Senior Sam Burgess is averaging 11.8 points per game in the last six contests. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BYU GAME #33 FAST FACTS
NO. 23/24 BYU COUGARS -- #1 SEED (26-6, 14-2 MWC)
SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS -- #4 SEED (20-11, 9-7 MWC)
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thomas & Mack Center (18,500)
6:30 PT (7:30 p.m. MT)
CBS College Sports (Tom Hart, play-by-play; Steve Lappas, game analyst)
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (5:30 p.m. PT pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analyst)
Live audio and live stats links are available on the basketball schedule page at www.byucougars.com
No. 23/24 BYU Faces San DIego State in MWC Semifinals
No. 23/24 BYU (26-6, 14-2 MWC) will continue its run in the 2008 Phillips 66 Mountain West Conference Championship with a semifinal matchup against fourth-seeded San Diego State (20-11, 9-7 MWC) on Friday at 6:30 PT (7:30 p.m. MT) at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. BYU has won 14 of its last 15 games, including an 89-62 win over ninth-seeded Colorado State in the MWC Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday. Friday's game will be televised on CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV). The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM /1160 AM out of Salt Lake City and on the Internet at KSL.com beginning with the pregame show at 5:30 p.m. PT (6:30 MT).
If BYU wins, the Cougars will advance to the MWC Tournament Championship game on Saturday. The game will begin at 4 p.m. PT (5 p.m. MT) and be televised nationally on VERSUS.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
-- No. 23/24 BYU became the first MWC team to win two outright league titles with a 14-2 record in conference play. The Cougars also won the MWC crown outright last season.
-- BYU won its second straight league title with a one-game improvement over last year's 13-3 record, setting a league record with 14 conference victories. The Cougars also improved their margin from last season to this year, winning the title by two games over UNLV this year after just a one-game margin last season.
-- With a 25-6 overall regular-season record, the Cougars set a program record for regular-season victories.
-- BYU was 6-2 on the road in conference play, winning four straight between losses at UNLV and San Diego State. Overall, BYU is 8-4 in away games this season and 2-2 on a neutral floor. BYU's road victory marks in overall and league play tie MWC records.
-- Two-time MWC?Coach of the Year Dave Rose helped make BYU the second-most improved program in the nation in his first season with a 20-9 record and guided the Cougars to the outright MWC title and a top-25 ranking in his second campaign in Provo as the Cougars went 25-9 last season. With a 26-6 record this season, Rose helped BYU tie for the best 32-game mark in program history. The Cougars have also been nationally ranked in back-to-back seasons.
-- Junior Lee Cummard became BYU's fourth MWC Player of the Year in the nine-year history of the league as he earned Co-Player of the Year honors this season along with New Mexico's J.R. Giddens. Cummard and junior Trent Plaisted were named to the All-MWC First Team while sophomore Jonathan Tavernari earned third-team honors.
LOOKING AT SAN DIEGO STATE
The San Diego State Aztecs finished the regular season 19-11 overall on the year and 9-7 in Mountain West Conference play, making them the fourth seed. SDSU improved to 20-11 overall this year with a 53-49 win over Air Force in the MWC Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday. The Aztecs return three starters among eight letterwinners from last year's team that finished 22-11 overall and tied for third in the MWC with a 10-6 record. Junior forward Lorrenzo Wade leads the team with 15.1 points per game, seventh in the league, on 45.9 percent shooting from the field while adding 4.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Junior forward Ryan Amoroso paces the Aztecs with 6.7 rpg while adding 10.8 points per game, third on the team. True freshman Billy White has also come on strong lately for SDSU, earning MWC Freshman of the Year honors while posting 8.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per contests. The Aztecs have gotten solid production from true freshman D.J. Gay, who has started 24 games and is averaging 1.8 assists per contest. Gay led SDSU with 17 points at AFA. The Aztecs are without the services of junior forward Kyle Spain, who is second on the team scoring 13.2 ppg and third with 5.4 rpg in 20 contests but has been suspended for the remainder of the season. As a team, the Aztecs are averaging 68.3 points per game on 44.7 percent shooting from the field, including a 33.7 percent conversion rate from three-point range. SDSU is holding opponents to 63.5 ppg on 43.9 percent shooting from the field. The Aztecs outrebound their foes, 34.6-31.1.
