BYU Celebrates Ainge, Hansen, and a Conference Championship
PROVO -- The largest Marriott Center crowd in eleven years (22,702) honored BYU hall-of-famer Danny Ainge and saw the Cougars win a share of the Mountain West Conference Championship by beating Colorado State 67-55 Saturday night.
"I have a great appreciation for where we started, and tonight to see the arena full was a great thrill." said BYU head coach Steve Cleveland. "To share this in front of an entire community was something very special for me."
Ainge's jersey, number 22, was retired and now hangs from the rafters in Provo. BYU also paid tribute to lone senior Travis Hansen in his last home game as a Cougar. Hansen was the first player to cut a loop from the net, which came down after the game in celebration of the school's 26th conference championship.
No player in BYU history helped the Cougars to a better home record over a three-year period than Travis Hansen. In the last three seasons the Cougars have posted a 44-1 mark. The next best three-year home record was 39-2 during the final three seasons of Ainge's BYU career from 1979-81.
In the first half, BYU used a 17-2 run during an eight-minute stretch to build the lead to 14 points at 26-12. The Rams held the lead momentarily at 10-9 thanks to a bucket by Ronnie Clark with just under 15 minutes to play in the first half before the Cougars' run.
In the second half, BYU controlled the boards, pounded the ball inside, and held CSU to 34.6 percent shooting to pull ahead. It is the first time this year the Rams were held below 40 percent shooting.
"Right now BYU is playing better basketball than anyone in the league," said CSU head coach Dale Layer.
Brian Greene led the Rams with 18 points and eight rebounds while Matt Nelson added 17. Ram sharp-shooter Andy Birley, who connected on six three-pointers in Fort Collins, was held to just one trey and only three points.
The Cougars spread the ball around effectively with four players scoring in double figures. Mark Bigelow led all scorers with 20 points followed by Hansen with 15. Rafael Araujo scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Kevin Woodberry chipped in 10.
BYU will enter the MWC tournament as the No.2 seed because of being swept by Utah this year. BYU will face New Mexico Thursday at 1 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. The game will be broadcast live by ESPN +Plus (KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City).
Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS
Colorado State University vs BRIGHAM YOUNG Cougars
03/08/03 7:00pm at Brigham Young University
VISITORS: Colorado State University 16-13, 5-9
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
33 GREENE, Brian....... f 7-12 1-2 3-4 4 4 8 4 18 1 1 0 1 29
42 WILLIAMS, Matt...... f 0-1 0-0 5-6 0 1 1 5 5 2 2 0 2 17
34 BURKE, Darian....... c 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
11 BIRLEY, Andy........ g 1-6 1-6 0-0 0 1 1 1 3 2 3 0 3 33
22 JOHNSON, Shelton.... g 0-3 0-1 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 22
01 STEVENS, Derrick.... 0-4 0-3 0-0 0 4 4 4 0 0 1 0 0 21
20 CLARK, Ronnie....... 3-5 0-0 1-2 1 2 3 2 7 1 1 0 0 24
32 MORRIS, Micheal..... 1-2 1-2 2-2 2 0 2 0 5 0 2 0 0 20
54 NELSON, Matt........ 6-13 0-0 5-9 0 3 3 1 17 1 0 1 0 29
TEAM................ 2 2
Totals.............. 18-47 3-14 16-23 8 19 27 17 55 7 10 1 6 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 9-21 42.9% 2nd Half: 9-26 34.6% Game: 38.3% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-6 16.7% 2nd Half: 2-8 25.0% Game: 21.4% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 4-7 57.1% 2nd Half: 12-16 75.0% Game: 69.6% 4
HOME TEAM: BRIGHAM YOUNG Cougars 22-7, 11-3
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
03 BIGELOW, Mark....... f 7-11 1-3 5-5 0 2 2 2 20 2 3 0 0 31
52 JENSEN, Jared....... f 1-4 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 3 2 1 1 0 2 29
55 ARAUJO, Rafael...... c 7-12 0-0 0-0 4 4 8 5 14 0 1 0 2 21
02 HANSEN, Travis...... g 6-14 1-2 2-6 1 1 2 2 15 1 1 0 1 29
24 WOODBERRY, Kevin.... g 2-6 2-3 4-4 1 2 3 0 10 2 0 0 0 27
04 LEMES, Luiz......... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
05 SHOFF, Jake......... 1-3 0-0 1-2 4 6 10 3 3 1 2 0 0 20
10 NASHIF, Terry....... 0-1 0-1 0-0 1 3 4 1 0 3 1 0 0 14
12 ROBERTS, Marc....... 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 2
14 BOWER, Ricky........ 1-1 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 3 0 0 0 1 14
15 ALLEN, John......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
32 JEPSEN, Bart........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
40 HOWARD, Dan......... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 4
TEAM................ 1 1 2
Totals.............. 25-55 5-10 12-17 14 24 38 18 67 10 10 0 6 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-28 46.4% 2nd Half: 12-27 44.4% Game: 45.5% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-7 42.9% 2nd Half: 2-3 66.7% Game: 50.0% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 5-6 83.3% 2nd Half: 7-11 63.6% Game: 70.6% 2
Officials: Greg Burks, Jim Danner, Larry Spaulding
Technical fouls: Colorado State University-None. BRIGHAM YOUNG
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total
Colorado State University..... 23 32 - 55
BRIGHAM YOUNG Cougars......... 34 33 - 67
Points in the paint-CS 18,BY 26. Points off turnovers-CS 11,BY 13.
