MWC Tournament Title Stays in Vegas

Freshman Jimmer Fredette scored 17 points to lead BYU against UNLV. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

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LAS -- History often repeats itself, and for the second year in a row No. 23 BYU (27-7, 14-2 MWC) lost to UNLV (26-7, 12-4) 76-61 in the championship game of the 2008 Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Championship in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Freshman Jimmer Fredette scored 17 points off the bench to lead the Cougar offense, and All-MWC Tournament Team selection Lee Cummard followed with 11 points, four assists and four rebounds. BYU head coach Dave Rose complimented his team on its effort and congratulated UNLV on its victory.

"I thought it was a hard-fought game," Rose said. "Both teams played well. They played with a lot of energy in the second half. We worked hard and did a lot of good things. In the end, they played really great and deserved to win."

The fans came out in droves to support the home team at the Thomas & Mack Center and became an effective "sixth man". UNLV jumped out to an early 7-3 lead, but sophomore Jonathan Tavernari scored BYU's first eight points on 3-for-3 shooting with two three-pointers to keep his team in the game. The Cougars made their first five buckets from downtown and led for the final 16 minutes of the first half.

Senior Sam Burgess had nine points in the first period, making all three of his attempted shots, including two triples. Cummard also had nine points in the half, shooting 3-for-4 from the floor with three rebounds and three assists. Freshman Chris Collinsworth fulfilled his first-half role on the defensive end, hit his second three-pointer of the tournament and threw down a huge two-handed dunk over a Rebel defender in only nine minutes of play.

In total, BYU was 12-for-20 from the field in the first half and 6-for-8 from behind the arc. As a team, the Cougars were also 7-for-8 from the free-throw line and had 14 rebounds. UNLV was 12-for-30 overall and 4-for-9 from the three-point line as the Cougars took a 37-33 lead into the locker room at the break.

The Rebels regained the lead 1:36 into the second half at 39-38 after scoring six of the first seven points. UNLV rolled on to score the next six points on back-to-back threes from Utahn Joe Darger. It was a run from which BYU would not recover.

After Darger's three-pointers, UNLV made only six field goals in the remaining 17:20 of the game, including going 8:18 without a bucket from the floor and only four points from the line. However, the Rebels were 16-for-22 from the charity stripe in the same time frame. UNLV's Curtis Terry was 8-for-10 by himself from the line in that time.

Fredette did all he could to keep BYU alive in the second half. He scored 13 of his 17 points in the half, and senior captain Trent Plaisted had all of his nine points in the half as well. The Cougars were only 7-for-11 from the free-throw line in the half and 1-for-10 from three-point land.

When all was said and done, BYU shot 44.4 percent from the field and had a 38.9 three-point percentage. UNLV shot 41.8 percent from the floor and 45.0 percent from downtown. The Rebels won the battle of the boards, 36-25, and had only seven turnovers to the Cougars' 12.

The NCAA Tournament announcement is scheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m. MT and will be broadcast on CBS. BYU will be seeking to make its 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance with an at-large bid.

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Official Basketball Box Score

UNLV vs BYU Cougars

03/15/08 4:05 PM at Las Vegas, Nev. (Thomas & Mack Center)

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VISITORS: UNLV 26-7

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

15 BAILEY, Corey....... f 1-3 0-0 2-4 5 6 11 4 4 0 2 0 2 28

45 DARGER, Joe......... f 3-7 3-6 2-3 1 4 5 3 11 0 1 0 0 26

01 ADAMS, Wink......... g 8-15 4-5 3-4 0 2 2 2 23 1 0 0 2 28

24 ROUGEAU, Rene....... g 3-9 0-0 2-2 6 4 10 1 8 1 0 1 0 36

31 TERRY, Curtis....... g 4-12 1-5 11-14 1 4 5 2 20 3 3 0 2 39

00 RUTLEDGE, Mareceo... 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 6

05 WALLACE, Kendall.... 2-3 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 3 5 0 0 0 0 19

34 SHAW, Matt.......... 1-5 0-3 1-1 0 0 0 3 3 1 0 0 0 18

TEAM................ 1 1 1

Totals.............. 23-55 9-20 21-28 15 21 36 18 76 6 7 1 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-30 40.0% 2nd Half: 11-25 44.0% Game: 41.8% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 4-9 44.4% 2nd Half: 5-11 45.5% Game: 45.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 5-6 83.3% 2nd Half: 16-22 72.7% Game: 75.0% 4

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HOME TEAM: BYU Cougars 27-7

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. f 4-13 2-6 0-0 1 2 3 1 10 2 1 0 0 34

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... c 2-6 0-0 5-8 1 8 9 4 9 0 2 0 0 25

20 BURGESS, Sam........ g 3-4 2-2 1-2 0 2 2 4 9 0 1 0 0 29

24 MURDOCK, Ben........ g 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 3 0 1 3 0 0 20

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ g 4-6 1-2 2-2 2 2 4 5 11 4 3 1 1 36

01 LOYD, JR., Michael.. 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5

05 ROSE, Archie........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... 5-8 1-3 6-7 1 0 1 1 17 1 1 0 1 27

41 COLLINSWORTH, Chris. 2-5 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 2 5 0 0 0 0 17

54 MILES, Chris........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 5

TEAM................ 1 1 2

Totals.............. 20-45 7-18 14-19 6 19 25 22 61 8 12 1 3 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-20 60.0% 2nd Half: 8-25 32.0% Game: 44.4% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-8 75.0% 2nd Half: 1-10 10.0% Game: 38.9% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 7-8 87.5% 2nd Half: 7-11 63.6% Game: 73.7% 3,1

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Officials: David Hall, Verne Harris, Bob Staffen

Technical fouls: UNLV-None. BYU Cougars-None.

Attendance: 16096

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

UNLV.......................... 33 43 - 76

BYU Cougars................... 37 24 - 61

Points in the paint-LV 18,BY 24. Points off turnovers-LV 15,BY 7.

2nd chance points-LV 12,BY 8. Fast break points-LV 0,BY 7.

Bench points-LV 10,BY 22. Score tied-1 time. Lead changed-4 times.

Last FG-LV 2nd-02:22, BY 2nd-02:42.

Largest lead-LV by 15 2nd-01:26, BY by 11 1st-10:29.

Tags: Results