Senior forward Keena Young has helped BYU earn its first national ranking since 1993. The Cougars enter the polls this week at No. 21 (AP) and No. 22 (ESPN/USA Today). (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BYU GAME #27 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (20-6, 10-2 MWC)
COLORADO ST. RAMS (15-10, 5-8 MWC)
Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007
Marriott Center (22,700)
8 p.m. MT
BYU, Dave Rose (40-15 in second season; same overall)
CSU, Dale Layer (101-103 in seventh season; 268-190 in 16 years overall)
BYU leads, 80-46, after losing the first meeting this year in Fort Collins, 90-78, on Jan. 20
MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.) (James Bates - play-by-play, Blaine Fowler - color)
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (7 p.m. pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)
Live audio and live stats links are available at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/
BYU HOSTS COLORADO STATE WEDNESDAY at 8 p.m.
No. 21 BYU (20-6, 10-2 MWC) will host the Colorado State Rams (15-10, 5-8 MWC) Wednesday at 8 p.m. MT in the Marriott Center. The game will be televised on the MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.) and can be heard live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 7 p.m. on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City or via the Internet at KSL.com. The first-place Cougars have won seven straight and are coming off an 96-83 win over New Mexico last Wednesday while winning 15 of their last 17 games. After a stretch of 13 wins in 15 games, Colorado State has lost six of its last seven contests since handing BYU its last defeat, 90-78, on Jan. 20 in Fort Collins, Colo. The Rams are coming off a loss at nationally ranked Air Force on Saturday.
BYU student-athletes who have earned All-America honors during the past year will recognized at halftime of Wednesday's game vs. Colorado State.
BYU will travel to San Diego to take on San Diego State Saturday at 3 p.m. PT. The game will be televised on CSTV.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
-- BYU entered the national rankings Monday for the first time since 1993. BYU is ranked No. 21 in the AP Top 25 rankings and No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. BYU was last ranked on March 8, 1993 at No. 25 (AP).
-- BYU has won its last seven games, tying its longest win streak of the season and ranking 11th in the nation, including road wins at TCU, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming and home victories over then-No. 13 Air Force, then-No. 25 UNLV and New Mexico.
-- With 29 straight wins in the Marriott Center, the Cougars rank second behind Air Force (30) for the nation's longest active home winning streak.
-- MWC Player of the Year candidate Keena Young leads BYU this year in scoring (17.1) and is second on the team in rebounding (6.3). 2006 Freshman All-American Trent Plaisted leads the Cougars on the boards (6.5) and is second in scoring (12.5), while senior Austin Ainge leads BYU with 4.2 assists per game.
-- The Cougars currently lead the MWC in scoring (78.3), rebounding average (37.8), rebounding margin (+5.9) and assists (16.5) in overall play. In league games, in addition to owning first place in the standings, BYU paces the conference in scoring (80.5), scoring margin (+10.9), field-goal percentage (.521), three-point shooting (.470), rebounding average (tie with Wyoming, 35.2), assists (17.6) and assist/turnover ratio (1.46).
-- BYU has shot above 50 percent from the floor and above 40 percent from behind the arc in seven of its last eight games.
-- BYU has RPI ratings of 19 and 20 in the various RPI rankings. BYU is ranked No. 9 in the nation in three-point shooting, No. 12 in field goal percentage, No. 21 in scoring, No. 28 in scoring margin and No. 29 in assists.
-- BYU is 15-0 at home this season, 5-5 on the road and 0-1 on a neutral court.
-- BYU was picked to finish second in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason MWC media poll behind reigning champion San Diego State.
LOOKING AT COLORADO STATE
The Rams are 15-10 overall and currently in sixth place in the MWC with a 5-8 record. CSU defeated the Cougars in the first meeting in Fort Collins (90-78), which was BYU's last defeat. The Rams also recorded a nonconference home win over Boise State, who defeated the Cougars in Boise. The Rams started the year 1-2 before winning 13 of their next 15 games, concluding with their victory over BYU on Jan. 20. After defeating the Cougars, however, the Rams have dropped six of their last seven contests. Last week CSU defeated TCU Tuesday at home before losing at nationally ranked Air Force on Saturday. CSU is led by junior forward Jason Smith, a 7-footer who averages 16.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. His rebounding total leads the league and ranks 24th nationally while his scoring average ranks sixth in the MWC. Smith is also fourth in the conference in field-goal percentage, making 59.6 percent of his shots, and fourth in blocks with a 1.64 average. Junior guard Tyler Smith is second on the team in scoring (10.8 ppg), assists (2.3 apg) and steals (1.4 spg). Senior point guard Cory Lewis is third on the team in scoring at 10.2 ppg while leading the MWC with 4.6 assists per contest. He ranks second among MWC players in steals (1.88). Junior center Stuart Creason, CSU's second 7-footer, is fourth on the team in scoring at 9.8 ppg while adding 5.5 rpg. His .655 shooting percentage leads the MWC while his team-best 2.44 blocks per game ranks second in the league and 21st nationally. As a team, CSU averages 73.5 ppg on .490 shooting from the field, which ranks 10th nationally, while holding opponents to 70.8 ppg on .433 shooting. The Rams hold a 35.2-29.9 rebounding advantage over their opponents, ranking second (+5.3) behind BYU (+5.9) in rebounding margin. CSU head coach Dale Layer has a 101-103 record in his seventh season with the Ram program. He owns a 268-190 all-time record in his 16th season as a head coach.
COLORADO STATE'S PROBABLE STARTERS (Based on last game)
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 14 Jason Smith 7-0 230 Jr. 16.6 9.3
C 30 Stuart Creason 7-0 260 Jr. 9.8 5.5
G 5 Tyler Smith 6-3 200 Jr. 10.8 3.5
G 12 Tim Denson 6-1 195 Jr. 8.9 2.9
G 4 Cory Lewis 6-0 175 Sr. 10.2 4.4
COLORADO STATE'S LAST OUTING -- SMITH TOTALS 22 BUT RAMS FALL AT AIR FORCE
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Jason Smith scored a game-high 22 points to lead Colorado State but Rams couldn't keep up with natinally ranked Air Force Saturday in Clune Arena. AFA's Dan Nwaelele returned from a first-half ankle injury to score 18 points and lead the 17th-ranked Falcons past Colorado State 67-58 Saturday, extending the nation's longest home court winning streak to 30. Matt McCraw added 15 points for the Falcons (23-4, 10-3 Mountain West), who despite surrendering 22 points to Jason Smith managed to negate some of the Rams' height advantage by forcing fellow 7-footer Stuart Creason into early foul trouble. Creason scored just two points before fouling out with more than seven minutes remaining. The Rams chipped away at their 15-point, second-half deficit and pulled to 59-52 on Smith's jumper with 3:38 left, but Smith's offensive foul negated another basket 30 seconds later and Nwaelele sank his fifth 3-pointer to make it 64-52. Colorado State wasn't done, pulling to 65-58 on Tyler Smith's 3-pointer with 43 seconds left, but the Rams burned 14 seconds before fouling Nick Welch, who sank one of two. Tim Anderson and Jacob Burtschi added 10 points each for the Falcons.
