Game 26 - BYU Plays at New Mexico Saturday

Sophomore center Derek Dawes helped BYU defeat New Mexico in the first meeting this year with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

BYU (9-16, 3-7 MWC) will play the first of three road games when the Cougars meet the New Mexico Lobos (18-6, 5-4) Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Pit. The game is a SportsWest telecast aired on KSL-TV in Salt Lake City and KRQE-TV in Albuquerque as well as being available via ESPN FULL COURT. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 (KSL.com).

UP NEXT FOR THE COUGARS

The Cougars will play the second game of their road trip Monday night at Air Force in a 7 p.m. start that will be broadcast by SportsWest (UPN Z-24 in Utah).

BYU GAME #26 FAST FACTS

BYU COUGARS (9-16 3-7 MWC) at NEW MEXICO (18-6, 5-4 MWC)

SATURDAY, FEB. 19, 2005

THE PIT (18,018)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. 7:07 p.m. MST

Coaches:

BYU, Steve Cleveland (138-103 in eighth season; same overall)

UNM, Ritchie McKay (42-38 in third season; 125-127 in ninth year overall)

Series:

BYU leads, 67-48 (BYU picked up its first MWC win with a 68-53 victory over the Lobos earlier this year)

TV:

SportsWest (KSL-TV in Utah, KRQE in Albuquerque and available nationally via ESPN FULL COURT with Tom Kirkland calling play-by-play and Craig Hislop adding analysis)

Radio:

KSL 1160, BYU Sports Network (Greg Wrubell calls play-by-play with Brian Santiago adding commentary)

Web:

Live audio is available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (see upcoming schedule)

COUGAR QUICK HITS

- BYU (9-16, 3-7 MWC) is 6-7 at home, 2-6 away and 1-3 on a neutral floor. BYU's non-league schedule this season included four Pac-10 opponents and two ACC teams. The Cougars have faced three top-25 teams this season (North Carolina, North Carolina State, Utah).

- Nine of BYU's losses have been single-digit setbacks, including six by five points or less and five defeats of three-points or less. Eight of BYU nine wins had been double-digit victories, including its overtime win at UNLV. BYU won its last outing against Colorado State by a single point after a one-point loss to Wyoming.

- With the win against Colorado State, BYU coach Steve Cleveland passed Frank Arnold (1975-83) into fourth place on BYU's all-time victory list with 138 wins. He needs 14 more wins to equal Ott Romney (1927-35) and Roger Reid (1989-96) who both achieved 152 victories.

- BYU coach Steve Cleveland has utilized 15 different starting lineups this season while dealing with injuries and inconsistent play from an inexperienced roster. He has used the same lineup the last six games -- the first time this year the same five players have started even three consecutive games.

- The 10 BYU players averaging double-digit minutes this season include six sophomores, three seniors and one freshman. Only three players -- seniors Mike Hall and Jared Jensen and sophomore Garner Meads -- averaged more than 10 minutes during a prior season as a Cougar. Of BYU's freshmen top-20 signing class, only F/C Chris Miles is currently playing as David Burgess (ankles) and Trent Plaisted (knees) are out while top guard prospect and Arizona Player of the Year Lee Cummard has not been with the team this year after opting to serve an LDS Church mission. After returning early, he will join BYU next season.

- Senior guard Mike Hall leads BYU in scoring at 13.8 ppg. Sophomore point guard Austin Ainge contributes 9.6 ppg while sophomore guard Mike Rose adds 8.7 ppg. Ainge leads BYU with 4.1 assists (3rd in MWC; 4.9 apg in league games is 2nd in MWC). Sophomore transfer Keena Young pulls down a team-best 5.6 rebounds with sophomore center Derek Dawes adding 4.9 rpg.

- BYU shoots .421 from the floor, .360 from three and .721 from the line while averaging 66.6 ppg. BYU opponents have shot .429 (FG) and .335 (3FG) while scoring 67.2 ppg. BYU opponents hold a slight 35.6 to 34.9 advantage on the boards.

