BYU Takes Over First Place With Win at Wyoming
LARAMIE -- The Cougars survived Wyoming's Arena-Auditorium Tuesday night after battling out a 77-73 win over the Cowboys to improve to 18-6 overall and 8-2 in the Mountain West Conference. BYU has now won its last five straight games, including three on the road, and with an Air Force loss at San Diego State Tuesday night, sits alone at the top of the MWC.
"This game was like the majority of the wins we've had this year," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "A couple guys stepped up and made some big plays, but it was a team win from top to bottom. We got some good play out of our bench, and then Keena Young was great down low. I'm really proud of our guys."
BYU was led by Young, who tied the career high he set against Wyoming earlier this season in Provo with 29 points on 10-for-14 shooting from the field to go along with six rebounds. Trent Plaisted led the Cougars on the boards with seven rebounds while adding 13 points and one assist. Mike Rose and Lee Cummard also scored in double figures for BYU with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Cummard had another solid outing with six rebounds, a career-high tying three blocks, two assists and two steals. Ben Murdock dished out a team-high four assists off the bench.
"We've got a lot of really good players, and as a staff we have confidence in all those guys," said Coach Rose. "When our bench players get an opportunity to go in there and help our team, they get it done. Ben Murdock and Sam Burgess gave us big lifts that we need for our team to be successful."
Wyoming was led by James Spencer with 23 points and Brad Jones with 21 points. Ike Okoye, who started in place of the suspended Joseph Taylor, pulled down 11 rebounds. Brandon Ewing, the MWC's leading scorer, was held to just eight points on 2-for-12 shooting.
The Cougars held the Cowboys scoreless from the floor for the first 3:29 of the game as they built a 6-1 lead until Wyoming's Spencer scored a layin at the 16:31 mark. Cummard responded with a bucket on the other end for BYU, his 10th straight make going back four games.
However, the Cowboys roared back thanks to seven more points from Spencer to take the lead at 12-10 with just under 14 minutes to play in the half. Plaisted scored the next six Cougar points to keep the game close, but BYU had no answer for Spencer, who scored 13 of the Cowboys' first 16 points to maintain a 16-14 Wyoming lead. Spencer drained his sixth shot in seven tries with 12 minutes left, forcing Rose to take a timeout.
"James Spencer in the first 10 minutes of the game was virtually unstoppable," said Rose. "Sam (Burgess) did a good job of forcing him out a little, but he was hard to guard."
A jumper from Young out of the timeout and a free throw from Plaisted allowed the Cougars to retake the lead at 17-16, but a 6-2 Wyoming spurt put the Cowboys up 22-19 with nine minutes to go despite a 62 percent BYU shooting mark. The Cowboys extended their lead to 28-23 as the Cougars made just two of their next 10 shots until Rose, who tied a school record with eight three-pointers in BYU's last outing, drained a three-pointer to get the Cougars within two at 28-26 with 4:28 left in the half.
Rose drained another three-pointer to give BYU a 31-30 lead with just over a minute to play, but the Cowboys scored the last four points of the half, the final bucket coming at the buzzer on an airball putback. The Cougars' 34-31 halftime deficit marked just the fifth time this season BYU has trailed at the break and the first time in conference play. Young led the Cougars at the break with 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting to help BYU shoot 50 percent (14-for-28) in the half.
The Cowboys opened the half with an emphatic dunk from Okoye and a three-point play from Bienvenu Songondo, both playing in place of unavailable starters, to take a 39-33 lead. After going 1-for-7 from the free-throw line in the first half, the Cougars made their first four shots from the charity stripe in the second half -- two from Cummard and two from Young -- to cut the lead to 39-35 with 17:56 left to play.
Young converted a three-point play of his own after a fastbreak bucket to get BYU within one point, but Wyoming responded with just its second three-point make in 13 tries to go back up by four at 42-38. Young and the Cowboys traded buckets on the next four possessions as Young scored nine straight Cougar points, but BYU was unable to get back on top as Spencer drained a three to go up 47-42.
