYU looked to its perimeter shooting. The Cougars shot 10-17 from behind the arc for 58.8 percent for the game. Overall BYU shot 48.9 percent from the field. Bigelow scored over 20 points for the second straight game by equaling his season high of 21 points. For Bigelow, it's the fourth time in his career he has produced back-to-back 20-point games. Travis Hansen spent most of the game in foul trouble but played the last 10 minutes with four fouls. Hansen finished the game with 14 points and four rebounds. Guard Terry Nashif got the start again, guiding the Cougar offense and turning in a career-high 11 points on the strength of 3-for-3 three-point shooting. BYU scored 80 points for the fourth time this season -- winning all four games. The Cougars are 26-4 under Cleveland when they score over 80 points. Senior guard Tony Bland led the Aztecs with 25 points. Center Mike Mackell took advantage in the paint while Araujo was on the bench scoring 18 points and grabbing six rebounds. The Aztecs dropped to 11-5 overall and 1-1 in MWC play.
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE FIRST MEETING THIS YEAR ...
"We knew SDSU would double team the post and leave our shooters open. Anytime you score 80 points on the road that's pretty good in this league."
WHAT SDSU COACH STEVE FISHER HAD TO SAY AFTER THE FIRST MEETING THIS YEAR ...
"We got whipped by a pretty good team tonight."
LAST YEAR IN PROVO - JENSEN LIFTS BYU TO WIN TO OPEN MWC
PROVO -- BYU began its conference season with a solid 75-64 win over San Diego State in Provo. The Cougars (11-3, 1-0) trailed 4-0 early on but took the lead 5-4 at the 16:45 mark of the first half and never trailed again. San Diego (10-5, 0-1) stuck close to BYU, however, trailing only 63-59 with 3:18 remaining in the game. The Cougars secured the win with solid ball handling and 9-of-11 shooting from the free throw line in the last three minutes. BYU got a lift from the 19,411 fans who crowded into the Marriott Center. The Cougars were sparked by the solid play of center Jared Jensen, who contributed 17 points and played solid defense. The Cougars' scoring was balanced, headed by BYU guard Travis Hansen's 19 points. Mark Bigelow added 13 points and extended his streak of continuous games with a three pointer to 21, tying former Cougar Terrell Lyday's record set at the start of the 1999-2000 season. Eric Nielsen added 11 points while point guard Matt Montague led the team with eight rebounds and six assists. Montague also scored eight points, three of those coming from a stunning NBA-distance three pointer to beat the shot clock with 5:26 to play in the first half. The first half saw BYU consistently maintain a 10-point lead as the two teams battled back and forth throughout. The Cougars had a seven-point edge at halftime, a lead they pushed to 54-37 with 12 minutes remaining in the game. The Aztecs battled back with scrappy play and solid rebounding, grabbing a total of 44 rebounds against BYU's 28. Four consecutive points by Aztec forward Randy Holcomb, who led all scorers with 21 points, brought the Aztecs within four with 3:18 remaining, but they would not get any closer.
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY IN PROVO LAST YEAR ...
"The first thing that comes to mind is that tonight's game is the way a conference game is and this was a really, really good team that we played. They are talented, they are well coached and they are very difficult to guard. These are tough games and I just can't say enough about how important the last four or five minutes of ball possession meant to us. We got great energy from the crowd and we got a great effort from our iron men down the stretch. They have a lot of players that can hurt you, and Jared's (Jensen) effort tonight was probably the difference maker in the game."
WHAT SDSU COACH STEVE FISHER HAD TO SAY IN PROVO LAST YEAR ...
"We still had chances and I think we still have to do a better job -- all of us. Against a good team like BYU, if you don't play close to your best, you're not going to win. At halftime we talked about the 'X' factor being Jensen. You can't let him get double figures in the first half."