LOOKING AT NEW MEXICO

New Mexico is currently 18-6 overall and 5-4 in league play, having won four of the last five games. The Lobos own a 15-1 record at home. Senior Danny Granger, who missed three games this season including the earlier matchup with BYU, leads the Lobos and the MWC in steals and ranks second in the league in points, blocked shots and rebounding. Granger averages 18.3 ppg and pulls down 9.3 rpg, which is 26th in the nation. Senior Troy DeVries is the Lobos' second leading scorer, averaging 11.3 points per game, and leads New Mexico with 2.8 assists. DeVries' is the MWC's leading 3-point scorer, connecting on 68 treys and averaging 2.8 per game. His 46.3 three-point percentage ranks 11th in the nation among players making at least 2.5 threes per game. Since Granger and Devries joined the team on Dec. 21, 2003, New Mexico is 26-3 at home. Senior forward Alfred Neale and junior forward David Chiotti rank third and fourth in scoring for the Lobos as Neale averages 10.3 points per game and Chiotti adds 10.0 points per game. Chiotti is shooting a stifling 56.6 percent from the field to lead the Lobos and is second in blocked shots behind Granger. New Mexico is shooting 49.4 percent from the field, which ranks 14th in the nation. The Lobos lead the MWC in scoring with 76.7 points per game, which is 29th in the country, while shooting 38.4 percent from three-point range. Ritchie McKay is in his third season at the helm for the Lobos and has a 42-38 career record at New Mexico. McKay is 14-23 in MWC games, 13-5 at home and 1-18 on the road in conference play.

LAST OUTING - LOBOS DEFEAT FALCONS IN THE PIT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Alfred Neale scored 18 points and Danny Granger got his 10th double-double of the season in New Mexico's 63-52 win over Air Force Monday night. Neale, the Lobos' sixth man most of the season, got to start and made the most of it. He hit 8-of-11 shots and sparked an 11-0 run by New Mexico to start the game, scoring on a reverse layup, a 3-pointer and an offensive rebound basket. Granger, held to four points in the first half, finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds. New Mexico (18-6, 5-4 Mountain West) used its quickness on defense to force the Falcons into low-percentage shots most of the game. Air Force (15-9, 6-3 MWC) got its first points of the game on a 3-pointer by Matt McGraw with 13:56 left in the first half. McGraw, who was 5-for-6 on 3s, led the Falcons with 17 points. Dan Nwaelele added 12, but Air Force hit just 19 of 53 shots. The Falcons stayed close by hitting 10 3s. After the sluggish start, the Falcons steadily chipped away at the Lobos' early lead and got their only tie of the game after New Mexico reserve center Sean Phaler was called for a flagrant foul with 59 seconds left in the first half. Air Force center Nick Welch got a steal and a layup to get the Falcons within 23-22. As Welch tried to get back up the court, Phaler pushed him into the stands. Welch hit one of the two free throws off the technical, but New Mexico went ahead on a layup by David Chiotti just ahead of the first half buzzer. The Falcons' shooting troubles resurfaced in the second half, as Air Force scored just four points - baskets by Nwaelele and McGraw - in the first 10 minutes of the second half. New Mexico parlayed that drought into a 41-27 lead with 9:36 left. But the Falcons mounted one last run, cutting it to 48-41 on a 3-pointer by McGraw with 4:46 left. That rally ended as New Mexico countered with a layup by Chiotti and a slam dunk by Neale.