Wednesday's game will be the 127th meeting between the two schools in a series that dates back to 1938. BYU leads the series 80-46 after a 90-78 loss in Fort Collins earlier this year. The Cougars own a 52-10 record in Provo while the Rams hold a 33-27 advantage in Fort Collins. The Cougars have won nine of the last 13 games overall and seven straight in Provo since CSU swept the series in 1998. The two teams did not meet in 1999. BYU swept both meetings last year with an 86-84 win in Fort Collins and a 77-69 victory in Provo. In 2005, the two teams split the season series with each school defending its homecourt. In 2004, BYU swept the regular-season series for the second consecutive year, beating the Rams in Fort Collins and again in Provo. CSU has a 3-1 advantage in neutral court games.
BYU SERIES RECORD VS. COLORADO STATE
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 80-46
BYU Record in Provo: 52-10 (30-6 in the Marriott Center)
BYU Record in Fort Collins: 27-33 (19-17 in Moby Arena)
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 1-3
BYU Record under Dave Rose: 2-1
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 4-3* (1-1 Hm, 3-1 Rd, 0-1 Neutral)
*1-0 in 2OT (1971, won 98-92 in Ft. Collins)
Last Overtime Game: 2003, CSU 86, BYU 80
at MWC Tournament in Las Vegas
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
QUOTING COACH ROSE
"(Stephan) Gilling is one of the best three-point shooters in the league and they have two of the premier post players (Jason Smith and Stuart Creason) in the league. They have good players and they played really, really well against us in Fort Collins. Gilling and (Tim) Densen had good games shooting threes and they are really good inside so they can be a tough team to guard."
"Jason Smith has a very diverse game. He can beat you on the boards with offensive rebounds, he can beat you from 17-18 feet, he can beat you off the dribble, and he's got a good low-post game. There haven't been too many Colorado State games this year when there haven't been pro scouts in the gym."
"We turned ball over too much (in the first game). We'll have to do a better job guarding them and taking care of the ball. We'll prepare and go out and play as hard as we can."
THIS YEAR IN THE SERIES -- COUGARS COME UP SHORT AT CSU
FORT COLLINS -- Despite a career-high 27 points from Trent Plaisted, BYU was unable to hold off the Colorado State Rams Saturday, falling 90-78 in Fort Collins. Plaisted's game-high 27 points surpassed his 23-point mark set earlier this season vs. then-No. 25 Michigan State and included four dunks. Jimmy Balderson also topped the 20-point mark with 21 points on 5-for-8 shooting from three-point range, tying his career high in three-point makes. The duo became the first pair of Cougars to top the 20-point mark since last season's game at CSU on Jan. 28 when Balderson scored 24 and Brock Reichner added 23 points. Austin Ainge led BYU in assists, tying his season high with six, while three Cougars -- Plaisted, Ainge and Lee Cummard -- each pulled down four rebounds. BYU quickly established a presence in the post as Young and Plaisted scored the Cougars' first eight points of the game while CSU's two seven-footers, Jason Smith and Stuart Creason, each picked up an early foul, leading to an 8-6 BYU lead. But back-to-back buckets from the Rams swung the advantage back to the home team at 11-8. The Cougars got a break at the 14:04 mark as Smith picked up his second foul and was forced to check out. However, the Rams kept up the pressure and held on to the lead at 18-13 despite a second foul on Creason. Young heated up for BYU from there, recording back-to-back buckets to get the Cougars within one point at 18-17 with 10:10 left to play in the half. But the Rams responded with two straight makes of their own, including a three-pointer, to push the lead to 23-17. A dunk from Plaisted sparked a 10-2 BYU run as the Cougars drained two three-pointers to take a 27-25 lead. The two teams traded scores from there until a third throw down from Plaisted followed by a short jumper from Fernando Malaman on the next BYU possession gave the Cougars their largest lead of the game to that point at 33-30 with 4:06 left in the half. Neither team would score back-to-back again in the first half as BYU held on to a 39-37 lead at the break. BYU jumped out to a 44-39 lead after halftime, including a three-pointer from Balderson, until a 7-0 Ram run gave CSU a 46-44 lead. But the Cougars responded with an 8-0 spurt of their own with four points each from Young and Balderson to retake the lead at 52-46. However, CSU put on a shooting clinic during a 23-5 run, making eight of 10 shots while allowing BYU just five free throws to take a 69-57 lead with 9:45 left to play. The Cougars began climbing back into the game with a dunk from Plaisted and a three-pointer from Balderson to cut the lead to seven points, but the Rams' hot hand continued as BYU was unable to get a stop on the defensive end and CSU was unable to miss from the floor, leading to a 79-66 Ram lead with 5:20 left to play. BYU attempted a late rally with a 10-4 run to get within seven points, but it wasn't enough as the Rams pulled out the 90-78 win.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "We did some good things today, but Colorado State played very well and hit big shots. We need to do a better job of defending and trying to limit the six-, seven-, eight-point scoring runs."
-- "I thought Trent (Plaisted) played with a lot of energy and gave a great effort. I think it's a real positive that he was being aggressive and going strong to the basket and still drawing fouls despite struggling at the free-throw line."
-- "Colorado State's chemistry is really good right now because they're getting a lot of consistent play out of their guys."
Colorado State Head Coach Dale Layer
-- "What an incredible game. Both teams played their hearts out. I thought the second half defensive effort was excellent."
-- "The guards stepped up with some threes. We had eight or nine guys really contribute. We were attacking the rim better in the second half. We got touches down low by Jason (Smith) and Stu (Creason)."
-- "I thought the board work was what got us over the hump. Give BYU credit. I thought Trent (Plaisted) and Keena (Young) were tremendous."
BYU NOTES FROM THIS YEAR AT CSU
-- Individual Career Highs: Trent Plaisted - 27 points, 11 field goals made, 16 field goals attempted; Jimmy Balderson - 5 three-pointers made (tied).
-- Individual Season Highs: Austin Ainge -- 6 assists (tied).
-- Team Season Highs: 90 opponent points; .567 opponent shooting; 53 opponent points in a half.
-- The Cougars are now 13-3 when scoring at least 70 points with all three losses coming on the road (at Lamar, at UNLV, at CSU). BYU is also 2-6 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold. The Cougars have scored at least 70 points in 11 straight games.
-- With a .538 (7-for-13) three-point shooting mark at CSU, BYU has now shot above .400 from behind the arc in five straight games and 10 on the season. The Cougars have shot above .500 in six games.
-- With a 34-25 rebounding deficit against the Rams, the Cougars are now 1-6 when losing the battle of the boards.
-- Leading 39-37 at CSU, BYU went into the locker room with a halftime lead for the 14th time this season. BYU had won 12 straight games when leading at the break prior to the loss at CSU and is now 12-2 when leading at the half.
-- BYU's two 20-point scorers (Plaisted - 27, Balderson - 21) marked the first time since last season's game at CSU on Jan. 28 that two Cougars topped the 20-point mark.
-- Mike Rose did not score for the first time since Dec. 9, ending a streak of 10 straight games with a made three-pointer, which tied his career streak.
-- With 18 points against the Rams, Young has now scored in double figures in 17 of 19 games this year.
-- The BYU post duo of Plaisted and Young scored 16 of the Cougars' first 19 points of the game as they each recorded eight points in the first 11:32 of the half. Both scored in double figures in the first period of play as Plaisted scored 14 points on 6-for-8 (.750) shooting and Young added 10 points on 5-for-7 (.714) shooting from the field before the break. Plaisted's mark tied his highest point total in a half this season (14 vs. Michigan State).
