Rafael Araujo leads BYU after five games with double-double average of 21.6 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. The Cougars are 4-1 entering Wednesday's game against 5-1 Western Oregon. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah -- After improving to 4-1 with its win over nationally ranked Oklahoma State at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City Saturday, BYU returns to the Marriott Center to host Western Oregon (5-1) Wednesday at 7 p.m. The game is not being televised. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 and the Cougar Sports Network, beginning with a one-hour pregame show. KSL's Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Mark Durrant providing analysis. Live audio and stats links are available on the basketball schedule page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com. Live audio is also available on BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
BYU hots Southern California of the Pac-10 Conference Saturday at 7 p.m. (No TV)
GAME #6 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (4-1, 0-0 MWC) vs. WESTERN OREGON WOLVES (5-1, 2-0 GNAC)
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 10, 2003
MARRIOTT CENTER (22,700)
7:05 p.m. MST
BYU, Steve Cleveland (112-79 in seventh year; same overall)
WOU, Tim Hills (20-13 in 2nd year; 414-373 in 25th year overall)
Series: First Meeting
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time: 6 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Mark Durrant
Live stats and live audio links available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2003-04 schedule) and audio available via BYU Radio on Dish Network and byuradio.org.
ARAUJO EARNS CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
BYU senior center Rafael Araujo has been named Mountain West Conference Player of the Week after recording two double-doubles in victories at Boise State (75-69) and against 25th-ranked Oklahoma State (76-71). It is Araujo's second career player of the week honor. Araujo collected his second and third double-doubles (11th career) of the season last week. He averaged 31.5 points and 15.5 rebounds, while shooting 71.4 percent from the floor and 76.7 percent from the free throw line. In the win at Boise State, Araujo scored 31 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. He made 10-of-13 attempts from the field and earned 14 trips to the free throw line, knocking down 11. In the victory over Oklahoma State at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Araujo scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. He made 10-of-15 field goals and 12-of-16 free throws on the day and scored 26 of the Cougars' 40 second half points. His 17 rebounds, one shy of the entire OSU team, led the way for BYU as it dominated the boards against the Cowboys, 44-18.
WESTERN OREGON WOLVES
Western Oregon is off to a 5-1 start this season. A Division II school, Western Oregeon won at home in its Great Northwest Athletic Conference openers last week with wins over Central Washington (78-76) and Saint Martin's (81-68) Thursday and Saturday at the Physical Education Building. WOU's 5-1 record is the club's best start since the Wolves 5-1 beginning in 1993-94. WOU's 2-0 conference start gives them a share the GNAC lead with No. 1 nationally ranked Humboldt State. Second-year coach Tim Hills has four starters returning from last year's 15-12 team. Sean Kelly, Kevin Tyner and Robert Day all averaged at least 33 minutes per game, while Chris Olson started in 16 of WOU's 27 contests. Drew Summers also had eight starts and JR Brusseau saw action in 22 games off the bench. Kelly is the team's top returning scorer and rebounder with 2002-03 averages of 22.8 points and 7.0 rebounds. This season, Robert Day is second in the GNAC scoring race (22.8), second in steals (2.7), is tied for first in three-pointers made per game (3.0) and is seventh in assists (4.8). Sean Kelly is seventh in scoring (19.2), sixth in rebounding (7.2) and fifth in steals (2.5). Evan Kieling is fifth in field goal percentage (.667), Kevin Tyner is second in assists per game (7.8) and Chris Olson is fifth in three-point percentage (.500). As a team, Western Oregon leads the GNAC in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.67) and in three-point defense (.312) and they are third in the conference in steals (9 per game).
MORE ON KELLY
Forward Sean Kelly will have a homecoming of sorts at BYU this week. The Grand Junction, Colo. native signed with the Cougars out of high school and played one season at Rick's College before his eventual transfer to WOU. This past weekend, he tallied 46 points in a pair of games and added 15 rebounds and eight steals. Last year, he led the GNAC in scoring (22.8) and also led his own team in rebounding (7.0). He hit for over 30 points on five different occasions, including a season-best 37 versus Central Washington. Kelly, nephew of former WOU head coach Tom Kelly, was a second team All-GNAC and west region pick (Daktronics) and was also tabbed as the GNAC Newcomer of the Year.
