Game 9 - Cougars to Face Cleveland's Fresno State Squad

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

BYU Travels to Play Fresno State

BYU men’s basketball (7-1) will hit the road to play former Cougar head coach Steve Cleveland and Fresno State on Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Save Mart Center at 7 p.m. Cleveland was the head coach at BYU from 1997-2005 and led the Cougars to three NCAA Tournament berths, one MWC Tournament title and two MWC regular season titles. Saturday’s game can be heard live on KSL Newsradio beginning with the pregame show at 6 p.m. PT on 102.7 FM and 1160 AM or via the Internet at KSL.com. The game will be televised live on KJZZ, ESPN360.com and ESPN Full Court.

Up Next

The Cougars return home to host games on Dec. 17 and 19 as part of he Hoops TV Las Vegas Classic. BYU will play Wagner on Dec. 17 and Eastern Washington on the 19th. Both games are scheduled to tip at 7 p.m. and will be televised live on BYU TV. Listen to the games live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 6 p.m. MT on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM or via the Internet at KSL.com.

Cougar Quick Hits

— By going 8-for-8 from the foul line against Arizona State, Jimmer Fredette has now made 35-consecutive free throws, a new BYU record. The previous record was 32, set by Michael Smith in 1989.

— With 10 points vs. Arizona State, Jimmer Fredette has scored in double figures in 22-straight games, the longest such streak since Russell Larson scored in double figures in 44-straight games from 1993-95.

— Since Rose took over as head coach of BYU basketball, the Cougars are 66-3 (.956) in the Marriott Center, including a 53-game winning streak from 2005 to 2008 — the longest in school history. With the win over Arizona State, the Cougars have an 11-game home winning streak.

— Two-time MWC Coach of the Year Dave Rose has guided BYU to three-straight MWC regular season titles and three-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament. Under Rose, BYU also has four-straight 20-win seasons and four-straight postseason appearances. At 104-35 (.748) overall, he reached 100 wins faster than any other coach in BYU history. Roger Reid held the previous record, reaching 100 wins in 143 games.

— Senior forward Jonathan Tavernari became BYU’s all-time leader in three-pointers with two treys vs. San Francisco to give him 214. He is now at 215 after hitting one vs. Arizona State. He is also climbing the lists for points (20th with 1,242) and steals (7th with 125).

BYU GAME #9 FAST FACTS

BYU (7-1) at Fresno State (4-4)

Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009

Save Mart Center (15,596)

Fresno, Calif.

7 p.m. PT

Coaches

BYU, Dave Rose (104-35 in fifth season; same overall)

Fresno State, Steve Cleveland (67-67 in fifth season; 205-175 in 13th season overall)

Series

BYU leads 11-5, with Fresno State winning 80-71 in 1999

TV

Live on KJZZ, ESPN360.com and ESPN Full Court

Radio

KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM and online at KSL.com) and the Cougar Sports Network (6 p.m. PT pregame show — Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analysis)

Web

Live stats links are available on the basketball schedule page at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/

Looking at Fresno State

Fresno State is 4-4 on the season and has won its last two games, 69-37 at home against San Diego and 80-72 at Pepperdine. The Bulldogs had lost four-straight games before the two-game winning streak. Sophomore forward Paul George leads the team in scoring (17.8), rebounding (8.0), made threes (17) and steals (19). He is also second in assists. George is coming off a 29-point effort in Fresno State’s 80-72 win at Pepperdine. Sylvester Seay, a 6-foot-10 forward, is second on the team in scoring at 17.1 per game while adding 6.0 boards and 11 steals. Greg Smith is the third Bulldog averaging double figures at 11.3 points per game and second in rebounding at 6.9 per game. Mike Ladd and Steven Shepp add 6.6 and 6.5 points, respectively. Shepp leads the team in three-points percentage (.522) and assists per game (5.1). The Bulldogs average 68.2 points per game as a team and shoot .449 from the field. Their opponents score at a 64.8 point per game clip and shoot .383 from the field. Steve Cleveland is in his fifth season since leaving BYU to take over the Fresno State program. He is 65-65 at Fresno State.