NEW MEXICO'S PROJECTED STARTERS

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

F 21 Alfred Neale 6-6 200 Sr. 10.3 4.4

F 33 Danny Granger 6-8 225 Sr. 18.3 9.3

F/C 13 David Chiotti 6-9 245 Jr. 10.0 5.3

G 2 Troy DeVries 6-4 195 Sr. 11.3 2.4

G 5 Mark Walters 6-2 225 Jr. 9.7 3.6

SERIES NOTES

This will be the 116th game in the series that started in the 1949-50 season. The Cougars lead the series 67-48. BYU had a four-game winning streak in the series halted with UNM's controversial 65-63 win at The Pit last year before winning the last two games, 88-71 at home last year and 68-53 at home earlier this season. BYU swept the season series in 2003 and defeated the Lobos in the opening round of the 2003 MWC Tournament. BYU has won 10 of the last 12 games in the series after New Mexico had won eight of the prior nine contests. BYU has won five straight over UNM in the Marriott Center. New Mexico's last win in Provo was a 78-74 win in 2000, which was BYU's last loss in the Marriott Center prior to starting its 44-game nation-leading homecourt victory string that was ended in 2003 by Utah. BYU is 14-25 in the Pit. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 11-7 vs. the Lobos.

BYU SERIES RECORD VS. NEW MEXICO

Overall Series Record: BYU leads 67-48

BYU Record in Provo: 39-15 (22-12 in the Marriott Center)

BYU Record in Albuquerque: 24-30 (14-25 in The Pit)

BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 4-3

BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 11-7

BYU Record in Overtime Games: 1-3 (1-1 Rd, 0-2 Hm)

Last Overtime Game: 1994, lost in Provo, 82-84

Longest BYU Win Streak: 14 (1950-57)

Longest New Mexico Win Streak: 5 (1996-98)

Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 30, 92-62 two times in 1955 and 1959

Largest New Mexico Margin of Victory: 42, 74-32 in 1997

Most Points Scored by BYU: 100 in 1979

Most Points Scored by New Mexico: 102 in 1987

FIRST MEETING THIS SEASON -- DAWES LEADS BYU TO FIRST MWC VICTORY

PROVO -- A career night for sophomore center Derek Dawes sparked BYU to a 68-53 win over New Mexico Monday at the Marriott Center, the Cougars' first Mountain West Conference victory of the season. The win improved BYU's record to 7-13 overall and 1-4 in the MWC while the Lobos dropped to 14-5 and 1-3. Dawes set career-highs in points and blocks with 14 and five while he tied a career-high with 10 rebounds. It was also his first career double-double. Sophomore forward Keena Young tied his career-high with 14 points and added seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Mike Rose led all scorers with 21 points while senior guard Mike Hall added 16. Sophomore guard Austin Ainge also tied his career-high with eight assists. Alfred Neale was the high scorer for New Mexico with 12 points, the only Lobo in double figures. Mark Walters was second on the team with nine points. Neale was also the top Lobo on the glass, collecting six boards. For the game, BYU shot 44.8 percent (26-58) and limited the Lobos to 32.7 percent (18-55) shooting. The Cougars scored 17 points on 11 New Mexico turnovers and won the battle of the boards, 40-34. The Lobos took their only lead of the night when Troy DeVries hit a three pointer for the game's opening basket. After Dawes hit the Cougars' first basket, Young scored to give BYU the lead for good. Dawes was strong throughout the first period, scoring eight points, grabbing six rebounds and blocking two shots. He hit two free throws to give BYU its biggest lead of the half at 24-16. The Lobos cut into the Cougar lead as Neale ran off five consecutive points to cut the lead to 24-22. But BYU would not allow the Lobos to get any closer as the Cougars ended the half on a 9-3 run to go into the locker room up 33-25. Rose capped the run with a three-pointer in the waning seconds of the first frame. Young was the high man of the half, finishing with 11 points and four rebounds. Rose and Hall each contributed seven while Ainge dished out four assists. As New Mexico came out cold to start the second period, missing its first five shots, BYU kept pushing. Dawes kept the Cougar run alive with a dunk on the opening possession, and Ainge connected with Hall on a fast break layup moments later to extend the advantage to 12 at 37-25. Another layup by Dawes pushed the BYU lead to 14. With a 16-point cushion at 42-26, the Cougars opened the door for the Lobos to make a run. New Mexico took advantage, scoring 12 straight points to get back into the game at 42-38. However, Rose kept New Mexico at bay, connecting from beyond the arc to spark a 13-4 BYU run and adding back-to-back treys to put the Cougars up 55-42. The lead was enough for BYU to coast to the 68-53 win.

