Freshman Jonathan Tavernari hit three treys and scored 17 points as BYU's bench outscored Utah's 25-14. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BYU at Utah
Jan. 31, 2007
- For the 10th 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 22 games this season while Plaisted has started 21, Balderson 19 and Ainge 14.
- Individual Career Highs: Gavin MacGregor - 4 points, 2 rebounds, 10 minutes; Austin Ainge - 8 assists (tied).
- Team Season Highs/Lows: Fewest turnovers - 7
- BYU's 76-66 win over the Utes in the Huntsman Center marked the first time the Cougars have defeated Utah in Salt Lake City since a 64-62 win on Jan. 8, 1994, a 12-year drought.
- With a 6-2 Mountain West Conference record through the first half of league play, the Cougars are in a first-place tie with No. 16 Air Force and No. 25 UNLV in the league standings. Three teams are tied for fourth place at 4-4 and three teams, including the Utes, are tied for seventh place at 2-6.
- The Cougars' win over the Utes also secured the Oquirrh Bucket for BYU as the in-state basketball team with the best record against in-state teams (4-0). BYU had not won the Bucket since 2001.
- BYU is now 15-3 when scoring at least 70 points and 14-0 when holding opponents below the 70-point threshold.
- With a 33-26 rebounding advantage against the Utes, the Cougars are now 15-0 when winning the battle of the boards.
- Leading 34-27 at Utah, BYU went into the locker room with a halftime lead for the 17th time this season, The Cougars have held opponents under 30 points in the first half 13 times this year. The Cougars are now 15-2 when leading at the break. BYU is also 15-0 when leading at the five-minute mark and 15-0 when leading at the one-minute mark.
- The Cougars' .462 (12-for-26) first-half shooting percentage at Utah marked the first MWC road game in which BYU did not shoot at least 50 percent in the first half. Including their marks at Utah, the Cougars are now shooting .529 from the floor and .548 from three-point range in the first half of league road games.
- With 21 points against the Utes, Keena Young has now scored in double figures in 19 of 22 games. Young scored 13 of his points in the first half, his highest first-half scoring total of the season.
- Jonathan Tavernari again provided a huge spark for BYU off the bench as he scored in double figures for the fifth time this season and the fourth time in seven games with 17 points. He entered the game at the 12:01 mark of the first half and drained two of his first three attempts from three-point range to turn a 17-15 Utah lead into a 21-17 Cougar advantage. Tavernari added a layin moments later to score eight straight points for BYU.
- Jimmy Balderson added 11 points to mark his 10th double-figure scoring outing of the season.
- Trent Plaisted recorded his 26th dunk of the season and the 58th of his career just 1:11 into the game with a spectacular one-handed throwdown.off of an assist by Jimmy Balderson.
- Gavin MacGregor made an appearance with 1:35 left in the first half, his first playing time since Jan. 10 when he played 2 minutes against TCU. The sophomore walk-on scored a career-high four points and two rebounds in a career-best 10 minutes.
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
"Obviously, this win is really, really big for our program. These guys have played well all year on the road against some tough teams. Now we're getting the confidence we need to win on the road. We ended the first half of league play in a good spot."
"Our three post players, Vuk Ivanovic, Trent Plaisted and Gavin MacGregor, did a great job. When you're trying to stop Luke Nevill down low, you have to anticipate foul trouble. The three of them did a good job of giving us solid minutes when we needed it."
"Gavin (MacGregor) worked a lot more with the first team this week in practice than he ever has before. He got a lot of reps and did a good job of putting it together in the game tonight."
"Austin (Ainge) did a good job of running our offense and getting the ball where we needed it. He's been playing with more and more confidence."
"It was a very physical game, and I thought our guys responded well to that. We knew that rebounding was going to be a big key, and we did a good job."