SAN DIEGO STATE'S PROBABLE STARTERS
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG Hometown
F 31 Lorrenzo Wade 6-6 226 Jr. 15.1 4.6 Las Vegas, Nev.
F 32 Billy White 6-8 212 Fr. 8.8 6.0 Las Vegas, Nev.
C 43 Ryan Amoroso 6-8 257 Jr. 10.8 6.7 Burnsville, Minn.
G 03 Richie Williams 5-10 152 Jr. 6.7 2.8 San Diego, Calif.
G 28 D.J. Gay 6-0 156 Fr. 6.0 1.5 Sun Valley, Calif.
SAN DIEGO STATE'S LAST OUTING -- AZTECS HOLD OFF FALCONS
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Lorrenzo Wade sank four free throws and grabbed a critical rebound in the final seven seconds, allowing San Diego State to edge Air Force 53-49 Thursday in the Mountain West Conference tournament quarterfinals. The Aztecs (20-11) advanced to face No. 24 BYU in the semifinals despite making just two baskets in the final 16:07, both of them by Richie Williams. The Aztecs have three consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time since 1938-41. It appeared as though Wade might be lamenting a loss instead of celebrating a win after he charged into Andrew Henke with 20.1 seconds left and the Aztecs clinging to a 49-48 lead. Instead of playing for the last shot, however, the Falcons (16-14) broke San Diego State's press and Anwar Johnson, who didn't score any points, darted to the basket only to miss the layup. San Diego State got the ball and Wade was fouled and sank both free throws for a 51-48 lead with seven seconds left. Tim Anderson, who led Air Force with 17 points, was fouled before he could get off a game-tying 3-pointer. He sank his first free throw and missed his second. Wade skied above the outstretched arms of three Falcons to pull down the rebound and draw another foul. He sank both shots and finished with 12 points, including a career-best 10 of them from the stripe. Ryan Amoroso led the Aztecs with 15 points, including a career-high nine free throws. Overall, the Aztecs made 20-of-22 free throws - critically important against a deliberate, disciplined team like Air Force that makes every possession precious. San Diego State's three lowest-scoring outputs of the season all came against the Falcons, who beat them 46-43 Saturday. The Aztecs jumped out to a 16-point lead in the first half and took a 32-21 lead into the locker room before going cold. Williams' basket with 16:07 left made it 39-30 but the Aztecs wouldn't make another field goal until Williams, who scored 12 points, hit a floater with 2:20 remaining. That gave San Diego Sate a 47-46 lead after the Falcons had taken their first and only lead of the game on Anderson's three-point play with 2:45 left. Henke added 16 points for the Falcons, who fell to 0-9 all-time in the Mountain West Conference tournament and 4-22 in conference postseason play. They've lost 16 consecutive opening-round league tournament games, including the last seven by an average of not even five points.
BYU owns a 41-21 advantage over the Aztecs in a series that dates back to 1941 including a 59-56 win in Provo earlier this season and a 69-65 setback in San Diego in late February. The Cougars posted an 80-58 win in Provo and an 86-74 loss at SDSU last season. The Cougars are 26-3 in Provo, 15-17 in San Diego and 0-1 at a neutral site. BYU's last win in San Diego was on Jan. 2, 2003 with an 80-69 win. BYU has won 14 of the last 22 games and owns an 11-8 advantage since the inception of the MWC, but the Aztecs had won three straight before BYU's win in the 2006 season finale between the two teams in the Marriott Center. SDSU's three game victory streak matched its longest ever in the series when the Aztecs won the first three outings (two in 1941 and one in 1977). During the most recent three-game streak, SDSU swept the 2005 season series -- the first season sweep over BYU since 1985. Dave Rose is 3-3 against the Aztecs.
