BYU (19-7, 8-3 MWC) plays New Mexico (10-15, 4-8 MWC) Monday at 7 p.m. MST. at The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M. The game is a SportsWest Productions telecast that will air on KSL-TV in Salt Lake City. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 and the Cougar Sports Network, beginning with a one-hour pregame show. KSL's Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Brian Santiago providing analysis. Live audio is available on the basketball page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com, and on KSL.com and via BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
The Cougars enter Monday's game in second place in the Mountain West Conference standings. Coming off its win at Air Force Saturday, BYU is 4-1 at home and 4-2 on the road in league play. The Lobos are in sixth place in the league race after defeating No. 22-ranked and MWC-leader Utah Saturday afternoon in The Pit. The Lobos are 4-2 at home in league play and 0-6 on the road.
UP NEXT FOR BYU
BYU returns home to play third-place Wyoming Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center. The game will be aired on KUWB-TV in Utah (SportsWest). After losing to San Diego State Saturday at Arena-Auditorium, the Cowboys are one-game behind the Cougars entering their Monday game against UNLV in Laramie. BYU concludes the regulars season on Saturday when it hosts Colorado State at 7 p.m. BYU will retire the jersey of Cougar great Danny Ainge at the game.
GAME #27 FAST FACTS (MWC GAME #12)
BYU (19-7, 8-3 MWC) @ NEW MEXICO (10-15, 4-8 MWC)
MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2003
THE PIT, BOB KING COURT
7:07 p.m. MST
BYU, Steve Cleveland (104-76 in sixth year; same overall)
UNM, Ritchie McKay (10-15 in first year; 93-104 in seventh year overall)
BYU leads, 63-47; Last: BYU won 80-64 in Provo on Feb. 1, 2003
SportsWest Productions (KSL-TV in Utah; KRQE in Albuquerque)
Satellite: BIRD AM2 TRANSPONDER C-11
Play-by-Play: Dave McCann
Game Analyst: Craig Hislop
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time: 6 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Brian Santiago
Live audio links are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2002-03 schedule) and on KSL.com and byuradio.org or via BYU Radio on Dish Network.
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 195 Jr. 13.5 3.8
F 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 250 So. 8.0 3.5
C 55 Rafael Araujo 6-11 265 Jr. 17.7 8.6
G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Sr. 16.1 4.8 2.6 apg
G 24 Kevin Woodberry 6-0 170 Jr. 5.9 2.2 2.3 apg
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 14 Ricky Bower 6-4 185 Jr. 6.0 1.5
F 5 Jake Shoff 6-9 265 Jr. 2.5 2.5
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 So. 2.3 1.7 2.1 apg
F 15 John Allen 6-7 215 So. 3.0 1.5
G 12 Marc Roberts 6-3 205 So. 2.1 1.3
G 4 Luiz Lemes 6-3 180 Jr. 1.5 0.8
C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 Jr. 1.3 0.7
F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 Jr. 1.2 0.9
NEW MEXICO LOBOS
The New Mexico Lobos complete their home season Monday in New Mexico's 650th game in The Pit. It will also be the final appearance for the Lobos' two seniors, Ruben Douglas and Senque Carey. Both will be recognized prior to the game. Douglas, who was named to UNM's all-time team on Saturday, leads the nation in scoring, averaging 28.9 ppg. Carey has been out since Nov. 25 after suffering a spinal cord injury. New Mexico is 10-15 overall and 4-8 in the MWC after Saturday's 76-69 upset win over 22nd-ranked Utah. The victory snapped the Utes' MWC record nine-game conference winning streak. UNM is in sixth place in the league. The last time UNM beat both Utah and BYU and home in the same season was 1999-2000. UNM is down to nine players, seven on scholarship plus two walk-ons, after sophomore Michael McCowan left the team last Wednesday. After 39 points and a career-high 14 rebounds against Utah, UNM senior guard Ruben Douglas continues to lead the nation in scoring at 28.9 ppg through games of March 1. An NABC all-district 13 selection, Douglas is averaging a hefty 33.9 points in 12 MWC outings. Douglas hit 26 of 31 FTs against the Utes - both school and conference records. In the national scoring race, Eastern Illinois' Henry Domercant has moved into second place at 27.75 ppg after scoring 46 points against Tennessee Tech. The Panthers open Ohio Valley Conference Tournament play on Tuesday. The nation's No. 3 scorer is Mike Helms, a 6-0 junior from Oakland University, at 27.55 a game. The Golden Grizzlies next game is March 9 in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament in Kansas City. The Lobos' 19-year run of consecutive non-losing seasons is in jeopardy. UNM's last sub-.500 record was 14-15 in 1982-83.