2nd chance points-CS 8,BY 14. Fast break points-CS 0,BY 2.
Bench points-CS 29,BY 6. Score tied-2 times. Lead changes-3 times.
BYU (21-7, 10-3 MWC) hosts Colorado State (16-12, 5-8) Saturday at 7 p.m. MST in the Marriott Center. BYU is tied for first place with Utah at 10-3 entering the final day of league action Saturday. BYU will pay tribute to its lone senior Travis Hansen before tipoff and honor Cougar great Danny Ainge at halftime by making him the first BYU basketball player to have his jersey retired. The game is a SportsWest Productions telecast that will air on KSL-TV in Salt Lake City and is also available pay-per-view via ESPN FULL COURT. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 and the Cougar Sports Network, beginning with a one-hour pregame show. KSL's Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Mark Durrant providing analysis. Live audio is available on the basketball page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com, and on KSL.com and via BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
SATURDAY IS SEASON TICKET HOLDER APPRECIATE DAY, AINGE/HANSEN HONORED
Saturday, BYU will retire the jersey of Cougar great Danny Ainge and honor lone senior Travis Hansen, BYU's top scorer the past two seasons. The evening is Season Ticket Holder Appreciation Day. Season ticket holder who have any unused tickets from previous games this year may redeem them for a free upper-bowl ticket or distribute those tickets to others who may redeem them for a free upper-bowl ticket for Saturday's BYU-CSU home finale. Unused tickets can be redeemed at the BYU Ticket Office. Along with Hansen being honored, Ainge will become the first BYU basketball player to have his jersey retired when it is hung permanently from the Marriott Center rafters. Many of Ainge's former teammates and coaches are expected to be in attendance. The first 20,000 fans in attendance will receive a souvenir poster highlighting his accomplishments. Vintage Danny Ainge jerseys will also be for sale on the concourse level.
GAME #29 FAST FACTS (MWC GAME #14)
BYU (21-7, 10-3 MWC) vs. COLORADO STATE (16-12, 5-8 MWC)
SATURDAY, MARCH 8, 2003
MARRIOTT CENTER (22,700)
7:07 p.m. MST
BYU, Steve Cleveland (105-76 in sixth year; same overall)
CSU, Dale Layer (43-43 in third year; 210-130 in 12 year overall)
Series: BYU leads, 74-43; Last: BYU won 77-68 in Fort Collins on Feb. 10, 2003
SportsWest Productions (KSL-TV in Utah; Comcast in Colorado)
Satellite: BIRD AMC1, TRANSPONDER C-10
Pay-per-view: ESPN FULL COURT
Play-by-Play: Dave McCann
Game Analyst: Craig Hislop
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time: 6 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Mark Durrant
Live audio links are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2002-03 schedule) and on KSL.com and byuradio.org or via BYU Radio on Dish Network.
