POSTGAME - BYU at New Mexico

Austin Ainge tied his career high with eight assists in BYU's big win over New Mexico. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

POSTGAME NOTES

BYU at New Mexico

Jan. 24, 2007

- For the eighth time this season, Austin Ainge, Jimmy Balderson, Lee Cummard, Keena Young and Trent Plaisted received the starting nod from BYU head coach Dave Rose. Cummard and Young have started in all 20 games this season while Plaisted has started 19, Balderson 17 and Ainge 12.

- Individual Career Highs: Jonathan Tavernari -- 18 points (tied). Austin Ainge - 8 assists (tied).

- Team Season Highs: Fewest points allowed against a Div. I opponent - 49

- BYU's win at New Mexico ended a four-game Cougar losing streak away from the Marriott Center. The Cougars have won two straight at UNM and have had success at The Pit in the past as BYU has ended three Lobo home win streaks during the all-time series. The Cougars have more wins at The Pit than any other UNM opponent.

- With a 21-point (70-49) win over the Lobos, the Cougars have now won three of their six Mountain West Conference games by at least 20 points, including a 24-point win over TCU (89-65) and a 22-point victory over San Diego State (80-58). BYU has won just nine games by 20 points or more in MWC play since the formation of the league prior to the 1999-2000 season.

- The Cougars are now 14-3 when scoring at least 70 points and 2-6 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold. The Cougars have scored at least 70 points in 12 straight games. New Mexico entered the game scoring 87 points per game at home but recorded a season-low 49 points against the Cougars.

- With a .500 (9-for-18) three-point shooting mark at UNM, BYU has now shot above .400 from behind the arc in seven straight games and 11 on the season. The Cougars have shot above .500 in seven games.

- With a 30-29 rebounding advantage against the Lobos, the Cougars are now 13-0 when winning the battle of the boards.

- With the win at UNM coming after a loss at Colorado State, BYU has now bounced back from five of its six losses this season with wins. The Cougars have suffered back-to-back losses only twice in the last two years - once this season (vs. Michigan State, at Lamar) and once last season (vs. Utah at MWC Tournament and at Houston in the NIT).

- Leading 37-28 at UNM, BYU went into the locker room with a halftime lead for the 15th time this season. The Cougars have held opponents under 30 points in the first half 11 times this season and are now 13-2 when leading at the break. BYU is also 13-0 when leading at the five-minute mark and 13-0 when leading at the one-minute mark.

- The Cougars have put together incredible first-half shooting performances in their three MWC road games, including a .520 mark from the field and a .600 mark from three-point range against the Lobos. Including its games at UNLV and at Colorado State, BYU is shooting .551 from the floor and .727 from three-point range in the first half of play in league road contests. The Cougars have led at the break in two of those games and been tied in one.

- After getting just six points off the bench against Colorado State in their last game, the Cougars posted a 31-9 advantage off the bench over the Lobos. BYU has outscored its opponents from the bench in 14 games this season and been outscored in just six.

- After going 5-for-8 from three-point range against Colorado State in BYU's last game, Jimmy Balderson drained two more three-pointers against the Lobos to bring his two-game total to seven. Prior to the last two contests, Balderson had scored 12 three-pointers in BYU's first 18 games.

- Jonathan Tavernari came off the bench for 10 first-half points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field including two threes. The true freshman ended the game tying his career high with 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting to go along with four rebounds and three steals.

POSTGAME QUOTES

BYU Head Coach Dave Rose

"This was very much a team win from the starters to the guys who came off the bench. We did a lot of things really well. We got a nice run at the end of the first half to give us some confidence. They gave us a nice run back but we kept it going."

"Austin (Ainge) was terrific tonight. He got involved scoring early and had eight assists with just one turnover. He was really able to run our offense. We knew that being able to get the ball into the post and play of the post men was going to be key, and he did that for us."

"Everyone came in and hit shots. Jimmy (Balderson) hit one early, Austin (Ainge) hit a big shot and Mike (Rose) hit two big shots in the second half. That really keeps the energy of the group going."

"Tonight we had to guard the three-point line because that's their success. Our guys did a good job of staying out on them and making it tough for them. I thought we contested shots well."

"Give a lot of credit to all the players that came in and really helped us. Jonathan (Tavernari) was terrific. The matchup was really well for him tonight defensively at the small forward spot. He came in for defensive purposes to get a bigger body in there and ended up hitting some shots and playing a lot of minutes in the second half. He has a lot of confidence, and his teammates have confidence in him. Offensively, he's a player that is going to have a lot of success. Defense will be his challenge, but he's a hard worker and a determined young man."

"I think that anytime a coach gets his team to this point in league play, every game is really really important. As a big of a win for us as this is as far the standings go, it's an emotional win that will carry confidence for this team. That's a key."

"This group of guys just fights and competes. The resolve that they came out with tonight from the beginning was just what we wanted."

BYU Freshman Forward Jonathan Tavernari

"This is a tough place to play. You have to be focused and concentrate and look to the coaches. I have to give credit to the coaches and the team. The coaches prepared us really well and gave us a good game plan, and then we just played well and executed."

"There's a lot of energy in here. We have the same energy in the Marriott Center. Tonight we were able to respond to their runs and keep the crowd out of it mostly. We were able to concentrate and focus and execute the game plan."

"I feel pretty good with my game. Sometimes I just feel like my team needs me and I can't be a liability. I have to get stops, knock down the shot and get rebounds. When I get into that mode, I feel pretty confident. I'm pretty excited about my first conference road win."

"This game is over. Now we have to focus on Air Force. They're a great team but they're coming to the Marriott Center and that's our building. We have the advantage getting the best team in the conference in our place."

New Mexico Head Coach Ritchie McKay

"I thought BYU played great, and I thought we played poorly. We're just trying to get through this adverse time. We played well all week in practice. We just didn't execute in the game. It's very frustrating. We've got a team that's talented, and I'm going to find a way to get it changed."

Tags: Results