Ben Murdock jumped a 15-footer as the shot clock wound down on the next Cougar possession to keep the game close before Rose once again did his part with his third three-pointer of the night to tie things up at 47-47 with 11:56 left to play. Plaisted gave BYU its first lead of the half moments later with two big free throws followed by another make from long range by Rose to cap a 12-2 Cougar run and give BYU a 54-49 advantage at the 9:53 mark.
After a score from Wyoming on the other end and a Cougar turnover, BYU got a huge defensive stop and a bucket with a foul from Young. Young missed the free throw but the rebound went to the Cougars, resulting in a Plaisted score to give BYU its largest lead of the game to that point a 58-51 with 7:34 left to play.
However, Wyoming clawed its way back with four straight makes from the free-throw line while BYU missed four from the charity stripe to make it a one-possession game at 58-55. Young responded with two big makes from the line, but the Cowboys scored another putback to make the score 60-57.
Wyoming looked to be on a roll after Plaisted missed a dunk and the Cowboys had numbers on the other end, but Brad Jones missed the easy layup and was called for a technical foul, resulting in free throws and possession for BYU. Young made one-of-two on the technical trip and then missed both after being fouled on the ensuing possession, but the second miss was rebounded by Plaisted and immediately kicked out to Cummard, who drained a huge three-pointer from the left corner to give BYU a 64-57 lead.
Just when the Cougars were getting comfortable with a 68-59 advantage, BYU recorded three straight turnovers resulting in five Cowboy points to cut the lead to 68-64 with just over two minutes left to play. Austin Ainge stopped the bleeding with a free-throw make at the 1:55 mark, and the Cougars sealed the deal from the charity stripe in the last two minutes, scoring eight more to post the 77-73 win.
The Cougars will now continue their road swing with a game at TCU on Saturday. The 7 p.m. CT tipoff will not be televised but can be heard live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 6 p.m. CT on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City or via the Internet at KSL.com. BYU defeated the Horned Frogs 89-65 earlier this season in Provo.
Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS
BYU Cougars vs Wyoming Cowboys
2-6-07 7:05 p.m. at Arena-Auditorium, Laramie, Wyo.
VISITORS: BYU Cougars 18-6, 8-2
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
03 YOUNG, Keena........ f 10-14 0-0 9-15 4 2 6 3 29 0 0 0 0 32
44 PLAISTED, Trent..... c 5-9 0-0 3-10 4 3 7 5 13 1 2 0 0 34
13 AINGE, Austin....... g 0-3 0-2 1-2 0 1 1 3 1 3 2 0 0 27
23 BALDERSON, Jimmy.... g 1-3 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 1 2 0 0 12
30 CUMMARD, Lee........ g 3-4 1-2 3-4 1 5 6 3 10 2 2 3 2 31
02 ROSE, Mike.......... 4-6 4-6 0-0 0 1 1 1 12 1 0 0 0 24
10 IVANOVIC, Vuk....... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
15 MALAMAN, Fernando... 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
20 BURGESS, Sam........ 0-3 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 13
24 MURDOCK, Ben........ 2-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 4 4 2 0 0 13
45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. 0-1 0-0 6-6 0 0 0 1 6 0 0 0 0 10
TEAM................ 1 5 6
Totals.............. 25-46 5-12 22-39 11 20 31 20 77 13 10 3 2 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-28 50.0% 2nd Half: 11-18 61.1% Game: 54.3% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-8 25.0% 2nd Half: 3-4 75.0% Game: 41.7% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 1-7 14.3% 2nd Half: 21-32 65.6% Game: 56.4% 9
HOME TEAM: Wyoming Cowboys 13-11, 4-6
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
02 SPENCER, James...... f 10-16 3-7 0-0 1 4 5 4 23 0 1 0 0 35
03 OKOYE, Ike.......... f 3-5 0-0 0-0 6 5 11 3 6 0 1 2 1 24
45 SONGONDO, Bienvenu.. f 1-3 0-0 1-1 0 1 1 4 3 1 0 1 0 18
01 JONES, Brad......... g 5-14 0-5 11-12 1 1 2 5 21 5 3 0 1 38
23 EWING, Brandon...... g 2-12 0-6 4-6 1 1 2 3 8 4 3 0 1 38
05 DERMODY, Ryan....... 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 16
31 PLATT, Eric......... 2-4 2-3 0-0 0 3 3 2 6 1 0 0 1 13
32 NELSON, Travis...... 2-3 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 3 4 0 1 1 0 18
TEAM................ 2 1 3
Totals.............. 26-58 5-21 16-19 12 18 30 26 73 11 9 4 4 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-29 48.3% 2nd Half: 12-29 41.4% Game: 44.8% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-9 11.1% 2nd Half: 4-12 33.3% Game: 23.8% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 5-6 83.3% 2nd Half: 11-13 84.6% Game: 84.2% 3
Officials: Tom O'Neill, Bill Gracey, Larry Spaulding
Technical fouls: BYU Cougars-None. Wyoming Cowboys-JONES, Brad.
