Hall's Late-game Heroics Seal Victory Over Rebels

Mike Hall scored 16 points and blocked a Demetrius Hunter jumper with 2.7 seconds remaing to help BYU edge UNLV Saturday. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Mike Hall's block of Demetrius Hunter and two free throws with 2.7 seconds left helped the Cougars seal a 64-61 victory over UNLV Saturday afternoon at the Marriott Center.

"I thought it (the block) was a great individual effort," Coach Steve Cleveland said. "Someone has to make plays at the end to win a close game. I thought it was the most meaningful play of the game."

Cleveland said he was pleased with his team's performance, even though the game wasn't very pretty. He said he felt his team showed a lot of toughness and resolve in winning the close contest.

Both teams started the game off cold with BYU making only three field goals in the first 10 minutes, falling behind 10-7, before reeling off a 16-4 run to take a nine-point lead with just over five minutes to play in the first half. During the run, Hall and Rafael Araujo scored six points each while Mark Bigelow added four.

The Cougars would extend their lead to 11 points in the opening half before the Rebels cut it back down to nine at the break.

UNLV came out of the locker room determined, cutting the BYU's lead to just one at 40-39, before the Cougars ran off nine straight points to extend their advantage to 10 points. But the Rebels were not going to go away. UNLV kept the game close and eventually took the lead at 61-60 on two Odartey Blankson free throws with 41 seconds to go.

BYU would reclaim the lead for good at 62-61 on two Bigelow free throws, setting the stage for Hall's heroics to put the game away. BYU shot 87.5 percent from the line, including a perfect 10-for-10 for Hall and 4-of-4 from Luiz Lemes.

"A win like this means a lot more than coming in and winning by 15," said Cleveland said, whose Cougars had won their prior eight home games this year by an average of 24 points, with the closest margin being 14. "Hopefully something like this will give us the confidence we need to get back playing well."

Araujo led the Cougars in scoring, finishing the game with 18 points and 13 rebounds to record his 12th double-double of the season, and Lemes added a career-high 10 assists. Araujo is now tied for fourth nationally in double-double games, while Lemes becomes the first Cougar to record double-digit assists since BYU all-time assist leader Matt Montague dished out 12 vs. UC Irvine in 2002. On the strength of his free throw shooting, Hall added 16 points while Bigelow chipped in 13.

UNLV was led by Blankson's 15-point, 12-rebound performance. J.K. Edwards also added a double-double for the Rebels with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while UNLV point guard Jarel Blassingame scored 12 points and dished out a team-leading five assists.

With the victory BYU improves to 3-4 in conference and 13-7 overall, ending a three-game losing skid. UNLV falls to 12-7 and 3-4. The Cougars will take on San Diego State Monday evening at 10 p.m. in the Marriott Center in a nationally televised contest on ESPN.

Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS

Nevada - Las Vegas vs Brigham Young University

02/07/04 1:05 pm at PROVO, UT

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VISITORS: Nevada - Las Vegas 12-7, 3-4

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

00 BLANKSON, Odartey... f 4-10 1-3 6-6 2 10 12 2 15 0 5 0 2 37

05 EDWARDS, J.K........ f 4-9 0-0 4-4 1 9 10 3 12 1 3 2 2 31

01 HUNTER, Demetrius... g 2-6 1-4 0-0 0 1 1 4 5 0 2 0 0 22

03 BECK, Romel......... g 2-8 1-3 4-4 0 0 0 1 9 0 2 0 1 33

10 BLASSINGAME, Jarel.. g 4-13 3-3 1-2 1 0 1 4 12 5 6 0 2 38

11 PETERS, James....... 2-4 0-0 2-2 1 0 1 2 6 0 0 0 0 12

12 UMEH, Michael....... 0-1 0-1 2-2 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 9

22 AMUNDSON, Louis..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 8

33 WINSTON, John....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 0 0 10

TEAM................ 4 4 8

Totals.............. 18-51 6-14 19-20 10 24 34 21 61 7 21 2 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 9-27 33.3% 2nd Half: 9-24 37.5% Game: 35.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 0-3 0.0% 2nd Half: 6-11 54.5% Game: 42.9% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-4 100 % 2nd Half: 15-16 93.8% Game: 95.0% 0,1

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HOME TEAM: Brigham Young University 13-7, 3-4

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

03 BIGELOW, Mark....... f 4-12 0-3 5-6 2 2 4 3 13 0 2 2 2 36

41 MEADS, Garner....... f 1-2 0-0 1-2 1 3 4 4 3 0 2 1 0 29

55 ARAUJO, Rafael...... c 9-16 0-3 0-0 3 10 13 3 18 0 3 1 4 31

01 HALL, Mike.......... g 3-13 0-2 10-10 3 1 4 0 16 2 1 1 1 32

04 LEMES, Luiz......... g 2-10 1-5 4-4 0 4 4 3 9 10 4 0 2 35

00 WOODBERRY, Kevin.... 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 1 11

02 ROSE, Mike.......... 0-1 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 1 6

05 SHOFF, Jake......... 0-1 0-0 1-2 1 2 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 12

52 JENSEN, Jared....... 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 2 2 0 1 1 0 8

TEAM................ 2 2

Totals.............. 21-58 1-15 21-24 14 24 38 19 64 12 15 7 11 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-31 38.7% 2nd Half: 9-27 33.3% Game: 36.2% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-9 11.1% 2nd Half: 0-6 0.0% Game: 6.7% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 6-6 100 % 2nd Half: 15-18 83.3% Game: 87.5% 1

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Officials: Scott Thornley, Jim Stupin, Greg Burks

Technical fouls: Nevada - Las Vegas-None. Brigham Young University-None.

Attendance: 17047

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Nevada - Las Vegas............ 22 39 - 61

Brigham Young University...... 31 33 - 64

Points in the paint-LV 21,BY 26. Points off turnovers-LV 12,BY 24.

2nd chance points-LV 6,BY 16. Fast break points-LV 5,BY 10.

Bench points-LV 8,BY 5. Score tied-4 times. Lead changes-9 times.

Tags: Results