COACH TIM HILLS
Tim Hills begins his second season as the WOU men's coach and his 31st overall in collegiate coaching. He is best known for his 23 seasons as the leader at Western Baptist, compiling a 394-360 mark at the NAIA school. He also coached four seasons at Chemeketa CC (95-22) and led the Western Oregon women's program for two years (31-23). His career mark with men at four-year schools is 414-373, and his overall collegiate mark is
WESTERN OREGON'S PROJECTED STARTERS (BASED ON LAST GAME)
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG
F 24 Sean Kelly 6-5 215 Sr. 19.2 7.2
F 44 Dave Brautigam 6-7 215 Jr. 5.8 4.3
G/F 30 Robert Day 6-5 200 Sr. 22.8 6.0
G 20 Chris Olson 6-0 180 Sr. 11.3 2.5
G 10 Kevin Tyner 6-0 165 So. 7.6 3.4 7.8 apg
LAST OUTING -- KELLY LEADS WOLVES PAST SAINT MARTIN'S
Western Oregon's Sean Kelly led four Wolf players in double figures as WOU topped Saint Martin's 81-68 in a GNAC men's basketball game at the Physical Education Building on Saturday night. Kelly had 25 points and nine rebounds as the Wolves moved to 5-1 on the season and 2-0 in conference play. Evan Kieling added 15 points, and Chris Olson and Robert Day added 14. Day nearly had a triple-double with 10 assists and eight rebounds. He also had four steals. Saint Martin's broke out to a 14-10 lead, but the Wolves went on a 10-2 run fueled by back-to-back treys by Kieling, and they would never trail again. The hosts led 44-36 at the break, thanks in part to 14 points by Kelly. The Wolves used a three by Chris Olson and buckets by Dave Brautigam and Kelly to begin the second half to go up 51-36. Saint Martin's would cut the margin to 70-64 with 6-15 to play after a steal and lay-up by Brandon Hartley, but they would get no closer. The Saints fell to 3-4 on the season and 0-2 in the GNAC.
This is the first meeting between BYU and Western Oregon. The Wolves, however, have played in the Marriott Center. WOU played in the 1999 Cougar Classic, losing to Weber State and Texas Southern in overtime.
WESTERN OREGON QUICK FACTS
Location: Monmouth, Oregon
Colors: Crimson Red and White
Home Arena: Physical Education Building (2,473)
Conference: Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Athletic Director: Jon Carey
Head Coach: Tim Hills
Alma Mater: Western Baptist '68
Best Time to Call: Contact SID
Office Phone: (503) 838-8919
Overall Record (Years): 414-373 (25th year)
Record at School (Years): 20-13 (2nd year)
Assistant Coaches: Craig Stanger
Overall Record: 15-12
Conference Record/Finish: 8-10 (8th)
Final Ranking/Post Season Finish: None
Letterman Returning/Lost: 6/6
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/1
Leading Scorer Returning
Sean Kelly (F, 6-5, Sr.) 22.8 ppg
Leading REBOUNDER Returning
Sean Kelly (F, 6-5, Sr.) 7.0 rpg
Basketball Contact: Russ Blunck
Office: (503) 838-8160
Home: (503) 838-8164
Fax: (503) 838-8164
Press Row: (503) 838-8922
Web Site: www.wouwolves.com
The Cougars are the preseason favorite to win the Mountain West Conference this year, returning four starters from last year's 23-9 co-championship team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Four-year starter Mark Bigelow and fellow senior Rafael Araujo were both named to the Preseason All-MWC Team and are MWC Player of the Year candidates. Bigelow is the team's top returning scorer at 13.9 ppg while Araujo pulled down a team-best 8.9 rebounds last year. Senior guard Kevin Woodberry and junior forward Jared Jensen also return as starters for BYU coach Steve Cleveland. Key newcomers include junior transfer Mike Hall and freshmen Mike Rose and Garner Meads. Araujo is scoring 21.6 points and 11.0 rebounds to lead BYU after five games. Hall adds 13.8 points and 4.2 rebounds while Bigelow is scoring 11.0 points and Woodberry 7.8 points. Luiz Lemes leads the team in assists (4.6). As a team, the Cougars shoot .475 from the floor, including .325 on threes, and .776 from the line while scoring 73.8 points per game. BYU allows 61.2 points while the opposition has shot .434 from the field and .304 from behind the arc. BYU has a 7.2 rebound advantage per game on the boards.