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 3 Mark Bigelow 6-7 195 Jr. 13.5 3.8 2.3 apg
F 52 Jared Jensen 6-9 250 So. 8.4 3.4
C 55 Rafael Araujo 6-11 265 Jr. 11.8 8.8
G 2 Travis Hansen 6-6 210 Sr. 16.7 4.8 2.5 apg
G 24 Kevin Woodberry 6-0 170 Jr. 6.0 2.2 2.4 apg
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G 14 Ricky Bower 6-4 185 Jr. 5.7 1.5
F 5 Jake Shoff 6-9 265 Jr. 2.5 2.5
G 10 Terry Nashif 5-10 165 So. 2.3 1.6 2.3 apg
F 15 John Allen 6-7 215 So. 2.9 1.4
G 12 Marc Roberts 6-3 205 So. 2.0 1.2
G 4 Luiz Lemes 6-3 180 Jr. 1.4 0.8
C 40 Dan Howard 7-0 225 Jr. 1.3 0.8
F 32 Bart Jepsen 6-9 235 Jr. 1.1 0.9
COLORADO STATE RAMS
Colorado State won its 16th game of the season Thursday night, when G Micheal Morris scored eight of his team-high 17 points in the final one-minute, 50 seconds in the Rams' 66-65 win over Utah in Salt Lake City. The Rams have won their last two games after suffering a seven-game losing streak. They started MWC play 3-1. Eight returning letterwinners currently are on Colorado State's 2002-03 roster, along with six newcomers. Despite the experience of returning five starters from last year's squad, Colorado State still possesses one of the MWC's most youthful rosters. Only five of the 13 players have been in the program at least three years, including fourth-year seniors G Andy Birley and F Brian Greene. The average length of service on the roster is 2.1 years. Rams' C Matt Nelson leads the Mountain West Conference in field goal percentage and ranks among the top five players nationally in that category. Nelson has made 165-of-249 field goals, 67.4 percent, and is on track to break is own record for field goal accuracy in a season, 66.3, set last year. He is also the school's career field goal percentage leader. Nelson has made 50 percent or more of his field goals in 19 games. Brian Greene was named first-team All-District in voting by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Greene is the first player since Milt Palacio (1999) to earn NABC All-District honors. Micheal Morris is the Mountain West Conference and team leader in blocked shots, currently with 43. Colorado State has not had a guard lead the team in blocked shots since 1991, when Mark Meredith was the team leader with 15. Colorado State is the only MWC team that has not shot below 40 percent from the field in a game in 2002-03. Colorado State's worst shooting night of the year was 40.8 percent (20-of-49) at Purdue on Dec. 30. Colorado State has shot 50 percent or higher 16 times in 26 games. Nelson leads CSU in scoring at 16.1 ppg, followed by Greene at 13.2, Ronnie Clark at 11.5 and Andy Birley at 11.2. Greene pulls down 6.1 rebounds per game while Nelson adds 5.9. The Rams are the top shooting team in the nation and Nelson is No. 2 nationally in field goal percentage while Birley is 17th in three point percentage.
RAMS COMING OFF WIN OVER UTAH IN SALT LAKE CITY
CSU'S Micheal Morris put Utah's Mountain West Conference regular season title celebration on hold. Morris hit two 3-pointers in the final minute, including the game-winner with 1.4 seconds left, as Colorado State rallied for a 66-65 win over the first-place Utes on Thursday. Utah (22-6, 10-3) could have clinched at least a tie for the MWC regular-season title but couldn't sustain a rally after coach Rick Majerus was ejected at halftime for a lengthy argument with officials. Colorado State won its second straight game after losing seven in a row. Utah regrouped and led by as much as six late in the second half, but couldn't stop Morris, who was 3-for-4 from 3-point range. The Utes were close to wrapping it up with a 64-60 lead and Marc Jackson going to the line for two free throws with 1:01 left. But Jackson, an 88 percent free-throw shooter, went 1-for-2 and the Rams still had plenty of time. Morris, who had made just 11 of 40 from beyond the arc entering the game, cut the lead to two with a 3-pointer with 47.4 seconds left, then the Rams forced a turnover and had a chance to tie it or win it. After a time out with 17.1 seconds left, they got the ball to Morris to the right of the key, where he was good again and the Rams had a 66-65 lead with 1.6 seconds left. Utah inbounded the ball deep to Frost, but Britton Johnsen's pass bounced off his hands and the Rams regained possession with .8 left and won their second straight game after a seven-game losing streak. Brian Greene scored 14, including three on free throws for Majerus' technicals, and Ronnie Clark finished with 12 points. Frost scored 23 points to lead Utah. Nick Jacobson, who had made 30 straight free throws entering the game and made his first two from the line Thursday, missed his last three attempts and scored eight points. CSU led 27-23 at the break.