THIS YEAR AT BYU -- COUGARS TOPPLE LEAGUE-LEADING AZTECS
PROVO -- With the second-longest active home winning streak on the line, the BYU men's basketball team did what it needed to do get a win over San Diego State at the Marriott Center on Wednesday night. The Cougars toppled the top team in the Mountain West Conference, 59-56, to run their homecourt streak to 41 straight victories. The Cougars continued their shooting struggles, hitting just 34 percent from the field and shooting just 12-of-22 from the line, but a double-double night from BYU junior Trent Plaisted and solid defense at the end of the game nudged the Cougars past the Aztecs. Plaisted finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds. BYU junior Lee Cummard followed his lead with 12 points and six boards. Junior forward Lorenzo Wade dominated the Aztec stat sheet with 21 points, eight rebounds and a 9-of-10 night from the free-throw line. With less than 40 seconds left in the game and BYU up 57-56, the six-foot-six Cummard posted up the five-foot-ten Richie Williams, but Cummard missed the shot off the glass. The Aztecs went to Spain on the ensuing possession, but his first shot was off the mark. Spain got his own rebound but missed that shot as well. The Cougars regained possession with less than seven seconds left. Sam Burgess got fouled and hit his two free throws to give the Cougars a 59-56 lead. The Aztecs got one more crack at it with 2.9 seconds left, heaving the inbounds pass the distance of the court. Aztec center Ryan Amoroso grabbed the pass and attempted a fade-away three-pointer but missed off the back of the rim. Despite an exciting finish for BYU, the Cougars got off to a sluggish start, shooting just 31 percent from the field in the first half. BYU has shot 40 percent or below in the first half of its past six games. Midway through the first half the Aztecs had a seven-point lead behind the solid play Wade, who scored 10 of the Aztecs' first 26 points. But as the half came to a close, Cummard nailed a fade-away jumper from the baseline to make the score 27-28. This was the first time the Cougars have been down at the half in the Marriott Center since Dec. 30, 2006 against Seton Hall. Cummard led the way for the Cougars at the break, scoring seven points and nabbing three rebounds. Plaisted and Tavernari were tied with six points apiece. Wade, who scored 10 points in the half, was the only player on either team with double-digit points. Plaisted got the first points of the second half, giving the Cougars a 29-28 lead. With 16:16 to go in the second half, a steal by Ben Murdock led to a layup at the other end of the court by Plaisted, giving BYU a 33-28 advantage. The Aztecs answered with two break-away dunks and a shot by Wade to grab the 33-35 lead. A back-and-forth battle ensued, with both teams exchanging buckets, until a Jimmer Fredettte three-pointer gave the Cougars a 50-44 lead. But two quick baskets, one by Kyle Spain and the other by Wade, got the Aztecs to within two points. Unfortunately for the Aztecs, that was as close as they would get.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "San Diego State is a good team. We knew that coming in. They are a talented, athletic, young team."
-- "It was a competitive game. Both teams were battling the whole time. I'm proud of our players for figuring out how to win this game."
-- "Trent (Plaisted) was a huge factor in tonight's win. He played long and hard against a very athletic team. Jimmer (Fredette) stepped up really well for us."
-- "Where we go from here is a big step. In conference play, everything's more important. I know we're capable of playing better offense."
-- "We got ourselves in tough situations without shooting well tonight, but I think the last couple of games have been good signs of our competitive spirit and mental toughness. Now we look forward to improving our offense. I have great confidence in our players. I know we will achieve great things this season."
San Diego State Coach Steve Fisher
-- "It was two teams that fought and fought for 40 minutes."
-- "We had a lot of opportunities and just couldn't quite make it. A lot of credit goes to the home crowd and to this BYU team."
BYU NOTES FROM THIS YEAR AT BYU
-- Individual Career Highs: Ben Murdock -- 5 rebounds (tied).
-- With the win, BYU improved its Marriott Center win streak to 41 games, the second-longest active home court victory streak in the nation behind No. 1 Memphis at 42 wins.
-- After beginning the year 0-4 when scoring less than 70 points, BYU has now won its last two games when coming short of the 70-point threshold, including a 59-56 win over SDSU and a 55-52 victory at Utah.
-- The three-point margin of victory for BYU (59-56) is the closest game the Cougars have had in the Marriott Center since a 75-72 victory over UNLV on Feb. 11, 2006.