LAST OUTING -- ARAUJO DOMINATES IN BYU WIN OVER NO. 25 OKLAHOMA STATE
SALT LAKE -- In front of 16,285 screaming fans at the Delta Center, senior center Rafael Araujo pounded his way to a career-high performance, giving the Cougars (4-1) an exciting 76-71 win against No. 25 Oklahoma State (4-1). "I told them we needed to play perfect to win," BYU head coach Steve Cleveland said. "We aren't going to say this is the highlight of the year. We deserve this opportunity to celebrate for a couple of days and learn from our win." Araujo took the second half into his own hands, scoring 26 of BYU's 40 points after halftime and finishing with 32 points. He also grabbed 17 rebounds, which tied his career-high. BYU pulled down an impressive 44 rebounds, while the Cowboys only finished with 18, just one more than Araujo's personal total. "This was the best rebounding effort during my time at BYU," Cleveland said. "Defensively they did the things they needed to do." In the last crucial minutes of the game, Araujo and senior guard Mark Bigelow combined for eight free throws, leading the Cougars past the Cowboys and holding them to only three points in the last three minutes. "I just liked the way we executed our last four or five possessions," Cleveland said. "We wanted to get into the post. We didn't have great movement but good spacing." Araujo began right after halftime, attacking the basket down low and scoring 16 of BYU's 18 points in just nine minutes of play. With a remarkable improvement from last year, he made his presence known by hitting jumpers and executing against Oklahoma State's defense. Former BYU player Daniel Bobik kept Oklahoma State alive as the leading scorer with 18 points and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Bobik, a junior guard from Newbury Park, Calif., battled head-to-head against former teammate Bigelow in front of a tough BYU crowd. Bigelow contributed a season-high 16 points and five rebounds, also nailing 8-of-8 free throws for the Cougars. Even at the Delta Center, the crowd played a major role in the momentum of the game. During the last minutes of the game, the entire crowd was on their feet giving the Cougars the lift they needed. "I think we really stepped up," Bigelow said. "The crowd gave us a little lift. The Marriott Center is no slouch in the amount of fans, but the fans were just right there for us tonight." The Cougars opened the first half with a pair of free throws from Araujo and Bobik hit a jumper for Oklahoma State to take the lead 4-2. Bigelow hit his first shot of the night with 15:30 left on the clock, giving BYU the lead at 10-6. Despite facing his old team, Bobik accepted the crowd's response with no hard feelings. "I expected the worst and hoped for the best -- I got the worst," Bobik said. "You expect the fans to get on the opposing team. I am glad they got on me, that shows they cared about me. If they didn't care, they wouldn't have said anything." Senior guard Kevin Woodberry then drained a three, giving the Cougars a 10-point lead at 18-8. Oklahome State then went on an 11-0 run, the longest scoring run allowed by the Cougars on the season. Hall sunk two free throws to stop the run with 9:48 on the clock, and hit a three pointer with just over five minutes left. At halftime, Hall led with 10 points in just nine minutes of play. Araujo scored only six points in the first half and grabbed five rebounds going into halftime. With this win, Cleveland mentioned how playing at the Delta Center remains a definite option for the Cougars in the future.
CLEVELAND GETTING IT DONE (2003 MWC COACH OF THE YEAR)
BYU coach Steve Cleveland was named MWC Coach of the Year in 2003. At 23-9 last year, BYU achieved its fourth straight postseason tournament invitation and third 20-win season in the last four years. Only eight BYU teams have ever achieved more victories in a season than last year's team. The BYU record for wins is 28 (9 losses) in 1951 when the Cougars won the national title as NIT champs. The 2002-03 season was Cleveland's third 20-win season in the last four years, including a 24-9 record in 2001. The only BYU coaches to have more 20-win seasons are Stan Watts (7) and Roger Reid (6). Cleveland joins Frank Arnold and Ladell Andersen with three 20-win seasons.
BYU SCHEDULE INCLUDES ACC, BIG XII AND PAC-10 OPPONENTS
Potential matchups with six nonconference opponents that made the 2003 NCAA Tournament, including teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big XII Conference and Pac-10 Conference, and 15 overall contests against teams that qualified for postseason play last year highlight the 2003-04 BYU men's basketball schedule. "We look forward to what should be a very challenging schedule with more than half our games being against teams that qualified for postseason last year," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "We face some very talented teams during nonconference and every game is a battle during the Mountain West season."
WINNING BASKETBALL TRADITION
With its all-time record of 1454-932 (.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 81 winning seasons in their 101 years of basketball and have made 29 postseason appearances, including 20 NCAA bids, and won 26 conference championships.
NONCONFERENCE VICTORY STREAK IN THE MARRIOTT CENTER
The Cougars have defeated 36 straight non-conference 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.
CURRENT BYU WIN/LOSS STREAKS ...
At home 7-0
On the road 1-0
On a neutral floor 1-0
At home vs. Nonconference 36-0
At home vs. MWC 5-0
On the road vs. Nonconference 1-0
On the road vs. MWC 2-0
On a neutral floor vs. Nonconference 1-0
On a neutral floor vs. MWC 0-1
BIGELOW MOVING UP CAREER SCORING LIST
Senior Mark Bigelow moved into 13th place on BYU's all-time scoring list against Boise State to pass Marty Haws (1,337 points from 1987-90). Bigelow needs to score nine points to pass Roland Minson (1,375 from 1949-51) into 12th place and 22 points to surpass current BYU assistant coach Andy Toolson (1,388 points from 1985, 88-90) for 11th place. Bigelow should steadily climb the list in his final season with the chance to finish his career among the top four scorers in Cougar hoops history.