ALBUQUERQUE, N. M. (March 1, 2001) -- Led by Terrell Lyday and Mekeli Wesley, BYU defeated New Mexico 72-67 Thursday in The Pit to improve to 20-8 overall and 9-4 in Mountain West Conference play.
Earning their second straight 20-win season, the Cougars moved into a second-place tie in the conference race after earning their second conference road win of the season. BYU and Utah, who lost at Air Force Thursday, are one game behind Wyoming entering Saturday's final regular season games. The Cougars play at Air Force Saturday while Utah is at New Mexico and Wyoming plays at UNLV.
The one-two punch of Lyday and Wesley provided the bulk of BYU's scoring against New Mexico while the timely plays of reserves Matt Montague and Nate Knight helped seal the win. Lyday finished with a game-high 26 points and Wesley added 25 with eight rebounds to pace the Cougars.
Montague played 26 minutes after only getting a combined seven minutes in the prior two games. After an effective first half, Montague started the second half and immediately made BYU coach Steve Cleveland look good for the move, making a steal and finding Terrell Lyday ahead for the fast break bucket. Montague also converted a critical basket just before the shot clock expired.
"Matt (Montague) has the best attitude in the world, whether he plays five minutes or 25," Cleveland said. "I challenged Matt and he had a big, big game for us. His teammates gave him a standing ovation in the locker room."
Like Montague, Knight had his number called more often and responded with some big plays. The 6-10 senior has been averaging just over 11 minutes per game but played a season-high 20 minutes Thursday, recording season bests with seven points and seven rebounds.
"Nate (Knight) made some big plays," Cleveland said. "His offensive rebound and taking the charge late were key."
After a Montague free throw put BYU up two points at 67-65 with 31.7 seconds remaining, Knight retrieved the Montague miss on the second attempt, which resulted in Lyday connecting on two free tosses. Knight then drew a charge from the Lobos' Marlon Palmer on the defensive end to take away any chance of a New Mexico rally.
Trent Whiting had a tough night from the floor, going 3-13, but pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds to lead the Cougars. He also connected on one of his three field goals just as a BYU shot clock was about to expire. He finished with nine points with two assists. Nathan Cooper and Montague shared team-high assist honors with three assists each.
Wesley and Lyday both reached milestones during the game. Wesley passed Fred Roberts into fifth place all-time at BYU in both free throws made and attempted while Lyday became the 33rd player, and fourth two-year player, to reach 1,000 points in his Cougar career.
Ruben Douglas scored 20 points to lead New Mexico, while Palmer added 18 and Brian Smith contributed 10. Patrick Dennehy had a game-high 11 rebounds.
New Mexico falls to 17-10 and 6-7 with the loss. BYU swept the season series with the Lobos for the first time since 1995 and has won three straight vs. New Mexico for the first time in 10 years.
Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS
BYU Cougars vs New Mexico Lobos
03-01-01 7:05 MST at The Pit/Bob King Court
VISITORS: BYU Cougars 20-8, 9-4 MWC
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
15 WESLEY, Mekeli...... f 6-11 1-5 12-16 3 5 8 3 25 0 1 0 0 31
25 NIELSEN, Eric....... f 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 5 2 0 1 1 0 22
42 COOPER, Nathan...... f 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 3 0 0 1 18
21 WHITING, Trent...... g 3-13 1-4 2-2 2 8 10 4 9 2 0 0 2 36
24 LYDAY, Terrell...... g 8-16 1-2 9-11 1 2 3 4 26 0 1 0 0 37
01 KNIGHT, Nate........ 2-4 0-0 3-5 2 5 7 1 7 1 2 0 1 20
20 BOBIK, Daniel....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
31 MONTAGUE, Matt...... 1-2 0-0 1-2 1 2 3 0 3 3 0 0 1 26
43 DAWES, Derek........ 0-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 2 2 0 0 1 0 0 7
TEAM................ 1 1 2
Totals.............. 21-52 3-12 27-36 13 24 37 21 72 9 8 1 5 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-28 .500 2nd Half: 7-24 .292 Game: .404 DEADBALL
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-6 .167 2nd Half: 2-6 .333 Game: .250 REBOUNDS
F Throw % 1st Half: 5-7 .714 2nd Half: 22-29 .759 Game: .750 4
HOME TEAM: New Mexico Lobos 17-10, 6-7 MWC
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
04 WHITE, Wayland...... f 2-3 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 5 4 0 0 0 0 5
21 SMITH, Brian........ c 3-5 0-0 4-4 1 0 1 2 10 1 1 1 0 37
02 PARMER, Marlon...... g 5-10 2-4 6-8 0 1 1 3 18 2 2 0 0 31
05 DOUGLAS, Ruben...... g 6-10 2-3 6-6 0 3 3 2 20 1 2 0 0 38
42 CHATFIELD, Eric..... g 1-5 0-2 4-7 0 3 3 2 6 4 3 1 0 32
10 LIGHTFOOT, Tim...... 1-3 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 1 0 0 14
22 BROUSSARD, Alvin.... 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 5 2 0 0 0 1 9
31 JOHNSON, Zeke....... 0-3 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
33 DENNEHY, Patrick.... 1-7 0-0 3-3 3 8 11 5 5 2 0 4 2 29
TEAM................ 1 5 6
Totals.............. 20-48 4-11 23-28 6 23 29 25 67 10 9 6 3 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-25 .480 2nd Half: 8-23 .348 Game: .417 DEADBALL
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 4-8 .500 2nd Half: 0-3 .000 Game: .364 REBOUNDS
F Throw % 1st Half: 10-11 .909 2nd Half: 13-17 .765 Game: .821 3
Officials: Larry Stubing (R) Eddie Jackson/Mark McMullen (U)
Technical fouls: BYU Cougars-None. New Mexico Lobos-None.
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total
BYU Cougars................... 34 38 - 72
New Mexico Lobos.............. 38 29 - 67
BYU (19-8, 8-4) plays New Mexico (17-9, 6-6 MWC) Thursday before finishing the regular season at Saturday at Air Force (7-18, 2-9 entering Thursday game vs. Utah). The Cougars and Lobos are in third and fourth place, respectively, in the MWC standings. They play at 7 p.m. Thursday while Saturday's contest with the Falcons is a 4 p.m. afternoon start. Both games are being televised. Thursday's game is being tape delay broadcast in Utah on KUWB, WB30, at 9 p.m. while Saturday's game will be carried live on KSL, channel 5, at 4 p.m. Tom Kirkland and Craig Hislop will call both games for SportsWest Productions. The radio broadcast of both games can be heard live on KSL NewsRadio 1160 or on affiliate stations (listed inside this release) on the Cougar Sports Network. The broadcast is also available on the web at KSL.com. Greg Wrubell is joined by Mark Durrant to describe the play-by-play action.
BYU will compete in the Mountain West Conference Basketball Championship tournament next week in Las Vegas. Seeding and brackets will be announced Saturday night after the Colorado State at San Diego State game.
Game 28 Fast Facts (MWC Game 13)
Brigham Young University Cougars (19-8, 8-4 MWC)
University of New Mexico Lobos (17-9, 6-6 MWC)
Date: Thursday, March 1, 2001
Site: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Arena:The Pit/Bob King Court (18,018)
Time: 7 p.m. MST
BYU leads, 59-46
Last Meeting: BYU defeated UNM 65-49 in Provo (Feb. 3, 2001)
Last Year: UNM won two of three, sweeping the regular season series.