LOBOS COMING OFF WIN OVER NO. 22 UTAH
Ruben Douglas scored 39 points and shattered single-game school records for free throws made and attempted as the Lobos upended No. 22 Utah 76-69, in The Pit, snapping the Utes' MWC-record nine-game conference winning streak. Douglas sank 26 of 31 FTs, including nine of 10 in the final 1:22, as Utah sent New Mexico to the line 26 times in the final five minutes. UNM earned its first victory over a ranked team since defeating the 21st-ranked Utes 72-65, on Feb. 19, 2000 in The Pit. The Lobos had dropped their last three games versus ranked opposition. New Mexico is now 7-3 against ranked Utah teams coached by Rick Majerus in The Pit. The Lobos led for all but the first 6:55 of the game. The Lobos were 40-53 from the line while Utah was 7-7. Utah attempted 67 shots, 40 of which were threes.
NEW MEXICO'S PROBABLE STARTERS
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG LAST GAME
C 13 David Chiotti 6-9 250 Fr-HS 3.7 4.1 7 pts, 6 rebs vs. Utah
G 00 Mark Walters 6-2 195 Fr-RS 8.5 5.4 7 pts, 5 rebs vs. Utah
G 5 Ruben Douglas 6-5 200 Sr-2L 28.9 6.6 29 pts, 14 rebs. vs. Utah
G 11 Javin Tindall 5-11 175 Jr-Tr 9.0 1.6 15 pts, 2 assts vs. Utah
G 12 Ryan Ashcraft 6-2 175 Jr-2L 3.5 1.9 4 pts, 3 steals vs. Utah
This will be the 111th game in the series that started in the 1949-50 season. BYU has won the last two games in the series since its loss last year in The Pit. BYU last won in Albuquerque in 2001 when the Cougars swept the UNM-AFA swing to finish the regular season in a three-way tie for first place along with Utah and Wyoming. The Cougars are 21-31 in Albuquerque. BYU has won six of the last seven games in the series after New Mexico had won 8 of the prior 9 contests. BYU had a string of four straight wins come to an end with UNM's victory at The Pit last January. The Lobos had their own four-game streak in the series prior to BYU's. New Mexico's last win in Provo was a 78-74 win in 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 this year by Utah. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 7-6 vs. the Lobos.
COUGARS, LOBOS SET MARRIOTT CENTER THREE-POINT RECORD
BYU and New Mexico combined on Feb. 1 to set a new Marriott Center record with 23 treys made in a game, topping the 22 treys of LaSalle and BYU in 1992. The Cougars made 11 triples while UNM made 12 to set the new Marriott Center mark.
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 63-47
BYU Record in Provo: 42-16
BYU Record in Albuquerque: 21-31
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 3-3
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 7-6
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
LAST MEETING -- FOUR COUGARS REACH DOUBLE FIGURES IN WIN
PROVO -- Four Cougars scored in double figures as BYU beat the University of New Mexico Lobos 80-64 Saturday at the Marriott Center, despite 39 points form Lobo guard Ruben Douglas. BYU improves to 14-5 on the season and 3-1 in MWC play. The Lobos drop to 1-4 in conference games and 7-11 overall. Travis Hansen led BYU with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Mark Bigelow and Ricky Bower each connected on four three-pointers. Bigelow finished the game with 15 points and Bower added 14. Jared Jensen chipped in 15 and carried most of the load in the paint for BYU. Jensen was also perfect 5-for-5 from the line. The two teams combined to set a new Marriott Center record of 23 three-pointers made. For the Lobos, most of those came from senior Ruben Douglas who hit seven treys and was 14-of-17 from the line to go along with seven rebounds. Guards Mark Walters and Javin Tindall chipped in nine and eight points for the Lobos. Bigelow scored BYU's final eight points of the half to give the Cougars a 39-31 lead at the break. UNM's zone defense shut down the middle, holding BYU center Rafael Araujo scoreless in the first half. Araujo finished the game with just three points. Douglas and Walters scored 29 of the Lobos 31 first-half points. Douglas had 22 at the intermission including 5 threes. New Mexico cut the deficit to six early in the second half, but, following a timeout, BYU went on a 9-0 run to gain a 15-point lead. The run was sparked by two treys from Bower. The Lobos fought back, cutting the lead to nine, 71-62, with 3:47 to play on two free throws by Douglas. Following another timeout, the Cougars went on another 9-0 run highlighted by a breakaway jam by Hansen. The dunk extended the BYU lead to 18 at 80-62, with just over one minute left. BYU out-shot New Mexico 49.1 percent to 39.6 percent and out-rebounded the Lobos 38 to 26.
