Ben Murdock tied his career high with four assists against Wyoming Tuesday night. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
BYU at Wyoming
Feb. 6, 2007
- For the 12th 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 24 games this season while Plaisted has started 23, Balderson 21 and Ainge 16.
- Individual Career Highs: Ben Murdock - 4 assists; Keena Young -- 29 points (tied), 13 free throws attempted; Lee Cummard -- 3 blocks (tied).
- BYU is now 17-3 when scoring at least 70 points and 3-6 when allowing opponents to reach the 70-point threshold.
- With a 31-30 rebounding advantage against the Cowboys, the Cougars are now 17-0 when winning the battle of the boards.
- The Cougars trailed at halftime for just the fifth time this season and the first time in conference play, going into the locker room down 34-31 at the break. With the win, BYU has now come back from a halftime deficit twice this season, including overcoming an eight-point halftime deficit against Seton Hall. Overall, the Cougars are 16-2 when leading at the break, 2-3 when trailing and 0-1 when tied this season.
- After losing five of their first six true road games this season, BYU has now won its last three games away from the Marriott Center. The Cougars have shot above 50 percent in their last four road games, including a .543 (25-for-46) mark against the Cowboys.
- BYU's .500 (14-for-28) first-half shooting mark marked the fourth of five MWC road games in which the Cougars have shot at least 50 percent in the first period of play.
- With 29 points at Wyoming, Keena Young has now scored in double figures in 20 of 24 games this season, including six outings with at least 20 points. Young's highlight reel against the Cowboys included a 9-0 personal run in the early minutes of the second half to keep the Cougars close. He tied his career high of 29 points set against Wyoming in Provo earlier this season.
- After making 11 straight shots dating back four games, including scoring his first two attempts at Wyoming, Lee Cummard recorded his first miss since Jan. 24 on a three-pointer with 3:38 left in the first half. Prior to the miss, Cummard had made his first two shots at Wyoming, gone 3-for-3 against then-No. 25 UNLV, 3-for-3 at Utah and 3-for-3 against then-No. 13 Air Force since missing his last shot at New Mexico. Cummard finished the night with 10 points on 3-for-4 shooting from the field, his 10th double-digit scoring outing of the year.
- With two steals against Wyoming, Cummard has now recorded at least one takeaway in 20 of 24 games. Cummard leads BYU and ranks fifth in the MWC in that category. Cummard also tied his career high with three blocked shots against the Cowboys, his 12th game with at least one rejection.
- After tying his own school record with eight three-pointers against UNLV last Saturday, Mike Rose continued his hot shooting from downtown against Wyoming, making 4-of-6 to score 12 points.
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
"This game was like the majority of the wins we've had this year. A couple guys stepped up and made some big plays, but it was a team win from top to bottom. We got some good play out of our bench, and then Keena Young was great down low. I'm really proud of our guys."
"Our first half was not as inspiring as I wanted them to have, but our guys showed a lot of maturity in coming out in the second half and getting better."
"We've got a lot of really good players, and as a staff we have confidence in all those guys. When our bench players get an opportunity to go in there and help our team, they get it done. Ben Murdock and Sam Burgess gave us big lifts that we need for our team to be successful."
"I've become really confident in the confidence our guys have in each other. We prepare well, and the execution has been a lot better in the last few weeks. This group is playing with a lot of confidence and has a lot of confidence in each other."
"These guys are very smart players. They know when they step up to the line late in the game that those are big free throws. The thing I feel good about is that very few of our misses are way off. We're close, and our guys are right there. It's something that we need to work on. We know it's an issue, but you have to give the guys a lot of credit for the effort and the competitive spirit they had to be able to overcome leaving so many points at the line."
"I thought we did have an advantage early on in the post, but it kind of worked to our disadvantage a little in the first half because our shot selection wasn't as good. We were forcing shots in there that we don't normally take and weren't getting the ball out on the perimeter. In the second half, we did a better job of getting it in there when we had chances but kicking it out when we could."
"James Spencer in the first 10 minutes of the game was virtually unstoppable. Sam (Burgess) did a good job of forcing him out a little, but he was hard to guard."
"I thought that Ben's (Murdock) athleticism and strength was really good for us defensively. Offensively, he was running our team well, and we had a better defensive presence with him in there. Austin (Ainge) was able to get a breather and then come out and finish the game for us. We're getting really good play off the bench. It gives your starters a lift to know they can come out and get a lift from the bench."
"Lee (Cummard) had a lot of really big plays. He's a big play guy. He's got a great feel for the game itself from every angle. He's getting better and better defensively. This is about players making plays, and right now our guys our getting it done."
"There are still big games to be played, both at home and on the road. Anyone can beat anyone in this league, and you have to keep focusing on the next game and taking care of your own team. Last year, we had to hope some other teams would lose. It's nice to be able to control our own fate."
BYU Senior Forward Keena Young
"The coaches just told me to keep going to the rim and try to keep my nose at the rim, and that's what I did."
"Their post players were very physical when we played them in Provo, so we knew we had a little edge in the post since they didn't have their two regular guys."
"We were a little too loose in the first half. Coach Rose got on us at halftime and told us we had to give more effort. He said if we outrebounded them we'd be alright, and that's what we did."
"It was a rough night from the free-throw line, but it's no concern. We'll get in there and practice our free throws tomorrow. Everyday we practice our free throws so we'll get better. Tonight we had enough heart to win the game."
"There's been times in the game when Coach just puts me in the game and tells me to go to the rim and make my free throws. I have to have a scorer's mentality because my team counts on me."
"Any win is a good win, especially on the road in this conference. So we'll take it and look forward to the next game. It feels great to be in first place right now, but we've got to keep going and get it done. You have to win on the road."