BYU, Steve Cleveland (62-56 in fourth year; same overall)
UNM, Fran Fraschilla (35-23 in second year; 155-82 in eighth year overall)
SportsWest Productions (Tape Delayed at 9 p.m. on KUWB, WB30, in Utah)
Play-by-Play - Tom Kirkland
Game Analyst - Craig Hislop
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time - 6:30 p.m. MST
Play-by-Play - Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst - Mark Durrant
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 42 Nathan Cooper 6-6 210 Sr. 5.0 3.9
F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-9 215 Jr. 6.9 4.3
F 15 Mekeli Wesley 6-9 240 Sr. 15.9 5.4
G 24 Terrell Lyday 6-3 195 Sr. 15.7 2.7
G 21 Trent Whiting 6-1 185 Sr. 15.1 2.9
UNM's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 4 Wayland White 6-6 205 Sr. 9.5 6.2
C 21 Brian Smith 6-8 245 Sr. 6.3 3.3
G 42 Eric Chatfield 6-3 215 Jr. 14.2 4.0
G 5 Ruben Douglas 6-4 185 So. 15.8 5.8
G 2 Marlon Palmer 6-2 180 So. 10.3 4.2
Scouting New Mexico
New Mexico (17-9, 6-6) returns one starter and four lettermen from last year's 18-14 team that advanced to the second round of the NIT tournament. The Lobos are coming off a loss at Wyoming Monday (81-61). New Mexico had won four straight before Monday's setback. New Mexico's has two conference wins over Colorado State and San Diego State and single victories over Air Force and UNLV. The Lobos are 4-1 at home in conference play with the loss being an 82-78 defeat to Wyoming. New Mexico is 13-2 overall at home this season with the other defeat in The Pit coming in overtime against instate foe New Mexico State, 79-68. New Mexico has three players scoring in double figures, led by Arizona transfer Ruben Douglas (6-4, So., G) at 15.8 points while junior college transfer Eric Chatfield (6-3, Jr., G) adds 14.2 points per game. Returning letterman Marlon Palmer (6-2, So., G) contributes 10.3 points and a team-best 5.5 assists per game. Douglas, who has became eligible on Dec. 21, pulls down 5.8 rebounds per contest, second only to returning starter Wayland White (6-6, Sr., F), who grabs 6.2 boards per game and scores 9.5 points. Tim Lightfoot (6-3, Jr., G) has been adding 8.2 points primarily off the bench for the Lobos. Center Brian Smith adds 6/3 points and 3.3 boards. New Mexico averages 69.6 points while allowing 65.7. The Lobos shoot 44.7 percent from the floor, 34.6 percent on threes and 61.7 percent from the line.
This will be the 106th meeting in the series with New Mexico. BYU holds a 59-46 advantage in the series dating back to 1951. New Mexico has won 11 of the last 16 outings dating back to the 1993-94 season, including nine of the last 12. BYU has won the last two meetings, including this year's 65-49 win in Provo and the 55-43 victory at the Mountain West Conference tournament in Las Vegas on March 9, 2000. BYU's tournament win halted four straight Lobo victories. BYU's last win halted five straight Lobo wins in the Marriott Center. BYU has a chance to sweep the season series for the first time since the 1994-95 season and the opportunity to win three straight from the Lobos for the first time since taking the 1991 series and then defeating the Lobos in Provo in the first outing of 1992. BYU's last win was in Albuquerque was an 83-62 upset of the then No. 15-ranked Lobos on Feb. 26, 1998 to end UNM's school-record 41-game home winning streak. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 3-5 against the Lobos.
New Mexico Quick Facts:
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Colors: Cherry and Silver
Home Arena: The Pit/Bob King Court (18018)
Conference: Mountain West
Athletic Director: Rudy Davalos
Head Coach: Fran Fraschilla
Alma Mater: Brooklyn College (1980)
Overall Record (Years): 155-82 (8th year)
Record at School (Years): 35-23 (2nd year)
Assistant Coaches: Joe Dooley, Darren Savino, Travis Lyons
Overall Record: 18-14
Conf. Record/Finish: 9-5 / 3rd
Final Ranking/Post Season Finish: 2nd round NIT
Lettermen Returning/Lost: 4/6
Starters Returning/Lost: 1/4
Returning Starters (last year's stats)
Wayland White, F, 6-6, 225, Sr. (9.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg)
Basketball Contact: Greg Remington
Office: (505) 925-5520
Home: (505) 293-5048
Fax: (505) 925-5529
Cougars End Five-Game Losing Streak to Lobos in Provo
PROVO -- On a night when Mekeli Wesley moved up the career record lists, the Cougars moved past New Mexico in convincing fashion with a 65-49 victory at the Marriott Center. The game began in a similar fashion to Thursday night's victory over Air Force, with Terrell Lyday scoring nine of BYU's first 15 points. The Cougars were answered by junior guard Tim Lightfoot, who scored four of New Mexico's first 10 points. Wesley joined Lyday in the scoring output, netting 10 of the Cougars next 12 points. Wesley jumped past Kresimir Cosic to eighth on the all-time scoring list at 1,522 points, on a three pointer with 5:20 remaining in the first half. Despite Wesley and Lyday's offensive output, the game was largely a defensive contest. BYU held New Mexico to 23 points in the first half on 40 percent shooting, the second lowest point total for the Lobos since the second game of the season versus Temple. The Cougars ended the first half leading 36-23. Coach Steve Cleveland commented on BYU's defensive effort. "New Mexico is a tough team to defend off the dribble," Cleveland said. "They are alway coming at you. The two keys tonight were to have no transition baskets and to contain their penetration. For the most part, we were able to execute that game plan." New Mexico remained in the game as they opened the second half with an 11-4 run. The run, which was led by sophomore guard Marlon Parmer, closed BYU's lead to six. BYU reacted quickly, scoring 10 of the game's next 12 points, pushing their lead back to 16 at 52-36. New Mexico coach Fran Fraschilla credited the Cougars defense for the swing. "BYU is an excellent team at home," Fraschilla said. "They did a good job of crowding us in the middle and jumping out on the perimeter. We had a number of opportunities to get back in the game, but we missed some free throws and we missed some shots. That's not to take away from how good BYU is and the job they did on defense." Senior forward Nate Cooper had a strong night for the Cougars grabbing a season-high 8 rebounds. Welsey led BYU in scoring for the 12th game this season. Lyday added 19 points and dished out a team-high 3 assists. Wesley continued his move up BYU's career charts, passing Mike Smith into fifth place for most free throws made, hitting seven of his nine attempts.
Cougars Defeat Falcons in Provo
PROVO -- BYU utilized a stingy defense and a hot hand from senior guard Terrell Lyday to defeat Air Force 62-45 in the Marriott Center. The Falcons began the game missing their first 10 field goal attempts as the Cougars scored 15 unanswered points. The Cougar charge was led by Lyday who had 10 points before the Falcons found the bottom of the net. Air Force coach Joe Scott cited the Falcons scoring drought as a reason for the lackluster performance. "This game was won in the first six minutes," Scott said. "If you want to win a game on the road, you have to go out and take it. We just let them have it in the beginning." Despite the slow start, the Falcons stayed in the game by playing some defense of their own and by taking advantage of the Cougars' 10 first half turnovers. "It was evident that our impatience led to too many turnovers," coach Steve Cleveland said. "They were just silly turnovers. Air Force is not an easy team to play against and we can't play like that to win." The Falcons first half hopes rested on the shoulders of Lamoni Yazzie, as he scored 8 points, including 2 of 3 from the three point line. Air Force fought back into the game early in the second half with a 7-3 run to open the second period, this time led by sophomore center Tom Bellairs. The Falcons closed the gap to just 8 points at 32-24. Scott felt the Falcons' effort was vital to keeping it close. "I can't question my guys on their effort and their alertness on defense," Scott said. "We're playing pretty good defense. Now, our offense has to get up to where it matches our defense." The Cougars responded in the second half by posting a 15-5 run of their own, with buckets from Mekeli Wesley, Trent Whiting and Lyday, along with two free throws from junior guard Matt Montague. The run put the Falcons away for the night, with the teams exchanging buckets and fouls for the final ten minutes. Cleveland commented on the Air Force scheme. "Its hard to get any kind of rhythm or flow against these guys [Air Force]," Cleveland said. "You just never feel comfortable playing that system, at either end of the floor and you don't know what you're going to get."Lyday led the Cougars with 22 points on 8 for 13 shooting to pace the Cougars. The Cougars other two leading scores, Whiting and Wesley added 11 and 9 respectively. Meanwhile, Bellairs scored a career high 18 points, including 10 for 11 shooting from the free throw line. Yazzie was the only other Falcon in double figures at 11 and shooting 60 percent from behind the arc.