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE FIRST MEETING THIS YEAR ...
"We tried a lot of things on Ruben but they didn't work. In the second half, when we made our run, we doubled him and he missed a few. He may be the best player in our league."
WHAT UNM COACH RITCHIE MCKAY HAD TO SAY AFTER THE FIRST MEETING THIS YEAR ...
"This was the best team we've played all year. There is not an offensive weakness out there--at least not that I could see."
LAST YEAR AT UNM - BIG LOBO SECOND HALF TOO MUCH FOR BYU
ALBUQUERQUE -- BYU fell 73-58 to New Mexico at The Pit Saturday. The Cougars took a one-point lead into the locker room at the half but were outscored 42-26 to lose the game by 15, their worst loss of the season. BYU (12-4, 2-1) fell victim to a hot-shooting New Mexico team that made 53 percent from the field for the game. The Lobos (12-4, 2-0) got solid contributions from their guards, with Ruben Douglas, Eric Chatfield and Tim Lightfoot each scoring 13 points in the contest. A bright spot for the Cougars continues to be Jared Jensen, who had a game-high 15 points in 24 minutes of play. Jensen got little help from the outside, however, as BYU struggled from the floor. BYU was 24-for-54 from the floor and made only 3-of-13 three-pointers. Mark Bigelow failed to extend his BYU record of 22 consecutive games with a three-pointer. Bigelow also ended his string of 14 straight games in double figures. He was 2-7 with four points, a season low. "It was tough," said Jensen. "Obviously, we're disappointed a little bit but we still have unity, we're still going to go out and compete. We've got to keep this thing rolling." The Cougars came out aggressive and sharp in the first half, going toe-to-toe with the sharp-shooting Lobos. Cougar forward Eric Nielsen was 2-2 from beyond the arc, equaling the career-best effort he had against Stanford this season. He finished the game with 10 points, his fifth straight game in double figures. Travis Hansen had six early points, including an authoritative one-handed dunk over Lobo center Chad Bell. But Hansen - like the rest of the Cougars - cooled off in the second half, not scoring again until 6:47 remained in the game. New Mexico went on a 12-2 run to start the second half, going up 43-34 and never looking back. The hot-shooting Lobos shot nearly 60 percent in the second half, compared to BYU's 41 percent. Free throws also plagued the Cougars as they only shot 58 percent from the line on 7-for-12 shooting, their worst effort since Jan. 13, 2001, when they shot 50 percent against SDSU. BYU guard Daniel Bobik, however, pushed his free throw streak to 24 on 2-for-2 shooting, passing Hansen's previous season high of 23. Senior guard Matt Montague dished out 11 assists, his fourth double-digit assist game this year and second-highest total behind the career-high 15 assists he had against the University of Idaho. He also grabbed six boards to lead the team in rebounding for the second time in the last three games.
WHAT COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AT NEW MEXICO LAST YEAR ...
"They made shots tonight, even when they were contested. Offensively, they had good balance. We competed with a lot more energy in the first half than in the second. Part of making plays is making shots when the game is on the line."