Led by senior guard Travis Hansen, junior swingman Mark Bigelow and junior center Rafael Araujo, the Cougars (17-6) earned an 11-4 non-conference record and are in second place in the MWC standings at 6-2. Hansen leads the team in scoring (16.5) and assists (2.7) and is second in rebounding (4.8), Bigelow is second in scoring (13.6), third in rebounding (3.9) and the team's top three-point shooter (50-111), while Araujo is the third-leading scorer (11.2) while ranking second in the MWC in rebounds (8.9). Sophomore forward Jared Jensen adds 8.3 points and 3.6 rebounds while the point has been shared between JC transfer Kevin Woodberry, who has started in 17 games and averages 6.0 points and 2.3 assists, and sophomore Terry Nashif, who has started the six games and had a career-best 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 6.1 points and shooting 44 percent from behind the arc. The Cougars shoot .469 from the floor, .408 on threes and an MWC-best .747 from the line. BYU is among the top MWC defensive teams, allowing .402 shooting, including .299 on threes. BYU scores 73.1 ppg while allowing 63.8. BYU is 10-1 at home and 7-5 away from the Marriott Center, including a 3-1 neutral record and 4-4 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'S LAST GAME -- POOR SHOOTING, TURNOVERS DOOM COUGARS
LAS VEGAS -- The UNLV Runnin' Rebels didn't show any love to BYU Valentine's night in Las Vegas, handing the Cougars their first conference road loss of the season 61-54. "Turnovers and missed shots are a bad combination; you can't do that on the road and expect to win," said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. BYU played well defensively and out-rebounded UNLV 47-31 on the night, but its 23 turnovers were the most since the team lost at Creighton 74-64 earlier this season. BYU held UNLV to 40 percent shooting in their own gym, including 25 percent from behind the three-point arc. The Cougars' poor shooting and a season-high-equaling 23 turnovers led to their lowest scoring output of the season. BYU shot a season-low 34.5 percent as a team from the field and 25 percent from the three-point line. Marcus Banks and Dalron Johnson led UNLV with 19 points apiece. Johnson did most of his scoring before intermission, while Banks took over in the second half. Travis Hansen led BYU with 18 points. The only other Cougar in double figures was Jared Jensen with 12 points. Cleveland said the team looked tired, having played their third game in seven days. "We haven't practiced very much this week, and obviously it caught with us tonight," Cleveland said. The game was tied at 27 after one half, and featured six lead changes and six ties. UNLV scored first in the second half, and never trailed the rest of the game. The Rebels pushed the lead to 16 in the second half before the Cougars cut it to seven to end the game. Junior forward Mark Bigelow was held scoreless in the first half, and finished the game with only four points, on 1-14 shooting (0-6 three pointers). Bigelow came in shooting 45 percent from the floor and 51 percent on threes in league games, and 44 percent on field goals and 48 percent on threes overall. The loss drops BYU to 6-2 in conference play and 17-6 overall.
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. and scored a team-leading 18 points at UNLV Friday. He has reached double-digit points in 19 straight games and in 22 of 23 games this year. He leads BYU in scoring overall at 16.5 and in league games at 18.8 ppg. He has 979 career points despite an injury-shortened first season at BYU as a sophomore. He needs 21 points to become the 35th Cougar to reach 1,000 points.
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. He converted 3-of-5 three-point shots at UNLV and scored nine points. After struggling to find his shot early in the season, he has been gradually improving his percentage. He is 6-11 (.545) on threes in the last two games and 9-17 (.529) overall in those two games. On the year he is now shooting .365 from the floor and .329 on threes.
o Junior forward Jake Shoff is pulling down 7.0 rebounds in the last three games.
BYU received votes in both polls released earlier this week. 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 second-rated MWC team in the Sagarin and RPI rankings after its loss and Utah's win this weekend. The Sagarin Ratings through Saturday's results rank Utah 25th and BYU 26th. 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 Saturday's results, BYU has a No. 15 rating, just behind Utah at 14. In the RPI compiled weekly by Collegiate Basketball News, BYU is 15th, Utah 21st in the rating release Feb. 9.
MWC AND NCAA STATISTICS
BYU entered the week ranked 3rd nationally in three-point shooting (.417) before going 5-for-20 at UNLV Friday. BYU is ranked 23rd in free throw shooting (.747). In MWC stats, BYU entered the week 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 17-6 record playing the toughest schedule of any MWC team and among the tougest in the nation. Entering the week, BYU's schedule was 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 six have losing records. Six teams sit atop their league standings.
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.
BYU is 16-1 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 83-16 (.838) 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 6-2 in league with a 3-1 home record and a 3-1 road mark. BYU was 4-4 at this point last year and was 4-5 after nine games. BYU started 5-3 in 2001 and was 6-3 after nine games on the way to share a share of the regular season title at 10-4 with Wyoming and Utah. BYU was 4-4 at this point and 4-5 after nine games in 2000.
BYU had its four-game victory streak come to an end Friday with a loss at UNLV. It was the first loss since 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 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 202 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 19 straight games. Mark Bigelow's string of 12 straight games with a trey came to an end at UNLV. Bigelow has converted 18 straight free throws.
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.
SHOOTING, REBOUNDING SUCCESS
BYU has out shot 17 of 23 opponents this year (except USF, OSU, Weber State, Utah, CSU, UNLV) but has been out shot in the last two games. BYU has outrebounded 15 opponents (except Creighton,USU, USCB, SDSU, Utah, CSU). BYU has shot 45 percent or better in 17 games this year (losing only once twice at Creighton and vs. Utah). BYU had shot better than 45 percent in eight straight games until converting a season-low 34.5 percent at UNLV. 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 UNLV 47-31.
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). Mark Bigelow has made 18 straight free throws and is making 82.1 percent overall, including a team-leading .962 (25-26) in league games. BYU is shooting a MWC-leading 74.7 percent as a team.
FROM LONG RANGE
Six Cougars are making 43 percent or better on their three-point attempts. BYU is shooting 40.8 percent as a team on three-pointers. BYU entered the week ranked 3rd in the country in three-point shooting. 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).
BYU has held 14 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. BYU lost at UNLV because of its offensive struggles. The Cougars played well defensively, holding the high-scoring Rebels to 61 points on 40 percent shooting, including 25 percent on threes. On the year, BYU's defense yields a combined 63.8 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 1,178 points and needs 18 points to move into 19th place. Senior Travis Hansen has 979 career points despite an injury-shortened first season at BYU as a sophomore. He needs 21 points to become the 35th Cougar to reach 1,000 points.