2001 EAS Mountain West Conference
Men's basketball championship
The 2001 EAS Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Championship returns to the Thomas & Mack Center (18,500) in Las Vegas for the second straight year. The championship seeds are determined by the finish of each team in a 14-game regular season schedule. The winner of tournament will receive the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. To order tickets to the 2001 EAS Mountain West Conference Basketball Tournament, contact the athletic ticket office of any of the eight MWC schools. BYU's ticket office can be reached at 1-800-322-BYU1.
Men's Basketball Bracket Schedule
Thursday, March 8
2:30 p.m. (PST) Game #1 - ESPN Regional
6 p.m. Game #2 - ESPN Regional
9 p.m. Game #3 - ESPN
Friday, March 9
6 p.m. Semifinal - ESPN Regional
9 p.m. Semifinal - ESPN
Saturday, March 10
7 p.m. Championship - ESPN
*The seedings and brackets will be released March 3, after the CSU at SDSU game.
MWC Tie-Breaking Guidlines
All-ties shall be broken in the order in which they occur, from top to bottom, in the Mountain West Conference standings. When comparing tied teams against positions lower in the standings that also are tied, those lower-tied positions shall be considered a single position for the purposes of comparison.
If two teams tie for a position, and one holds a win-loss advantage during regular season play, that team receives the higher seed. If the two teams split their games during the regular season, each tied teams record shall be compared against the team occupying the highest position in the standings, continuing down through the standings until one team gains the advantage, thereby gaining the higher seed. If two teams remain tied after all tie breakers have been exhausted, a drawing shall be held by the MWC Commissioner.
Ties Between Three or More Teams
If three or more teams tie for a position, the combined record of each of the tied teams against the other teams involved in the tie shall be compared until an advantage is gained. If the multiple tie still exists, each of the tied teams' records against the team occupying the highest position in the standings shall be compared, continuing down through the standings until the tie is reduced to a two-team tie, at which time the procedure shall revert to the two-way tie breaking procedure, until the tie is broken. If teams remain tied after all tie breakers have been exhausted, a drawing shall be held by the MWC Commissioner.
MWC Basketball Championship Live on web
The Mountain West Conference will broadcast all 13 (seven women and six men) of the 2001 EAS Basketball Championships, March 7-10, in Las Vegas. Log onto the the conference website at www.mountainwestconf.com and click on the basketball tournament tracker to listen to the game of your choice. The website will also feature a live webcast so people can follow along with the play-by-play statistics and current score as the game is in progress.
Whiting Breaks out in Second Straight Road Game
After scoring 21 points to share scoring honors with Mekeli Wesley in BYU's road win at San Diego State, Trent Whiting continued to play well on the road when the Cougars returned to the road last week against Utah. He scored a game-high 22 points in his first trip back to the Huntsman Center to play his former team. He also shared team-high honors with four rebounds. Whiting hit 5-8 three-point shots and was 7-16 from the floor overall. He made all three free throw attempts. Whiting has scored 20 or more points five times in 20 games, including both games with Utah. He scored 21 points vs. the Utes in Provo during the first meeting. He has reached double figures in 17 games. Whiting is third on the team with a 15.1 points per game average.
Whiting at Home vs. Utes
Trent Whiting has averaged 21.5 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists in his two games against Utah, his former team. He has gone a combined 12-25 from the floor, including 8-13 on threes, and a perfect 11-11 from the line in the two games. He led BYU in scoring in both games and had a career-best 8 assists in the BYU win in Provo.
Wesley's Three Streak Ends with Season Low Effort
Mekeli Wesley was held to a season-low four points at Utah. He was 0-3 on three-point attempts to end a string of five straight games with a trey. He has made a three in seven of the last nine games. He has connected from long range in 13 games overall this year. Wesley was 1-8 from the floor overall at Utah in 21 minutes. Wesley made 4-6 threes to match a career high in the Cougars first game with New Mexico this year.
Wesley Typically Strong on the Road
Wesley has been the Cougars' most consistent scorer in road games this year. His four points at Utah was the first time he didn't score double digits on the road where he averages 18 points per game. He had 21 points in BYU's conference road win at San Diego State. Wesley has scored in double figures in 22 of 27 games overall this year and leads BYU in both scoring and rebounding with 15.9 and 5.4 averages, respectively.
Nielsen Coming Off Strong Performance
Eric Nielsen went a perfect 6-6 from the floor, including a three-point shot, and was 3-4 from the line to record a season-high 16 points Saturday at Utah. He was one point from his career high of 17 points, which he recorded against Utah last year in the MWC tournament. In terms of perfection from the field, Nielsen topped teammates Mekeli Wesley and Jacob Chrisman who both went 5-5 in the season-opening win over Elon College. Nielsen has hit nine of his last 10 shots over the last two games and is 26-37 (.703) from the floor in the last nine games. Nielsen is shooting 61.9 percent (70-113) from the floor overall. Last year he had the eighth best season field goal percentage in BYU history with a 57.8 percentage. Nielsen's current 56.8 career percentage ranks second all-time at BYU among starters, having made 225-396 field goals.
After two solid defensive efforts at home, BYU could not contain Utah Saturday. The Cougars held high-scoring Wyoming to a season-low 63 points and Colorado State, the then third-best three-point shooting team in the nation (.427), to 1-8 shooting (.125) from behind the arc at home in two wins before Utah made eight three pointers while shooting a 57.1 field goal percentage against the Cougars. The Utes' threes and percentage are both highs allowed by the Cougars this season.
BYU Fans Witnessed Strong Senior Farewells
Mekeli Wesley headlined a group of five seniors who played their last regular season game in the Marriott Center. A four-year starter, Wesley scored a game-high 25 points in his final home appearance. Trent Whiting added 18 points, three assists and three steals; Terrell Lyday had 10 points and a game-high five assists and two steals; Nathan Cooper added a bucket with four rebounds and four assists; while Nate Knight played only two minutes.
Cougars Improving In Conference
BYU enters the final week of the season with an 8-4 conference record. BYU has surpassed the number of conference wins it achieved last season when the Cougars finished sixth at 7-7. BYU has improved under Steve Cleveland in each of his four seasons. BYU had a 4-10 conference record his first season in 1997-98 and improved to 6-8 and 7-7 the past two seasons. BYU is assured of a winning conference record for the first time since 1995. BYU has not placed better than fifth in the conference standings since taking second (13-5) as a member of the WAC in 1995. The Cougars had not won more than seven conference games since going 9-9 (fifth WAC) in 1996.