BYU'S LAST OUTING -- ARAUJO DOMINANT IN WIN OVER FALCONS
COLORADO SPRINGS -- Air Force didn't have an answer for Rafael Araujo as he scored a career-high 31 points, on a blistering 81 percent shooting, in leading BYU to a decisive 56-43 win at Clune Arena Saturday. The win improves the Cougars to 19-7 overall and 8-3 in the Mountain West Conference, while the loss drops the Falcons to 11-14, 2-10. BYU shot an economical 56 percent from the field on 34 attempts and also shot 73 percent from the line. While BYU's overall team effort was apparent, it was Araujo's night to shine. Playing in front of Brazilian National Team coaches, Araujo shot 13-for-16 in utilizing his repertoire of shots including scoop and fade-away shots with a heavy dose of hook shots to keep the Cougars ahead of he Falcons for most of game. A force from the onset, the Cougars constantly fed Araujo in the post and he kept answering, as the Falcons had no match for his size and skill. Araujo was also active on the defensive end as he recorded four steals in the first half and set a career high with five steals in the game. On the day he also ended with nine rebounds, while picking up only one personal foul.A hot shooting team to start, BYU extended its early lead to nine after a 3-pointer out of the left corner by Mark Bigelow at the 11:47 mark, to make the game 18-9. Air Force couldn't sustain any offensive consistency and labored in attempting to cut into the Cougar lead for most of the first half. The Falcons managed to get to within four at 26-22 as Antoine Hood made a runner cutting across the lane seconds before the half. The Falcons, who dropped to 8-3 at home this season, struggled with their perimeter play and didn't make their first field of the second half until the 15:35 mark. Air Force also missed nine straight 3-point attempts in a 23:08 span bridging the first and second half until Joel Gerlach drained a trey at the 7:44 mark of the second half to narrow the BYU lead to 43-34. Travis Hansen provided a critical basket in making his only field goal of the game, with a fading floater in the lane, at the 6:10 mark to push the BYU lead back into double digits (45-34) and stem a Falcon rally. The Cougars went back to Araujo down the stretch as his continued relentlessness went seemingly unchecked. At the 4:08 mark he received a pass in the left post and spun away from a double team to his right, making a scoop shot along the baseline while being fouled. Araujo made the free throw to give the Cougars a commanding 48-36 lead. The Falcons would cut into the lead and pare it down to seven on several occasions, but Araujo sealed the game as he made a layup to beat the shot clock at the 1:27 mark. Bigelow was the only other Cougar with double-digit points as he had 12 on 4-for-6 shooting. As a team the Cougars also outrebounded the Falcons 29-19. Air Force is ranked No. 20 nationally in 3-point shooting percentage, but in the two games against the Cougars in 2003, the Falcons were 9-for-53 (14.5 percent) from behind the arc. The Falcons shot 55 percent (8-for-15) in the first half, but the Cougars stepped up defensively in the second half, holding Air Force to 28 percent shooting. For the game the Falcons shot 39 percent on 14-for-36 shooting. Gerlach led Air Force with 10 points, including two 3-pointers. With the combination of Wyoming's loss to San Diego and Utah's loss to New Mexico Saturday, BYU is in sole possession of second place in the MWC, one game behind the first-place Utes. "It'll take a great effort Monday, but if we continue to play hard we'll have a great opportunity to win there," Cleveland said.
Led by senior guard Travis Hansen, junior swingman Mark Bigelow and junior center Rafael Araujo, the Cougars (19-7) earned an 11-4 non-conference record and are in second place with at 8-3 behind Utah (9-2) in the MWC standings. Hansen leads the team in scoring (16.1) and assists (2.6) and is second in rebounding (4.8); Bigelow is second in scoring (13.5), third in rebounding (3.8) and the team's top three-point shooter (56-124); while Araujo is the third-leading scorer (11.7) and top rebounder (8.6). Sophomore forward Jared Jensen adds 8.0 points and 3.5 rebounds while JC transfer Kevin Woodberry starts at the point averaging 5.9 points and 2.3 assists. Coach Cleveland has more talent on the bench this year. Wisconsin transfer junior guard Ricky Bower leads the reserves, averaging 6.0 points and shooting 44 percent from behind the arc. The Cougars shoot .469 from the floor, .398 on threes (No. 6 nationally (.406) entering Saturday's game at AFA) and an MWC-best .746 from the line. BYU is among the top MWC defensive teams, allowing .405 shooting, including .306 on threes. BYU scores 71.8 ppg while allowing 63.3. BYU is 11-1 at home and 8-6 away, including a 3-1 neutral record and 5-5 road mark. Cleveland has used five starting lineups. Sophomore guard Marc Roberts came out of a possible redshirt season after 13 games, playing at Weber State. Freshmen guards Austin Ainge and Jermaine Odjegba will redshirt.
o Travis Hansen has scored in double figures a team-leading 24 times this year, including a string of 21 straight games that came to an end with his 8 points at AFA. The 21-game streak is the longest by a BYU player since the inception of the MWC. He has led BYU in scoring 14 times, including the seven of the last nine games. He scored only 8 but didn't force his game at AFA, taking only five shots, as Rafael Araujo was dominating inside.