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total
BYU Cougars................... 31 46 - 77
Wyoming Cowboys............... 34 39 - 73
Points in the paint-BY 28,WY 32. Points off turnovers-BY 10,WY 10.
2nd chance points-BY 13,WY 9. Fast break points-BY 4,WY 0.
Bench points-BY 22,WY 12. Score tied-8 times. Lead changes-7 times.
GAME 24 - BYU Plays at Wyoming Tuesday
BYU GAME #24 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (17-6, 7-2 MWC)
WYOMING COWBOYS (13-10, 4-5 MWC)
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2007
7 p.m. MT
BYU, Dave Rose (37-15 in second season; same overall)
UW, Steve McClain (153-110 in ninth season; same overall)
BYU leads, 95-69, after winning the first meeting this year in Provo 89-81 on Jan. 16, 2007
The MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.) (James Bates, play-by-play; Blaine Fowler, color)
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (6 p.m. MT pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Russell Larson, game analysis)
Live audio and live stats links are available at www.byucougars.com/basketball_m/
BYU PLAYS AT WYOMING TUESDAY
BYU (17-6, 7-2 MWC) faces the Wyoming Cowboys (13-10, 4-5 MWC) Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, Wyo. The game will be televised on the MountainWest Sports Network (the mtn.) and can be heard live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 6 p.m. on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City or via the Internet at KSL.com. The Cougars have won four straight, including wins over nationally ranked Air Force and UNLV, while winning 12 of their last 14 games. Coming off of road losses at New Mexico and Air Force, the Cowboys return home where they are 9-1 this season.
BYU plays at TCU Saturday at 7 p.m. CT (no television broadcast).
COUGAR QUICK HITS
-- 2006 All-MWC Third Team forward Keena Young leads BYU this year in scoring (16.0) and is second on the team in rebounding (6.2). 2006 Freshman All-American Trent Plaisted leads the Cougars on the boards (6.6) and is second in scoring (12.4), while senior Austin Ainge leads BYU with 4.2 assists per game.
-- The Cougars currently lead the MWC in scoring (77.3), rebounding average (38.3), rebounding margin (+5.8) and assists (16.35) in overall play. In league action, BYU paces the conference in scoring (78.7), scoring margin (+11.2), field goal percentage (.505), three-point shooting (.497), three-pointers made (9.33), assists (17.56) and assist/turnover ratio (1.40).
-- BYU has won its last four games, including road wins at New Mexico and Utah and home victories over then-No. 13 Air Force and then-No. 25 UNLV. With 28 straight wins in the Marriott Center, the Cougars are currently tied with Air Force for the nation's second-longest active home winning streak.
-- BYU is 14-0 at home this season, 3-5 on the road and 0-1 on a neutral court.
-- BYU was picked to finish second in the Mountain West Conference in the preseason MWC media poll behind reigning champion San Diego State.