Nathan Cooper had nine points Saturday at Utah. He equaled a season high with four assists vs. CSU. He scored a season-high 11 points Thursday vs. Wyoming. The double figure output was the fourth for Cooper this season, but the first time he had recorded double digits in 11 games.
Lyday Assisting Mates
Terrell Lyday had four assists Saturday vs. Utah after equaling his career high of 5 assists in the previous game vs. CSU. He matched a season-high 25 points Thursday against Wyoming. Going 8-18 from the floor, he also set a season-high in field goal attempts, only one off his career-high of 19 attempts vs. Southern Illinois in last year's NIT tournament.
Bobik, Chrisman Set New Marks
Freshman guard Daniel Bobik had a career-high six rebounds vs. CSU in 20 minutes. Freshman forward Jacob Chrisman added a career-best 3 assists vs. the Rams. Bobik had 5 points with 2 rebounds and 2 assists vs. Utah in 15 minutes while Chrisman had a bucket in his only minute of action.
Lyday went 16-33 (.485) on treys at home in BYU's seven MWC wins and is 3-14 (.214) in BYU's four MWC road losses. Last week he went 1-3 at Utah from behind the arc. Overall, he is shooting 36.9 percent on threes, making a team-leading 48 triples. He has made a trey in 25 of 27 games this season. He went 0-5 at CSU in the first meeting this year -- only the second game this year in which he has not made a trey. After making two treys vs. CSU in the last meeting, he has made multiple threes in 13 games this year. Last year he made two or more treys in 20 of 33 games.
Record-Setting Charitable Contributions
BYU has excelled at the charity stripe this year, ranked fourth nationally in free throw shooting (.775). BYU made 22-26 attempts at Utah Saturday. The Cougars set a new school record at SDSU in the prior road game when Mekeli Wesley made the final two free throws of the game, completing a string of 19 consecutive made free throws for BYU. The Cougars finished 19-20 after missing the first attempt of the game. Wesley made BYU's first two free throws vs. Wyoming before a Cougar miss. Going 12-18 in the first half, BYU made 16 consecutive attempts vs. Wyoming between a Jacob Chrisman miss in the first half and a Wesley miss with 3:03 left in the game. BYU made 21-22 free throws in the second half. BYU was only 9-15 from the line against CSU to go 61-75 (.813) for the week.
Home Support Improved
Fan support at home games has improved each year under Steve Cleveland as average attendance has grown from 8,430 in his first year to 9,809 in his second, 10,794 last year and 11,452 this year in 15 home dates. BYU has averaged 15,608 in its seven conference home contests this year, compared to 13,464 last year and 11,562 the previous season. The top crowd of this season was 19,098 in BYU's win over rival Utah on ESPN.
This Year's Team Enters Elite BYU Company
BYU finished the year with a perfect 15-0 home record this year. The Steve Cleveland-coached team became the fifth BYU squad to ever complete a perfect home record. The Roger Reid 1989-90 team also went a perfect 15-0 at home. Other unbeaten teams include the Stan Watts coached 1971-72 team (12-0), Frank Arnold's 1978-79 (14-0) and 1980-81 (13-0) teams and Reid's 1994-95 (14-0) squad. With its 15th home win this year, BYU improved over last season 14-2 home record (including two NIT victories) to become only the third Cougar team to win more than 14 home games in a season. In addition to the 15-0 1989-90 team, the 1987-88 Ladell Andersen squad won a BYU record 16 games with two losses in the Marriott Center.
BYU Avenges Last Year's Two Home Losses
BYU ended two home losing streaks with its wins over Utah and New Mexico. Both the Utes and Lobos had five-game winning streaks in Provo dating back to 1995 before falling in the Marriott Center last week. Including last year's MWC Tournament wins, BYU has now defeated Utah in consecutive meetings for the first time since the 1993-94 season and New Mexico twice in a row for the first time since the 1994-95 season.
Cooper Responds to Increased Role
Cooper has played well since getting more playing time since Travis Hansen's foot injury has kept him out of the lineup. Averaging 4.6 points and 3.6 rebounds coming into the last Utah game, Cooper has started seven of the last eight games while averaging 5.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. He had a season-high 11 points vs. Wyoming and had a game-high and season-best eight rebounds vs. New Mexico and pulled down six boards vs. Air Force. He has played solid defense during the stretch, whether matched up with a taller post player or facing a quicker perimeter opponent.
BYU Ranked Second in Nation at Free Throw Line
BYU was ranked fourth nationally in free throw percentage in the latest NCAA statistics released Tuesday, Feb. 20. The Cougars shoot 77.5 percent. Ten players are shooting 70 percent or better, with four shooting better than 80 percent (Wesley, Lyday, Whiting, Howard). Senior Trent Whiting makes a team-best 83.6 percent (except Dan Howard, 2-2, 1.000). Freshman Jake Chrisman has the team's worst percentage (except Jordan Archibald, 1-2, .500) at a still respectable 64.7 percent (22-34).
Nine BYU players have had double figures scoring games this season. The regular starters (Wesley, Lyday, Whiting, Nielsen, Hansen, Cooper) are the only players to reach double figures in conference games. Wesley scored the individual season high thus far with his 29 points at Wyoming. Wesley, Terrell Lyday and Trent Whiting are the only three players to earn team-high game scoring honors this year. Wesley carries more of the scoring load on the road, scoring 18.0 ppg while Lyday adds 14.3 and Whiting 13.9. At home, Lyday scores 16.7, Whiting 162 and Wesley 14.1.
BYU shoots 45.7 percent, including 36.8 percent on threes, and 77.5 percent from the line while averaging 71.4 points. The Cougars are out scoring their opponents by nine points per game. BYU has topped 50 percent shooting six times this year, all wins, including home conference wins over San Diego State, UNLV and Air Force. Five of the six games over 50 percent were in the Marriott Center. The one road game BYU shot over 50 percent was vs. Boise State (53.3 percent) during the Yahoo! Sports Invitational in Hawaii. BYU shot 43.4 percent Saturday at Utah and went 7-18 on threes. Three players are averaging double figures (Mekeli Wesley, 15.9; Terrell Lyday, 15.7; Trent Whiting, 15.1).
BYU holds opponents to 62.3 points and a 40.6 field goal percentage, including 30.3 percent on threes. BYU held nine of its last 10 opponents at home to under 40 percent shooting (Wyoming .423). BYU has held 14 of 27 opponents overall under 40 percent shooting. BYU had not allowed an opponent to shoot 40 percent on threes in 13 straight games until San Diego State shot 45.5 percent. Utah made 57.1 percent Saturday on threes. Wyoming shot 23.5 percent and CSU 12.5 percent in the prior two games. BYU has held opponents under 40 percent on threes in 22 of 27 games overall. BYU held the MWC's top shooting team, CSU, to 37.5 percent at home and 41.7 percent in Moby Arena. BYU held high-scoring Wyoming to a season-low 63 points. BYU has also had success shutting down the opponent's top player. The Cougars held the MWC's top scorer, Wyoming's Marcus Bailey, to nine points (came in averaging 17.8 ppg) and then stopped Colorado State's top scorer, John Sivesind, keeping the Ram sharpshooter from making a field goal while scoring two points from the line. Sivesind, who entered the game fourth in the nation in three-point shooting (.486), was 0-6 from the floor, including 0-4 on three-point attempts. BYU held New Mexico's Eric Chatfield and Ruben Douglas to nine points apiece and held Bailey to nine points in Laramie. BYU held UNLV center Kaspars Kambala, averaging 18.3 points and 10.3 rebounds entering the game, to two points and three rebounds in Provo. Against SDSU, Aztec star forward Randy Holcomb was the only player to reach double figures in Provo, but BYU held the two-time MWC Player of the Week winner to 13 points, almost five points below his team-leading season scoring average.