o Mark Bigelow has a team-leading 56 threes. He has made multiple threes in 16 games this year.
o A solid defender, Kevin Woodberry has been more effective on the offensive end since returning to the starting lineup. In his first 14 starts prior to losing the job he shot .329, including .286 (16-56) on threes, and .514 on the line while averaging 6.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.4 apg and 1.4 spg. Starting again in the last six games he is shooting .400 (14-35), including .417 (10-24) on threes, while averaging 7.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.3 apg and 2.3 spg. His free throw shooting of .500 (4-8) has remained consistent to his prior performance, however.
o Jared Jensen played a career-low 5 minutes at AFA Saturday and did not attempt a field goal for the first time in his career. This year he has played a combined 17 minutes against Air Force, going 0-1 from the floor. Against UNM, he had 15 points in 26 minutes in the first outing. He has made 8 of his last 10 shots over the last three games.
o Rafael Araujo is coming off a career-best 31-point effort on 13-16 shooting at AFA Saturday, also adding 9 rebounds and a career-high 5 steals. He has a team-leading five double-doubles and is second in the MWC in rebouding (8.6).
BYU received votes in the polls released Feb. 24. In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, BYU was 32nd with 11 points while Utah was rated 23rd with 99 points. In the Associated Press Poll, BYU was also 32nd with 10 points while Utah was ranked No. 22 (334 points). Two other BYU opponents are in the top-25 of both polls. Oklahoma State was rated 16th (AP) and 17th (ESPN/USA Today) while Creighton was ranked 17th (AP) and 18th (ESPN/USA Today). Weber State was receiving votes in both polls (T33rd AP, 36th ESPN/USA Today). Wyoming received one point (T44th) in the AP Poll.
RPI AND SAGARIN RATINGS
BYU has the highest RPI ratings of any team not ranked in the top 25 polls. BYU had been the top-rated MWC team throughout the year in the Sagarin and RPI rankings until its loss at UNLV when Utah took over as the top-rated MWC team. However, after Saturday's results, BYU is now 25 in Sagarin while Utah is 16. In the RPI computed by CBS.Sportsline.com after Saturday's results, BYU has a No. 17 rating while Utah is No. 14. In the RPI compiled by Collegiate Basketball News through Thursday's results, BYU is 19th and Utah is No. 6.
COUGARS PLAY TOP MWC SCHEDULE, AMONG NATION'S TOUGHEST
BYU has achieved an 19-7 record playing the toughest schedule of any MWC team and among the tougest in the nation. BYU's schedule is rated seventh (prior to Saturday at AFA) by Collegiate Basketball News and the 21st toughest (after AFA) in the nation by CBS. Sportsline.com. The Sagarin Ratings rank BYU's schedule No. 48. After BYU, the next toughest MWC schedule belongs to Utah (17th by Collegiate Basketball News, 45th by CBS Sportsline.com and 73rd by Sagarin). This year's schedule features 17 games against teams who qualified for postseason play last year. Six teams earned a conference regular season or league tournament title. BYU's non-conference schedule included teams from 10 different conferences -- Pac-10, Big 12, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big West, Mid-American, Mid-Continent, Missouri Valley, West Coast and Western Athletic.
BYU is 18-1 this year when holding opponents below 70 points but 1-6 when the opposition reaches the 70-point mark. In the five-plus season Steve Cleveland has been BYU's coach, the Cougars are 85-16 (.842) 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 17-35 (.327) in those games during the Cleveland era.
AT THIS POINT ...
BYU is 8-3 in league with a 4-1 home record and a 4-2 road mark. BYU was 6-5 at this point last year. BYU also started 8-3 in 2001 entering three straight road games to finish the season. BYU fell to 8-4 after losing at Utah but then defeated New Mexico and Air Force on the road to earn a share of the regular season title at 10-4 with Wyoming and Utah. BYU was 5-6 at this point in 2000.
BYU ended two straight road losses with its win at AFA Saturday. BYU's longest winning streak of the year is the five straight victories it recorded to open this season, the longest overall streak since winning eight straight games last year in preseason. BYU has lost back-to-back games only once this year (vs. Oklahoma State and at Weber State).The Cougars have won 34 straight home games over a non-conference opponents. BYU had its nation-leading 44-game home victory streak come to an end vs. Utah this year. BYU has made a three-point shot in 205 consecutive games since going 0-9 in a 75-67 loss to CS Fullerton on Nov. 22, 1996. Travis Hansen had scored in double figures in 21 straight games until scoring 8 at AFA. His streak is the longest by a Cougar since the formation of the MWC.