LOOKING AT WYOMING
The Cowboys are 13-10 overall and 4-5 in MWC play with a 9-1 overall mark at home this season. Wyoming's lone home loss was a buzzer-beater setback (58-56) against nationally ranked Air Force on Jan. 13. The Cowboys have recorded wins in Arena-Auditorium over UNLV, Colorado State and TCU so far in league play and picked up a road win at San Diego State to open MWC action. Wyoming has nonconference wins over two teams who defeated BYU this year in Boise State and Lamar. The Cowboys are led by sophomore guard Brandon Ewing, who paces the team and the league in scoring overall at 19.7 points per game. He adds 3.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest. Junior guard Brad Jones is second on the team and fourth among MWC players in scoring at 16.7 ppg, while adding 5.3 rpg and a team-leading 4.4 assists per game (which ranks fourth overall among MWC players just ahead of Austin Ainge). Senior forward Daaron Brown paces the Cowboys on the boards at 7.4 per game while shooting a team-best .592 field-goal percentage toward his 9.6 scoring average. He has missed the last three games due to an ankle injury. Junior guard James Spencer joins fellow perimeter players Ewing and Jones in double-digit socring with an 11.6 ppg average. Junior forward Joseph Taylor started 21 of 22 games before being suspended indefinitely last week. He was averaging 5.0 points and 5.9 rebounds. As a team, the Cowboys average 74.1 ppg on .458 shooting from the field, including a .348 mark from three-point range, while holding opponents to 73.9 ppg on .437 shooting from the field. Wyoming has been slightly outrebounded (35.8-35.6) this year. Cowboy head coach Steve McClain is 153-110 in his ninth season at the helm.
WYOMING'S PROBABLE STARTERS
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 3 Ike Okoye 6-8 210 So. 2.8 3.3
F 45 Bienvenu Songondo 6-10 220 So.. 2.5 1.3
G 2 James Spencer 6-4 195 Jr. 11.6 3.3
G 1 Brad Jones 6-0 170 Jr. 16.7 5.3
G 23 Brandon Ewing 6-2 190 So. 19.7 3.7
WYOMING's LAST OUTING -- Short-Handed Cowboys Drop Road Game at No. 17 Air Force
USAFA, Colo. -- With three of their starters sitting out due to suspension and another sidelined with a bum ankle, the Wyoming Cowboys lost to the 17th-ranked Falcons 88-43 on Saturday. Dan Nwaelele and Jacob Burtschi, whose last-second shot beat Wyoming in Laramie last month, each scored 18 points in limited minutes and the Falcons (20-3, 7-2 Mountain West) led 46-18 at halftime and by as many as 50 in the second half. The 45-point margin was the biggest in the history of the Mountain West Conference. The Cowboys (13-10, 4-5) got 13 points from freshman Eric Platt but had little else to stem the Falcons' scoring machine in Wyoming's worst defeat since a 101-51 loss at Cincinnati on Nov. 29, 1995. The previous seven games between the schools had been decided by no more than five points. Center Daaron Brown missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle and three players missed the game as punishment for fighting in the closing minutes of Wyoming's loss at New Mexico last week. Brandon Ewing and Brad Jones, Wyoming's top two scorers, were each suspended for the Air Force game and the school suspended Joseph Taylor indefinitely. Jones will also miss the New Mexico game later this season. That left junior guard James Spencer as the only regular starter in a patchwork lineup that included sophomore Ike Okoye and three freshmen - Ryan Dermody, Travis Nelson and Platt - making their first collegiate starts. Ewing, the league's top scorer at 20.4 points, and Jones have accounted for 48 percent of Wyoming's scoring this season, 51 percent of its 3-point shooting, 45 percent of its steals, and 63 percent of the team's free throws and assists. Spencer's putback to open the scoring gave Wyoming its only lead of the game and the Falcons used a 19-3 run sparked by their trapping defense to take a commanding lead that would never be threatened. Despite liberal substitutions, the Falcons kept pouring it on, using a 16-0 run to make it 36-10. The Falcons' best play didn't even count. Matt McCraw was tripped and stumbled through the lane, scooping the ball off the backboard and through the net and he skidded out of bounds. The basket was waived off for traveling. All of the Falcons' starters were on the bench with 14 minutes left, but the Falcons still surged to a 74-30 lead with 7 1/2 minutes left thanks to three straight 3-pointers by Andrew Henke, who had 11 points. Eric Kenzik's baseline jumper with 4:40 left gave Air Force an 83-33 lead.
This will be the 165th meeting between the two schools. BYU leads the series 95-69. Wyoming has a 53-28 advantage in Laramie while BYU boasts a 63-14 record in Provo. BYU has a 4-2 edge on a neutral floor, including a 2-0 advantage in conference tournament play. The Cougars have won the last three games and eight of the last 10 outings. Since the formation of the Mountain West Conference, BYU has won 12 of the 17 meetings. After Utah (243 games) and Utah State (224 games), BYU has faced Wyoming the third-most times in its history.