WHAT COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE NEW MEXICO GAME THIS YEAR ...

"We're preparing next year's team in the process. We've got some guys who haven't played a lot. Dawes is our future, but he just needs playing time. The effort has been there the last two games but the execution needs to improve. This group of guys is a special group of people. They found a way to win and they'll do it again."

LAST YEAR AT NEW MEXICO -- COUGARS LOSE WILD ONE AT THE PIT

ALBUQUERQUE -- In five seconds of playing time, the Cougars (12-6, 2-2) went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows Monday night, losing a close contest at New Mexico (11-6, 2-2), 65-63.In an incredible finish, BYU guard Kevin Woodberry tipped in a Cougar miss to tie the game with 3.8 seconds left. A technical foul was then called on the Cougars as Mark Bigelow came onto the court from the bench to celebrate the shot, sending the Lobos' Troy DeVries to the line for two free shots (later scrutiny on video tape showed a whistle was blown after the Woodberry bucket, which prompted Bigelow onto the court; however, at the time the officials did not acknowledge the whistle and consequently Bigelow was called for the technical foul. An MWC official was later suspended because of the incident). Amazingly, DeVries missed both attempts, leaving the game tied with 3.8 seconds still on the clock. But a well-placed Lobo inbounds pass sailed over the out-stretched hands of Rafael Araujo and into the hands of New Mexico's Danny Granger, who scored the game-winning layup. Without any timeouts, BYU launched an unsuccessful desperation shot from the Cougar backcourt as time expired. Cleveland had every reason to respect his team's effort. The Cougars outrebounded the Lobos 35-28 and outshot them, going 23-52 (.442) from the field. Turnovers, which had plagued the Cougars during the season, were actually even, with each team losing the ball just nine times. Against a New Mexico team that blew out Utah by 16 points just two days before, BYU kept the score tight, with 14 ties and 18 lead changes. Araujo continued his dominance, scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to pick up his 11th double-double of the season. Mike Hall also came up big for the Cougars, scoring 21 points, his second-largest scoring output of the season. No other Cougars scored in double figures. Kevin Woodberry came off the bench for eight points, including two big three-point shots in the first half and the game-tying shot with 3.8 seconds left. Mark Bigelow set a new season-high in rebounds as he pulled down nine boards. New Mexico's Granger, a 6-8 forward, led all scorers with 27 points. Hall and Araujo started BYU off right by scoring 15 of the Cougars' first 18 points. BYU went into the locker room down just one point, 33-32, but missed two scoring opportunities at the line by failing to convert front-ends. Araujo scored 10 in the first half and Hall had nine points.

WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE GAME AT UNM LAST YEAR ...

"It was a difficult game to lose, one in which I thought we played very well and put ourselves in a position to win. I'm disappointed in losing, but I'm not disappointed in this basketball team. Almost everything that we wanted to do and that we challenged our team to do happened."

