Seventh Straight Win For BYU

Lee Cummard led BYU with 22 points at Colorado State, the fourth time in the last five games he has reached 20 points. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

FORT COLLINS -- The BYU men's basketball team ran its win streak to seven straight games Wednesday night with a 79-65 win at Colorado State, the Cougars fourth straight road victory. With the win, BYU maintained its hold on the top spot in the Mountain West Conference with an 8-1 league record while improving to 19-5 overall.

"We got a really balanced game from our staring five," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "We knew coming into this that we wouldn't be able to get it done with just one or two guys. We had to be balanced, and we did a good job of that tonight."

All five starters scored in double figures for the Cougars, led by 22 points from Lee Cummard and 21 points from Trent Plaisted, who did not miss a shot in the game as he went 9-for-9 from the field. Senior Ben Murdock chipped in a career-high 13 points while dishing out six assists with just one turnover. Jonathan Tavernari and Sam Burgess each scored 10 points while Tavernari posted his second double-double in the last three games with a career-high-tying 10 rebounds. Cummard has now topped the 20-point mark in four of the last five games as he continues his push for MWC Player of the Year.

In an excellent display of team defense, BYU held CSU's Marcus Walker, who entered the game leading the MWC with 18.5 points per game overall and 22.2 ppg in league play, to a season-low seven points on 2-for-18 shooting from the field.

Burgess got the Cougars started with a reverse layin before Plaisted scored underneath to make it 4-0. After a bucket from CSU's Stuart Creason, Cummard became the third Cougar to score with a make at the 17:29 mark of the first half. Cummard continued to be an early factor as he assisted the first three Cougars baskets besides his own and threw down a dunk while helping BYU build a 13-2 lead.

The Cougars continued to build on their advantage, making seven of their first nine shots while holding Colorado State to 2-for-11 shooting to begin the game. After four straight points from Cummard, Murdock gave BYU its largest lead of the game at 20-6 with a three-point make with 13:04 left in the half.

With Plaisted on the bench with two fouls, the Rams found their rhythm with a 15-6 run to reduce the deficit to just five points at 26-21, forcing a Cougar timeout. Murdock and Cummard each drained threes for BYU during the stretch as Murdock surpassed his season scoring average of 4.2 points per game with six points in the first eight minutes of the game while Cummard's make gave him 11 first-half points, the ninth time this season he has posted double digits in the first half.

Murdock made the first BYU shot in six tries out of the timeout, which was followed by an easy layin from Cummard. CSU continued to hang around as the two teams traded buckets with BYU clinging to the lead. Creason got the crowd going with a putback to cut the Cougar lead to 34-31 with under two minutes to play in the half. Neither team would score for the remainder of the half as BYU escaped into the locker room with its 20th halftime lead of the year.

Plaisted came out of the break strong with a driving layin on the opening possession of the half, but Creason shot over him on the other end to keep the lead at three points. Tavernari then made his first field goal of the night with a three-pointer for the Cougars but was answered with a CSU make from long range.

Four more points from Plaisted sandwiched around a Ram free throw kept CSU at bay before back-to-back Cougar threes from Burgess and Tavernari pushed the lead back to double digits at 49-37. The two teams traded scores from there until a three-pointer from Cummard gave the Cougars their largest lead of the game to that point at 56-42 with just over 12 minutes to play. Cummard's trey proved a momentum-builder as BYU scored the next eight points to take a 61-42 lead.

Creason, playing just his second game back after missing nine games due to injury, fought to bring his team back, cutting the lead back down to 10 points at 67-57 with six minutes left to play as Plaisted picked up his fourth foul. A Cougar turnover on the other end gave CSU a chance to get the deficit into single digits, which Creason took advantage of as Chris Miles picked up his fifth foul. Creason made both free throws to cap a 10-0 run that saw the BYU lead dwindle to 67-59.

