Lee Cummard posted a career-high 21 points against Wyoming to help BYU advance to the MWC Tournament Championship game for the first time since 2001. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
The following are postgame notes and quotes following BYU's 96-84 win over Wyoming in the MWC Tournament semifinals on Friday.
No. 23 BYU vs. Wyoming
March 9, 2007
- For the 18th time this season and the 15th 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 32 games this season while Plaisted has started 31, Balderson 29 and Ainge 24.
- Individual Career Highs: Trent Plaisted -- 27 points (tied), Lee Cummard -- 21 points.
- Individual Season Highs: Trent Plaisted -- 17 points in a half (first).
- Team Season Highs/Lows: 54 points in a half (first).
- MWC Tournament Records -- BYU's 54 first-half points set an MWC Tournament record while its 96 points scored is fourth all-time and its .643 three-point shooting percentage is third.
- BYU MWC Tournament Records -- The Cougars' 96 points is the most they've scored in the MWC Tournament while Trent Plaisted's 27 points is third, his 10 field goals is second and his 10 rebounds is tied for fifth. Keena Young's 10 rebounds is also tied for fifth.
- MWC Tournament History -- With the win, the Cougars have advanced to the MWC Tournament finals for the third time in event history and the first time since 2001. BYU is now 9-6 all-time in the MWC Tournament, including a 3-2 semifinals record. The Cougars are also 8-3 at the event in Las Vegas including their two previous finals appearances with one title (2001). This year marks BYU's first as the No. 1 seed, giving the Cougars a 2-0 record so far as the top team.
- BYU is now 23-4 when scoring over 70 points and 5-7 when allowing opponents to surpass the 70-point threshold.
- With a 42-38 rebounding advantage against the Cowboys, the Cougars are now 24-1 when winning the battle of the boards.
- BYU has now shot above .500 from the field in 10 of the last 14 games, including a .518 mark against Wyoming. The Cougars have also shot above .400 from three-point range in 11 of the last 13 games with a .643 efficiency against the Cowboys. BYU has topped 60 percent from long range four times this year.
- With a 54-35 advantage at the break, the Cougars enjoyed their 24th halftime lead of the season and their 13th in double figures. Overall, BYU is 22-2 when leading at the break, 3-4 when trailing and 0-1 when tied. The Cougars' 54 first-half points is the most they've scored in a half all season, led by Trent Plaisted's 17 points, also a season high for points in a half.
- BYU had two players record double-doubles for the second time this season as Trent Plaisted posted his third of the year and the ninth of his career with 27 points and 10 rebounds and Keena Young added his sixth of the season and ninth of his career with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
- Keena Young recorded his 1000th career point on a free-throw make just 3:30 into the game. Young is the 36th Cougar to join BYU's elite 1000 Point Club.
- With 27 points against the Cowboys after a 22-point performance against TCU, Trent Plaisted has recorded back-to-back 20-point outings for the second time this season, reaching the 20-point scoring mark for the sixth time this year. He scored 11 straight points for BYU during the first half to give the Cougars a 31-8 lead and established a season-high for points scored in a half with 17 in the first period of play.
- BYU began the game 10-for-13 (.769) from the field, including a 4-for-4 mark from three-point range, to build a 26-6 lead.
- The 20-point lead marked the 12th time this season the Cougars have led by as many as 20 points in a game, including eight times against MWC opponents and the last three straight games.
- Wyoming did not score back-to-back baskets from the field until two makes at the 5:23 and 5:04 marks of the first half.
- Lee Cummard scored 10 of the Cougars' first 17 points in the game, reaching double-digit points after less than five minutes of action.
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
"I was very proud of our players, how they came out and got off to a great start. I thought that we were playing very well together, were unselfish, sharing the ball, we were hitting shots. We got a nice lead. We knew in the second half it would be a different story."
"Wyoming played very, very hard and had a real will to compete. We matched that and were able to kind of carry that early lead into a victory."
"I think a lot of it was Wyoming; they're very athletic. You get in a situation at this time of year when players realize that the season's over if you don't win, and it changes the mindset. I think they came out in the second half with great determination. I think we were real fortunate we played as well as we did in the first half."
"There seems to be a lot more excitement here in Las Vegas. There seems to be a lot more excitement here as far as ticket requests are concerned. That must mean there's a lot more people that are here."
"When things got close, mainly we were just trying to be positive and get some confidence going. All we needed to do was make a free throw or make a shot, and it would really settle everything down. But we knew they were going to continue to contest every pass, contest every dribble, contest every catch, and that we just needed to get ourself in a positive mind frame. We just needed to finish the game off."
"I think Mike Rose's three was very big for our confidence. But I also think that put-back that Lee had sometime in that stretch was a real big shot for us. I've said this all year long: it's hard to win games. Your guys have to really compete for 40 minutes. I thought our guys did really well down the stretch."