PROVO -- BYU tipped off its practice season early Saturday morning with a 15-minute scrimmage at the sixth annual Midnight Madness. A capacity crowd of approximately 5,000 fans enjoyed the action at the Smith Fieldhouse.
Sophomore center Dan Howard had 16 points, eight rebounds and four blocks to lead the blue team to a 53-39 win over the white squad. The coaches switched several players between the two teams during the scrimmage. Other leading scorers were sophomore guard Daniel Bobik with 13 points and junior swingman Travis Hansen with 11. Senior guard Matt Montague and junior transfer Ricky Bower added 10 points each.
The freewheeling contest included 12 dunks and 11 three-pointers and received an approving response from the crowd made up predominantly of BYU students.
Senior Eric Nielsen, BYU's lone returning starter from last year's 24-9 Mountain West Conference title team, did not play in the scrimmage because of an infection in his elbow. He will likely miss the first few practices due to the condition. Jesse Pinegar also did not play while recovering from shoulder surgery. He is expected to return in December.
All players, including Bower and fellow transfer Jake Shoff, were eligible to participate in the scrimmage. Bower and Shoff, who had five rebounds, can not play in any games this season because of transfer rules.