SHOOTING, REBOUNDING SUCCESS
BYU has outshot 19 of 26 opponents this year (except USF, OSU, Weber State, Utah (twice), CSU, UNLV). BYU has outrebounded 16 opponents (except Creighton,USU, USCB, SDSU(twice), Utah (twice), CSU). BYU has shot 45 percent or better in 19 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 55.9 percent in its last game at AFA, the sixth time this year, and and second time on the road, that BYU has shot better than 50 percent. BYU shot a season-high 58.3 percent vs. Idaho State. BYU outboarded 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 six games, with all but one of those six games being at home (.550 vs. San Diego; .652 vs. AFA; .654 vs. Pepperdine; .657 at USF; .667 vs. Idaho State; and .692 vs. SDSU). Seven Cougars are shooting 72 percent or better from the line, with five topping 80 percent. John Allen made his first 19 straight until missing his last attempt vs. Utah (19-20), while Ricky Bower is shooting 88.5 percent (46-52). Mark Bigelow made 19 straight free throws until missing his second attempt vs. SDSU. He is making 81.8 percent overall, including an MWC-best .917 (33-36) in league games. BYU is shooting a MWC-leading 74.6 percent as a team.
FROM LONG RANGE
Five Cougars are making 43 percent or better on their three-point attempts. BYU entered Saturday's game at AFA ranked 6th in the nation as a team, shooting 40.2 percent on three-pointers. After shooting 20 percent at AFA, BYU is shooting .398 on threes. BYU is 12-1 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 15 opponents to 42 percent or lower shooting, and has held six opponents below 35 percent shooting, including holding Air Force to 21.6 percent in Provo, including 15.2 percent on threes. The Falcons came in ranked 8th in the nation in three-point shooting. BYU held the Falcons to .389 shooting, .200 on threes, in Clune Arena. 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 11 opponents this year to 60 points or less. BYU is 51-3 under Steve Cleveland when holding opponents below 60 points. BYU held Air Force to only 33 points in Provo, 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. The Falcons scored just 43 points at Clune Arena. BYU lost at UNLV because of its offensive struggles but the Cougars played well defensively, holding the MWC's top scoring team to 61 points on its own court on 40 percent shooting, including 25 percent on threes. On the year, BYU's defense yields a combined 63.3 points per game.
COMBO GUARD MICHAEL ROSE SIGNS WITH COUGARS
During the early signing period in November, BYU signed Michael Rose, a 6-foot-1 combo guard out of Spring Woods High School in Houston Texas. A four-year starter, Rose averaged 16.3 points, five rebounds and three assists playing shooting guard as a junior. A preseason All Greater Houston First Team selection, Rose is playing point guard his senior season. He earned first-team All-District 21 5A honors the past two seasons and was the team MVP in 2002. He helped his team to second-place District 21 finishes the past two years. In is first season, he was named District 21 Freshman of the Year. Rose has played four years on the Houston Hoops summer AAU team that also features top-five recruits Ndidi Eby and Kendrick Perkins. As the team's starting shooting guard, Rose averaged 14 points and helped the team earn a No. 1 national rating for much of the summer. Rose possesses a strong academic resume, ranking second in his class of 365 seniors. He was recruited by Houston, St. Louis, Utah State, Colorado State, Texas Christian, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Illinois. He is the nephew of BYU Associate Head Coach Dave Rose.
BYU ON THE ROAD
BYU is 5-5 on the road this year, including a 4-2 MWC record. Counting neutral court games, BYU is 8-6 away from the Marriott Center.
BYU ATTEMPTS SECOND MWC ROAD SWEEP OF THE SEASON
After defeating Air Force Saturday, BYU looks to sweep the AFA-UNM road trip for the first time since 2001 when the Cougars finished with two wins on the road swing to claim a share of the conference title. The Cougars are also looking to sweep two conference road trips this year with a win at UNM. BYU didn't play at SDSU (win) and UNLV (loss) in the traditional single-trip this season. 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.