BYU is 18-2 this year when holding opponents to less than 70 points. BYU is 1-6 when opponents have scored 70 or more points. UNLV (68) joined Colorado State (60) as the only opponents to score less than 70 points and still win. Wyoming scored 85 points against BYU in Laramie, the most points given up by the Cougars this season. Utah scored 82 Saturday vs. the Cougars.
On the Boards
BYU averages 32.9 rebounds while allowing 32.3. BYU was out rebounded by New Mexico in the first meeting, 28-27. BYU out rebounded Air Force 34-18. BYU has been out boarded in three of five conference road games. The Cougars won the battle of the boards in its win at SDSU and was equal with Wyoming in a loss. BYU is 11-0 when out boarding its opponents, 6-7 when being out rebounded, and 2-1 when they are equal on the boards. BYU has totaled 40 or more boards six times this year. Mekeli Wesley pulls down a team-best 5.4 boards per game.
Whiting, Knight Made Strong BYU Debuts
Transfer players Trent Whiting (Utah) and Nate Knight (Kentucky) made their Cougar debuts Dec. 16 vs. Utah State after sitting out the first seven games of the year because of transfer rules. Whiting scored a game-high 22 points on 7-11 shooting, including 4-7 threes, in a team-high 39 minutes in his debut while Knight made a solid contribution with five points and six rebounds in 18 minutes. Neither player had played in a game for more than a year since transferring last fall.
BYU In the polls (Feb. 26)
BYU did not receive any votes in this week's AP or ESPN/USA Today Top 25 polls.
Sagarin ratings (feb. 27)
BYU has the best rating among MWC teams according to the Feb. 20 Sagarin Ratings. The records below reflect Division I games.
Rk Team Rating Record
46 Utah 82.33 15-9
50 BYU 81.98 19-8
57 Wyoming 81.29 18-7
87 New Mexico 78.47 16-9
104 CSU 76.32 12-11
105 UNLV 76.26 13-12
137 SDSU 73.36 12-12
233 Air Force 65.61 7-19
College RPI ratings (Feb. 27)
BYU has the second best RPI rating among MWC teams according to the Feb. 27 CollegeRPI.com ratings computed by Jerry Palm. The Mountain West Conference is rated ninth among the 32 conferences (and five independents) in the country.
New Mexico 55
Air Force 238
BYU In the LATEST National Stats (feb. 27)
2nd Free Throw Percentage 77.5
T-17th Scoring Defense 62.3
1st Single Game FG% (Elon) 70.8
T-6th Home Winning Streak 20 games
BYU In the conference Stats (feb. 27)
Category All Games Conf. Only
Scoring Offense 4th 4th
Scoring Defense T-1st 2nd
Scoring Margin 2nd 1st
FT Percentage 1st 1st
FG Percentage 3rd 4th
FG % Defense 4th 4th
3-FG Percentage 3rd 2nd
3-FG % Defense 1st 3rd
Rebound Offense 7th 7th
Rebounding Defense 4th 1st
Rebound Margin 4th T-4th
Blocked Shots 4th 4th
Assists 6th 6th
Steals 6th T-2nd
Turnover Margin 2nd T-2nd
Assist/Turnover Ratio 8th 6th
Offensive Rebounds 7th 7th
Defensive Rebounds 7th 5th
3-FG Made 6th 3rd
BYU's record when . . .
BYU leads at half 16-4
Opponent leads at half 3-4
Score tied at half 0-0
BYU leads with 5 minutes left 18-2
Opponent leads with 5 min. left 1-6
BYU leads with 1 minute left 18-0
Opponent leads with 1 min. left 1-8
Score tied with 1 minute left 0-0
Game goes into overtime 0-0
BYU out rebounds opponent 11-0
Opponent out rebounds BYU 6-7
BYU and opponent tie in rebounds 2-1
BYU shoots 50 % or better 6-0
Opponent shoots 50 % or better 1-5
BYU out shoots opponent 17-1
Opponent out shoots BYU 2-7
BYU scores 70 or more 9-4
BYU scores less than 70 10-4
Opponent scores 70 or more 1-6
Opponent scores less than 70 18-2
BYU is shooting 41.9 percent (121-289) on threes in its 19 victories this season but is shooting 29-119 (24.4 percent) from behind the arc in its eight losses. BYU has shot 43.2 percent (54-125) on threes in its seven home MWC wins, 35.3 percent (6-17) in its road win at SDSU and 25.9 percent (14-54) in its four road MWC losses. The following breakdown reflects player three-point field goal percentages during BYU wins and losses:
Player Wins Losses
Terrell Lyday 38-90 (.422) 10-40 (.250)
Trent Whiting* 35-78 (.449) 8-33 (.242)
Mekeli Wesley 20-42 (.476) 4-17 (.235)
Nathan Cooper 9-21 (.429) 1-6 (.167)
Daniel Bobik 10-36 (.278) 1-7 (.143)
Travis Hansen** 3-8 (.375) 2-7 (.286)
Matt Montague 5-11 (.455) 2-6 (.333)
* Includes 14 wins and 6 losses since becoming eligible
** Includes 14 wins and 6 losses only (currently out with broken foot)
Steve Cleveland is now 62-56 overall in his fourth year, having improved the Cougars in each year since taking over a 1-25 program. With BYU's win over Idaho on Jan. 2 Cleveland went above a .500 winning percentage for the first time since going 1-0 with a win in his first game at San Diego State in 1997. He had evened his winning percentage at .500 twice this year. He went to 50-50 with a win over Boise State in Hawaii before the Cougars suffered back-to-back close defeats to ranked teams. Wins at Weber State and vs. South Alabama brought his record to 52-52 , the last time he was at .500.
Wesley Moving Up Career Charts
Wesley is sixth all-time at BYU in free throws made and attempted and is eighth in total points scored. He has 1,599 career points and 460 made free throws. He has 592 career free throw attempts. He needs to make 8 more free throws to move into 5th place past Fred Roberts and is also 11 attempts shy of Roberts. He needs to score 54 points to pass Fred's younger brother Kenneth Roberts into seventh place on the scoring list. Wesley last passed two career milestones in the first half vs. New Mexico (the day after his 22nd birthday). Wesley passed former Cougar and NBA first-round draft choice Michael Smith into sixth place for the number of made free throws by a BYU player and after knocking down his second three-pointer of the half he surpassed BYU Hall of Fame member Kresimir Cosic into eighth place on the all-time BYU scoring list. Wesley finished the night with 21 points while going 7-9 from the line.
Lyday Approaching 1,000th Point
Terrell Lyday has scored 988 career points in his two seasons at BYU. He needs 12 more points to become the 33rd BYU player to score 1,000 points in a career but only the fourth junior college transfer to do so and the first transfer in the last 10 years. The other BYU players who scored 1,000 points in only a two-year career were Steve Schreiner (1,128 points from 1989-91), John Fairchild (1,106 points from 1963-65) and Bernie Fryer (1,031 points from 1969-71).
BYU had its three-game winning streak snapped at Utah Saturday. BYU has won seven of its last 10 games. BYU's win at SDSU halted a three-game road losing streak and marked the first time this year BYU has not suffered defeat after losing the previous game. BYU has had three two-game losing streaks this year. The Cougars also had back-to-back losses on three occasions last season. BYU has not lost more than two consecutive games since losing three straight in February of the 1998-99 season. BYU's longest winning streak this year is six games, which was halted during the Cougars last road trip with its loss at CSU. The six-game streak was BYU's longest since a seven-game victory string during the 1994-95 season. BYU has reached five straight wins four times under coach Cleveland. Two times last year and twice this season.