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 95-69
BYU Record in Provo: 63-14 (31-5 in the Marriott Center)
BYU Record in Laramie: 28-53 (11-14 in Arena Auditorium)
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 4-2
BYU Record under Dave Rose: 3-0
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 1-3* (all in Laramie)
*0-1 in 2OT games (1981 in Laramie, 84-86)
Last OT Game: 1981, lost in Laramie, 84-86 (2OT)
Longest BYU Win Streak: 12 (1972-77)
Longest Wyoming Win Streak: 9 (1942-46)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 35, 78-43 in 1966
Largest Wyoming Margin of Victory: 32, 63-31 in 1931
Most Points Scored by BYU: 102 in 1965
Most Points Scored by Wyoming: 107 in 1966
QUOTING COACH ROSE
"The Arena-Auditorium has been very good to Wyoming over the years, but we've played well there. Wyoming has had a really good season this year at home so we know we'll have a challenge."
"We expect our guys to go in there and execute our game plan. Wyoming has been in a little bit of disarray over the suspensions, but they'll be back and they'll be ready."
"The three guards with James Spencer, Brandon Ewing and Brad Jones are as difficult a matchup as anybody in the league. All three are very, very talented. They're good passers and they can create shots and hit shots off the catch."
FIRST OUTING IN PROVO -- YOUNG LEADS COUGARS TO VICTORY
PROVO -- After a slow start, the BYU Cougars pulled out an 89-81 victory against the Wyoming Cowboys Tuesday night in the Marriott Center, improving to 13-5 overall and 3-1 in the Mountain West Conference. Senior Keena Young led his team with 29 points, a new career high, and 10 rebounds. BYU also improved their home-winning streak to 26 games. The Cougars started out slow with two turnovers in the beginning minutes. A three-pointer by Brandon Ewing carried the Cowboys to a 12-4 lead before a time-out was called by BYU. The game continued to go Wyoming's way until Ben Murdock hit a three-pointer to bring the Cougars within five points. A seven-point run by BYU was capped by a Mike Rose breakaway lay-up. With 10:25 left in the half, Trent Plaisted got his first bucket of the game after missing his previous six attempts. BYU continued to struggle when Murdock received his second foul with just over eight minutes left in the half. A Jonathan Tavernari jump shot was followed by an Austin Ainge three-pointer. Picking up where he left off during the Cougars' last home game against TCU, Tavernari made his first three-point attempt to bring his team within three. As the half came to a close, Young was sent to the free-throw line where he made both of his shots. A three-pointer by Jimmy Balderson tied the game for the first time. On the last play of the half, Tavernari hit his second three of the night, giving BYU its first lead of the game at 37-35. Young was fouled and sent to the line to open the second half where he made both of his free throws. A dunk by Plaisted with 16:05 on the clock tied the game, and a costly turnover by the Cowboys resulted in a breakaway lay-up by Rose, giving the Cougars a 51-45 advantage. BYU continued on a 17-0 run, with Young contributing nine points and Rose adding five. A strong defensive showing by the Cougars resulted in an expired Wyoming shot clock with just over 10 minutes to play. Murdock's fourth foul sent Eric Platt to the line, bringing the score to 66-54. Soon after, Plaisted recorded his second dunk of the night with 7:14 left in the half. At 6:53, Ewing recorded his first points of the half on a pair of free throws, having gone over 24 minutes without a score. Young tipped in a missed three-point attempt by Lee Cummard to give BYU a 12-point lead. On a trip to the free-throw line with four minutes left in the game, Young surpassed his previous career high of 27 points. Ewing's 800th career point came with just over two minutes to play. A steal by Ainge and ensuing tip-in by Plaisted put the Cougars up 85-79 with 30 seconds left in the game. A pair of free throws by Ainge sealed the BYU victory. Four Cougars scored in double figures, including Young with 29 points, Plaisted with 15, Ainge with 13 and Tavernari with 10. Ewing and Brown both led Wyoming with 22 points each. Brown also led his team with 18 rebounds.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "It was a physical game. Our guys responded well to that. All of the conference games will be physical. The teams are evenly matched so it will be a fight."