-- The Cougars defeated the league-leading Aztecs despite recording their lowest shooting percentage (34.4) in the Marriott Center since shooting 30 percent in a 59-58 loss to Wyoming on Feb. 12, 2005.
-- With a 28-27 advantage after the first 20 minutes of play, San Diego State became just the fourth team this season to post a halftime lead against the Cougars. Prior to the SDSU game, the Cougars had not trailed at the break at home since an eight-point (43-35) deficit against Seton Hall on Dec. 30, 2006, a game the Cougars won, 77-68. BYU is now 1-3 this season when trailing at halftime.
-- After making just three three-pointers in each of the last two games, BYU hit three treys in the first 11 minutes of the first half against San Diego State, getting makes from Cummard, Murdock and Jimmer Fredette. Three of BYU's first five buckets in the game came from long range.
-- Cummard has recorded a three-pointer in 17 of 19 games this year while Tavernari has done so in 16 games, Burgess has hit from behind the arc in 14 games and Jimmer Fredette has made a trey in 13 games this season.
-- BYU is now 7-1 this season when at least four players score in double figures (Plaisted -- 17, Cummard -- 12, Fredette -- 11, Tavernari -- 10)
-- Plaisted got back into the double-figure scoring column against the league-leading Aztecs with 17 points. After beginning the year scoring in double figures in the first 14 games, he had reached double-digits just once in the last four games prior to breaking out against SDSU. Plaisted scored the first six points of the second half to turn a 27-28 halftime deficit into a 33-28 Cougar lead. Now at 1,121 career points, Plaisted moved from 31st to 28th on BYU's all-time scoring list with his 17-point outing.
-- Plaisted added 11 rebounds in the game for his fifth double-double of the season and 14th of his career.
-- Cummard's free-throw miss at the 13:53 mark in the second half ended a streak of 21 straight free-throw makes for the junior. Cummard is still shooting 88.7 percent (47-of-53) from the line on the year after a 3-for-5 performance against the Aztecs.
-- True freshman Jimmer Fredette provided a huge spark off the bench for BYU as he scored 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting from the field (3-for-6 from three-point range), the sixth time this season he has scored in double figures, including three of the last seven games.
- San Diego State's nine-point lead at 22-13 with 8:32 left in the first half is the largest lead a Cougar opponent has had in the Marriott Center since Wyoming held a 10-point advantage on Jan. 16, 2007 before falling 89-81.
THIS YEAR AT SAN DIEGO STATE -- BYU SUFFERS CLOSE LOSS AT SAN DIEGO STATE
SAN -- Reminiscent of its defeat in San Diego last season, the BYU men's basketball team suffered a close 69-65 loss to San Diego State on Saturday, breaking its nine-game winning streak. With the loss the Cougars fall to 21-6 on the season and 10-2 in Mountain West Conference play. "We just needed a couple more plays to go our way and it would have been a different game," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "We got some good looks at the basket and had a chance in the second half to open things up a little bit, but things didn't go out way." Lee Cummard led BYU with 20 points, his fifth 20-point game in the last eight outings. Also scoring in double figures was Jonathan Tavernari with 12 points and Sam Burgess with 11 points. Cold shooting plagued the Cougars early, giving SDSU a 7-0 lead. Tavernari put BYU on the scoreboard with a running lay-in at the 15:45 mark. Burgess followed with a three-point make to quickly cut into BYU's deficit. Turnovers and the inability to secure rebounds allowed SDSU to reestablish its lead at 15-5. With 11:30 to play in the first half, Chris Collinsworth's three-point make helped spark BYU's own 10-2 run. Michael Loyd contributed to the run, scoring only his second field-goal this season against a MWC opponent. The Cougars found themselves down by only two points after a Cummard make from beyond-the-arc. "We got some good help off the bench and put ourselves in a position where we could get back in the game at the half," said Rose. "I thought those guys came in with good energy and focus." Poor free-throw shooting by SDSU opened things up for Cummard, as he scored back-to-back field goals to both tie and give the Cougars their first lead of the game with 3:29 remaining in the first half. Holding a two-point lead as the clock ran down, a dunk by SDSU's Billy White tied the game at 29-29, marking the first time BYU has been tied heading into the break this season. With the second half underway, neither team could miss a shot. A combination of four BYU three-pointers by Tavernari, Burgess and Cummard, and 10 points by the Aztecs' Lorrenzo Wade, gave the Cougars a 46-41 advantage. Jimmer Fredette soon added a three of his own with 13:15 remaining. Chris Miles converted a big three-point play for BYU after he laid it in with the foul. A make from the charity stripe increased the Cougars' lead to 52-47. As SDSU continued to make shots, Tavernari was there to answer, scoring BYU's next five points. The Cougars had no defensive response for Wade, as he continued to makes shots, giving SDSU a one-point lead with 4:57 to play. Playing with four fouls, Cummard put BYU up 61-60 on a made jumper, cutting into the Aztecs' run. Untimely miscues and missed shots kept the Cougars from retaking the lead as the clock wound down to under four minutes. Down by four, Tavernari's running lay-in off a SDSU steal put the score at 65-63 in favor of the Aztecs. With one minute remaining in the game, Cummard went to the sidelines for good, receiving his fifth foul on the night.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "We got some good help off the bench and put ourselves in a position where we could get back in the game at the half. I thought those guys came in with good energy and focus."