Fresno State’s Last Outing — George, Dogs Ride Past Waves, 80-72

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) - The sharp-shooting of Paul George and Steven Shepp, the low post intensity of Greg Smith and Sylvester Seay, and the defensive focus of a motivated Bulldog roster sparked a 80-72 win at Pepperdine on Tuesday night in the Firestone Fieldhouse. George produced his second 29-point performance of his career, with the other coming last season at home against Boise State, catapulted by a deadly stroke in the second half. Throughout the first half, Fresno State maneuvered through a choppy patch of Waves while sophomore transfer Steven Shepp surpassed his career-high with five deep 3-pointers in the first half alone to trail by only three at the break, 39-36. One of the big highlights of the opening session came when George elevated high into the air for huge swat on an assuming Wave. After halftime, the Bulldogs scored on their first six possessions for a 13-0 run to take a 52-39 lead just three minutes into the half and extended it to a 16-2 run a minute later. On the opening possession of the second half, George hit a 3-pointer from the left wing, which got a friendly roll off the front rim to tie the score at 39-39. The Dogs took the lead on a Smith slam and then George caught even more fire. He scored the Bulldogs next 11 points that started with a two-handed dunk and three straight 3-pointers to spark the quick run out of the locker room. George netted 14 points in less than a four minute span. Pepperdine rediscovered their stroke as they rode a strong wave to a 54-52 advantage midway through the half before Smith tied the game when he forced a steal and delivered a monster slam dunk to even the tilt at 54-54. The Bulldogs (4-4) took control late as Smith had three slam dunks during an 8-1 spurt that put the Bulldogs in front to stay at 60-55 with eight minutes to go. The Dogs registered 53.9 percent second-half shooting and a steady 81 percent clip from the free throw line for their second win this week heading into the marquee home game of Fresno State’s season. Pepperdine fell to 3-6 on the year. Pepperdine’s Keion Bell had team highs of 24 points and seven assists. Dane Suttle Jr. added 15 points and Mychel Thompson had 11.

Series Notes

Saturday’s game will be the 17th meeting between BYU and Fresno State with the Cougars owning an 11-5 advantage in the series. Fresno State has won the last three meetings, including 80-71 at Fresno State in 1999. The series started with BYU winning the first seven games before finally losing at Fresno State in 1994. BYU leads the series 4-3 at Fresno State. The Bulldogs have won the last two games in Fresno.

35 and Counting

Junior guard Jimmer Fredette set a new mark for free throw excellence at BYU when he hit his 33rd-consecutive free throw with 16:56 remaining in the second half against Arizona State. The streak started in the second game of the season when he made his last five attempts against Idaho State. Fredette made two more against Arizona State to extend his streak to 35. The old record was set by Michael Smith when he hit 32 straight in 1989. Fredette is shooting .941 this season — including 48 of 49 since missing his first two attempts of the season — and .869 for his career.

Freshman Double-Double

Freshman Tyler Haws recorded his first career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds against Arizona State, an 81-68 home win for the Cougars. He also had career highs of six free throw attempts, six free throw makes and 10 field goal attempts while tying a career high with five makes from the field. His double-double marks the first double-double by a Cougar freshman since Trent Plaisted had 18 points and 13 rebounds against Houston in the NIT on March 15, 2006. Plaisted had six double-doubles his freshman year. Jimmer Fredette has BYU’s other double-double this season, a 12-point, 10-rebound effort vs. Southern.

1,000-Point Scorers

With nine points vs. Arizona State, Jonathan Tavernari has 1,242 career points and is ranked 20th all-time in scoring at BYU. He is 43 points from passing Alan Taylor for 19th all-time.

Downtown Record Watch

Jonathan Tavernari hit two threes vs. San Francisco to become BYU’s all-time leader in career threes, passing Mark Bigelow who had 213 in his career. He is also the leader for career attempts. Tavernari owns the record for threes in a season with 88 in 2007-08. He now has 215 makes and 578 attempts.

Top-10 Pick Pockets

Senior forward Jonathan Tavernari had one steal at Utah State to give him 124 for his career. He is seventh all-time in BYU history and five from passing Lee Cummard for sixth.

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