COLORADO STATE'S POSSIBLE STARTERS
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG
F 20 Ronnie Clark 6-5 210 Jr. 11.5 4.9
F 33 Brian Greene 6-8 225 Sr. 13.2 6.1
F 42 Matt Williams 6-6 215 So. 7.8 3.9
G 11 Andy Birley 6-4 200 Sr. 11.2 2.3
G 32 Micheal Morris 6-3 185 Fr. 6.0 2.9
Saturday's game will be the 118th meeting between the two schools. BYU leads the series 74-43. BYU won the first meeting in Fort Collins, its first win at Moby Arena since a 72-70 overtime win 1994. CSU had won six straight over the Cougars in Moby Arena. The Cougars have won three of the last four games overall. BYU has won three straight in Provo since CSU swept the series in 1998. The two teams did not meet in 1999. BYU has not swept the season series since 1994. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 4-5 against Colorado State, including a 3-1 record in Provo. The series dates back to 1938.
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 74-43
BYU Record in Provo: 49-10
BYU Record in Fort Collins: 24-31
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 1-2
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 4-5
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 4-2* (1-1 Rd, 3-1 Hm)
*1-0 in 2OT (1971, won 98-92 in Ft. Collins)
Last Overtime Game: 2002, lost 75-79 at Ft. Collins
Longest BYU Win Streak: 9 (two times 1985-89, 1991-94)
Longest CSU Win Streak: 7 (1960-70)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 39, 91-52 in 1939
Largest CSU Margin of Victory: 25, 74-49 in 1958
Most Points Scored by BYU: 105 in 1972
Most Points Scored by CSU: 100 in 1996
LAST MEETING -- COUGARS SWEEP FRONT RANGE WITH CSU WIN
FT. COLLINS, Colo. (February 10. 2003) -- Travis Hansen scored a season-high 27 points to lead BYU to a 77-68 victory over CSU Monday. After winning at Wyoming Saturday, the victory gave the Cougars their first Front Range road sweep since 1992-93. The win is the first for the Cougars in Ft. Collins since the 1993-94 season. BYU improves to 17-5 on the season and atop the MWC standings with Utah at 6-1. CSU drops to 14-8 overall and 3-4 in the conference. Back in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game, guard Kevin Woodberry had his best performance of the season and a career-high 17 points, including three treys, five assists and five steals. "I just wanted to be solid on defense and be more aggressive on offense and that's what I did," Woodberry said. "I felt comfortable and they left me open and I knocked them down." Mark Bigelow added 21 points on 5-of-16 shooting. Bigelow was 9-for-9 from the line and moved into BYU's top 20 in scoring all-time with 1174 career points. BYU broke a 33-33 halftime tie with a 14-1 run to open the final half, jumping out to a 13-point lead at 47-34 with 15:25 left. Hansen took over in the second half and sparked the run. The senior scored nine points during the stretch. BYU led by 12 on a three-pointer by Bigelow with just over 10 minutes to play, but CSU dropped a five-point play on the Cougars with a trey and foul underneath, adding two free throws, to cut the lead to 57-50. BYU held on to a nine-point lead with 6:06 to play when Araujo picked up his fourth foul. CSU stayed close on back-to-back threes by Andy Birley, bringing the Rams to within six with just under six minutes left. Moments later CSU center Matt Nelson scored and was fouled by Araujo sending him to the bench. Nelson's play cut the lead to four with three-and-a-half minutes left. Down the stretch BYU got stops when they needed them and knocked down clutch free throws to seal the game. BYU was 19-of-21 from the stripe (91 percent). The Cougars played great defense on CSU forward Brian Greene. With Hansen assigned to guard him, the Rams second-leading scorer (13.4 ppg) was not a factor as he spent most of the first half on the bench with two fouls and no points. Greene did not score until the 2:05 mark in the second half and finished the game with two points. Andy Birley led the Rams with 18 points on six treys. Nelson added 16 and Ronnie Clark chipped in 13. The Cougars managed to enter the locker room at halftime tied at 33 despite great shooting by the Rams. At one point CSU made 11 straight field goal attempts. That streak came to an end with 52.9 seconds left before the break on a missed jam by Ronnie Clark, who paced the Rams with 11 first-half points. BYU was outshot 65 percent to 39 percent in the first half but capitalized on 11 Rams' turnovers to stay in the game. BYU big men Araujo and Jensen went just 1-for-4 from the floor in the opening half, scoring just two points between them on a layup by Jensen. The Rams shot 50 percent for the night, including 6-of-12 three-point shooting, while converting 66.7 percent from the line. The Rams had a 30-27 edge on the glass. BYU shot 46.3 percent from the floor, including 8-of-19 threes, along with a season-high 90.5 free throw shooting.