--Jimmy Balderson became the third Cougar to score in double figures with seven second-half points in the first 3:47, bringing his game total to 10 and marking the eighth time this year he has posted double digit points. Balderson entered the game averaging 5.5 ppg in MWC play but finished with 21 points at CSU.
-- Balderson's career-high-tying five three-point makes against the Rams marked just the third time this season he has made multiple three-pointers in a game and the first time since Nov. 29 against Boise State. Balderson was third on the team last year in three-pointers made with 32.
-- Plaisted posted four dunks in the game, including three in the first half, to bring his season total to 21 and his career mark to 54. The Cougar big man has recorded a dunk in 13 games this season including multiple throw downs in five contests.
LAST YEAR'S GAME AT BYU -- Cougars Get Wire-To-Wire Victory
PROVO -- BYU used big runs at the start of both halves to maintain the lead throughout and withstood several Colorado State rallies to earn a 77-69 win at home Wednesday. The Cougars improved to 19-7 overall and 11-4 in the Mountain West Conference while the Rams fell to 15-13 overall and 4-11 in the MWC. Despite being picked to finish last in the preseason media poll, the Cougars are now tied with Air Force for second place in the league. The win makes BYU 9-1 in its last 10 games and extends the Cougars' home win streak to 13. Rashaun Broadus led BYU with 13 points and four assists while four other Cougars scored in double-digits, including Trent Plaisted (10), Brock Reichner (12), Fernando Malaman (11) and Jimmy Balderson (12). Keena Young led the team in rebounds with six, and Malaman had a career-high four steals. As a team, BYU shot 43.1 percent (25-of-58) from the field, including 11-of-19 (57.9 percent) from three-point range. Michael Harrison led Colorado State with game-highs of 17 points and seven rebounds while Cory Lewis added 13 points, Stuart Creason 11 and Jason Smith 10. The Rams hit 48.2 percent (27-56) from the field but could not overcome 21 turnovers that the Cougars converted into 27 points. BYU jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a three by Reichner on the first possession of the game and then back-to-back hustle plays by Jackson Emery. With his team leading 3-0, Emery came out of nowhere and grabbed an offensive rebound and then dumped it off to Young who drove to the basket for a layup. Emery then stole a pass at the top of the key and took it himself for an easy bucket. After a Harrison basket, Broadus took over, scoring 11 of BYU's next 15 points during a 15-4 run that gave the Cougars a 16-point lead at 22-6, its biggest lead of the half. Broadus hit three treys and two free throws during the run, and Plaisted added the other four BYU points. Leading 31-17 with less than nine minutes to go in the half, the Cougars went cold and the Rams caught fire. Colorado State outscored BYU 17-6 to get within three at the half at 37-34. Cory Lewis scored five points during the run, including a three with 10 seconds left in the first period. The Cougars built their lead in the first half behind hot shooting from behind the arc, hitting 7-of-10 in the first period. Broadus was 3-for-4, and Balderson hit both of his attempts. BYU had no trouble regaining the momentum in the second half, scoring the first 11 points to push the lead back to double-digits at 48-34. Reichner scored four during the run, including two free throws following a technical foul on Colorado State coach Dave Layer. A bucket by Lewis stopped the run, but the Cougars added six unanswered to increase the lead to a game-high 18 at 56-34. The Rams made two runs late in the game, including a 12-3 spurt that cut BYU's lead to nine at 67-58 and a 7-0 run that made the score 73-67, but it was not enough as the Cougars held on for the win.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "We tried to keep Trent (Plaisted) out of foul trouble and keep him out on the floor because when he's out on the floor, things seem to run a lot smoother."
-- "Our effort was good all night. We stayed focused, especially at the start of the two halves."
-- "Colorado State is a good team, They're playing well right now. They ran some good sets. We were just up to the challenge."
Colorado State Head Coach Dale Layer
-- "BYU is a good team with great confidence. They made shots and were more aggressive than us, and that put us in a hole we couldn't get out of."
-- "Every time we would make a run BYU would hit big three-pointers. You can't beat a team on their home floor when they make 11-of-19 from the arc."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST YEAR AT BYU
-- Individual Career Highs: Fernando Malaman -- 4 steals.
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Most Three-Pointers Made -- 11 (tied); Most First-Half Three-Pointers Made -- 7; Highest First-Half Three-Point Field Goal Percentage - .700 (7-for-10); Highest Free-Throw Percentage in a Half -- 1.000 (tied).
-- The Cougars' win over CSU moves them into a tie for second place in the Mountain West Conference with Air Force at 11-4 record. BYU was picked to finish last in the league in the preseason media poll. At 19-7 overall, the Cougars are one win away from achieving their 29th 20-win season.
-- With the victory over Colorado State, the Cougars have now won nine of their last 10 games and the last five straight.
-- The Cougars have also won their last 13 games in the Marriott Center.
-- BYU is now 14-0 when leading at the half, 17-0 when leading with five minutes remaining in the game, 18-0 when leading with one minute remaining and 11-0 when holding opponents under 70 points.
-- BYU's last win in March came on March 11, 2004, a 79-74 victory over Wyoming in the first round of the Mountain West Conference Tournament.
-- The Cougars led wire to wire against Colorado State, marking the first time in league play that BYU did not trail in a game. The Cougars never trailed in five nonconference games (at Washington State, vs. Lamar, Northern Kentucky, Eastern Washington, Tulsa).
-- BYU's seven first-half three-pointers are tied for being the most made by BYU in a half in league play (seven at New Mexico, second half) and are second overall (nine at Utah State, second half) in addition to being the most made by the Cougars in a first half this season. BYU's .700 first-half three-point field goal percentage is its highest in a first half this year and the third highest overall this season (.800 vs. San Diego State, second half; .750 at Utah State, second half).
-- The Cougars' .762 (16-for-21) free-throw percentage marks the first time since Feb. 8 at Utah that BYU has shot over 70 percent from the line.
-- BYU's 1.000 (6-for-6) free-throw percentage in the first half marks the fourth time this season that the Cougars have been perfect from the line in a half (14-for-14 vs. Lamar, 8-for-8 vs. TCU, 8-for-8 at UNM).
-- Fernando Malaman's three-pointer at the 14:08 mark of the second half gave the Cougars their largest lead in conference play this season at 18 points (54-36). The bucket capped a 17-2 BYU run to open the second half.
-- BYU's 11-0 run to begin the second half is its largest run since an 11-0 spurt on Jan. 28 at Colorado State. The Cougars had gone seven games without a 10-0 run.
-- With 10 points against CSU, Trent Plaisted has now scored in double figures in the last 12 games and 13 of 15 conference games.
-- Rashaun Broadus' 11 first-half points marks just the second time this season he has scored in double figures in the first half (10 vs. Utah).
- Jimmy Balderson has scored in double figures in nine of the last 10 games, all BYU wins. He has been a perfect 6-for-6 from three-point range in the last three games.