BYU's LAST OUTING - COUGARS EDGE RAMS

PROVO -- The Cougars found a little love on Valentines Day as they ended their two-game skid with a 50-49 victory over Colorado State in the Marriott Center. "It's a difficult time for both teams," said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. "We've got to get a break every once in a while, and we got one tonight." Senior Mike Hall led BYU with 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor and 4-of-5 accuracy from the line. Sophomore Austin Ainge added 10 points, a game-high five assists and a team-best six rebounds. BYU's Derek Dawes, Chris Miles and Jared Jensen teamed to make CSU 7-footer Matt Nelson, who entered the game ranked sixth nationally in field goal percentage, work hard for his 10 points as Nelson made only 4-of-14 attempts from the field. Nelson pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to record a double-double, while fellow 7-footer Stuart Creason led the Rams with 11 points. The Rams' third 7-footer, Jason Smith, came off the bench to add four points and five rebounds. BYU forward Keena Young scored four points and grabbed four rebounds while giving up six inches to his opponent during 13 minutes on the floor. The Cougars opened the game with a sluggish start as CSU scored nine straight points to lead the Cougars 9-0. BYU wouldn't score in the first five minutes until an Ainge floater gave BYU its first points. The floater would spark a streak of scoring for the Cougars as they battled to pull within one. The streak was capped by a Hall steal and follow by a trailing Ainge to put the score at 13-12 or the Rams. Ainge would tie the game at 19 with a deep three pointer with 2 minutes left in the half. After a CSU miss, Ainge pushed the floor and dished to Hall who got fouled. He made the free throws and BYU had their first lead at 21-19. From there, the Cougars would go on a 6-2 run to end the half as BYU took a 27-21 halftime lead to the locker room. The Cougars opened up the second half with an immediate three by Jimmy Balderson, and BYU took its largest lead of the game a minute later at 31-21 on a Derek Dawes free throw. But Colorado pushed back, mainly by the play of their brother guard combo. The Morris', Michael and Sean, whittled the nine point lead down to two at 34-32. But the house would come down with a poster dunk by Hall, giving BYU a two-point lead and some badly needed momentum. Young took an Ainge miss and put it back to help extend the Cougars' lead. The Cougars were unable put the pesky Rams away. After a Cougar turnover, Colorado State scored a two-point bucket by Nelson to cut the lead to one with 25 seconds remaining. The Rams had the chance to pull out the victory after another BYU turnover but couldn't score on either of their last second attempts, allowing the Cougars to hold on for their third conference win of the season. "We were fortunate at the end, no question," Cleveland said. The win gives Cleveland the most Mountain West Conference wins (48) and moves him into fourth place on BYU's all-time victory list with 138.

BYU POST DEFENDERS MADE CSU'S NELSON EARN POINTS

BYU held CSU's leading scorer Matt Nelson, who ranked sixth in the nation in field goal percentage entering Monday's game, to just 4-of-14 shooting and 10 points. He managed just 11 points in Fort Collins vs. BYU.

SHOOTING BAROMETER

BYU is 9-1 when the Cougars have the better shooting percentage. BYU is 4-0 when topping 50 percent. BYU shot a season-low 30 percent from the floor against Wyoming last Saturday. With the Cowboys making 48 percent, BYU fell to 0-15 this season when being outshot.

DAWES NAMED MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Jan. 31) AFTER BIG GAME AGAINST THE LOBOS

Sophomore center Derek Dawes earned MWC Player of the Week honors on Jan. 31 for his career night against New Mexico, marking the first award of his career. The 6-foot-11 Dawes set career bests of 14 points, 6-of-7 (.857) shooting, and 4 blocks while tying career marks of 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal in the victory. He was also perfect from the free-throw line (2-2) in 32 minutes of action. After his only missed shot of the game, Dawes used his hustle to regain the Cougar possession by stealing a Lobo pass. Dawes' energy and effort in the post led the Cougars to a 68-53 win over the Lobos, their first MWC win of the season. The 14-point, 10-rebound double-double was the first of his career.

CLEVELAND NOW NO. 4 IN ALL-TIME WINS, NO. 2 ON MARRIOTT CENTER VICTORIES, NO. 1 IN MWC WINS

With a 138-103 overall record in his eighth season in Provo, BYU coach Steve Cleveland is now fourth on BYU's career coaching victories list and is 15 wins from moving into second. Cleveland passed Frank Arnold (1975-83) with his victory over Colorado State in Provo this year. 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. Cleveland has guided BYU to the second-most Marriott Center wins and needs three more to have the most ever by a BYU coach. With his 90-25 record in the Cougars' home arena, he is currently second behind Roger Reid, who has 92 Marriott Center wins. Cleveland has 48 MWC wins, one more than Wyoming's Steve McClain.