Forced to return to the game with four fouls, Plaisted made a huge bucket on the other end, his eighth make in eight tries as the clock ticked past five minutes. After CSU answered, Murdock increased his career high with a driving layin, giving him 13 points on the night to surpass his previous career high of nine. Plaisted then scored four straight with time winding down, and Tavernari and Cummard each drained two free throws to secure the win for BYU.

The Cougars now return to the Marriott Center to face UNLV (19-5, 8-2 MWC) on Saturday at 7 p.m. A BYU victory would tie the program's longest home court winning streak at 44 games. BYU Athletics is hoping to White Out the Marriott Center for the game, encouraging all fans to wear white.

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Official Basketball Box Score

BYU vs Colorado State

02/13/08 7:05 p.m. at Moby Arena, Fort Collins, Colo.

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VISITORS: BYU 19-5, 8-1

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. f 2-6 2-5 4-4 2 8 10 3 10 1 0 0 0 29

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... c 9-9 0-0 3-7 2 3 5 4 21 0 0 0 1 22

20 BURGESS, Sam........ g 4-10 2-6 0-0 0 2 2 1 10 2 1 2 1 36

24 MURDOCK, Ben........ g 5-9 2-6 1-4 0 3 3 1 13 6 1 0 0 36

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ g 9-15 2-5 2-3 3 5 8 1 22 5 3 0 1 38

01 LOYD, JR., Michael.. 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4

14 MARTINEAU, Nick..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 7

41 COLLINSWORTH, Chris. 1-4 0-0 1-1 2 2 4 0 3 0 1 2 1 12

54 MILES, Chris........ 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 5 0 1 1 0 1 15

TEAM................ 2 3 5

Totals.............. 30-55 8-23 11-19 12 26 38 15 79 16 10 4 5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-29 48.3% 2nd Half: 16-26 61.5% Game: 54.5% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 4-11 36.4% 2nd Half: 4-12 33.3% Game: 34.8% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 2-5 40.0% 2nd Half: 9-14 64.3% Game: 57.9% 3

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HOME TEAM: Colorado State 6-18, 0-10

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

13 McFARLAND, Andre.... f 5-7 3-3 2-2 0 3 3 3 15 2 0 0 1 24

30 CREASON, Stuart..... c 7-13 0-0 10-10 2 4 6 5 24 1 2 0 0 30

04 WALKER, Marcus...... g 2-18 1-7 2-3 0 4 4 2 7 2 2 0 0 35

12 NIGON, Adam......... g 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 1 22

22 WOODARD, Jesse...... g 1-2 1-1 1-2 0 1 1 1 4 2 1 0 0 19

03 CLAYMAN, Flynn...... 2-6 0-3 0-0 1 1 2 5 4 0 0 0 0 18

11 COHEN, David........ 1-2 1-1 0-0 1 0 1 4 3 0 1 0 1 24

21 SIMMONS, Josh....... 4-6 0-1 0-0 1 2 3 3 8 3 2 0 3 28

TEAM................ 3 3 6

Totals.............. 22-54 6-16 15-17 8 18 26 23 65 12 10 0 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-29 37.9% 2nd Half: 11-25 44.0% Game: 40.7% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-8 37.5% 2nd Half: 3-8 37.5% Game: 37.5% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 6-6 100 % 2nd Half: 9-11 81.8% Game: 88.2% 0

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Officials: Verne Harris, Larry Spaulding, Mike Giarratano

Technical fouls: BYU-None. Colorado State-None.

Attendance: 2728

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU........................... 34 45 - 79

Colorado State................ 31 34 - 65

Points in the paint-BY 38,CS 22. Points off turnovers-BY 11,CS 15.

2nd chance points-BY 16,CS 4. Fast break points-BY 2,CS 0.

Bench points-BY 3,CS 15. Score tied-0 times. Lead changed-0 times.

Last FG-BY 2nd-01:47, CS 2nd-03:04.

Largest lead-BY by 19 2nd-10:18, CS None.

Tags: Results