-- "We just needed a couple more plays to go our way and it would have been a different game. We got some good looks at the basket and had a chance in the second half to open things up a little bit, but things didn't go our way."
-- "They're a good team. We had our chances but we just didn't finish it. It came down to two teams who were really competing against each other."
SDSU Head Coach Steve Fisher
-- "This is really a terrific win for our kids, our fans and our program. This is a victory that five teams in the league were excited about, none more than Vegas. It was a really good win for us."
-- "We did a great job attacking on offense and getting to the free throw line. We did a better job, than we did at BYU, of guarding. We did a nice job in terms of how we guarded."
BYU NOTES FROM THIS YEAR AT SAN DIEGO STATE
-- BYU's season-best nine-game victory streak ends at the hands of the Aztecs. Last year SDSU also halted a season-best string of eight straight Cougar wins with a win in San Diego.
-- The Cougars' nine straight wins (@ Utah, San Diego State, New Mexico, @ Air Force, @ Wyoming, TCU, @ CSU, UNLV, Utah) is their longest winning streak since 2003-04 when BYU also recorded nine straight wins. BYU has won at least six straight MWC games in each of Dave Rose's three seasons at the helm.
-- The 29-29 tie at the half marks the first time this year BYU has entered the break even on the scoreboard. The Cougars are 20-2 when leading at the half this year and 1-4 when trailing or tied.
-- BYU has scored at least 30 points in the first half of 22 games while holding opponents under 30 points in the first half of 18 contests.
-- Lee Cummard scored a team-high 20 points against SDSU. BYU has had at least one player top the 20-point mark in each of the last eight games and has had two players score at least 20 points in the same game in three of the last seven contests.
-- Jonathan Tavernari made two triples against the Aztecs. He needs to make five more three-pointers to tie the single-season BYU record of 74 set by Andy Toolson in 1990.
-- Tavernari has contributed more than just points for the Cougars as of late. Tavernari recorded 18 assists in the first 20 games of the season (0.9 apg) but has dished out 21 assists in the last seven contests (3.0 apg), including two against SDSU.
-- Sam Burgess made 4-of-5 shots, including 3-for-4 from three-point range, against the Aztecs. He finished with 11 points, joining Cummard (20) and Tavernari (12) in double figures.
-- Even with the loss, BYU is off to its best record since 1992-93 when the Cougars were 22-5 after 27 games. Only four teams at BYU have ever achieved a record better than the Cougars' current 21-6 record.
-- San Diego State scored the first seven points of the game and the Cougars did not score their first point of the game until the 15:43 mark of the first half.
-- Lorrenzo Wade and Billy White combined to score San Diego State's first 15 points of the game. Wade finished with 28 points, the most points scored against the Cougars this season (previous was 26 points by Jeff Teague of Wake Forest).
-- The Aztecs missed their first eight three-point field goal attempts of the game, until Kelvin Davis' three with about 13:45 to play in the second half.