BYU's LAST OUTING -- COUGARS WIN AGAIN AGAINST LOBOS
PROVO -- The BYU Cougars improved on their home court winning streak by beating the New Mexico Lobos, 96-83, on Wednesday in front of a Marriott Center crowd of 11,112. The Cougars are currently tied for the nation's longest home winning streak. This was also BYU's seventh straight victory beginning with a victory at New Mexico on Jan. 24th. The Cougars improved to 20-6 overall and 10-2 in Mountain West Conference play. Five Cougars scored in double figures, led by Keena Young with 23 points, Austin Ainge with 15 points, Trent Plaisted with 14 points, Jimmy Balderson with 13 points and Mike Rose with 12 points. Young, the MWC Co-Player of the Week, started strong, scoring six of BYU's first eight points. Plaisted recorded his first block of the game with the score tied at 10-10. He went on to go one-for-two from the charity strip, with just under 15 minutes to play. With 13:48 left in the first half Balderson and Ainge hit back-to-back three-pointers giving the Cougars a 17-10 lead before New Mexico's Kellen Walter got one of his own. Ainge recorded his first block of the season with BYU leading 25-19. With just under 10 minutes to play in the first half, Young scored his 10th point of the game, marking the 22nd time he has scored in double figures this season.Rose made his first points of the game from behind the arc with 6:18 to play in the half. After a trip to the free-throw line for the Lobos and a three-pointer from Jamaal Smith, BYU still led 34-28. Rose hit his second three of the night with 4:53 to play in the first half. Less than a minute later, his third three-pointer went down. A jumper by Young with 1:28 to play in the first half brought the score to 47-36. Going into the half the Cougars led 51-41. BYU began the second half with a three-pointer by Ainge, his third of the game. A one-handed dunk by J.R. Giddens brought the Lobos to within nine with 18:03 to play in the second half. With just over 15 minutes to play in the second half, New Mexico's Walter scored his team's ninth three-pointer of the game. The Lobos went on an 8-0 run before Plaisted capitalized on a three-point play and a dunk on the ensuing drive, giving the Cougars a 10-point lead. A pass from Lee Cummard resulted in a fast break lay-up by Sam Burgess with 10:14 to play in the game. Young went 1-for-2 from the free-throw line to put the Cougars up by 13. Cummard made his first bucket from behind the arc with 8:30 left in the second half, soon followed by his first blocked shot of the game. Young secured the rebound off of Plaisted's missed free throw to give the Cougars two points with under five minutes to play in the game. BYU's 20-point lead, the largest of the game, came with 4:20 on the clock. A saved turnover by Jonathan Tavernari resulted in a lay-up by Burgess. Giddens led New Mexico with 19 points, and Chad Toppert led the team with six rebounds. The Lobos had a .538 three-point shooting percentage, and each player who received playing time scored.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "We did a good job attacking the ball, adjusting to the defenses they threw at us and sharing the ball. That was the key to the win tonight."
-- "It's a good team win against a tough team. They all seem like big accomplishments to us."
-- "I thought we got good balance tonight, especially scoring with five guys in double figures."
New Mexico Head Coach Ritchie McKay
-- "I wasn't pleased with the way we defended. I wanted to see if we could wear them out and destroy their rhythm. It didn't work."
-- "You will be hard pressed to find another team like this. That team doesn't have many weaknesses if any. I have a lot of respect for their program. I like their chances (at the MWC Tournament)."
-- "I have a lot of respect for Keena (Young). He is a good player."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Individual Career Highs: Austin Ainge -- 1 block (tied); Keena Young -- 11 field goals made (tied).
-- Individual Season Highs: Mike Rose -- 3 assists (tied).
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Most points against Div. I - 96; Most first-half points -- 51 (tied -- also vs. Western Oregon); Most points in the paint -- 58; Fewest turnovers -- 7 (tied).
-- The 23 combined three-pointers made (9 by BYU, 14 by UNM) are second most in the Marriott Center.
-- BYU's win over New Mexico extended its home winning streak to 29 games, which is currently tied for the longest active home victory streak in the nation. The Cougars are 15-0 at home this season and 401-116 (.776) all-time in the Marriott Center.
-- With the win, BYU improved to 20-6 overall, the 30th 20-win season in program history. BYU head coach Dave Rose became the fourth Cougar head coach to win 20 games in each of his first two years (BYU finished 20-9 last season in Rose's first season at the helm, also recording the 20th win at home against New Mexico). However, Rose is the first Cougar head coach to win 20 games in each of his first two years after taking over a program with less than 13 wins the prior year. BYU was 9-21 in 2004-05 before Rose turned the program into the second-most improved team in the nation last year.
-- BYU has now won its last seven straight games, tying its longest winning streak of the season.
-- The Cougars have shot above 50 percent in seven of their last eight games overall, including a .559 (38-for-68) mark against the Lobos.
-- BYU is now 19-3 when scoring at least 70 points and 5-6 when allowing opponents to reach the 70-point threshold. The Cougars have scored at least 80 points 10 times this season, going 10-0 in those games.
-- With a 41-27 rebounding advantage against the Lobos, the Cougars are now 19-0 when winning the battle of the boards, including a double-digit advantage eight times.
-- Three-pointers have been key to the Cougars' success off the bench as Mike Rose has hit at least three from long range in five games this season including four against the Lobos. Austin Ainge has come off the bench and drained three shots from downtown twice, Jonathan Tavernari has done it three times and Sam Burgess has done it twice.
-- With a 51-41 advantage at the break, the Cougars enjoyed their 20th halftime lead of the season and their 10th in double figures. BYU's 51-point first half tied its highest first-half scoring output of the year (also vs. Western Oregon). Overall, the Cougars are 18-2 when leading at the break.
-- Five Cougars scored in double figures against New Mexico, led by Keena Young's 23 points. BYU is 9-2 when led by Young and 3-0 when five players score in double figures. The Cougars are also 17-5 when Young scores in double figures, 7-1 when Austin Ainge scores in double digits (15 points), 8-3 when Jimmy Balderson reaches double digits (13 points), 13-3 when Trent Plaisted scores in double figures (14 points) and 4-2 when Mike Rose reaches double digits (12 points).
-- With 23 points against New Mexico, Young has now scored in double figures in 22 of 26 games this season including eight outings -- and four of the last five -- with at least 20 points. BYU is 17-5 when he scores in double figures. His 12 points before halftime marked the sixth time this year he has reached double digits before the break, including the last three straight games.
BYU ENTERS NATIONAL RANKINGS
BYU entered the national rankings this week for the first time since 1993. The Cougars are ranked No. 21 in the AP Top 25 Poll and No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll. BYU was last ranked in the top 25 on March 8, 1993 when the Cougars were No. 25 in the AP Poll. BYU's No. 21 ranking equals its highest ranking achieved during the 1992-93 season. BYU was ranked as high as No. 2 (UPI) and No. 4 (AP) in the 1987-88 season. BYU has been nationally ranked in the AP Poll during 15 seasons starting in 1950-51 when the Cougars won the national title as NIT Champions (unable to determine other seasons when BYU could also have been ranked in other polls due to incomplete in-season historical listings). Three BYU opponents appear in this week's polls as UCLA is ranked No. 4 in both polls, Air Force is ranked No. 13 (ESPN/USA Today) and No. 14 (AP) and UNLV is listed 34th (ESPN/USA Today) and 36th (AP).