Home Court Streak
The Cougars have a 20-game home winning streak dating back to last year when BYU won its final five contests in the Marriott Center. The home court streak is the 6th longest active home success run in the nation. BYU went 15-0 at home this season. BYU's last home loss was to New Mexico (78-74) on Feb. 17, 2000.
BYU at Home
BYU is 15-0 at home this year after going 14-2 at home last year. BYU avenged both of last year's home losses (Utah and UNM) this year. The Cougars have a 20-game home winning streak. BYU shot 49 percent from the floor and 42.4 percent on threes in the Marriott Center this year. The Cougars out rebounded their opponents at home 34.6-31.3. BYU is scoring 73.9 points at home while giving up 54.9 points. BYU won its 15 home games by an average of 19 points. Over the past two seasons, BYU is 29-2 in the Marriott Center. BYU has a high of 100 points (vs. Elon College) and a low of 58 points (vs. Southern Utah) at home.
BYU on the Road
BYU is 4-8 in away and neutral games this year, including a 2-2 neutral court record and a 2-6 away mark. BYU is 1-4 in conference play on the road. The Cougars' away wins were at SDSU and Weber State. BYU is shooting 41.9 percent from the floor, 28.8 percent on threes and 81.2 percent on free throws away from the Marriott Center. The Cougars are being out rebounded 33.7-30.8. BYU has been out scored on the road, 71.6-68.2. BYU has a high of 84 points (at Weber State) on the road and a low of 52 points (at ASU).
Training Room News
Hansen Doubtful with Foot Injury
Travis Hansen has missed the last seven games with a broken right foot and after playing a limited role against Utah in the first meeting. After played with discomfort and pain at CSU and Wyoming a bone scan revealed a stress fracture. He played with the injury vs. Utah in Provo, but broke the bone in his foot during the game. He uses a bone stimulater in hopes to accelerate the healing process. He was cleared for some limited practice last week but was unable to practice. His status is still doubtful to be able to play this week.
Mekeli Wesley (15.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg overall -- 15.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg MWC)
Last Game: Season-low 4 points with 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block in 21 minutes at Utah.
Ã‚â€¢ He leads the team lead in scoring and rebounding. Wesley carries more of the scoring load on the road, averaging 18 points compared to his 14.1 average at home.
Ã‚â€¢ Overall, Wesley is third in the conference in scoring, 5th in free throw percentage, 8th in blocked shots, 11th in field goal percentage, and 12th in rebounds. In conference games he is 4th in scoring (15.7) and is 4th in three-point percentage (.421).
Ã‚â€¢ He had 21 points while making a career-best 4 treys in 6 attempts with 4 rebounds, 1 block in 38 minutes vs. UNM and 9 points, game-high 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal in 29 minutes vs. AFA in the first meetings this year.
Ã‚â€¢ With his game-high 25 points vs. CSU, Wesley has led (or shared) BYU in scoring 15 times this year. He has 22 double figures scoring games this season. Last year he reached double figures in 30 of 33 games and led the Cougar in scoring in 17 games.
Ã‚â€¢ Wesley has a team-high eight 20-plus point games this year.
Ã‚â€¢ Wesley is a perfect 8-8 from the line in the last two games and 15-16 in the last three. He did not attempt a free throw for only the second game this season against Utah in the first meeting. The other game was at home vs. San Diego State.
Ã‚â€¢ Wesley has 1,599 career points, eighth on the all-time BYU list. He needs to score 54 points to pass Kenneth Roberts into seventh place on the scoring list. Wesley has made 460 free throws, sixth on BYU's career charts. He is also sixth all-time in free throw attempts with 592. He needs to make 8 more free throws to move into 5th place past Fred Roberts and is also 11 attempts shy of Roberts.
Ã‚â€¢ With his bucket at the 12:55 mark in the second half vs. Air Force, Wesley became one of only nine players to surpassed 1,500 points as a Cougar.
Ã‚â€¢ He set a career high by making four three-pointers (4-6) vs. Utah and New Mexico in Provo.
Ã‚â€¢ Wesley passed two career milestones in the first half vs. New Mexico in the first meeting. Wesley passed former Cougar and NBA first-round draft choice Michael Smith into sixth place for the number of made free throws by a BYU player and surpassed BYU Hall of Fame member Kresimir Cosic into eighth place on the all-time BYU scoring list.
Ã‚â€¢ He attempted a career-high 21 field goals (29 points) while making a season-high 10 baskets at Wyoming. He also had his second-best rebounding effort this year with 11.
Ã‚â€¢ His double-double at Wyoming was his second this year and the sixth of his career.
Ã‚â€¢ He became the conference's first repeat winner of the MWC Player of the Week Award. He was also named to the Yahoo! Sports Invitational All-Tournament Team Dec. 23 while averaging 21.3 points and 5.7 rebounds in three games.
Ã‚â€¢ After starting the year shooting 34.9 percent in the first four games, he shot 60.8 percent over the next seven games and is now shooting 48.9 percent for the year.
WESLEY CAPSULE: A preseason All-Mountain West Conference selection, Wesley is the only player on the BYU roster to have played in each of head coach Steve Cleveland's three previous seasons ... a four-year starter, he has developed into one of the top players in the Mountain West Conference with good scoring ability from both the post and the perimeter ... he earned second-team All-MWC honors as a junior and was on the WAC Newcomer Team as a freshman ... he bulked up between his junior and senior seasons and is in the best shape of his career ... he missed part of his sophomore season while attending Salt Lake Community College for a semester and struggled to regain his freshman form ... a team captain, he returned to lead BYU in rebounding and was nine points shy of Lyday in scoring last year.
Terrell Lyday (15.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg -- 16.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg MWC)
Last Game: 14 points, 2 rebounds, team highs of four assists and three steals with 1 block in 32 minutes at Utah.
Ã‚â€¢ Lyday second in scoring in overall games and leads the Cougars in conference games. Ã‚â€¢ He is the MWC's top scorer in conference games with a 16.5 averagere and ranks sixth in the overall scoring in all games.
Ã‚â€¢ Overall, he is also 4th in the MWC in free throw shooting and 6th in three-pointers made. He is 5th in steals (1.58) in MWC games only.
Ã‚â€¢ Lyday had 19 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals in 38 minutes vs. New Mexico anda game-high 22 points with 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals in 37 minutes vs. AFA in the previous meetings this season.
Ã‚â€¢ With Lyday's 14 points at Utah, Lyday has reached double figures in 14 straight games and 24 of 27 overall this year. He has reach double figures in 54 of 60 games in his two years at BYU. BYU is 41-19 (.683) with Lyday on the court.
Ã‚â€¢ Lyday averaged 19.6 points per game in BYU's seven conference home wins.
Ã‚â€¢ With his 25 points against Wyoming, Lyday has reached 20 or more points in seven games this year, one behind Wesley's eight. Whiting is the only other Cougar to reach 20 points, having done so four times in 19 games.
Ã‚â€¢ He was named the MWC Player of the Week Jan. 15 after scoring 24 points in 22 minutes vs. SDSU.