-- "Wyoming guards are very involved. They get the posts involved by penetration. In the second half we did a much better job of filling the lanes so the guards had to create shots."
-- "The defense sparked the 17-0 run. We got stops on defense and attacked them in transition."
-- "At the beginning of the game the energy level from our guys was suspect. That's why Jonathan Tavernari came in to give us a lift."
-- "Jonathan Tavernari's playing with a lot of confidence. He works really hard, has a great attitude and right now he is really helping our team."
Wyoming Head Coach Steve McClain
-- "I thought it was a great game. We got off to a great start. We did what we wanted to do. We are proud of our kids. We got it close but didn't get it."
-- "We go in at the half and feel like we are right there, and then we just missed shots. BYU did a good job defensively."
-- "I think our kids got frustrated by something they couldn't control. But I think that they really kept their composure."
BYU NOTES FROM FIRST OUTING THIS YEAR
-- Individual Career Highs: Keena Young - 29 points; Lee Cummard -- 3 blocks.
-- Individual Season Highs: Mike Rose -- 3 assists, 2 steals (tied); Keena Young -- 2 steals.
-- Team Season Highs: 52 points in a half; 12,817 attendance.
-- BYU's win over Wyoming extended its home winning streak to 26 games, which the second-longest active home victory streak in the nation. The Cougars are 12-0 at home this season.
-- With a .412 (7-for-17) three-point shooting percentage against Wyoming, BYU has now shot above .400 percent from behind the arc in five straight games and nine on the season.
-- BYU put together two very different halves against Wyoming, starting the game 2-for-11 (.182) while shooting 14-for-38 (.368) in the first half. In the second half, BYU started 8-for-11 (.727) while cruising to a season high 52 second-half points on a 13-for-24 (.542) shooting mark, the 10th time this year the Cougars have scored at least 40 points in the second half. BYU shot 27-for-62 (.435) for the game.
-- After Wyoming's Joseph Taylor was whistled for a technical foul at the 14:58 mark with the game tied at 45-45, BYU went on a 17-0 run thanks in part to nine points from Young and five points from Mike Rose.
-- After scoring 16 second-half points at UNLV, Keena Young once again put together another impressive offensive performance against Wyoming, scoring a career-high 29 points on 9-for-16 (.563) shooting, marking the 16th time in 18 games he has scored in double figures and the fourth time he has posted 20+ points. His 29 points is the most scored by a Cougar since Rafael Araujo scored 32 points against then-No. 25 Oklahoma State on Dec. 6, 2003 at the Delta Center.
-- Young added 10 rebounds against the Cowboys to record his fifth double-double of the season and the eighth of his career.
-- With an 11-for-12 performance from the free-throw line, Young also became the first Cougar since Mike Hall on Feb. 7, 2004 to make double-digit free throws in a game.
-- With a three-point make at the 12:21 mark of the second half, Mike Rose has now made a three-pointer in 10 straight games, tying his career record. Rose has come on strong for BYU as of late, scoring 77 points in the last 10 games (7.7 ppg), including nine against Wyoming, after scoring just 11 points in the first eight games (1.4 ppg).
-- Lee Cummard recorded a career-high three blocks in the game, marking the ninth game this year he has recorded at least one rejection. Cummard entered the game ranked 15th in the MWC averaging 0.65 bpg.
-- Jimmy Balderson gave the Cougars their first tie of the night at 34-34 on a three-pointer with 1:34 left to play in the first half. Jonathan Tavernari then gave BYU its first lead at 37-35 on another three-pointer with three seconds remaining in the half. Wyoming led by as many as 10 points (16-6) in the first period of play.