2. Ohio St
5. N. Carolina
8. Texas A&M
9. Wash. St
13. So. Illinois
14. Air Force
22. W. Virginia
1. Ohio St
5. N. Carolina
9. Texas A&M
11. Wash. St
13. Air Force
14. So. Illinois
18. W. Virginia
23. Notre Dame
SEASONS BYU HAS BEEN RANKED
IN THE AP POLL*
SEASON HIGHEST RANKING
1987-88 4 (No. 2 UPI)
*BYU was ranked 14th in final 1957 UPI Poll but was unranked in AP. Additional rankings in other polls are unable to be determined due to incomplete historical in-season listings.
COUGAR START AMONG THE TOP IN SCHOOL HISTORY
BYU has a 20-6 record through 26 games this year. In the 105-year history of BYU men's basketball, only six teams of the 62 that played at least 26 games during a season earned a better record than this year's Cougar squad (noting that 43 teams did not total 26 games during the season, including the 20-5 NIT Championship team in 1965-66). Six other BYU teams have equaled the current Cougars' 20-6 start. If the Cougars can win their game Wednesday against Colorado State, they would own a 27-game record that has been topped by only four other BYU squads and equaled by four others.
THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN
With a 10-2 Mountain West Conference record, the Cougars are alone in first place in the second half of MWC play for the first time since the formation of the league prior to the 1999-2000 season. Before this year, BYU was last tied for first in 2003 when the Cougars ended the season with a win to tie for first place with Utah at 11-3. BYU also tied for first in 2001. The Cougars were 8-4 in conference action last season through 12 games while winning their final six MWC contests to finish in a tie for second place at 12-4.
COACH ROSE OWNS TOP MWC MARK IN HIS TWO SEASONS
With a 22-6 record in Mountain West Conference games since taking the helm of the BYU program for the 2005-06 season, Dave Rose is currently the winningest MWC coach in league play in the past two years. With Air Force's win Saturday over Colorado State, fellow second-year coach Jeff Bzdelik is a half game behind Rose with a 22-7 conference record in his two seasons with the Falcons. In addition to a 10-2 league and 20-6 overall record this year, Rose was named the Mountain West Conference and USBWA District VIII Coach of the Year last season after coaching his team to a second-place MWC finish at 12-4 -- one game behind league-champion San Diego State -- while turning a 9-21 team into a 20-9 success that proved to be the second-best improvement among all Division I programs.
At 20-6 so far this season, BYU has achieved the program's 30th 20-win season, including two straight for Cougar head coach Dave Rose in his first two seasons at the helm. Last year, the Cougars finished 20-9. BYU has averaged 20 wins every 2.6 years (BYU has played 79 seasons in which it has played at least 20 games in a season). Rose became the fourth Cougar head coach to win 20 games in each of his first two years, joining G. Ott Romney, Stan Watts and Roger Reid. However, Rose is the first Cougar head coach to win 20 games in each of his first two years after taking over a program with less than 13 wins the prior year. BYU was 9-21 in 2004-05 before Rose turned the program into the second-most improved team in the nation last year. Both Watts and Reid achieved six 20-win seasons in their BYU coaching careers while Romney posted five and Rose's predecessor, Steve Cleveland, achieved four.
20-Win Seasons at BYU
Stan Watts had 6 seasons of 20 wins in 23 years of coaching
Roger Reid had 6 seasons of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
G. Ott Romney had 5 seasons of 20 wins in 9 years of coaching
Steve Cleveland had 4 seasons of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
Ladell Anderson had 3 season of 20 wins in 6 years of coaching
Frank Arnold had 3 seasons of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
Dave Rose has 2 seasons of 20 wins in 2 years of coaching
Floyd Millet had 1 season of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
CURRENT COUGARS COULD RANK AMONG BEST EVER IN REGULAR SEASON WINS
This year's BYU team is the 23rd Cougar squad to record its 20th win prior to the end of the regular season. With four games left in the regular season, this year's team still has a chance to equal the program-best total of 24 regular-season victories shared by three teams (1950-51, 1979-80, 1987-88). Only five BYU teams have reached 23 wins prior to postseason (with addition of 1929-30 and 1992-93).
REGULAR-SEASON BENCHMARKS FOR NCAA INVITES
Winning 20 or more games in the regular season has proven to be a significant indicator for receiving an invitation into the NCAA Tournament. Since the first NCAA Tournament in 1939, BYU has had 20 seasons with 20 regular-season wins, including this year's team. In the prior 19 seasons when this occurred, BYU earned a postseason invite each season, including 16 NCAA bids, three NIT berths (BYU played both NIT and NCAA in 1950-51) and one NAIB (1948-49) invite. In the modern era since the NCAA Tournament became the predominant championship over the NIT, BYU has had 14 seasons when it earned 20 or more wins during regular-season games (prior to starting the conference tournament). The Cougars have received an invite to play in the NCAA Tournament in 13 of those 14 seasons, with the lone exception being last year's 20-7 regular-season team that fell to 20-8 with a loss at the MWC Tournament before receiving an NIT invitation. BYU has reached 21 regular-season wins during 10 of those 14 seasons and has been invited to play in the NCAA Tournament on each occasion.
VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
The Cougars' victory over then-No. 25 UNLV marked the second consecutive BYU win over a ranked team in the Marriott Center, including a win over then-No. 13 Air Force the week before. Prior to that, BYU had not defeated a ranked opponent since beating then-No. 25 Oklahoma State 76-71 on Dec. 6, 2003 in Salt Lake City. BYU hadn't beaten a ranked team in the Marriott Center since Feb. 1, 1992 with an 80-63 win over No. 19 UTEP. With the matchup against the No. 25 Rebels, BYU has now faced four ranked teams this season, the only Mountain West Conference team to do so. The Cougars are 2-2 in those games with a 90-63 win over UNLV, a 61-52 win over Air Force, an 82-69 loss at then-No. 5 UCLA and a 76-61 neutral court loss against then-No. 25 Michigan State.
BYU has won four of its 12 MWC games this season by more than 20 points, including a +27 (90-63) margin of victory against UNLV on Feb. 3, a 21-point (70-49) win at New Mexico on Jan. 24, a 24-point (89-65) win over TCU on Jan. 10 and a 22-point victory (80-58) over San Diego State to open MWC play. The UNLV win marked BYU's largest margin of victory in MWC play since a 29-point win (82-53) on Jan. 17, 2004 against Colorado State. BYU has won just 10 games by 20 points or more in MWC play since the formation of the league prior to the 1999-2000 season.
BYU is the only MWC team that has not had a game decided by three points or less this season. The Cougars have had some close games, however, as three games have required overtime this year. BYU is 2-1 in overtime with an 86-77 loss at Lamar on Dec. 13 and an 84-78 win against Idaho State on Nov. 18 and a 73-69 victory at Weber State on Dec. 2. This is the first season since 2001-02 that BYU has played multiple extra period games in one year (BYU was 0-3 in overtime that season). The Cougars' loss at Lamar ended a five-game overtime winning streak dating back to March 14, 2003, an 86-80 setback against Colorado State at the MWC Tournament. BYU is 50-45 (.526) all-time when playing past regulation.
DEFENDING THE HOME COURT
With 29 straight wins in the Marriott Center, the Cougars currently own the nation's second-longest active home victory streak. BYU has won its first 15 home games this season after going 14-1 at home last year. BYU's last home loss was in last year's season opener against Loyola Marymount. BYU has since won 15 straight over nonconference opponents and has won 14 consecutive over MWC foes since losing its season finale in 2005 to UNLV. BYU is 401-116 (.776) all-time in the Marriott Center.
