Three-Straight MWC Titles

BYU won its third-straight MWC regular season title on Saturday with a home victory over Air Force.


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PROVO -- The BYU men’s basketball team secured a piece of the Mountain west conference regular season championship for the third-straight season, by pulling ahead in the final minute of play against the Air Force Falcons for a 54-49 win at the Marriott Center Saturday night.

“What a game," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "The guys just figured out a way to win. We knew it would be a hard-fought game. We were playing for a lot tonight. Air Force gave us everything that we thought they would give us. I am proud of our guys.”

The three seniors, Lee Cummard, Archie Rose and Gavin MacGregor, were honored in their final win on their home court.

Cummard led the team with 17 points, going a perfect 10-for-10 from the line. The total places Cummard in 10th place on the BYU all-time leading scorers list. Sophomore Jackson Emery added 15 points, with a career-best six steals.

BYU was forced to comeback after struggling offensively in the first half, shooting 25 percent from the field. Finding themselves trailing by as many as eight points early, the team rallied around Emery who put up five points in the last five minutes of the first half.

The Cougars managed to tie the score 22-22 when Emery nailed a free throw, but Air Force hit a three with as many seconds remaining in the half to take a 25-22 lead.

The Cougars came out strong in the second half. Emery forced a turnover and pushed the ball down court to sophomore Jimmer Fredette who put up a three-point play. Fredette scored another two points off another Falcon turnover that gave BYU its first lead of the game at 27-25.

“We made some big plays at times," said Rose, "but they weren’t consistent like this team is. I give credit to this team for finding ways to win.”

After the Cougars lost the lead at the hands of a three pointer and a dunk, Cummard tied the score 30-30 when he made his first three of the night with 15 minutes remaining. The play sparked a 9-3 Cougar run.

After letting go of the lead, junior Jonathan Tavernari made three straight shots after going 0-for-10 from the field. Tavernari’s sudden hot streak yielded a 45-42 lead for the Cougars.

In a last ditch effort, Air Force came back to tie the game at 47-47 with barely a minute remaining. Fouls shots proved to be the demise of Air Force as BYU made seven free throws in the final 1:05 of the game. Cummard made both ends of a one-and-one situation to put BYU ahead and followed through scoring the final shots of the night for a 54-49 win.

The Cougars return to the hardwood for the MWC Tournament on March 11-14 in Las Vegas, Nev.

CLICK HERE for postgame notes and quotes.


Official Basketball Box Score

Air Force vs BYU Cougars

3/7/09 7:05 pm at Marriott Center, Provo, Utah

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VISITORS: Air Force 9-20, 0-16 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

15 STEWART, Taylor..... * 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 4

31 HOLLAND, Matt....... * 1-5 1-4 0-0 0 7 7 3 3 1 3 0 2 33

32 HEMPSEY, Shawn...... * 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

34 SCHAFER, Sammy...... * 2-4 1-1 2-3 0 1 1 2 7 2 5 1 0 26

42 JOHNSON, Anwar...... * 3-7 0-0 3-4 0 1 1 5 9 5 1 0 2 37

03 PROVOST, Brandon.... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

10 HENKE, Andrew....... 5-11 2-6 2-3 1 5 6 3 14 3 5 0 0 32

13 NOONAN, Trevor...... 4-8 3-5 0-0 1 5 6 3 11 0 5 0 1 28

22 MERRIEX, Avery...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

33 McLAIN, Mike........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0+

35 WASHINGTON, Evan.... 1-3 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 3 2 1 2 0 0 19

50 PARKER, Grant....... 1-1 1-1 0-0 2 1 3 1 3 1 1 0 0 14

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

Totals.............. 17-39 8-18 7-10 4 26 30 22 49 13 22 1 5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 9-17 52.9% 2nd Half: 8-22 36.4% Game: 43.6% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-7 42.9% 2nd Half: 5-11 45.5% Game: 44.4% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-5 80.0% 2nd Half: 3-5 60.0% Game: 70.0% 1

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HOME TEAM: BYU Cougars 24-6, 12-4 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

30 CUMMARD, Lee........ f 3-8 1-5 10-10 0 5 5 1 17 2 2 1 1 39

54 MILES, Chris........ c 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 2 0 0 1 1 0 16

04 EMERY, Jackson...... g 4-7 0-3 7-9 2 4 6 2 15 1 1 0 6 40

32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... g 4-10 1-5 4-4 0 2 2 3 13 2 2 0 3 40-

45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. g 3-13 1-7 0-2 1 4 5 2 7 2 1 1 1 29

01 ABOUO, Charles...... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5

02 MORGAN, JR., Lamont. 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 1 1 0 0 10

15 ANDERSON, James..... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

34 HARTSOCK, Noah...... 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 4 0 0 2 1 0 19

TEAM................

Totals.............. 15-44 3-22 21-25 5 20 25 15 54 8 10 4 12 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 5-20 25.0% 2nd Half: 10-24 41.7% Game: 34.1% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 0-11 0.0% 2nd Half: 3-11 27.3% Game: 13.6% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 12-13 92.3% 2nd Half: 9-12 75.0% Game: 84.0% 2

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Officials: Stanley Reynolds, Bobby Vetkoetter, Bobby Jacobs

Technical fouls: Air Force-None. BYU Cougars-None.

Attendance: 22700

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Air Force..................... 25 24 - 49

BYU Cougars................... 22 32 - 54

BYU wins MWC co-championship.

Points in the paint-AF 14,BY 20. Points off turnovers-AF 16,BY 22.

2nd chance points-AF 0,BY 4. Fast break points-AF 6,BY 8.

Bench points-AF 30,BY 2. Score tied-7 times. Lead changed-5 times.

Last FG-AF 2nd-00:06, BY 2nd-02:03.

Largest lead-AF by 8 1st-13:51, BY by 7 2nd-00:09.

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Tags: Results