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE FIRST MEETING THIS YEAR ...
"This was a very satisfying weekend for us and we will enjoy it, but we need to get back to work and try to play the best we can every game."
LAST YEAR IN PROVO - BIGELOW, JEPSEN HELP COUGARS EDGE RAMS
PROVO -- BYU held on for its 32nd consecutive win in the Marriott Center, narrowly escaping with a 57-52 win over physical Colorado State team. Mark Bigelow continued to resurface for BYU, leading the Cougars with 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting, including 4-of-7 from downtown. Bigelow's four long-range buckets are the most for him in conference play, just one short of his career high of five. Bigelow scored 20 for the first time since going for 20 against Southern Utah on Dec. 29. The Cougars, rated third in the nation in free throw percentage, struggled from the line throughout the second half, shooting 11-for-20 from the stripe to keep the game close. BYU finished the game 21-of-31 from the line, only the second time this season the team has shot below 70 percent in a game. The team also overcame a poor night from the field, hitting a season-low 37.5 percent. Before the game, BYU's lowest percentage from the Marriott Center floor this year had been 42.9 percent, against San Francisco on Jan. 2 and also against UNLV on Jan. 15. The game was not decided until the final minute, when Bart Jepsen blocked a Brian Greene shot that would have put the Rams within one. After Jepsen's block, Eric Nielsen went to the line and sank two free throws with 22 seconds left, giving the Cougars the victory. For the second consecutive game, Matt Montague had double-digit assists, finishing with 11. The feat marks the first time in his career Montague has had back-to-back games with more than 10 assists. Travis Hansen also had a good night, finishing with 17 points on 5-9 shooting. Hansen and Bigelow tied for the team lead in rebounds with five apiece. The teams went into the break deadlocked at 30 but BYU responded in the second half, pushing its lead to as many as six points. The Rams made several runs to keep the score close but the Cougars responded with big buckets to maintain the lead. BYU never trailed in the second half and only trailed twice in the game. A Travis Hansen three with 1:30 left in the first half gave the Cougars a 28-26 lead and the team never trailed from there.
WHAT BYU ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH DAVE ROSE HAD TO SAY IN PROVO LAST YEAR ...
"I thought, defensively, we did a very good job guarding them. Bart Jepsen was huge in the final minutes because he attacked the penetration. His blocked shot in the final minute was critical for us."
WHAT CSU HEAD COACH DALE LAYER HAD TO SAY IN PROVO LAST YEAR ...
"Bigelow was the difference in my mind. We would make some runs at them but he would come back, get a good look and make the big shot."
Led by senior guard Travis Hansen, junior swingman Mark Bigelow and junior center Rafael Araujo, the Cougars (21-7) earned an 11-4 non-conference record and are tied with Utah at 10-3 atop the MWC standings. Hansen leads the team in scoring (16.7) and assists (2.5) and is second in rebounding (4.8); Bigelow is second in scoring (13.5), third in rebounding (3.8) and the team's top three-point shooter (59-132); while Araujo is the third-leading scorer (11.8) and top rebounder (8.8). Sophomore forward Jared Jensen adds 8.4 points and 3.4 rebounds while JC transfer Kevin Woodberry starts at the point averaging 6.0 points and 2.4 assists. Coach Cleveland has more talent on the bench this year. Wisconsin transfer junior guard Ricky Bower leads the reserves, averaging 5.7 points and shooting 43 percent from behind the arc. The Cougars shoot .470 from the floor, .389 on threes (No. 17 nationally entering this week) and an MWC-best .753 (No. 20 nationally) from the line. BYU is among the top MWC defensive teams, allowing .405 shooting, including .305 on threes. BYU scores 72.4 ppg while allowing 63.5. BYU is 12-1 at home and 9-6 away, including a 3-1 neutral record and 6-5 road mark. Cleveland has used five starting lineups. Sophomore guard Marc Roberts came out of a possible redshirt season after 13 games, playing at Weber State. Freshmen guards Austin Ainge and Jermaine Odjegba are redshirting this season.
