Stellar Season Ends in Anaheim

Trent Plaisted was one of four players with double-digit points, scoring 13 against Texas A&M. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

ANAHEIM -- The BYU men's basketball team's season came to an end Thursday as the Cougars fell, 67-62, to Texas A&M in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

"It was a very competitive game," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "Both teams played really hard, and they got off to a really good start and hit some big shots. But we were able to fight back and get in to the game, get a lead, and then it came down to the last couple minutes of the game. They are big and physical players and at critical times they made critical plays."

Despite the loss, BYU still posted the second-best record in program history with a 27-8 finish this year, advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the past eight years.

Sophomore Jonathan Tavernari led four Cougars in double figures in the game with 15 points followed by Lee Cummard with 14, Trent Plaisted with 13 and Jimmer Fredette with 10. Plaisted and Fredette also shared team-high rebounding honors with five boards apiece.

The Cougars started out slow, missing their first eight shots while Texas A&M built an 11-0 lead thanks in part to three early treys from Josh Carter. Cummard finally got BYU on the scoreboard with a put-back dunk at the 13:55 mark, prompting a huge reaction from the Cougar crowd. Moments later, a Burgess steal allowed the senior co-captain to get loose, resulting in a fastbreak layin to make the score 11-4.

Two free throws from Cummard cut into the deficit even more before the Aggies were able to respond with a 6-2 run to push the advantage up to 17-8. Plaisted made his first bucket of the night on the other end, but Carter came through from distance once again for Texas A&M, draining his fourth three-pointer in the first 13 minutes of the game to re-establish a double-digit lead at 20-10 with 7:11 to play in the first half.

The two teams traded buckets from there with the Aggies holding onto a 26-18 lead until Cummard breathed life into the Cougars with a three-point bucket, BYU's first of the game. After freshman Chris Collinsworth picked off a pass on the next Texas A&M possession, he went the length of the court before being fouled on the shot attempt. He missed both free throws, but fellow freshman Jimmer Fredette grabbed the rebound and took it to the hoop to cut the Aggie lead to just three points at 26-23 with two minutes to play in the half.

Moments later, after an offensive foul on the Aggies, Tavernari completed the Cougar comeback bid with a trey followed immediately by a Texas A&M turnover and a three-pointer from Fredette. The back-to-back scores capped an 11-0 BYU run that gave the Cougars a 29-26 lead. The Aggies added a three-point make of their own with seven seconds left to knot the score at 29-29 heading into the locker room.

Plaisted scored the first five points of the second half for BYU, keeping pace with the Aggies to a 33-33 tie. Carter and Tavernari traded treys, and a battle ensued as the lead seesawed back and forth between the two squads. The Aggies' rebounding ability kept possessions alive for Texas A&M, but the Cougars continued to pressure, forcing turnovers and steadily improving their shooting efficiency while recording a 45-43 lead midway through the half.

The game pegged as the most even matchup of the first round lived up its billing as the Aggies knotted the score for the sixth time in the contest at 45-45. After Texas A&M went up 47-46, Plaisted powered to the hoop and slammed the ball home to once again tip the scales in the Cougars' favor.

However, the Aggies continued to crash the boards, taking a 52-48 lead as second-chance points began to pile up. But just when it looked like Texas A&M would be able to pull away, Tavernari hit a timely three-pointer to cut the advantage to just one point at 52-51 with 4:32 left to play, forcing an Aggie timeout. A&M got what it wanted out of the break, pushing the lead back to four points at 57-53 as the clock ticked under three minutes.

The Aggies extended their lead to 63-57 after two free-throw makes, and, despite a late trey from Fredette, pulled out the 67-62 win to improve to 25-10 on the year. Texas A&M advances to face No. 1-seed UCLA in the second round on Saturday.

CLICK HERE for postgame notes and quotes.


Official Basketball Box Score

Texas A&M vs Brigham Young

03/20/08 4:30 p.m. at Anaheim, CA (Honda Center)

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VISITORS: Texas A&M 25-10 overall

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

00 DAVIS, Bryan........ f 5-7 0-0 1-4 1 6 7 4 11 3 4 0 1 28

23 CARTER, Josh........ f 10-16 6-10 0-0 1 4 5 2 26 0 0 0 0 36

30 JONES, Joseph....... c 2-5 0-0 6-8 3 9 12 3 10 1 2 0 0 23

15 SLOAN, Donald....... g 3-6 0-0 2-4 0 5 5 0 8 6 1 0 0 35

22 KIRK, Dominique..... g 3-7 2-5 0-0 1 2 3 0 8 5 3 0 0 38

03 ROLAND, Derrick..... 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 1 2 1 0 0 0 10

12 JORDAN, DeAndre..... 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 5

32 MUHLBACH, Beau...... 1-3 0-1 0-1 0 0 0 2 2 1 1 0 0 12

41 ELONU, Chinemelu.... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 3 0 1 2 0 1 13

TEAM................ 1 1

Totals.............. 25-46 8-16 9-17 9 28 37 15 67 18 13 0 2 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-21 52.4% 2nd Half: 14-25 56.0% Game: 54.3% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-8 62.5% 2nd Half: 3-8 37.5% Game: 50.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 2-6 33.3% 2nd Half: 7-11 63.6% Game: 52.9% 3

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HOME TEAM: Brigham Young 27-8 overall

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 6-15 3-9 0-0 0 3 3 2 15 1 0 0 1 32

44 PLAISTED, Trent..... c 5-9 0-0 3-7 3 2 5 3 13 2 2 0 0 29

20 BURGESS, Sam........ g 2-3 0-0 2-2 1 1 2 0 6 1 1 0 2 35

24 MURDOCK, Ben........ g 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 6

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ g 5-9 2-2 2-2 2 1 3 3 14 3 2 0 1 34

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... 4-11 2-8 0-0 1 4 5 3 10 3 0 0 0 34

41 COLLINSWORTH, Chris. 1-3 0-2 0-2 1 3 4 2 2 3 1 1 2 19

54 MILES, Chris........ 1-3 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 11

TEAM................ 2 2

Totals.............. 24-54 7-22 7-14 8 17 25 15 62 13 7 1 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-27 44.4% 2nd Half: 12-27 44.4% Game: 44.4% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-9 33.3% 2nd Half: 4-13 30.8% Game: 31.8% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 2-5 40.0% 2nd Half: 5-9 55.6% Game: 50.0% 1

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Officials: Tim Higgins, Brian O'Connell, Emmanuel Upton

Technical fouls: Texas A&M-None. Brigham Young-None.

Attendance: 17600

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Texas A&M..................... 29 38 - 67

Brigham Young................. 29 33 - 62

2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship - First Round

Points in the paint-TAM 32,BY 26. Points off turnovers-TAM 4,BY 18.

2nd chance points-TAM 9,BY 13. Fast break points-TAM 0,BY 4.

Bench points-TAM 4,BY 14. Score tied-6 times. Lead changed-10 times.

Last FG-TAM 2nd-00:27, BY 2nd-00:01.

Largest lead-TAM by 11 1st-14:49, BY by 3 1st-00:50.

Tags: Results