BYU PLAYED MAJORITY OF NON-CONFERENCE GAMES AWAY FROM HOME
BYU played eight games away from home and seven in the Marriott Center during the non-conference schedule, earning an 11-4 overall record with a perfect 7-0 home mark and a 4-4 record away from Provo. Wyoming was the only Mountain West team to play as many road games during the preseason as BYU. The Cowboys were also the only MWC team to win more non-league games away from home, going 5-3. The Cougars earned their 4-4 record playing the toughest non-league schedule of any MWC team. Air Force played seven road games, going 3-4; Utah played six, going 3-3; SDSU, UNLV and CSU all played half as many road games as BYU, earning 3-1, 3-1 and 0-4 records, respectively. New Mexico played the fewest road games, going winless in three games away from The Pit.
BYU VS. ITS CONFERENCE PEERS
BYU was picked to finish fourth this year in the Mountain West Conference by the league's media members. BYU has a won 58.5 percent (426-302) of its games all-time vs. MWC opponents. As an overall athletic program, BYU has dominated the Mountain West in its first three seasons, winning 63 percent of all MWC titles, including the 2001 men's basketball championship.
CLEVELAND'S CONFERENCE RECORD
BYU coach Steve Cleveland has a 42-39 conference record (WAC/MWC). In MWC games only, Cleveland is 29-21 (.580).
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF BYU BASKETBALL
BYU is celebrating 100 years of basketball. Since the first season of BYU basketball in 1903, BYU has achieved a 1446-929 (.609) overall record with 21 different coaches at the helm. The combined efforts of these men have provided the Cougars with 80 winning seasons in 100 years. BYU has won 25 conference titles and made 28 postseason tournament appearances with 19 NCAA bids and nine NIT berths. The Cougars won the 1951 and 1966 NIT titles and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in 1981, highlighted by Danny Ainge's length-of-the-court dash to defeat Notre Dame at the buzzer. Ainge was named the nation's top player as the John Wooden Award and Eastman Award winner. Twenty-three players have received All-America recognition while NBA teams have selected a Cougar 41 times in its annual draft. BYU has the nation's 11th longest rivalry, dating back to 1909, against the University of Utah. BYU and Utah have the 10th longest rivalry in terms of games played with 233 contests. Utah leads the series for only the third time with its win this year, holding a two-game edge for the first time at 118-116. For more information on BYU's 100-year history, please consult the 2002-03 BYU media guide.
BYU AMONG TOP-40 All-TIME WINNINGEST BASKETBALL PROGRAMS
With its all-time record of 1446-929 (.609), BYU is the ranked 40th all-time in winning percentage among all Division I basketball programs. In terms of total wins, BYU is in the top 25. The Cougars have had 80 winning seasons in their 100-year basketball history and have made 28 postseason appearances, including 19 NCAA bids, and won 25 conference championships.
TRAVIS HANSEN EARNS NABC All-DISTRICT 13 FIRST TEAM HONORS
The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced Tuesday the NABC Division I All-District Teams recognizing the country's best men's collegiate basketball student-athletes. Selected and voted on by member coaches of the NABC, these student-athletes represent the finest basketball players across the country. The 150 student-athletes, from 15 districts, are now eligible for the NABC Division I All-American Team to be announced at the conclusion of the 2002-2003 NCAA men's basketball season. BYU senior guard Travis Hansen earned District 13 First Team honors, along with New Mexico's Ruben Douglas, Utah's Britton Johnsen, Weber State's Jermaine Boyette and Colorado State's Brian Greene. Second team members include Uche Nsonwu-Amadi and Donta Richardson of Wyoming, Tony Bland of San Diego State, Carl English of Hawaii and Kirk Snyder of Nevada. Hansen earns the honor for the first time. The last Cougar to earn first-team honors was Mekeli Wesley in 2001. BYU's Terrell Lyday was a second-team selection in 2001. Other MWC players earning NABC honors this year were UNLV's Marcus Banks (first team) and Dalron Johnson (second team), who were recognized out of District 15.
