POSTGAME - BYU at Air Force

Despite battling flu-like symptoms, Trent Plaisted pulled down a game-high nine rebounds at Air Force. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

POSTGAME NOTES

BYU at Air Force

Jan. 30, 2008

- Jonathan Tavernari made his 15th start of the year, joining Ben Murdock, Sam Burgess, Lee Cummard and Trent Plaisted in the starting five. The latter four have started every game this season.

- Individual Career Highs: Jonathan Tavernari - 4 assists.

- At 5-1 in Mountain West Conference play, the Cougars are off to their best league start since the 2002-03 season when they also began 5-1 through the first six games. BYU finished the 2002-03 season tied for first in the conference at 11-3.

- With the 69-53 win, BYU has now won its last three games when scoring under 70 points (55-52 at Utah, 59-56 vs. SDSU).

- BYU picked up its second MWC road win with the victory at Air Force, moving to 2-1 on the road in league play and 4-3 overall. BYU won five of its last seven road games last season and was the only MWC team with a winning road record in league play at 5-3.

- With a game-high lead of 16 points, the Cougars have now held a double-digit lead in 16 of 21 games in the year. BYU has led wire-to-wire in nine games this season.

- BYU has made 23 three-pointers in the last two games with 13 against New Mexico and 10 at Air Force. The Cougars have made double-digit three-pointers in eight games this year. With 174 treys on the year, BYU is on pace to break the single-season three-point record of 256 set last year. Cummard has now made a three-pointer in 19 of 21 games this season while Tavernari has done so in 18 games and Burgess in 16.

- With a 29-24 advantage after the first 20 minutes of play, BYU recorded its 17th halftime lead of the season. The Cougars are now 15-2 when leading at the break. BYU has held its opponents under 30 points in the first half of 15 games. The Cougars shot 39.3 percent from the field in the half, their highest first-half shooting percentage on the road since shooting 46.7 percent in the first period at Boise State.

- Despite battling flu-like symptoms that limited his playing time to 19 minutes, Plaisted recorded nine points and nine rebounds to move to 26th on BYU's all-time career scoring list with 1,143 points and surpass 600 career rebounds with 608. Plaisted is one of only 11 Cougars all-time to record at least 1,000 points and 600 rebounds.

- Cummard's 21-point outing at Air Force marked the sixth time this season and the eight time in his career he has scored at least 20 points. Cummard has had back-to-back 20-point outings including 20 against New Mexico on Saturday.

- Tavernari also surpassed the 20-point mark for the third time this season with 22 points against the Falcons.

- With 10 points in the first half on 4-for-7 shooting from the field, Cummard reached double digits in the first 20 minutes for the seventh time this season.

POSTGAME QUOTES

BYU Guard Lee Cummard

"Trent (Plaisted) played huge tonight. We're really glad we had him. We got some big rebounds defensively from him tonight. I'm very proud of the way he played tonight with the way he was feeling."

"They have great players. Tim Anderson is a great guy and really kept them in the game in the second half. I like the way they fight. Nobody gives them credit for how good they are."

"One of the things we wanted to do was get out on top from the start. It's a lot easier to guard their stuff when they're trailing. I thought we shot excellent in the second half and quieted the crowd. Then Trent came in and got a couple buckets and really got us going."

"I thought we did a great ob of just buckling down defensively down the stretch. We didn't start out playing too well offensively, but we played well defensively so it was okay."

"Winning on the road is huge. You can't win a conference championship unless you can take your team on the road with confidence and get it done."

"It's a sweet feeling. My freshman year, we came in here and got smacked then last year we won a tight game here. Tonight was a sweet feeling. It felt good."

"Wyoming will be a hard-fought game just like tonight. They have some great players and some athletic bigs and with Schroyer there, they're going to be a lot tougher than they have been in the past."

BYU Head Coach Dave Rose

"This was really as good a team win as we've had all year long. We got great play out of our bench and really good play from our starters. Different players carried us at different points. At one point in the second half, we had three freshmen on the floor, which says at lot about your team."

"Just the fact that Trent (Plaisted) was willing to push himself through the sickness says a lot. He gave us great minutes and crucial baskets in a crucial time. I think it was a big, big plus for us. Coming over here, we didn't think we'd be able to get any minutes from him at all. Every minute we played for us was a bonus. Trent made a big sacrifice tonight. He laid it out there for us and that's a real positive sign."

"The players did a good job of getting rid of the UNLV game. That's a game that can haunt you, but we were able to get back home, get rid of that game and gut out a couple wins. Then, the last couple times out, we've been able to play a lot better. Our defensive game has been a lot better the last four or five games, but our offense has improved the last couple."

"In games like this, you really have to pick your spot as a perimeter shooter. Jonathan (Tavernari) did a good job of picking opportunities of when to give an extra pass and when to take the opportunity to shoot."

"The system that Air Force runs causes a lot of problems because it's really different. For a lot of our players, this was the first time they've played Air Force. Those guys were big factors in helping us win."

"Our guys did a good job of seeing the ball and opening up to get into a position to make plays."

"When you get a couple players that are leading your team and they play well, other players can build off of that. Tonight with Lee (Cummard) and Jonathan (Tavernari) and Trent (Plaisted) having big games for us, that really gets all of our guys going."

Air Force Head Coach Jeff Reynolds

"They're a very talented offensive team. I thought we did a good job in the first half, and then in the second half we had four real critical breakdowns. We hit a four-minute stretch where we couldn't put the ball in the basket."

"They shot the ball extremely well in the second half, and you have to get them credit. With about four minutes left to go in the game, we didn't handle a couple situations very well and panicked a bit on the defensive end."

Tags: Results