POSTGAME - BYU vs. Air Force

Lee Cummard went 10-for-10 from the stripe and posted 17 total points to help his Cougars win his last home game at BYU. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

POSTGAME NOTES

BYU vs. Air Force

March 7, 2009

Player Notes

— Iron man Lee Cummard shot 10-for-10 from the stripe on Saturday, posting 17 total points in his last home game as a Cougar. During the game he passed hall-of-famer Kresimir Cosic (1,512) in career points for 10th all-time. He needs 43 points to pass Kenneth Roberts (1,567) for ninth place.

Jackson Emery played solid defense against the Falcons, posting a career high six steals. He posted three steals in the first half and three in the second. He also tallied four rebounds and nine points in the first half. Jackson slammed two dunks on the night and tallied a total 15 points.

— After shooting 0-for-10 from the field, Jonathan Tavernari made three shots in a row, tallying seven points to put the Cougars up by three points, 45-42, at the 4:13 mark.

— Three players scored in double figures including Lee Cummard (17), Jackson Emery (15) and Jimmer Fredette (13).

Team Notes

— For the third-straight year, the Cougars claimed first place in the Mountain West Conference regular season with a 54-49 win over Air Force. BYU hasn’t posted three-straight conference titles since 1932-34 when the team competed in the Rocky Mountain Conference. BYU, Utah and New Mexico all tallied 12-4 records in the MWC, making it a three-way tie.

— For the 28th time in 30 games this season, BYU head coach Dave Rose started Jimmer Fredette, Jackson Emery, Lee Cummard, Jonathan Tavernari and Chris Miles. The Cougars are 22-6 with that starting lineup. Lamont Morgan, Jr., started the first game of the season in place of Jimmer Fredette and Charles Abouo started the Wyoming game in Provo in place of Jackson Emery.

— Trailing 22-25 at the break against the Falcons the Cougars trailed at the half for the fifth-straight game and for the fifth-straight game BYU shot below 40.0 percent in the first half (25.0 percent). The Cougars came back to win for the fourth-straight game. On Feb. 21, BYU trailed at UNLV by two at the half but was unable to come all the way back for the win, losing 75-74.

— BYU shot 21-of-25 from the charity stripe (84.0 percent), with Lee Cummard leading the ranks shooting a perfect 10-for-10, tying his career high. Cummard had 17 points on the night.

Record Watch

Lee Cummard has now tied No. 1 Mark Durrant for consecutive games played at 128.

— With 17 points against Air Force on Saturday, Lee Cummard now has 512 points this season and 1,525 career points. During the game he passed hall-of-famer Kresimir Cosic (1,512) for 10th all-time. He needs 43 points to pass Kenneth Roberts (1,567) for ninth place.

Lee Cummard posted one steal on the night, to bring his career steals to 127. He needs five steals to pass Russell Larson (131) for fifth place.

— With seven points against Air Force on Saturday, Jonathan Tavernari has 484 points this season and 1,124 for his career. He is five points from passing Steve Schreiner (1,128) for 29th.

— With one three against the Falcons Jonathan Tavernari now has 77 threes for the season and 194 for his career. He is 20 from passing Mark Bigelow for first all-time at BYU.

Game Trends

— The Cougars shot 0-for-6 from the field in the first six minutes until Fredette banked in a jumper at the 13:23 mark. He was fouled in the process, making his and-one opportunity, bringing the score to 7-12.

— BYU shot its lowest percentage from the field of the season in the first half at 25.0 percent. However the Cougars’ free throw shooting pulled them through, making 12-of-13 in the first half.

— BYU opened the game 11-of-11 from the free throw line.

— The Cougars shot 41.7 percent in the second half, bringing their game percentage to 34.1 percent from the field.

POSTGAME QUOTES

BYU vs. Air Force

March 7, 2009

BYU Head Coach Dave Rose:

“What a game. The guys just figured out a way to win. We knew it would be a hard-fought game. We were playing for a lot tonight. Air Force gave us everything that we thought they would give us. I am proud of our guys.”

“We made some big plays at times, but they weren’t consistent like this team is. I give credit to this team for finding ways to win.”

“I knew it would be a real emotional night, you never know how things are going to turn out. This game felt very similar to other games, but with added emotion – especially for Lee – because this is what he came back to do.”

Air Force Head Coach Jeff Reynolds

“I can’t really ask for more from our team. I thought our effort tonight was extraordinary. We’re playing better, defending better and overall getting better.”

“I thought we shot the ball well, but they just got to us. They were fortunate to get in the zone and make shots there.”

“They’re a really good team. Lee Cummard is something special. If anyone deserves to go to the NBA, he does. He has what every player wants, both on an off the court.”

“There was a great crowd tonight. I tip my hat to them. That atmosphere is what college basketball is all about.”

BYU Forward Lee Cummard:

“Everyone was struggling tonight. It wasn’t pretty, that’s for sure. They tried to slow the game down. They caught us standing, and it worked. But JT, Jimmer and Jackson made some great plays.”

“I think we built momentum (for going into the conference). We aren’t playing the best offense. Our defense is okay, but hopefully we can get that offense tuned up.”

“Being able to pull our way through, being able to pull out this game—that is a sign of maturity.”

BYU Guard Jackson Emery:

“Tonight I wanted to win the championship. I wanted to help the team and contribute in any way I could. I think the enthusiasm I had just helped me to get out there and help.”

“Air Force is a good team, their record may not show that, but they are fighters. They battled all 40 minutes.”

“We never thought of this as an easy game. I think some of the fans did, but we knew it would be a good, hard-fought battle.”

“Coach has always told us to have confidence, keep shooting and eventually they will drop – and they did. He tells us that sometimes you can’t make shots, but you can consistently play defense and that is what we need to do.”

Tags: Results