Trent Plaisted recorded two dunks in BYU's Championship loss at No. 25 UNLV Saturday. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
The following are postgame notes and quotes following BYU's 78-70 loss at No. 25 UNLV in the MWC Tournament Championship game.
No. 23 BYU at No. 25 UNLV
March 10, 2007
- For the 19th time this season and the 16th straight game, 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 33 games this season while Plaisted has started 32, Balderson 30 and Ainge 25.
- Individual Career Highs: Keena Young - 34 points; Lee Cummard - 13 rebounds; Austin Ainge - 10 assists.
- BYU MWC Tournament Records -- Keena Young's 34 points and 13 field goals made set new BYU MWC Tournament records while his eight free-throws made are tied for second. Austin Ainge's 10 assists are a new BYU MWC Tournament record, surpassing the mark of seven he set twice. Lee Cummard's 13 rebounds are tied for second.
- The Cougars are now 3-3 in their games vs. ranked teams with the 78-70 loss at No. 25 UNLV, a 62-58 victory at No. 20 Air Force, a 90-63 win over then-No. 25 UNLV, a 61-52 win over then-No. 13 Air Force, an 82-69 loss at then-No. 5 UCLA and a 76-61 neutral court loss against then-No. 25 Michigan State.
- BYU is now 23-5 when scoring less than 70 points and 5-8 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold.
- With a 38-28 rebounding advantage against the Rebels, the Cougars are now 24-2 when winning the battle of the boards.
- BYU has now shot above .500 from the field in 11 of the last 15 games, including a .500 mark against UNLV. The Cougars have also shot above .500 in seven of their last eight road games.
- The Cougars have shot especially well from three-point range in their three games against UNLV this year, going a combined 32-for-58 (.552) from long range against the Rebels, including a school record 15 three-pointers made in Provo. Mike Rose has led the BYU charge from downtown as he has made 15-of-22 (.682) from three-point range against UNLV this season, including tying the BYU record he set in 2003 with eight three-pointers made against the Rebels in Provo.
- BYU has led by at least 10 points in 23 of 33 games including a 14-point first-half lead against the Rebels. BYU is 21-2 in those games with both losses coming at the hands of UNLV.
- With a 37-26 advantage at the break, the Cougars enjoyed their 25th halftime lead of the season and their 14th in double figures. Overall, BYU is 22-3 when leading at the break, 3-4 when trailing and 0-1 when tied. The Cougars have held opponents under 30 points in the first half 18 times this season, including three of the last four games.
- Keens Young's 34 points against the Rebels and is the most points scored by a Cougar since Mekeli Wesley scored 34 on Jan. 20, 2000 and marked his ninth 20+-point scoring outing of the season and the 10th of his career. Only 17 Cougars have ever scored more in a game. Young has topped the 20-point scoring mark five times in the last 10 games.
- Lee Cummard posted his third double-double of the season and his career with 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds against the Rebels.
- BYU jumped out to a 10-0 lead on 5-for-9 shooting from the field while holding the Rebels scoreless for the first 5:46 of the game. UNLV started the contest 0-for-9 before making its first bucket at the 14:14 mark.
- Just one game after scoring 10 of BYU's first 17 points, Lee Cummard once against started off hot, recording nine points and eight rebounds in the first 10:43 of the game before heading to the bench for a breather.
- UNLV's 51-50 lead after a three-point make with 11:51 left to play in the game marked the first time BYU trailed in the MWC Tournament. The Cougars led by as many as 20 points against TCU in the quarterfinals and
25 points against Wyoming in the semifinals while never trailing in either game. BYU also had a 14-point lead (24-10) in the first half against the Rebels.
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
"I thought it was a very hard-fought contest. I thought both teams played really well. I'm very proud of our team. I thought we battled and gave a great effort. It was a game that came down right to the end. I couldn't be more proud of a group of players because they battled to the very end."
"We thought one of the keys to the game was to be able to defend the three-point line, and we knew that obviously Kruger and Wink had great seasons and were really good from the perimeter. Umeh is a guy who has a lot of experience, has made big shots. After he hit the first two, we tried to change our defense on him a little bit. That makes it tougher to guard the post because you got three perimeter guys who are really good shooting the ball. Give UNLV credit, they played well, they battled. They did what it took to win."
"I think the concentration level was good. There may have been a little fatigue playing three nights in a row, but you battle through it. You battle through nights when you're not shooting the ball very well from the perimeter. You try to get inside. We had plenty of chances. UNLV just made more plays than we did. I think both teams played really well. It was a matter of tonight UNLV played better."
"I thought our guys executed it well. We shot 50 percent from the field and got good shots. Keena Young was doing what he normally does for us. It just came down to a couple plays late."
"You face the challenges that are put in front of you. That's what we talk about all the time with our team. That was the challenge. I thought we were up to it. We played really well. We just didn't play well enough to win."