Strong Second Half Play Leads Cougars to Victory

Noah Hartsock scored a career-high 17 points, shooting 6-of-13 from the field and 5-of-6 from the line in a 77-73 win over UNLV. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU men’s basketball team opened conference play with an exciting 77-73 win over UNLV in the Marriott Center on Wednesday night. The win is the Cougars tenth straight this season.

BYU was led by Noah Hartsock and Jonathan Tavernari with 17 points each while Hartsock and Cougar freshman Tyler Haws led the team in rebounds with six each.

The Rebels took a 68-62 lead with less than six minutes remaining, but the Cougars continued to battle and four made baskets from the charity stripe, bring them within three points of UNLV. A layup by Michael Loyd, Jr., ignited the crowd and brought BYU within one. Tavernari continued to deliver from downtown, making his fourth three-pointer of the game to give the Cougars a 71-69 lead.

Loyd proceeded to dazzle the crowd beating two defenders and making what appeared to be a nearly impossible lay-in, putting BYU ahead 73-71 with only a minute remaining. Loyd not only delivered offensively in the final minute but forced a turnover by UNLV, setting up a jumper by Jackson Emery as the shot clock was winding down to give the Cougars a 75-71 lead.

UNLV did not score a field goal in the last 5:55 minutes of the game, much to the credit of BYU’s intense defensive effort.

Strong offensive rebounding and consistent free throw shooting were the highlights for the Cougars in an otherwise uneventful first half of play. BYU opened the game with a 4-0 lead after baskets by Chris Miles and Emery.

After UNLV took a 22-19 lead with 6:13 left to play in the first half, two free throws from Haws and a trey from Tavernari again gave the Cougars the lead, 24-22. However, the Runnin’ Rebels would not go down with a fight, hitting a three pointer of their own giving UNLV a 27-24 lead with 3:25 remaining before the break. BYU shot one hundred percent from the free throw line in the first half, shooting 9-of-9 from the charity stripe.

The enthusiastic Marriott Center crowd found something to get excited about late in the first period when Hartsock completed a three-point play with a one-handed put-back and subsequent foul shot to give the Cougars a 33-30 lead, tying his career high of 13 points.

Both teams made up for their lack of offense in the first half during the opening minutes of the second half. The Rebels made the first basket of the second half but Emery quickly responded with his first three-pointer of the game. Hartsock broke his career high with a baseline drive giving BYU a 38-34 lead. UNLV proceeded to go on an 11-2 run within a span of two and a half minutes forcing Cougar head coach Dave Rose to call a timeout with his team trailing the Rebels 45-40.

With fifteen minutes remaining, BYU went on a 5-0 run of their own after a layup by Hartsock and a trey from Loyd, bringing Cougar fans to their feet and causing UNLV to call a timeout. In the first play following the timeout Hartsock took an elbow to the nose bringing cries of foul play from the crowd.

Hartsock would eventually return, but with their leading scorer out of the game, BYU began to find open shots elsewhere as Tavernari made a three-point basket and Haws followed it with a jumper of his own. The Rebels continued to hang onto a 57-52 lead until the Cougars three-point play began to heat up after back-to-back three point baskets from Tavernari and Haws, giving BYU its first lead in over eight minutes.

The Cougars will return to action against UTEP Saturday in El Paso, Texas at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports. KSL will also broadcast the game on the radio.

CLICK HERE for game notes and quotes.


Official Basketball Box Score

UNLV vs BYU COUGARS

01/06/10 8:02 pm at Marriott Center, Provo, Utah

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VISITORS: UNLV 12-3, 0-1 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

00 BELLFIELD, Oscar.... * 3-9 1-4 1-2 0 2 2 3 8 9 2 0 3 28

05 JASPER, Derrick..... * 2-5 0-1 0-0 0 4 4 3 4 1 3 4 1 29

22 STANBACK, Chace..... * 1-6 0-0 1-2 4 4 8 0 3 1 3 0 0 19

33 WILLIS, Tre'Von..... * 9-16 2-4 4-5 1 5 6 2 24 4 7 0 0 34

34 SHAW, Matt.......... * 3-6 2-2 0-0 1 1 2 4 8 0 0 0 0 14

02 WALLACE, Kendall.... 3-5 2-3 1-2 0 1 1 0 9 0 0 0 0 21

03 MARSHALL, Anthony... 1-5 0-1 0-0 0 3 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 12

12 MASSAMBA, Brice..... 4-5 0-0 0-0 2 0 2 2 8 0 0 0 1 14

20 JONES, Steve........ 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 6

31 HAWKINS, Justin..... 1-3 0-1 1-1 0 2 2 1 3 0 0 0 1 11

44 SANTEE, Darris...... 2-2 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 2 4 0 0 2 0 12

TEAM................ 2 2 4

Totals.............. 29-63 7-16 8-12 10 27 37 18 73 15 15 6 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-34 41.2% 2nd Half: 15-29 51.7% Game: 46.0% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-7 28.6% 2nd Half: 5-9 55.6% Game: 43.8% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 2-3 66.7% 2nd Half: 6-9 66.7% Game: 66.7% 3

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HOME TEAM: BYU COUGARS 15-1, 1-0 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

34 HARTSOCK, Noah...... f 6-13 0-0 5-6 3 3 6 2 17 1 0 1 1 27

54 MILES, Chris........ c 2-4 0-0 0-0 3 2 5 2 4 2 1 0 0 16

04 EMERY, Jackson...... g 3-11 1-8 2-2 1 2 3 1 9 1 2 0 2 34

23 HAWS, Tyler......... g 3-9 1-1 5-6 4 2 6 3 12 3 0 0 2 30

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... g 2-10 1-2 2-2 0 1 1 0 7 1 3 0 0 25

00 DAVIES, Brandon..... 2-5 0-0 0-0 2 2 4 1 4 0 3 0 1 11

01 ABOUO, Charles...... 0-1 0-0 0-0 2 1 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 8

02 MORGAN, JR., Lamont. 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

10 LOYD, JR., Michael.. 3-5 1-2 0-2 0 2 2 2 7 2 2 0 0 16

15 ANDERSON, James..... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. 4-9 4-8 5-6 1 8 9 2 17 3 1 2 1 30

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

Totals.............. 25-68 8-21 19-24 19 25 44 13 77 13 12 4 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-41 26.8% 2nd Half: 14-27 51.9% Game: 36.8% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-10 20.0% 2nd Half: 6-11 54.5% Game: 38.1% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 9-9 100 % 2nd Half: 10-15 66.7% Game: 79.2% 2

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Officials: Bill Gracey, Eric Curry, Rick Batsell

Technical fouls: UNLV-None. BYU COUGARS-None.

Attendance: 15546

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

UNLV.......................... 32 41 - 73

BYU COUGARS................... 33 44 - 77

Points in the paint-LV 34,BY 30. Points off turnovers-LV 14,BY 16.

2nd chance points-LV 12,BY 15. Fast break points-LV 12,BY 4.

Bench points-LV 26,BY 28. Score tied-8 times. Lead changed-16 times.

Last FG-LV 2nd-05:55, BY 2nd-00:33.

Largest lead-LV by 8 2nd-15:15, BY by 5 1st-16:16.

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Tags: Results