Whiting Leads Cougars to Win in his BYU Debut | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Whiting Leads Cougars to Win in his BYU Debut

PROVO -- Trent Whiting scored a game-high 22 points in his long-awaited BYU debut, and Mekeli Wesley knocked in two free throws with eight seconds to play, as the Cougars held off Utah State 69-67 Saturday at the Marriott Center. BYU improves to 6-2 on the season with the win, while the Aggies drop to 6-2.

Whiting made an immediate impact in the Cougar offense, starting in his first game back since transferring from Utah last season. He and senior Nate Knight, a Sandy, Utah native who transferred from Kentucky last year as well, became eligible Friday when the fall semester ended. Knight also saw significant action in his first game for the Cougars, finishing with six rebounds in 18 minutes of play.

"I guess if anybody questioned why I started (Whiting) tonight, you probably know now," said BYU coach Steve Cleveland. "He has been the best player in practice for four months. He is a competitor and he adds a nice dimension th this ball club; something we haven't had."

The Cougars started the game 5-5 from three point range, as Whiting drained his first three shots from downtown and Wesley added two long-range jumpers of his own. Mekeli finished with 22 points, including 2-3 on three point attempts, and Whiting went 4-7 from behind the arc.

BYU led by as much as 12 points in the early going, but Utah State battled back to take the lead for only the second time in the game with just 36 seconds remaining in the first half. But an NBA-range bomb by Whiting at the buzzer sent the Cougars into the locker room with a 41-40 halftime lead.

Utah State came out firing in the second half, taking a 42-41 lead on a dunk by center Dimitri Jorssen just over a minute into the half. The Aggies maintained the lead for almost the entire half. But with 3:23 left to play, Terrell Lyday hit a clutch three pointer to bring the Cougars within two. On the ensuing Aggie possession, Whiting stripped the ball from point guard Bernard Rock and took it the length of the floor for a layup to tie the game at 63-63.

With 39 seconds left, and the game tied at 67-67, the Cougars tried to free up Whiting for a three pointer. His attempt from the corner hit the back of the rim and bounced out near the free throw line. But Travis Hansen outleaped an Aggie defender to capture the offensive rebound and maintain possession for BYU.

Wesley's two free throws with just eight seconds left gave BYU its first lead of the second half, and proved to be the difference in the final score.

The Cougars now head to Laie, Hawaii to face Boise State in the first round of the Pearl Harbor Invitational. The game will be played Thursday, December 21.

Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS

Utah State University vs Brigham Young University

12/16/00 4:07 at Provo, Utah

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VISITORS: Utah State University 6-2

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

05 DANIELS, Shawn...... f 4-7 0-0 1-5 4 5 9 4 9 2 3 0 1 29

14 JORSSEN, Dimitri.... c 5-10 0-0 5-5 3 3 6 2 15 0 1 0 0 30

10 ROCK, Bernard....... g 4-7 1-1 3-3 3 1 4 2 12 3 2 0 1 35

22 BOBB, Curtis........ g 5-12 1-4 2-2 3 3 6 1 13 1 5 0 2 31

31 BROWN, Tony......... g 3-8 2-5 2-2 0 2 2 2 10 4 1 0 0 31

03 VINCENT, Thomas..... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 0 2 0 0 7

04 VAGUE, Jeremy....... 1-1 0-0 2-2 0 2 2 2 4 0 1 0 0 9

24 RAY, Brennan........ 0-1 0-0 2-4 1 0 1 3 2 0 1 0 0 11

25 BAILEY, Dion........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 2 2 0 0 11

32 JOHNSON, Toraino.... 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 6

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

Totals.............. 22-47 4-11 19-25 14 19 33 21 67 12 18 0 4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-23 .522 2nd Half: 10-24 .417 Game: .468 DEADBALL

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-5 .600 2nd Half: 1-6 .167 Game: .364 REBOUNDS

F Throw % 1st Half: 13-16 .812 2nd Half: 6-9 .667 Game: .760 1

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HOME TEAM: Brigham Young University 6-2

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

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

02 HANSEN, Travis...... f 1-6 0-1 0-0 1 3 4 2 2 2 0 0 1 25

15 WESLEY, Mekeli...... f 8-14 2-3 4-7 1 1 2 4 22 2 4 0 0 30

25 NIELSEN, Eric....... f 2-3 0-0 2-2 0 2 2 4 6 3 0 0 0 21

21 WHITING, Trent...... g 7-11 4-7 4-4 0 2 2 2 22 2 2 0 1 39

24 LYDAY, Terrell...... g 1-6 1-2 2-2 0 2 2 2 5 2 1 0 0 26

01 KNIGHT, Nate........ 1-3 0-0 3-3 2 4 6 4 5 1 0 0 1 18

20 BOBIK, Daniel....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

31 MONTAGUE,Matt....... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 10

34 CHRISMAN, Jacob..... 1-2 0-0 1-3 1 0 1 0 3 1 1 0 0 10

42 COOPER, Nathan...... 2-2 0-0 0-0 3 0 3 1 4 2 2 0 0 14

43 DAWES, Derek........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 4

TEAM................ 1 1 2

Totals.............. 23-48 7-13 16-21 9 16 25 21 69 16 11 0 4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-24 .625 2nd Half: 8-24 .333 Game: .479 DEADBALL

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-8 .750 2nd Half: 1-5 .200 Game: .538 REBOUNDS

F Throw % 1st Half: 5-9 .556 2nd Half: 11-12 .917 Game: .762 2

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Officials: Scott Thornley, Stan Reynolds, Jim Danner

Technical fouls: Utah State University-BAILEY, Dion. Brigham Young

University-None.

Attendance: 8277

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

Utah State University......... 40 27 - 67

Brigham Young University...... 41 28 - 69