-- The game had two ties and eight lead changes. BYU's biggest lead was seven points at 46-39. The Cougars led 57-51, when the Aztecs used a 12-4 run to regain the lead. BYU lost for the first time in 22 games this year when leading at the five-minute mark of the second half.
BYU'S LAST OUTING -- CUMMARD AND CO. SET TOURNEY RECORDS
LAS -- The No. 23 BYU men's basketball team (26-6, 14-2) earned an record-setting 89-62 win over Colorado State (6-25, 0-16) in the first quarterfinal game of the 2008 Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Championship Thursday. The regular-season champion Cougars garnered the victory in the Thomas & Mack Center thanks to double-digit performances from five different scorers. BYU set MWC Tournament records for largest margin of victory (27 points) and highest field-goal percentage (65.2 percent) in the contest. Co-MWC Player of the Year Lee Cummard led all scorers with 18 points in the game. He was followed by senior Sam Burgess with 13, sophomore Jonathan Tavernari and freshman Chris Collinsworth with 12 apiece, and senior Trent Plaisted with 11. Collinsworth added 10 rebounds for the first double-double game of his career while his 12 points and three assists were also personal bests. The first basket of the afternoon was a foreshadowing three-pointer from Tavernari from the left corner. He also scored the next Cougar bucket thanks to a smooth entry pass from Burgess. The No. 9-seeded Rams did not back down from the top-seeded Cougars in the first minutes, though. At the first media timeout CSU led 9-8 after the Rams drained their first shot of the game from behind the arc. At the second media timeout the Rams had a 17-12 advantage thanks to an active defense and great shooting from the perimeter. Still unshaken, BYU regained the lead at 20-19 at the 9:01 mark while tying the team record (256) for threes in season when freshman Jimmer Fredette connected from beyond the arc. CSU's fourth three-pointer of the half then tipped the scales back in the Rams' direction at 22-20. The Cougars built their second three-point lead of the game at 25-22 on buckets from Burgess and Tavernari, but the Rams made their fifth triple of the game to knot the score at 25. Collinsworth returned the favor with only his fifth three-point make of the season to put BYU back on top and set a new BYU record for threes in a single season. After the initial onslaught from the Rams, BYU made its own run and took a 40-34 lead into the locker room at the break. The tale of the second half was told through Cummard's player-of-the-year performance. The half began with Plaisted's first bucket of the game. His shot was followed by senior Ben Murdock's first trey of the game, propelling BYU to its first double-digit lead of the contest at 45-34. But that was only the beginning. The two teams traded buckets, but turnovers hurt CSU and the confident Cougars continued their attack. Cummard reached double-digits with his second make from behind the arc in as many tries. He then hit a 10-foot fall-away jumper in the lane on the next play for his 14th point. He continued the run with a steal on the defensive end followed by an assist on the break away to Burgess, who made a layup and converted another point at the charity stripe for a three-point play. Cummard kept the drive alive with an assist on a skip pass to Tavernari, who drained his second three from the left wing to give BYU its first 20-point lead of the game at 60-40. He drained his third three-pointer in as many tries to push the lead to 63-40 and blocked a shot on the defensive end of the floor that led to another. With the advantage clearly in BYU's favor, the final 10 minutes saw both teams swapping buckets as the Cougars rested Cummard and his fellow starters.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "It was a very competitive game, especially the first half. I thought that CSU came out and played with a lot of confidence. They ran good sets and were able to get themselves good looks at the basket. I thought we did a better job of getting to their shooters in the second half, which allowed us to contest shots. Then we were able to get out on the break and score some baskets in transition. We were able to play with a lot more confidence, I think in the second half."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Individual Career Highs: Chris Collinsworth -- 12 points; 3 assists; first career double-double.
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: .652 field-goal percentage.
-- BYU Team Records: 266 three-pointers made in a season
-- MWC Tournament Records: Largest margin of victory -- 27 points; field-goal percentage - .652; 12 three-pointers is tied for third; .600 three-point percentage is tied for fourth.
-- MWC Tournament History -- With the win, BYU is now 10-7 all-time in the Mountain West Conference Tournament, including a 3-1 record as the event's top seed and a 9-4 mark in Las Vegas. The Cougars have advanced to the semifinals in six of nine years, earning a 6-3 quarterfinal record and a 3-2 semifinal record.