Active Homecourt Winning Streaks (through games played Feb. 17, 2007)
Wins Team This year Next home game
30 Air Force 13-0 Feb. 27 vs. BYU
29 BYU 15-0 Feb. 21 vs. Colorado State
27 Memphis 15-0 Feb. 22 vs. Rice
ON THE ROAD
BYU has now won four straight games on the road including wins at TCU (85-72), at New Mexico (70-49), at Utah (76-66) and at Wyoming (77-73). The Cougars' win in the Huntsman Center was their first since 1994. BYU is 5-5 on the road this year and 4-2 in conference play with a season-opening loss at then-No. 5 UCLA, a Nov. 29 setback at Boise State, an overtime win at Weber State, an overtime defeat at Lamar and league losses at UNLV and at CSU. With two road contests left, the Cougars have a chance to record a winning record away from the Marriott Center for the first time since going 6-5 on the road in 2002-03. The Cougars lost their only neutral court game so far this season with a loss against then-No. 25 Michigan State at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. BYU finished last year 6-8 away from home, including a 4-4 mark during MWC play.
BYU has won its last seven games overall with victories over New Mexico (twice), Air Force, Utah, UNLV, Wyoming and TCU, tying its longest victory streak of the year and ranking 11th nationally. The Cougars also won seven straight over Utah State, Western Oregon, Liberty, Oral Roberts, Seton Hall, San Diego State and TCU, putting together their longest winning streak of the Dave Rose era and their longest since winning nine straight games during the 2003-04 season. Before coming to an end with a loss at UNLV on Jan. 13, that streak was tied for the 12th-longest active victory streak in the nation.
TRUE BLUE FANS
BYU is averaging 10,911 fans this season, including the 23rd largest crowd in the history of the Marriott Center with 22,700 fans against then-No. 13 Air Force. BYU has consistently ranked among the national attendance leaders. The Cougars averaged 11,069 fans in 2005-06, outdrawing the regular-season conference champions of 27 out of 31 conferences as well as over half of the teams in the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big East and Southeastern Conferences and all but Arizona in the Pacific-10 Conference. BYU also averaged more fans than 12 of the 16 NCAA Sweet Sixteen participants, including all of the Final Four teams.
Coach Rose has used four different starting lineups this year. Sophomore Lee Cummard and senior Keena Young have started every game this season, while sophomore Trent Plaisted has missed just one start because of injury. Jimmy Balderson has made 23 starts. Rashaun Broadus started 11 of 15 games before being suspended for the season. Austin Ainge has started 18 games.
BYU ranks ninth nationally in three-point shooting. BYU set a school record with 15 three-pointers against UNLV on .682 (15-for-22) shooting from long range, the third time this season the Cougars have shot above .600 from downtown and the sixth time BYU has made a least 10 treys in a game. BYU has shot above 40 percent from behind the arc 13 times on the season, including seven of the last eight games. The Cougars lead the league in three-point percentage (.470) in MWC play. Cougar players rank first (Austin Ainge - .556) and second (Mike Rose - .492) in the league in three-point shooting percentage in MWC action. Rose tied the BYU individual record he set in 2003 with eight triples against UNLV.
BOUNCE BACK COUGARS
The Cougars have bounced back with wins after five of their six losses this season, including their current streak of seven wins after losing at Colorado State. After suffering its first back-to-back regular-season losses of the Dave Rose era with defeats vs. then-No. 25 Michigan State and at Lamar, BYU also responded with seven straight wins. Last year with its 20-9 overall record, BYU suffered consecutive defeats only once -- against Utah in the Mountain West Conference Tournament and at Houston in the NIT in the last two games of the year, having bounced back from each prior loss with a victory.
MAGIC NUMBER: 70
This year the Cougars are scoring an MWC-leading 78.3 points and allowing 68.0 points. BYU is 16-0 when opponents score less than 70 points and 4-6 when they score 70 or more. BYU is 19-3 when it scores 70 or more points (exception at Lamar, at UNLV and at CSU) and 1-3 when scoring less than 70. The Cougars are also 10-0 this season when scoring at least 80 points. With its current scoring average, BYU is on pace to have its highest scoring output since 1996 (82.3 ppg) and its highest scoring margin since 1992 (+10.6).
CLEANING THE GLASS
BYU is 19-0 this season when outrebounding its opponents and 1-6 when losing the battle of the boards. The Cougars lead the MWC in rebounding average (37.8) and rebounding margin (+5.9). BYU posted its largest margin of the season with a +22 (42-20) mark against then-No. 13 Air Force. Sophomore Trent Plaisted is fourth on the glass at 6.5 rpg while senior Keena Young is sixth at 6.3 rpg. The Cougars recorded back-to-back season-high efforts of 52 rebounds vs. Oral Roberts and 55 against Seton Hall in the BYU Holiday Classic. BYU outrebounded the Pirates 55-34 as four Cougars had nine or more rebounds (Cummard 12, Young, Plaisted and Ainge 9). Cummard and Ainge set new career highs.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR CALIBER - KEENA YOUNG
Senior forward Keena Young has proven to be one of the top players in the Mountain West Conference this season. A consistent scoring threat and solid all-around performer for the Cougars, he is currently second in the MWC in scoring (17.8) in league games while ranking eighth in field-goal percentage (.546) and ninth in free-throw percentage (.797). He has scored in double figures in 22 out of 26 games this year. He leads BYU in scoring (17.1), which ranks fourth among MWC players, and is second in rebounding (6.3), ranking sixth in the MWC. He is also seventh in the league in field-goal percentage (.555) and eighth in free-throw percentage (.805). The senior co-captain has led BYU in scoring 11 times and rebounding nine times, including his career-high 16-rebound performance vs. Oral Roberts for his fourth double-double of the season (21 points). He posted a career-high 29 points in each of his games against Wyoming this season (most since Dec. 6, 2003; Araujo - 32). He has scored at least 20 points in eight games, including four of the last five, averaging 21.4 ppg in those games.
VETERAN LEADERSHIP AT THE POINT - AUSTIN AINGE
Senior Austin Ainge is averaging a team-best 4.15 assists, fifth in the MWC, while ranking second in the conference with a 2.12 assist/turnover ratio behind teammate Lee Cummard. He is averaging 4.8 apg in league play (3rd) while leading the conference with .556 shooting from three-point range and a 2.42 assist/turnover ratio. Ainge scored 17 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the field, including 3-for-4 from three-point range, against then-No. 25 UNLV while adding four assists and four rebounds. He posted a season-high 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the field, including a 5-for-7 mark from three-point range, to go along with six assists against TCU. He totaled 16 points with a career-best nine rebounds off the bench against Seton Hall. His 14 points -- all in the second half -- against Boise State fueled BYU's furious comeback attempt. He has tied his career high with eight assists twice in the last five games (at UNM, at Utah).