BYU TO RETIRE DANNY AINGE JERSEY SATURDAY AT BYU-CSU GAME
In a historic event, BYU will retire the uniform of former Cougar great Danny Ainge on March 8, 2003, during the final regular season home game against Colorado State. Ainge becomes the first BYU men's basketball player to have his jersey retired. "A tradition of retiring jerseys is long overdue at BYU," BYU Director of Men's Athletics Val Hale said. "We have had some incredible coaches and athletes represent this university in the past. It will be fun to be reminded of them each time we see their jerseys hanging from the rafters and the press box. This is one more step we are taking to try to bring the past and present together for the benefit of our fans and our former and current athletes." Many of Ainge's former coaches and teammates are expected to be in attendance at the game. During the ceremony, Ainge's No. 22 jersey will be hung from the Marriott Center rafters, where it will be on permanent display. To commemorate the event, the first 20,000 fans in attendance will receive a souvenir poster highlighting his accomplishments. Vintage Danny Ainge jerseys will also be for sale on the concourse level. Ainge's jersey, not his number, will be retired. Future players may still have the option to wear No. 22. The criteria considered to retire a jersey include the following:
HANSEN ACHIEVED SCORING MILESTONE MONDAY AT UTAH
Travis Hansen became BYU's 35th 1,000 point scorer with his first bucket at Utah Monday, despite an injury-shortened first season as a sophomore. Mark Bigelow became the 34th Cougar and only ninth junior to reach 1,000 career points earlier this year vs. Southern Utah. He is now 34th on the scoring list while Bigelow is tied for 17th.
BIGELOW SETS CAREER THREE-POINT RECORD AT SAN DIEGO STATE
Junior swingman Mark Bigelow equaled his career-best 5 triples in a game at San Diego State to surpass BYU assistant coach Andy Toolson (141) as BYU's career three-point leader. Bigelow now has 162 treys. Bigelow leads BYU with 53 threes this year while shooting a career-best 45 percent from long range. He has made a combined 42.4 percent (162-382) overall on threes.
ARAUJO NAMED MOUNTAIN WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK ON DEC. 30
BYU junior center Rafael Araujo was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Week on Dec. 30. It was Araujo's first player of the week honor of his career. Araujo, from Sao Paulo, Brazil (Arizona Western), averaged 20.5 points and 12 rebounds and shot 61.3 percent (19-of-31) from the field and averaged two steals per game. In the 84-72 loss at San Francisco, Araujo recorded his first Division I double-double with career-highs of 24 points and 17 rebounds in 28 minutes of action. He went 11-for-20 from the field (55 percent) and registered a career-high three steals. The 17 boards and 11field goals are both currently tied for the second-highest output by an MWC player this year. Araujo led the Cougars in scoring for the second straight game with 17 points on 8-of-11 field goals and seven boards in the 93-60 win over Southern Utah.
BYU EXTENDED NATION-BEST HOME STREAK TO 44 BEFORE ITS END BYU won a school-record 44 straight home games in the Marriott Center before losing to Utah, 79-75, on Jan. 25. The streak was the longest active streak in the country over part of last season and this season. BYU's last home loss prior to the steak starting was on Feb. 17, 2000 when New Mexico edged the Cougars 78-74. BYU defeated 18 straight MWC teams during the streak, which began with an 83-82 win over UNLV on Feb. 19, 2000. BYU continues its string of non-conference home wins. The Cougars have defeated 34 straight nonconference opponents in the Marriott Center since starting the streak with a 61-59 win over Utah State on Jan. 2, 1999. The last non-league foe to win in Provo was the California Bears, who edged BYU 71-70 on Dec. 19, 1998. BYU went 16-0 at home last season and was 15-0 the prior year. BYU has had a perfect home record seven seasons since the Marriott Center opened for the 1971-72 season. The past two years, however, marks the first time it has happened in back-to-back seasons. Last year's team tied the BYU single-season record with 16 home wins and was only the fourth Cougar squad to win more than 14 home games in a season. The 1987-88 Ladell Andersen squad went 16-2.
COUGARS HOLD FALCONS TO RECORD-LOW 10 POINT HALF IN PROVO
BYU held Air Force to a Marriott Center record 10 points in the first half on Feb. 3, 2003. It is the lowest total scored in any half at the Marriott Center. It also tied an Air Force school record for fewest points in a half.
BYU SETS SCHOOL THREE-POINT RECORD IN WIN OVER SUU
BYU set a new school record for three-pointers made in a game, going 14-24 (.583) vs. Southern Utah's match-up zone. Seven Cougars made a trey with six players' only field goals being triples.
COUGARS, LOBOS SET MARRIOTT CENTER THREE-POINT RECORD
BYU and New Mexico combined on Feb. 1 to set a new Marriott Center record with 23 treys made in a game, topping the 22 treys of LaSalle and BYU in 1992. The Cougars made 11 triples while UNM made 12 to set the new Marriott Center mark.