? BYU enters Saturday's game with a chance to claim the MWC regular season title. With Utah playing Wyoming Saturday afternoon, the Cougars will know before they start their game if they can earn the title outright or achieve a share of the title with a win. BYU could still earn a share with a loss if Utah were to lose to Wyoming. If BYU and Utah finish in a tie for the league crown, Utah would win the tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed in the MWC tournament because of sweeping BYU this season.
? BYU last earned a piece of the conference regular season title in 2001 when there was a three-way tie at 10-4 with Wyoming and Utah. BYU went on to win the MWC Tournament that year and was the lone MWC team to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
? BYU last won a conference title outright in 1987-88 with a 13-3 WAC record. The Cougars have shared first-place four times since in 1990, 1992, 1993 and 2001. In BYU's 100-year basketball history, the Cougars have claimed 25 conference championships.
? With BYU's 21-7 record, Steve Cleveland has achieved his third 20-win season in the last four years. Only Stan Watts (7) and Roger Reid (6) have achieved more 20-win seasons at BYU's coach. Cleveland joins Frank Arnold and Ladell Andersen with three 20-win seasons.
? With its 91-81 win over UNM, BYU scored the most points on an opponent's homecourt since defeating Air Force 94-82 in 1994. Five Cougars reached double figures for the fist time since December 2000.
? BYU finished the conference season with a 5-2 record on the road. BYU swept two conference road trips this year, winning on the Front Range for the first time since 1993 and winning at AFA an UNM for the first time since 2001. BYU didn't play at SDSU (win) and UNLV (loss) in the traditional single-trip this season. In 2001, BYU went on to earn a share of the regular season title, win the MWC tournament and advance to the NCAA tournament with a 24-9 record. In 1993, BYU finished the season with a 25-9 record, tied for the WAC title and advanced to the NCAA tournament, going 1-1 with a win over SMU before a loss to Kansas.
LAST OUTING -- HANSEN LEADS COUGARS TO SHARE OF LEAGUE LEAD
PROVO -- The BYU Cougar men's basketball team (21-7, 10-3) took another step towards the Mountain West Conference regular season title and the NCAA Tournament with a 69-50 win over the Wyoming Cowboys (20-8, 8-5) Thursday night at the Marriott Center. BYU finished the game with three players in double figures including senior Travis Hansen's game high 23 points in 34 minutes of play. Hansen also pulled down five rebounds, and had two blocked shots. Hansen led the Cougars with three three-pointers on the night. Hansen was tough all night on defense being assigned to defend Wyoming's leading scorer Donta Richardson who is averaging just over 18 points a game, Hansen held Richardson to only nine on the night. "We were able to play well on defense and we took care of the ball tonight. I was a little surprised at the spread of the points, but there was nothing easy about beating this team," said head coach Steve Cleveland. "I thought that it would be a possession game that would go down to the last five minutes." Juniors Mark Bigelow and Rafael Araujo chipped in 13 and 12 points respectively to lift the Cougars past the Cowboys. Araujo also scored the second three-pointer of his career and came within one rebound of a double-double, grabbing nine boards in 29 minutes of play. Araujo and Hansen got the Cougars off to a big start in the first half scoring a combined 19 of the Cougars' 36 points. After starting out the game by trading baskets, BYU went on an early 11-2 run to go up 16-6 with 12:30 left to go in the half. On defense, Araujo forced Wyoming's center, Uche Nsonwu-Amadi, to fight for all eight of his first-half points and Hansen held Richardson to only four points at the break. "Wyoming has some big guys inside that are really tough to guard," said Cleveland. "BYU is one of the few teams that can match up with Uche when they have Araujo in there," said Wyoming head coach Steve McClain. "I give credit to BYU's defense, their big guys do a great job of helping each other." With 3:27 remaining Hansen blocked a layup attempt by Wyoming's guard Chris McMillan that pinned the ball between the rim and the backboard. The block brought the Marriott Center to its feet and the 15,383 in attendance stayed there on the ensuing play as Bigelow scored off an Araujo behind-the-back pass. With only 10.7 seconds left in the half and the Cowboys trying to score, Wyoming's David Rottinghaus threw the ball out of bounds and turned the ball over to the Cougars. On the in-bound play Cougar guard Kevin Woodberry drove the length of the floor to score a layup and take the Cougars into the lockerroom on top 36-25. In the second half it was all Hansen as he came out shooting, scoring eight of the team's first 10 points. After forward Jared Jensen connected on a pair of free throws with 13:33 left in the game, the Cougars increased their lead as they went on a 16-2 run led by Jensen who had six points in the stretched. The Cougars went on to claim the victory with a 69-50 final and tied with Utah in the overall standings for the Mountain West Conference regular season title.