DEFENSE, OFFENSE, DOING IT ALL - LEE CUMMARD
Sophomore Lee Cummard contributes across the box score and on the defensive end of the floor for BYU. On the year, Cummard averages 9.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.9 blocks while shooting .550 from the floor, .479 on threes and .769 from the line. He ranks among the top 15 in the MWC in eight statistical categories overall while pacing the league in assist/turnover ratio (2.17). In conference action, he is fifth in assist/turnover ratio, (1.73), fifth in shooting (.578), seventh in steals (1.67), tied for seventh in assists (3.17), eighth in blocks (1.42), tied for eighth in defensive rebounds (4.0), and 14th in rebounds (5.4). He has had at least one steal in 21 of 26 games, including a career-high 5 steals against UNLV, and his hit a three-pointer in 22 of 26 games, including a string of 13 straight. He guards the opponent's top perimeter player. Among his defensive highlights was excelling in the tough assignment to guard the MWC's all-time scoring leader and reigning MVP Brandon Heath of San Diego State. He held Heath to season-low-tying 13 points -- well below his MWC No. 2-ranked 20.3 scoring average entering the game -- helping end Heath's string of four straight games with 20 or more points. He held Wyoming's Brandon Ewing, the league's top scorer, to 8 points on 2-of-12 shooting and TCU's Brent Hackett to 6 points on 2-of-7 shooting, while Cummard averaged 13.0 ppg on 77 percent shooting, 6.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 3.0 bpk and 2.0 spg in those back-to-back road games. He also helped hold Utah State's leading shooter Jaycee Carroll, who ranked 22nd in the nation shooting .629, to just .308 shooting (4-for-13) and 7 points below his average.
SUPER SOPHOMORE - TRENT PLAISTED
Just one year removed from his Freshman All-American campaign, sophomore Trent Plaisted is once again contributing solid play for the Cougars. He is currently second on the team with 12.5 points per game on .561 shooting from the field, sixth in the MWC. He also paces BYU and is tied for fourth in the league with 6.5 rebounds per game while adding 1.35 blocks per game, eighth in the conference. Plaisted has scored in double figures in 16 games, helping the Cougars go 13-3 in those contests, while scoring at least 20 points in four outings. He has also reached double-digits on the boards in two games. posting two double-doubles on the year. He has led BYU in rebounds 10 times, scoring six times and assists twice. In league play, Plaisted is third in the MWC in field-goal percentage (.620), tied for eighth in rebounds (5.8), seventh in blocks (1.58) and 13th in scoring (13.8).
KEENA YOUNG NAMED MWC CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Feb 12)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- BYU senior Keena Young and UNLV senior Joel Anthony were named the Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Co-Players of the Week. This is the second weekly award of the season and career for Young, while Anthony garners his first ever weekly accolade. Young, a 6-6 forward from Beaumont, Texas, led the Cougars to conference road wins at Wyoming (77-73) and TCU (85-72), helping BYU take sole possession of first place in the MWC standings. At Wyoming, Young tied his career-high with 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field, leading all scorers. He scored 19 of his 29 points in the second half, as BYU earned its first road win of the season when trailing at halftime. He also grabbed six rebounds in 32 minutes of action. He followed with a game-high 25 points (8-for-13 from the field) to go along with six boards against the Horned Frogs. He also collected a steal, while shooting 9-of-11 (81.8 percent) from the charity stripe. For the week, Young averaged 27.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 66.7 percent from the floor (18-for-27).
TRENT PLAISTED NAMED MWC CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK (JAN 29)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- BYU sophomore Trent Plaisted and UNLV sophomore Wink Adams were named the MWC Co-Players of the Week. This is the second career weekly award for Plaisted, while Adams collects his first-ever weekly honor. Plaisted, a native of San Antonio, Texas, led BYU to a 2-0 conference record, including a road win at New Mexico (70-49) and an upset victory over No. 16 Air Force (61-52). At New Mexico, he scored 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field, while also grabbing four rebounds, dishing out three assists and blocking one shot. Against the 16th-ranked Falcons, Plaisted scored a game-high 22 points (9-for-12 from the field) with seven rebounds (six offensive). With 34 seconds remaining in the game and the Cougars up by three points, he knocked down two free throws to put the game away. On the week, Plaisted averaged 16.5 points on 77.8 percent shooting from the field (14-for-18), 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
YOUNG NAMED MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK (JAN 2)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- BYU senior Keena Young was named the MWC Player of the Week, marking his first career weekly honor. A 6-6 forward from Beaumont, Texas, Young was named tournament MVP at the BYU Holiday Classic as he led the Cougars to the title with victories over Liberty (73-59), Oral Roberts (72-62) and Seton Hall (77-68). He scored 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting against Liberty to open the Classic and followed with a career-high 16 rebounds to go along with 21 points scored versus Oral Roberts. Against the Golden Eagles, Young sank nine of his 13 shots from the floor, while his 16 rebounds is a team season-best. In the tournament finale against Seton Hall, he scored 18 of his season-high 26 points in the second half, helping BYU overcome an eight-point halftime deficit to claim the tournament crown. Young also added nine rebounds, a season-best tying three assists, while shooting 11-for-18 from the field and hitting all four of his free throw attempts. For the week, Young averaged 21.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 60.5 percent (26-for-43) from the field and 75.0 percent (12-for-16) from the charity stripe.
YOUNG NAMED BYU HOLIDAY CLASSIC MVP
After leading the Cougars to an undefeated 3-0 record in the BYU Holiday Classic, senior co-captain Keena Young was named the Holiday Classic Most Valuable Player. Young led the Cougars to the title with victories over Liberty (73-59), Oral Roberts (72-62) and Seton Hall (77-68). He scored 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting against Liberty to open the Classic and followed with a career-high and team season-best 16 rebounds to go along with 21 points versus Oral Roberts. In the tournament finale against Seton Hall, he scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half, helping BYU overcome an eight-point halftime deficit to claim the tournament crown. For the tournament, Young averaged 21.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 60.5 percent (26-for-43) from the field and 75.0 percent (12-for-16) from the charity stripe.
CUMMARD NAMED TO BYU HOLIDAY CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Lee Cummard was named to the BYU Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team after recording his first career double-double with career highs of 16 points and 12 rebounds in 34 minutes vs. Seton Hall. He was also 6-of-9 from the floor, 2-for-2 on threes and 2-for-2 from the line. He came one rebound away from the first double-double of his career against Oral Roberts with 13 points and a then career-high 9 rebounds to go along with 5 assists. Cummard also dished out 5 assists against Liberty to open the Classic while adding 6 rebounds, 5 points and 1 steal. He averaged 11.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists for the tournament while shooting .542 from the floor, .444 on threes and a perfect 4-for-4 from the line.
IT'S A TEAM GAME
BYU has shown balanced play in all aspects of the game this season as eight different Cougars have led the team in each of the three main statistical categories -- points, rebounds and assists -- in its 26 games. Keena Young has led BYU the most in scoring as he has paced the Cougars in 11 games. Trent Plaisted has captained the BYU rebounding effort, leading the team on the boards in 10 games. Austin Ainge is the Cougars' leading assist man with 16 games at the top of the assist category.
ROSE BECOMES EIGHTH COUGAR TO LEAD TEAM IN SCORING
Mike Rose became the eighth Cougar this year to lead the team in scoring during a game when he topped all scorers in BYU's win over then-No. 25 UNLV. Rose scored a career-high 27 points in 21 minutes off the bench to help BYU defeat the nationally ranked Rebels in the Marriott Center. He tied his own school record and equaled the season high by an MWC player this year (UNLV's Kevin Kruger) by making eight treys on 8-of-10 accuracy. His eighth triple also set a new BYU team record of 15 threes in a game.