Ã‚â€¢ Lyday averages 32.5 minutes on the year, second only to Trent Whiting's 34.2 minutes. Ã‚â€¢ Terrell has made 32-70 (.457) threes in 15 home games but is 7-41 (.170) in true away games. He is 9-23 (.391) in four neutral court contests. Lyday is 16-33 (.485) at home in BYU's seven MWC wins and is 3-14 (.214) in BYU's four MWC road losses. He was 1-5 in BYU's MWC road win at SDSU. Overall, he is shooting 36.9 percent on threes, making a team-leading 48 triples
Ã‚â€¢ Lyday has made multiple threes in 13 games this year. Last year he made two or more treys in 20 of 33 games.
Ã‚â€¢ He has made a trey in his last nine games and in 25 of 27 games this season. At CSU (0-5) he ended a string of five straight games with a three. At Weber State he ended a string of 15 straight games with a three dating back to last year. The 15-game streak is third on the BYU all-time list. He set the BYU record with a trey in the first 21 games of last year. He made a three in each of BYU's first 11 games this year.
LYDAY CAPSULE: Lyday had a strong first season last year upon transferring from Fresno City College ... a preseason All-Mountain West Conference selection, he is a MWC Player of the Year candidate and considered the top guard in the league by the preseason poll ... he was named MWC Newcomer of the Year last year ... athletic with a smooth jumper, he is a scorer who can finish inside or consistently knock down shots from the outside ... quick with good hands, he is an outstanding defender who led the MWC in steals last year ... he is a go-to player for the Cougars.
Trent Whiting (15.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.2 apg -- 15.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.3 apg MWC)
Last Game: Game-high 22 points and team-high 4 rebounds in 36 minutes at Utah.
Ã‚â€¢ He is third on the team in scoring in overall and conference games.
Ã‚â€¢ He is first in threes per game (2.09) in conference games, rates second in steals with 2..0 thefts per game and free throw percentage (.875), is fifth in three-point percentage (.418) and scoring (15.2). He hasn't played in enough games to be considered for the overall statistical leaders.
Ã‚â€¢ He plays a team-high 34.2 minutes per game.
Ã‚â€¢ He had 9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals in 29 minutes vs. UNM and 11 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals in 34 minutes vs. AFA in the first meetings this year.
Ã‚â€¢ Whiting is averaging 3.6 assists per game in BYU's seven home MWC wins and only 0.8 assists per game in the four MWC road losses. He has not had an assist in BYU's last two road games.
Ã‚â€¢ He did not start at Wyoming while blisters on his toe was being attended to but he checked in at the 19:50 mark for Matt Montague, missing only 10 seconds of early action. Ã‚â€¢ He failed to reach double figures for the first time this season at Wyoming, ending a string of 11 straight double-digit games. He also did not reach double figures vs. New Mexico and at UNLV.
Ã‚â€¢ He has reached double-digits in 17 of 20 games this year.
Ã‚â€¢ He scored a career-high 26 point vs. UNLV earlier this year and had a season-low four points at UNLV in the second game.
Ã‚â€¢ He has five games with 20 or more points. BYU is 4-1 when Whiting tops 20points with the lone loss being last Saturday at Utah when he had a game-high 22.
Ã‚â€¢ Starting in his BYU debut, Whiting hit his first three shots and made four of five threes to score 14 first half points. He was 7-11 on the night.
WHITING CAPSULE: Whiting is in his first year at BYU after transferring from Utah last year ... he was not eligible to compete until Dec. 16th against Utah State because of transfer rules ... he only played five games at Utah last year because of injury ... a NJCAA All-American at Snow College, he can play either guard position ... he is a gifted outside shooter with excellent range and a conditioned athlete with a strong vertical leap.
Nathan Cooper (5.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg overall -- 5.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg MWC)
Last Game: 9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist in a season-high 32 minutes at Utah.
Ã‚â€¢ He is third on the team in rebounding and sixth in scoring.
Ã‚â€¢ He had 4 points, season-high 8 rebounds, 2 steals in 31 minutes vs UNM and 7 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal in 24 minutes vs. AFA in the first meetings this year.
Ã‚â€¢ Cooper has been a strong contributor, especially defensively and on the boards, since starting in Travis Hansen's absence. He made a critical steal and resulting layup while scoring a season-high 11 points vs. Wyoming. He had a season-best 8 rebounds vs. UNM.
Ã‚â€¢ After taking only four shots over four games, he is 13-27 in the last seven games.
COOPER CAPSULE: Cooper is one of the team captains ... he is a versatile player who has a solid outside shot with a tough, scrappy nature and competitive desire ... he was the team's top free throw shooter last year... he has been a solid contributor in each of his first three seasons, both as a starter and off the bench.
Travis Hansen (6.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg overall -- 7.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg MWC)
Last Game: Out with injury.
Ã‚â€¢ He has not played the last seven games because of a fractured foot.
Ã‚â€¢ He played sparingly off the bench vs. Utah in the first meeting because of a stress fracture in his right foot.
Ã‚â€¢ He did not play vs. AFA or UNM in the first meetings in Provo.
Ã‚â€¢ He averaged 9 points and 5.5 rebounds in BYU's two road losses at CSU and Wyoming.
Ã‚â€¢ He had started the last seven games before his injury and has nine total starts. The Cougars are 7-2 (CSU, Wyoming) when Hansen starts and 7-4 in games he came off the bench. He came off the bench in the first seven games of the season.
Ã‚â€¢ Overall, he is fifth on the team in scoring (6.3) and fourth in rebounding (3.2).
Ã‚â€¢ He averaged 8.2 points and 3.7 rebounds during BYU's six-game winning streak.
HANSEN CAPSULE: Hansen is in his first season at BYU ... he enrolled this fall as a transfer from Utah Valley State College after sitting out a redshirt season last year upon returning from his LDS Church mission ... he played at UVSC as a freshman ... he is one of the most athletic players on the team ... he has nice range from outside and can slash to the basket effectively.
Eric Nielsen (6.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg overall -- 6.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg MWC)
Last Game: Season-high 16 points, going 6-6 from the floor and 1-1 on threes, with 4 rebounds while equaling a season-high 35 minutes at Utah.
Ã‚â€¢ Nielsen is fourth on the team in scoring and second in rebounding.
Ã‚â€¢ He had 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block in 23 minutes vs. UNM and did not score (0-1 from the floor) with 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks in 19 minutes vs. AFA in the first contests this year.
Ã‚â€¢ Nielsen was one point off his career high of 17 points at Utah, which he recorded against Utah last year in the MWC tournament. Going 6-6 from the field, Nielsen topped teammates Mekeli Wesley and Jacob Chrisman who both went 5-5 in the season-opening win over Elon College. Nielsen has hit nine of his last 10 shots over the last two games and is 26-37 (.703) from the floor in the last nine games. Nielsen is shooting 61.9 percent (70-113) from the floor overall. Last year he had the eighth best season field goal percentage in BYU history with a 57.8 percentage. Nielsen's current 56.8 career percentage ranks second all-time at BYU among starters, having made 225-396 field goals.
Ã‚â€¢ He had his sixth double-digit scoring game of the year at Wyoming and had his first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds v. South Alabama.
Ã‚â€¢ After not scoring for the first time this year vs. Iowa State, he reached double figures in three straight games for the first time in his career. He also did not score vs. AFA.
NIELSEN CAPSULE: Nielsen came on strong at the end of last season helping BYU advance in the MWC and NIT tournaments ... a three-year starter, he played on the 1-25 1996-97 team and, after returning from an LDS Church mission, on last year's 22-11 NIT quarterfinalist squad prior to this season ... an intelligent player with a good mid-range jumper, he is physically much stronger than last season.
Nate Knight (2.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg overall -- 1.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg MWC)
Last Game: 1 rebound, 1 block in 9 minutes at Utah.