-- The Cougars are now 10-6 away from the Marriott Center this season, including an 8-4 road record and a 2-2 mark on neutral floors. BYU has won seven of its last eight games away from home.
-- BYU is now 22-1 when scoring at least 70 points this year and 22-2 when holding opponents under the 70-point mark. The Cougars are also 10-0 when scoring over 80 points.
-- With 12 three-pointers against the Rams, the Cougars improved their season trey total to 266, setting a new program record (old was 256 set last year). Chris Collinsworth made the record-setting three with 6:12 left in the first half, just his fifth three-point make of the year. The game marked the 11th time this season BYU has posted double-digit triples.
-- Jonathan Tavernari added to his school and MWC sophomore record for threes in a season with two against the Rams, bringing his total to 80.
-- With 13 points against Colorado State, senior co-captain Burgess scored in double figures for the 15th time this season, including five of the last six games. Burgess is averaging 11.8 ppg during that stretch.
-- With a 40-34 advantage after the first 20 minutes of play, BYU recorded its 26th halftime lead of the season. The Cougars are now 24-2 when leading at the break. BYU has scored at least 30 points in the first half of 26 games and topped 40 points in 10 contests. The Cougars' 56.5 percent first-half shooting percentage marked the 10th game this year has shot above 50 percent in the first period of play.
-- CSU's 9-8 lead with 15:26 left in the first half marked the first time this season the Cougars have trailed the Rams.
-- Colorado State used the three-pointer to stay with the Cougars for much of the first half. Five of the Ram's first eight makes in the game came from behind the arc as CSU went 11:19 without making a two-point shot but made five treys during that span to keep the game tied at 25-25.
-- After making seven of their first 15 shots, the Cougars then made 14 of their next 16. Clinging to a 34-32 lead, BYU made 10 straight shots spanning halftime to open up a 60-40 advantage with 14:24 remaining. The Cougars finished the game shooting a season-high 65.2 percent.
BYU IN THE TOURNAMENT
With their quarterfinal win over Colorado State, the Cougars have a 10-7 Mountain West Conference Tournament record. BYU advanced to the finals in the first two years of the MWC Tournament, winning the title over UNM in 2001 after losing to host UNLV in 2000. BYU then went five years without a finals appearance until losing to host UNLV in the 2007 Championship game. BYU has won its quarterfinal game in six of the nine MWC Tournaments. BYU has a 3-2 semifinals record and 1-2 finals record in MWC Tournament play. During the five years the MWC Tournament has been played in Las Vegas (2000-03, 2007), BYU has posted a 9-4 tournament record, with three finals appearances and one title (2001). BYU had a 1-3 tournament record during the three years the championship was conducted in Denver (2004-06). Overall, BYU has a 22-20 record in conference tournament games, which includes a 12-13 record in WAC Tournament games. BYU has played every MWC team in the MWC Tournament.
MWC TITLE GOES THROUGH BYU
In seven of the first eight years of the Mountain West Tournament, BYU or the team that has knocked the Cougars out of the tournament won the title, including a championship game loss last season to host UNLV. 2006 was the first time that trend did not continue as San Diego State won the title after BYU was knocked out by Utah in the quarterfinals. After losing in the title game to host UNLV at the inaugural MWC Tournament in 2000, BYU won the title in 2001. The next four years the Cougars were knocked out by the eventual champion. BYU was defeated by San Diego State in the 2002 quarterfinals before back-to-back semifinal losses to 2003-champion Colorado State and 2004-champion Utah. In 2005, New Mexico went on to win the title after defeating BYU in the quarterfinals.
EIGHT MWC TOURNAMENTS, SIX DIFFERENT CHAMPIONS
San Diego State became the first team in the MWC to win the Tournament title twice with its victories in 2002 and 2006. UNLV became the second with victories in 2000 and 2007, both over BYU. New Mexico's win in 2005 marked the sixth Tournament winner in the first six years of the event. The only teams not to win an MWC title are Wyoming, Air Force and TCU, who made its MWC debut in 2005.