On the year, BYU averages 37.0 points in the first half and 40.2 points in the second half (and adds another 1.1 to its overall scoring average with overtime points to total 78.3 ppg). BYU outscores its opponents by 5.9 points in the first half, 4.4 points in the second half and 10.3 points overall.
BYU scored more than 50 points in a half for the fourth time this year with its 51-point first half against New Mexico in the Cougars' last outing. BYU equaled its highest first-half production with the outburst, matching the 51 points it scored against Western Oregon. The Cougars also scored 51 points in the second half against Western Oregon to total a season-high 102 points for the game. BYU's top scoring half of the year was a 52-point tally in the second half against Wyoming. All four 50-plus point scoring totals have come at home in the Marriott Center. BYU has allowed a 50-point half just once this year when Colorado State outscored the Cougars 53-39 in the second half in Fort Collins to give BYU its last defeat, 90-78, on Jan. 20.
40 OR MORE
BYU has scored 40 or more points in the first half seven times and reached 40 points during the second half of 15 games.
SCORING ON THE ROAD
BYU's top scoring first half on the road this year is 41 points at TCU, followed by 39 points in the first 20 minutes at nationally ranked UCLA and at Colorado Sate. BYU's top scoring second half on the road is 46 points at Wyoming, followed by 44 points at TCU. BYU also topped 40 points in the second half at Boise State (43), at Lamar (42) and at Utah (42). BYU's largest overall output on the road is its 85 points at TCU, followed by 78 points at Colorado State and 76 at Utah.
LEADING/TRAILING AT THE BREAK
BYU has led at the half in 20 of the team's first 26 games, including a double-digit lead 10 times. The Cougars outscore their opponents by an average of 5.9 points in the first period of play. BYU's win over Seton Hall marked the first time the Cougars have won this year after trailing at the break. The second breakthrough after trailing at the break came at Wyoming. BYU's 82-69 loss at UCLA after leading 39-36 at the half marked the first time since the 2004-05 season that BYU has lost when leading at the half. BYU also lost at CSU after leading 39-37 at the break. The Cougars are 18-2 when leading at the half, 2-3 when trailing and 0-1 when tied this season.
Coming off a season-high 58 points in the paint against New Mexico (BYU outscored the Lobos 58-22 inside), BYU has now won the points-in-the-paint statistic in 15 games this year and the Cougars are a perfect 15-0 in those games. Including BYU's win over Idaho State when the Cougars and Bengals scored the same number of points inside, BYU is 16-0 when not getting outscored in the key. The Cougars have a 4-6 record when they are outproduced in the paint. Thanks to the inside play of Keena Young and Trent Plaisted, BYU is outscoring its opponents by 4.6 points inside on average.
CREATING SCORING OPPORTUNITIES
BYU is 15-1 when creating more points off of turnovers than its opponents. The lone loss in those games was vs. Michigan State when BYU held a 9-6 points-off-of-turnovers advantage. BYU on average is scoring 2.2 more points off of miscues than its opposition. BYU is averaging 13.3 turnovers to its opponents' 14.1.
BYU owns a 17-0 record when generating more second-chance points in a game this year. BYU is 2-5 when it doesn't and 1-1 when the two teams have equaled each other in the category. BYU averages 12.1 offensive rebounds to its opponents' combined 10.5 average and has scored 4.3 more points per game off the offensive glass. Trent Plaisted leads BYU with 2.8 offensive boards per game, followed by Keena Young (2.3).
With its uptempo philosphy, BYU has scored more fastbreak points than its opponents in 17 of 23 games and shared the same tally in four more. The Cougars are 15-2 when scoring more in transition (losses were back-to-back defeats vs. Michigan State and at Lamar) and 3-1 when tying the category. BYU is 2-3 when it has been outpaced on the break.
MOMENTUM OFF THE BENCH
Three-point shooting off the bench has often given BYU momentum this season. Several different Cougars have come off the bench and hit three or more treys in Cougar wins this year. Austin Ainge made three treys against Idaho State and Seton Hall while coming off the bench. Sam Burgess nailed three triples in a win over Portland. Jonathan Tavernari connected six times from long range against TCU and three times at Utah and against Western Oregon to help fuel BYU victories. Mike Rose tied his school record with eight bombs against then-No. 25 UNLV to allow BYU to pull away. He then added four threes at Wyoming for 12 more points off the bench and four threes against New Mexico. BYU's bench has outscored opposing reserves 632-467 this year, giving BYU 6.3 more points of production per game from its second unit. BYU's bench has outscored the opponent bench in 19 of 26 games, going 16-3 in those games.
BYU has enjoyed a double-digit lead in 18 of 23 games this year, including a 20-plus point advantage during nine of those games. The Cougars are 17-1 in games when they have led by 10 or more points with the lone loss being at UNLV where BYU led by 11 in the first half before falling. BYU has trailed by double figures in nine games, including a season-high deficit of 24 points at Boise State. The Cougars fought back and had a chance to win against the Broncos before losing by four points. BYU is 3-6 in games it has trailed by 10 or more points, coming back to gain wins over Oral Roberts, Seton Hall and Wyoming, BYU's largest deficit during its current seven-game victory streak has been six points vs. Air Force and at Wyoming. BYU has led the entire game in four contests (Portland, Southern Utah, Liberty and UNLV in Provo.)
BYU IN THE RPI
BYU is rated third among MWC teams in the most updated RPI ratings through Saturday's league games. BYU is ranked No. 19 and No. 20 nationally in the most recent ratings. As a league, the MWC is rated No. 8.
IN THE EIGHT YEARS OF THE MWC ...
-- BYU has had six 20-win seasons, leading all MWC schools. To date, Utah has had five, UNLV four, Air Force and Wyoming three, New Mexico and San Diego State two and Colorado State none.
-- BYU has had the league's top RPI three times, been second once and third on four occasions, including this year's current RPI ratings. The Cougars were third last year (67) behind Air Force (50) and San Diego State (56).
-- BYU has played the toughest schedule on average of any team in the MWC (BYU's average strength of schedule rating the first seven years the MWC was 66, followed by Utah at 78). So far this year, BYU's schedule ranks third behind Utah and UNLV. BYU had the league's toughest schedule in two of the previous three seasons.
-- BYU has the second-most overall wins (157, Utah leads at 164).
-- BYU is also second in conference wins (70, Utah has 73).
-- BYU has the second-most MWC regular-season titles (two) along with Wyoming (Utah leads with four).
-- BYU is one of six MWC teams to win the MWC Tournament title.
A tireless worker, gifted motivator and strong strategist, Dave Rose has guided BYU to consecutive 20-win seasons and the program's first national ranking since 1993 after succeeding Steve Cleveland as BYU Men's Basketball Head Coach on April 11, 2005. Rose has a .742 winning percentage as a college head coach (207-72), including a 20-6 mark this year, a 20-9 (.690) season in his first year at BYU and a 167-57 (.746) record in seven seasons at Dixie State College. Last year, BYU was the second-most improved team in the nation in 2005-06 under Rose and his coaching staff. The BYU coaching staff has more than 50 years of combined coaching experience and has playing experience in NCAA Final Fours, including a National Championship, and professionally. The BYU coaching staff has played with or coached 26 NBA players.