MWC Play Starts with Win over UNLV

Junior Mark Bigelow hit four first-half threes to help BYU take an early lead. Bigelow needs one more three-pointer to tie Andy Toolson as BYU's career three-point leader. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU basketball team took a 15-7 lead seven minutes into the game, and the intensity didn't let up until the final buzzer. BYU extended its home-winning streak to 44 as the Cougars beat UNLV 85-77 Thursday.

With their first Mountain West Conference game of the season, the Cougars are 1-0 in conference play and 12-4 overall. UNLV came into the game with the best overall record in the conference, but they dropped to 11-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference.

BYU head coach Steve Cleveland said, "What pleased me most about tonight's game was that we took care of the basketball. We were unselfish with the ball, and we had as good an execution offensively as we have had all year."

Three BYU players scored 20 points or more for the first time under Coach Cleveland. Rafael Araujo led the charge with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Junior Mark Bigelow scored 21 and senior Travis Hansen marked up 20. In the first half, Bigelow knocked down four three pointers on five attempts. Bigelow's 140 career three pointers have brought him only one three-pointer away from tying BYU's individual career three-point record.

Araujo lit up the crowd with several commanding dunks. On one UNLV possession, Araujo stole the ball under the Rebel's basket and then finished the play with a backboard-shaking slam.

At the half, the Cougars led by 10 and maintained a solid lead throughout the second half until a pair of Marcus Banks' free throws brought UNLV within five, with three minutes remaining in the game.

"Whether on the road or at home, every game is going to be like this," Cleveland said. "I was happy with the improvement that I saw on the team, and that is the most positive thing about it all. To win the basketball game makes it all even better."

UNLV senior Dalron Johnson led all scorers with 25 points, including three treys. BYU's defense held Banks, who is second in scoring in the conference (19.0), to four points in the first half and only 5-for-14 field goals on the game. In his first game in the Marriott Center last year, Banks was held to 1-for-8 on field goals.

BYU's win breaks a UNLV five-game winning streak. The Cougars travel to San Diego for their next game Monday at 7 p.m.

Box Score (Final)

Mountain West Conference

UNLV vs BYU (01/16/03)

VISITORS: UNLV

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10 JOHNSON, Dalron..... f 7 14 3 5 8 8 4 6 10 5 25 0 2 0 4 37

55 EDWARDS, J.K........ c 3 6 0 0 1 1 2 2 4 1 7 1 0 0 0 12

01 HUNTER, Demetrius... g 4 8 2 4 0 0 0 3 3 2 10 1 3 1 0 31

03 BANKS, Marcus....... g 5 14 0 2 6 6 0 2 2 3 16 5 4 0 0 39

05 LEWIS, Jermaine..... g 0 4 0 3 2 2 0 3 3 2 2 2 0 0 2 31

12 TURNER, Ernest...... 2 5 1 3 0 0 0 1 1 3 5 2 2 0 1 15

14 PEARSON, Omari...... 1 4 0 0 1 2 0 1 1 4 3 0 0 0 0 13

24 BIGBY, Lamar........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 6

34 PETERS, James....... 2 2 0 0 5 5 0 2 2 3 9 0 1 0 0 16

44 KNOCHE, Jon......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

TM TEAM................ 3 1 4

Totals.............. 24 57 6 17 23 24 9 22 31 24 77 11 13 1 7 200

TOTAL FG%: .421 DEADBALL

3-Pt. FG%: .353 REBOUNDS

F Throw %: .958 0

HOME TEAM: BYU

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

03 BIGELOW, Mark....... f 5 11 4 7 7 7 0 3 3 0 21 2 2 0 1 34

52 JENSEN, Jared....... f 3 5 0 0 5 6 1 3 4 5 11 0 3 0 0 27

55 ARAUJO, Rafael...... c 10 15 0 0 2 4 6 9 15 4 22 1 2 1 3 30

02 HANSEN, Travis...... g 7 15 2 3 4 4 3 3 6 3 20 3 2 0 1 35

10 NASHIF, Terry....... g 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 4 2 7 1 2 1 25

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

14 BOWER, Ricky........ 0 2 0 2 3 4 0 0 0 2 3 1 0 0 0 20

15 ALLEN, John......... 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 2 2 0 1 0 0 1

24 WOODBERRY, Kevin.... 0 1 0 0 2 4 0 0 0 3 2 1 0 0 1 16

TM TEAM................ 3 1 4

Totals.............. 26 55 6 12 27 33 13 25 38 24 85 15 12 3 7 200

TOTAL FG%: .473 DEADBALL

3-Pt. FG%: .500 REBOUNDS

F Throw %: .818 0

Date: 01/16/03 Site: Marriott Center, BYU PROVO UT Attendance: 17812

Officials: Scott Thornley; Greg Burks; Randy McCall;

Technical fouls: UNLV-None. BYU-None.

Score by Periods 1 2 Total

UNLV................ 33 44 - 77

BYU................. 43 42 - 85

Tags: Results