Ã‚â€¢ He averages 11.3 minutes and has three starts.
Ã‚â€¢ He had 2 points 1 rebound, 1 block, season-high 2 steals in 10 minutes vs. UNM and 1 rebound and 4 fouls in season-low 1 minute vs. AFA in the previous meetings this year.
KNIGHT CAPSULE: Knight transferred to BYU from Kentucky ... he became eligible to play on Dec. 16 vs. Utah State because of transfer rules ... he previously played at Utah Valley State College and Oregon State ... he is a hard-nosed player who can create problems for opponents with his ability to run the floor ... he is primarily a power forward but could also play at center ... he provides experience and depth to Cougar front line ... his brother Shane played for BYU and brother Travis currently plays in the NBA after a college career at Connecticut.
Matt Montague (2.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.0 apg overall -- 0.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.2 apg MWC)
Last Game: 1 assist in 4 minutes at Utah.
Ã‚â€¢ He had 2 assists in 9 minutes vs. UNM and started and had 3 points, 4 assists, 2 steals in 27 minutes vs. AFA in the first meetings this year. He started along with Whiting and Lyday.
Ã‚â€¢ He had one assist Saturday after not having an assist in the two prior games. He has not had an asist in four games this year. He had no rebounds or points for the fifth time this year against Utah. He has not scored in 16 games overall.
Ã‚â€¢ He has played a combined 7 minutes in the last two games.
Ã‚â€¢ He has a team-best 81 assists.
Ã‚â€¢ He has taken 13 shots in the last 12 games.
Ã‚â€¢ He started the first seven games but has come off the bench (except Wyoming and Air Force) since Trent Whiting made his BYU debut vs. Utah State.
Ã‚â€¢ He started the year making his first eight shots, including 5-5 on threes, but is 3-24 from the floor in the last 20 games. Overall, he is shooting 39.5 percent from the floor and 41.2 percent from three-point range. He has more than doubled the number of treys (7-17) he made all of last year (3-12).
MONTAGUE CAPSULE: Montague is the top assist maker on the Cougar roster ... he led the team in assists last year while starting 19 of 33 games ... prior to serving his LDS Church mission, he led the 1996-97 Cougars in assists while starting every game ... a hard-nosed competitor, he sees the floor well and is a great transition passer ... he was slowed some by an Achilles injury last year and during preseason conditioning this year but is not being troubled currently by the injury.
Derek Dawes (1.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg overall -- 0.6 ppg, 1.1 rpg MWC)
Last Game: Played season-high 15 minutes with 3 points and 1 rebounnd at Utah.
Ã‚â€¢ He has had a significant bump in his playing time over the last three games. Having only played double digit minutes in season opener until the last three games, Dawes has logged 13, 13 and 15 minutes in the last three outings.
Ã‚â€¢ He did not play against UNM and had 2 rebounds in 1 minute vs. AFA in the first meetings.
Ã‚â€¢ He has taken 20 shots in the the 20 games in which he has played.
Ã‚â€¢ He averages 2.0 rebounds in 6.6 minutes per game overall.
DAWES CAPSULE: Dawes enters his first year of college basketball as one of the most sought-after high school centers in the West ... he has played a limited role as a freshman but is an active player who runs the floor well and is a good free throw shooter ... he has outstanding shot blocking ability and timing and good athleticism and size ... he anticipates going on an LDS Church mission after the season.
Daniel Bobik (3.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg overall -- 3.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg MWC)
Last Game: 5 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists in 15 minutes at Utah.
Ã‚â€¢ He had 5 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal in 17 minutes vs. UNM and 6 points, 3 rebounds in 11 minutes vs. AFA in the previous meetings this year.
Ã‚â€¢ He has played double-digit minutes the last seven games with Hansen out with an injury. He has played double-digit minutes in 14 games this year. He has played less than 10 minutes in 10 games. He has not played in three games.
Ã‚â€¢ He was 2-2 from the floor vs. AFA, making his first field goal since scoring 11 points in 12 minutes vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Ã‚â€¢ He hit a big three-pointer vs. Wyoming to help increase after Wyoming had trimmed a 13-point BYU lead to only three moments before the shot.
BOBIK CAPSULE: Bobik has enrolled at BYU for his freshman season after returning from an LDS Church mission to the Dominican Republic ... coming out of high school he was one of the first recruits to sign with BYU under Steve Cleveland ... he is an excellent shooter and good passer with good court awareness.
Jacob Chrisman (3.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg overall -- 1.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg MWC)
Last Game: 2 points in only 1 minute at Utah.
Ã‚â€¢ He had 1 point, 1 rebound in 5 minutes vs. UNM and 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist in 14 minutes vs. AFA in the first meetings this year.
Ã‚â€¢ He scored a bucket despite playing only 1 minute at Utah. He did not scored in the previous two road games. He has scored in 21 of the 26 games he has played. He has had a rebound in 20 of 26 games played.
Ã‚â€¢ He had back-to-back career highs of 6 and 8 rebounds vs. TAMCC and SDSU.
Ã‚â€¢ He did not play for the only time this year vs. ISU.
Ã‚â€¢ He is 29-52 (.558) from the field this year.
CHRISMAN CAPSULE: Chrisman is extremely mobile and has the potential to be a strong rebounder ... he is an athletic low-post player who can score in multiple ways ... he has developed a nice perimeter game ... a hard worker, he has a knack for the game and finds a way to make plays both on offense and defense ... a slasher-type player who has a nice shooting touch ... he will play the three and the four.
Dan Howard (1.0 ppg, 0.7 rpg overall -- 0.4 ppg, 0.8 rpg MWC)
Last Game: Did not Play.
Ã‚â€¢ He did not play against UNM and played one minute vs. AFA in the first meetings.
Ã‚â€¢ He has played in 12 games overall.
Ã‚â€¢ He is 5-8 from both the floor and 2-2 from the line this year. Last year he was 3-3 from the floor before being forced to redshirt with a knee injury.
HOWARD CAPSULE: Howard played four games last year but redshirted after having knee surgery ... he had not had any significant game experience since last playing for his high school team in 1996 ... a hard worker, he has a knack for the ball and play a factor with his size inside.
Ty Shippen (0.7 ppg, 0.8 rpg overall -- 0.8 ppg, 0.8 rpg MWC)
Last Game: Did not play.
Ã‚â€¢ He did not play vs. UNM and was 0-1 in 1 minute vs. AFA in the first meetings.
Ã‚â€¢ He hit the three vs. SDSU that tied the BYU team record for 13 treys in a game.
Ã‚â€¢ He has played 24 minutes in 10 games. After playing 10 minutes in BYU's first two home wins, he has played 14 total minutes since.
SHIPPEN CAPSULE: Shippen joins the Cougars as a walk-on after transferring from Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho ... he is a gifted shooter and can play either guard position ... he is married to the former Kaly Gillette, who plays on the BYU women's basketball team ... he is the younger brother of BYU women's basketball coach Trent Shippen ... he served an LDS Church mission to North Carolina.
Jordan Archibald (0.1 ppg, 0.1 apg overall -- 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg MWC)
Last Game: Did not play.
Ã‚â€¢ He did not play vs. UNM and played 1 minute vs. AFA in the first meetings this year.
Ã‚â€¢ He has played 15 minutes this year, six in the season opener vs. Elon College.
ARCHIBALD CAPSULE: Archibald redshirted last year and returns for his freshman season ... he has good size and is a good shooter ... he suffered a broken hand during the off-season and his preseason skill development and conditioning opportunities were further limited due to a fall groin pull.