RPI AND SAGARIN RATINGS
BYU had been the top-rated MWC team throughout most of the year in the Sagarin and RPI rankings until its loss at UNLV when Utah took over as the top-rated MWC team. However, after Saturday's win over AFA and Utah's loss at UNM, BYU is now the higher rated team in the Sagarin Ratings. Through Thursday's results, BYU is No. 22 and Utah No. 33. In the RPI computed by CBS.Sportsline.com after Thursday's results, BYU has a No. 15 rating while Utah is No. 19. In the RPI compiled by Collegiate Basketball News through Wednesday's results, BYU is 20th and Utah is No. 14.
COUGARS LED BY STRONG EFFORTS OF LONE SENIOR TRAVIS HANSEN
BYU is off to its first 10-3 start in the four years of the Mountain West Conference in part due to the leadership and strong play senior Travis Hansen, who will be honored Saturday in his final regular season home game. Hansen and his supporting cast of Cougar teammates have BYU in good position for a shot at the MWC title and an NCAA bid this year. Among BYU's all-conference-caliber performers in league play are the following (Hansen is Player of the Year candidate and Defensive Player of the Year candidate):
Through 13 conference games entering the final game of the regular season, Hansen is fourth in the league in scoring (18.4), 10th in rebounds (5.0), third in free throw percentage, tied for 13th in steals, tied for 12th in three-pointers made, tied for 12th in blocks, tied for 12th in offensive rebounds , and 14th in defensive rebounds (3.25). He leads BYU in scoring at 18.4 ppg, is second in rebounds (5.0 rpg) and is third in assists per game (2.2) ... A first-team NABC District 13 selection, Hansen has led BYU in scoring in nine of 13 games played and has scored 18 or more points in seven games ... Extremely consistent, he has topped 14 points in 12 of 13 games ... He recorded a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds vs. Utah, making 14 free throws, the fourth highest total by an MWC player ...He is one of only four MWC players to record a perfect night from the line on at least 10 attempts in league play, going 12-12 at New Mexico ... He has recorded game highs of 27 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals ... While leading BYU in scoring, the versatile Hansen is the Cougars' top defender and usually draws the opponent's best perimeter player and has also been successful guarding the opponent's power forward ... He held CSU's Brian Greene to 2 points in Fort Collins (more than 11 below his average), shut down UNLV's Jermaine Lewis in Las Vegas (2-11 for 4 points), held SDSU's leading scorer Tony Bland to 7 points (2-7 shooting), and held Wyoming's Donta Richardson (18.2 coming in) to 9 points on 3-8 shooting.
Through 12 conference games entering the final weekend of the regular season, Bigelow ranks in the top-10 among MWC players in five statistical categories and is in the top-20 in two others ... Bigelow is eighth in the league in scoring (15.3), first in free throw percentage (.925), third in three-pointers made (2.58), tied for fourth in steals (1.5), seventh in three-point percentage (.456), tied for 14th in assists (2.33) and tied for 17th in rebounds (3.9) ... He is BYU's second-leading scorer, third in rebounds and tied for second in assists per game ... He has made a team-leading 31 treys while shooting 45.6 percent (31-68) from behind the arc ... He tied a career-high 5 treys at SDSU and became BYU's all-time three-point leader as only a junior ...He has made multiple threes in 9 of 12 games ... He leads BYU and all MWC players in free throw percentage at 92.5 percent ...He had a string of 19 consecutive free throws made without a miss during league play ... He is tied for first among BYU players in steals (1.5) ...He has reached double figures in 10 of 12 league games, leading BYU in scoring twice, while topping 20 points four times and scoring at least 16 points in seven games ... He had back-to-back 20-plus point games twice in league play ... He has recorded game highs of 23 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals.
