COLORADO SPRINGS -- BYU senior forward Eric Nielsen is the Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week after leading the Cougars to an 81-76 upset of 13th-ranked Stanford Saturday at the Las Vegas Showdown. This is Nielsen's first player of the week honor of his career.
Nielsen, from Freemont, Calif. (Irvington HS) scored a career-high 29 points after making 11-of-16 shots from the floor (68.8 percent), including 2-for-2 from three-point range. He was also a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line and grabbed six rebounds, while dishing out two assists. Nielsen's two treys marked a career best and equaled the total number of threes he's made in the past two years combined.
Nielsen scored 17 points in 18 first-half minutes, keeping BYU within one at intermission, 41-40. He added 12 points in the second half and helped the Cougars outrebound Stanford, holding the Cardinal nine boards below their season average. Nielsen also set career highs with the 16 field goal attempts, 11 field goals made and free throw percentage (1.000).
MWC Men's Basketball Players of the Week:
Nov. 19 - Joel Gerlach (So., F), Air Force
Nov. 26 - Ruben Douglas (Jr., G), New Mexico
Dec. 3 - Tony Bland (Jr., G), San Diego State
Dec. 10 - Al Faux (Sr., G), San Diego State
Dec. 17 - Dalron Johnson (Jr., F), UNLV
Dec. 24 - Eric Nielsen (Sr., F), BYU.