BYU SEEDS AT MWC TOURNAMENT
BYU has been the No. 1 seed at the MWC Tournament in each of the past two seasons after winning back-to-back outright MWC titles. The Cougars are 3-1 as the top seed including their quarterfinal win over Colorado State this year (finals appearance in 2007). BYU has been the second seed three times (5-2 combined record in 2001, 2003 and 2004, including 2001 title). The 2006 Tournament was the first time that the Cougars have been the No. 3 seed in the MWC Tournament (first-round loss to Utah). The Cougars have also been the fourth seed once (suffering a first-round exit with loss to eventual-champion San Diego State in 2002), the sixth seed once (advanced to the finals in 2000) and the No. 7 seed once (2005 first-round loss to eventual-champion New Mexico).
FRUITS OF THE SEEDS
In the first eight years of the MWC Tournament, the teams with the No. 2 seed boasts the best mark at 13-5 while the No. 1 seed has gone 12-6. The No. 6 seeds have a combined 8-7 record while their first-round opponent No. 3 seeds have a 6-7 record. No. 4 teams have gone 8-8. Fifth-seeded teams are 4-6. The No. 7 team won for the first time in 2006 and now has a 2-8 record. The No. 8 seed has a 2-0 record in first round games and a 3-7 record overall. The No. 9 seed is 0-2 in the first round game. 2006 marked the first time the No. 7 seed has advanced past the quarterfinals and the first time neither the No. 2 nor No. 3 seed advanced to the semifinals. The Tournament title has been won by the second seed three times (BYU in 2001, New Mexico in 2005 and UNLV in 2007); the top seed twice (UNLV in 2000 and San Diego State in 2006); the third seed once (Utah in 2004); the fifth seed once (San Diego State in 2002); and the sixth seed once (Colorado State in 2004).
BYU TOURNAMENT TITLES
BYU won the MWC Tournament title in 2001 over New Mexico. BYU won WAC Tournament titles in 1991 and 1992. The Cougars' Kevin Nixon hit a dramatic three-quarter-court shot at the buzzer to defeat UTEP, 73-71, in Fort Collins, Colo., for the 1992 title. BYU won its first WAC Tournament title in 1991 with an overtime win over Utah. The Cougars also won the postseason conference playoff series in the Rocky Mountain Conference in 1924 (defeated Colorado College, 2-1) and 1933 (defeated Wyoming, 2-1).
AT THE THOMAS & MACK CENTER ...
UNLV and BYU are the only teams with winning MWC Tournament records at the Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV has reached the championship game every year it has been eligible at the Thomas and Mack. Below are the win totals and records for the nine MWC teams in the five previous tournaments held at the Thomas and Mack Center (note: UNLV was ineligible for tournament play in 2001, and TCU has only played one tournament in Las Vegas):
UNLV: 10 wins (10-2)
BYU: 8 (8-4)
CSU: 4 (4-4)
Wyoming: 4 (4-5)
Utah: 3 (3-5)
SDSU: 3 (3-4)
UNM: 2 (2-5)
TCU: 1 (1-1)
AFA: 0 (0-5)
MWC TEAMS IN THE NCAA
In the previous eight years of the MWC, eight of the nine conference members have advanced to the NCAA Tournament at least once. TCU is the lone team not to advance, but the Horned Frogs have only been MWC members for three seasons. New Mexico became the last of the other MWC teams to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament by winning the 2005 MWC Tournament. 2007 MWC Tournament Champion UNLV received the league's automatic bid last season while BYU was selected as an at-large team.
BYU AND MWC IN POSTSEASON
BYU has earned an invite to a postseason tournament in seven of the previous eight years of the MWC, leading all MWC teams. BYU is second to Utah in NCAA appearances since the formation of the MWC (BYU has made four NCAA and three NIT while Utah has made five NCAA and one NIT). UNLV has received five invites (two NCAA, four NIT). New Mexico has received four (one NCAA, three NIT) along with San Diego State (two NCAA, two NIT) and Air Force (two NCAA and two NIT). Wyoming has three (one NCAA, two NIT) while Colorado State has been to one NCAA Tournament.