Through 12 conference games entering the final weekend of the regular season, Araujo ranks in the top-5 among MWC players in five statistical categories. Araujo is second in rebounds (8.9), second in defensive rebounds (6.08), second in offensive rebounds (2.58), third in field goal percentage (.579) and tied for fourth in steals (1.5) ... He is 17th in scoring (12.2) ...His 15 rebounds against UNLV is the top rebounding effort of any MWC player during league play ... He also has the second-best shooting night, making 81.2 percent at Air Force on 13-of-16 shooting ... His 13 field goals is tied for second most made in a game by any MWC player ... Araujo leads BYU in rebounds, is the team's third-leading scorer, is tied for first in steals and is second in field goal percentage ... He has reached double-digit points in 6 of 12 games and double-figure rebounds in 4 games ... He has two double-doubles and was only one point or rebound away from three others ... He has led BYU in scoring in three games and in rebounds in nine outings ...He has game highs of 31 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals.
Through 12 conference games entering the final weekend of the regular season, Jensen ranks second among MWC players in field goal percentage (.581), seventh in free throw shooting (.850) and is tied for 13th in offensive rebounds (1.75). Jensen is averaging 8.8 points and 3.3 rebounds, while shooting a team-leading 58.1 percent from the floor ...An excellent free throw shooter, he is making 85 percent of his attempts from the line ... He has recorded double-digit points in 6 of 12 league games ... He led BYU in assists in one game and in blocks in one game ... He has game highs of 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
BYU TO RETIRE DANNY AINGE JERSEY SATURDAY AT BYU-CSU GAME
In a historic event, BYU will retire the uniform of former Cougar great Danny Ainge on March 8, 2003, during the final regular season home game against Colorado State. Ainge becomes the first BYU men's basketball player to have his jersey retired.
"A tradition of retiring jerseys is long overdue at BYU," BYU Director of Men's Athletics Val Hale said. "We have had some incredible coaches and athletes represent this university in the past. It will be fun to be reminded of them each time we see their jerseys hanging from the rafters and the press box. This is one more step we are taking to try to bring the past and present together for the benefit of our fans and our former and current athletes."
Many of Ainge's former coaches and teammates are expected to be in attendance at the game. During the ceremony, Ainge's No. 22 jersey will be hung from the Marriott Center rafters, where it will be on permanent display. To commemorate the event, the first 20,000 fans in attendance will receive a souvenir poster highlighting his accomplishments. Vintage Danny Ainge jerseys will also be for sale on the concourse level.
Ainge's jersey, not his number, will be retired. Future players may still have the option to wear No. 22. The criteria considered to retire a jersey include the following:
-- First team All-American
-- Recipient of major national award
-- University graduate
-- Minimum 15-year waiting period
-- Significant accomplishments after BYU graduation (athletics, community, church)
-- Faithful member of LDS Church or other religious affiliation
Two football players -- Eldon Fortie (1960-62), who wore No. 40, and Marion Probert (1951-54), who wore No. 81 -- have had their jerseys retired.
Known for his competitive, hard-nosed playing style, Ainge has become one of the most famous athletes to graduate from BYU. Ainge played for BYU from 1978-81.
During his four-year career as a Cougar, Ainge was a Consensus All-American, a two-time First Team Academic All-American, the WAC Player of the Year and a four-time All-WAC selection. He set an NCAA record with 112 consecutive games scoring in double digits and broke the BYU and WAC all-time scoring records with 2,467 points -- all prior to the three-point era.
As a senior in 1981, Ainge led BYU to the NCAA Elite Eight at the Eastern Regional in Atlanta. He concluded his senior season by winning the Eastman Award as well as the John Wooden Award -- given annually to the top collegiate basketball player in the nation.
Ainge beat out Isiah Thomas (Indiana), Sam Bowie (Kentucky), Mark Aguirre (DePaul), Ralph Sampson (Virginia) and Steve Johnson (Oregon State) to win the Wooden Award. In doing so, he became the award's fifth winner, joining Marques Johnson, Larry Bird, Phil Ford and Darrell Griffith.