Senior Ben Murdock scored a career-high 13 points to help BYU defeat Colorado State Wednesday. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
BYU at Colorado State
Feb. 13, 2008
- Jonathan Tavernari made his 18th 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 Season Highs: Ben Murdock - 13 points; Jonathan Tavernari -- 10 rebounds (tied).
- At 8-1 in Mountain West Conference play, the Cougars are off to their best league start since going 8-1 in 1995 when BYU still played in the Western Athletic Conference.
- The Cougars' seven straight wins marks their longest win streak of the season (@ Utah, San Diego State, New Mexico, @ Air Force, @ Wyoming, TCU, @ CSU). BYU has won at least six straight MWC games in each of Dave Rose's three seasons at the helm.
- BYU picked up its fourth straight MWC road win with the victory at Colorado State, moving to 4-1 on the road in league play and 6-3 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 the 79-65 win, BYU is now 16-1 when scoring at least 70 points and 15-1 when holding opponents under 70 points.
- With a game-high lead of 19 points, the Cougars have now held a double-digit lead in 19 of 24 games this year. BYU has also led wire-to-wire in 11 games this season.
- With a 34-31 advantage after the first 20 minutes of play, BYU recorded its 20th halftime lead of the season. The Cougars are now 18-2 when leading at the break.
- BYU has had at least one player top the 20-point mark in each of the last five games and has had two players score at least 20 points in the same game in three of the last four contests (Cummaard -- 22, Plaisted -- 21).
- All five starters scored in double figures against the Rams, helping BYU improve to 9-1 when at least four players score in double digits and 4-0 when five players do so.
- The Cougars played solid team defense at Colorado State, holding Marcus Walker, who entered the game leading the MWC with 18.5 points per game overall and 22.2 ppg in league play, to a season-low seven points in the game. Walker went 2-for-18 from the field.
- With 21 points at Colorado State, Plaisted cracked the top 20 on BYU's all-time scoring list. Plaisted went 9-for-9 from the field against the Rams to reach 1,208 career points, leapfrogging Eldon Brinley and Gary Trost to move to 19th on the scoring list.
- For the fourth time in five games, Cummard topped the 20-point mark with 22 at CSU, the eighth time this year he has scored at least 20 points. Cummard's 13 first-half points marked the ninth time this season he has reached double-digits in the first 20 minutes.
- Tavenari recorded his second career double-double and second in the last three games with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
- Burgess has come on strong for the Cougars during their seven-game win streak, scoring in double figures in four of seven games, including 10 at Colorado State. He has reached double digits in 10 games on the year after doing so in just four contests last season.
- With two three-point makes in the first eight minutes of the game, Murdock surpassed his season scoring average of 4.2 points per game. He finished the first half with eight points, already tying his season high. He made it a career night with a make midway through the second half to score 10 points and finished with 13. He also dished out six assists with just one turnover
- The Cougars came out strong to begin both halves against the Rams, outscoring CSU 13-2 in the first 4:40 of the first half and 15-6 in the first 4:42 of the second half.
BYU Guard Ben Murdock
"We knew we were going to be in a fight. Colorado State has played the top teams at Moby Arena over the last few games with SDSU and UNLV, and they took them to the wire. So we were prepared to come in here and have a war. They gave us all we could handle, but we played really good team defense and that led to good offense."
"We got off to really good starts in the first and second halves. We let them come back a little, but we did a good job holding them off."
"Marcus Walker has been playing a lot more point guard, so I got to guard him a lot tonight. We were always there, riding his shorts, and always had a hand in his face on his shots. We didn't let him get any clean looks at the basket. He's the leading scorer in the conference, so he was one of our keys."
"Coach Rose mentioned that we were being out-rebounded and really out-hustled at halftime, and we wanted to come out and show them that wasn't going to happen the rest of the game. We did a great job limiting their second shots in the second half."
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
"This (Colorado State) was a team that got an emotional lift from (Stuart) Creason coming back. He played more minutes than Coach Miles probably expected him to play, but he was good and really hard for us to get a feel for."
"Give our guys a ton of credit for competing. Our guards were so aware and competitive on Marcus Walker. Most of his shots were contested. They stayed right with him. Our post guys did a good job helping on penetration."
"We got a really balanced game from our staring five. We knew coming into this that we wouldn't be able to get it done with just one or two guys. We had to be balanced, and we did a good job of that tonight. Everyone scored. Trent (Plaisted) was terrific. Lee (Cummard) gave us some really big baskets at opportune times. Ben (Murdock) and Sam (Burgess) hit some big shots, and Jonathan (Tavernari) threw in a double-double."
"The last couple weeks we've really made some strides playing together. Tonight we did a better job not only sharing the ball offensively, but having really good team defense. A lot of it comes from the fact that they're just naturally competitive players. They don't try to force things to get their own stats. It's a combined effort from a group of very competitive guys."
"The fact that we were able to play the five starters a lot of minutes tonight is the result of the fact that we had a week off. This is a tough place to play. I was proud of how those five came together in the second half and really competed down the stretch."