INJURY ISSUES

BYU has had several different injury issues this year. Sophomore forward Garner Meads is questionalble for Saturday's game at New Mexico due to a leg injury. He has missed eight games (three leg, three games foot, two games ankle) overall this year due to injury, including the last three games. Sophomore center Derek Dawes played for a month with a broken thumb and missed most of the three games in January due to a shoulder injury. Freshman center David Burgess had ankle surgery in January and will be out for the season, and freshman forward Trent Plaisted is out indefinitely (knee). Both made limited appearances early in the seasons. Junior transfer Josh Reisman, a 6-1 guard who played in only one game for five minutes, had a second surgery to repair the broken nose he suffered during the summer and won't return. Senior F/C Jared Jensen did not start and played limited minutes vs. Utah State due to food poisoning and junior forward Joshua Burgess has been slowed by back problems. Freshman F/C Chris Miles is the only Cougar post player not to have his play limited during the regular season due to illness or injury.

STREET & SMITH'S NAMES BYU THE No.36 BASKETBALL PROGRAM ALL-TIME

The BYU men's basketball program has been named one of the nation's all-time greatest basketball programs. Street & Smith's has produced a publication (released Jan. 25) recognizing the "100 Greatest College Basketball Programs of All Time," ranking BYU No. 36 on its list. Kentucky is named the No. 1 basketball program, with UCLA, North Carolina, Kansas and Duke completing the top five. Indiana, Louisville, Arkansas, UConn and Cincinnati round out the top 10. Street & Smith's graded each program's basketball history on the basis of NCAA Tournament success, NIT success, national championships, conference regular-season and tournament titles, all-time win-loss percentage, graduation rate, NCAA infractions, NBA first-round draft picks and mascot ferocity. Five Mountain West Conference teams made the list with Utah ranked 11th, UNLV 28th, BYU 36th, Wyoming 42nd and New Mexico 98th. Other in-state schools recognized include Weber State at No. 51 and Utah State at No. 82. Since BYU's first season in 1903, Cougar fans have cheered BYU to 82 winning seasons, 26 conference titles, 21 NCAA invites and 2 NIT titles, while Cougar players have earned 40 All-America and 96 all-conference citations, 43 NBA Draft selections and one National Player of the Year award. BYU entered the season No. 19 all-time in total victories and No. 36 in winning percentage.

PLAYERS IN THE PROS

In the past five years the BYU program has helped several players go on to professional basketball opportunities. Rafael Araujo was the No. 8 overall pick in this year's NBA draft, selected by the Toronto Raptors. Travis Hansen was the second-round pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 2003.After playing one year with the Hawks he signed a lucrative one-year contract to play in Spain. Others to play professionally over the past five years include Mekeli Wesley (Belgium), Terrell Lyday (France), Trent Whiting (Italy), Eric Nielsen (Spain) and Silester Rivers (Chile). In addition to Araujo, Mark Bigelow (Germany) and Luiz Lemes (Brazil) joined the professional ranks overseas from last year's team.

CURRENT BYU WIN/LOSS STREAKS ...

At home 1-0

On the road 0-1

On a neutral floor 0-1

At home vs. Nonconference 3-0

At home vs. MWC 1-0

On the road vs. Nonconference 0-2

On the road vs. MWC 0-1

On a neutral floor vs. Nonconference 0-1

On a neutral floor vs. MWC 0-1

at regular season tournament 1-0

at MWC Tournament 0-1

at NCAA Tournament 0-5

at NIT 0-1

AttachmentSize
Game-26---BYU-Plays-at-New-Mexico-Saturday.pdf569.66 KB