LAST YEAR IN LARAMIE -- EMERY SPARKS BYU WIN AT WYOMING
LARAMIE -- True freshman Jackson Emery had a career game for BYU as the Cougars got another hard-fought victory over Wyoming, 74-68, in the Arena-Auditorium. Emery scored a personal-best 13 points, making 3-of-4 treys, in 17 minutes of play on Saturday. BYU (16-7, 8-4 MWC) had a big first half and held off the charging Cowboys (12-14, 5-8). With the win, BYU remains in a third-place tie in the Mountain West Conference standings. The Cowboys made a 6-2 run to cut the BYU lead to 21-18 with 7:41 left in the first half. The teams matched runs once again with the Cougars scoring six in a row to build a nine-point advantage before Wyoming's Brandon Ewing answered with seven consecutive points by himself. The Cowboys were helped out by BYU turnovers. Keena Young and Emery helped the Cougars score five unanswered points as the see-saw tilted back in BYU's direction. Emery scored five points in the last 38 seconds of the half, including a three-pointer from the corner with seven seconds remaining, to give the Cougars a 43-35 at the break. BYU shot 54.5 percent from the field in the first half, including 3-for-5 from behind the three-point line. The Cougars came out flat early in the second half and the Cowboys took advantage, cutting the lead in half and forcing an early BYU time out. Wyoming's Justin Williams played physical, blocking shots and scoring points early in the half as the Cowboys cut the lead to two at 45-43 with 15:53 left in the game. BYU countered with Emery, who nailed consecutive three pointers to put the Cougars back up by eight points. Moments later, Trent Plaisted hit a hook shot to give BYU a game-high, 10 point lead. Wyoming scored five in a row to cut the lead back down to five. After Broadus hit a foul shot, Wyoming scored seven consecutive points to give it a 55-54 lead with 10:35 remaining, its first advantage since a 12-10 lead early in the game. Down two at 62-60, the Cougars went on a 5-0 run to regain the lead. BYU kept the lead, holding on to a 67-66 advantage with two minutes remaining when Broadus followed his own miss -- one of Williams' 11 blocked shots on the day -- with a layin to give the Cougars a three-point lead with under one minute left. His offensive rebound on the play was BYU's 20th, the most by the Cougars this season. The Cowboys' Ewing missed two foul shots with 35 seconds left and Young made two on the Cougars side after a foul. Reichner made one free throw and Plaisted added two more in the final seconds to secure BYU's third road win of the MWC season. Young led BYU with 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds to record his second double-double of the year. Plaisted (12 points) and Balderson (11 points) joined Young and Emery in double figures for BYU. Williams pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds while nearly recording a triple-double with 11 blocks (tied Wyoming record) and eight points.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "I loved the fight that we had in all of our kids. We had a great week of practice and it showed today by how we didn't quit. It was a game of runs but we fought hard and made plays. We got some good play from our bench. It's a determined team right now."
-- "It showed that we had determination today by the rebounding numbers. Wyoming is a great rebounding team and we were able to our rebound them by 11. I am very proud of our kids. We scored a lot of points by getting second shots."
-- "Jackson (Emery) had a great game for us. He always works hard and he is a big reason why we were able to jump to a lead in the first half. Jackson made several huge plays down the stretch in the first half."
Wyoming Head Coach Steve McClain
-- "It's tough to win a game when you don't shoot free throws and get outrebounded like we did today."
-- "We guarded their stuff well enough. We had some trouble with transition defense and we had trouble with rebounding the basketball."
-- "We have enough fight in us. There's only one choice -- keep fighting. Maybe a ball will bounce our way one time."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST YEAR IN LARAMIE
-- Head coach Dave Rose has used the same starting lineup in the last six games, going with Rashaun Broadus, Brock Reichner, Lee Cummard, Keena Young and Trent Plaisted in the starting five. BYU is 5-1 with this starting lineup.
-- Individual Career Highs: Keena Young -- 12 rebounds; Jackson Emery -- 13 points, 4 field goals made, 3 three-point field goals made; Brock Reichner -- 1 block (tied).
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Offensive rebounds -- 20; Total rebounds in an MWC game -- 45 (tied, also vs. TCU); Most blocked shots by an opponent -- 13; lowest second-half field-goal percentage -- .265; fewest assists -- 6.
-- BYU led 43-35 at the half, equaling the most first-half points in a conference road game this season (also at Colorado State). BYU improves to 11-0 this season when leading at the half. For the first time this season, BYU has scored 40 or more points in the first half in back-to-back games (40 vs. UNLV). The Cougars have led at the break four times in conference play with their eight-point advantage against Wyoming being their largest (+4 vs. Utah, +2 at Colorado State, +6 vs. UNLV).
-- BYU outrebounded the MWC's top rebounding team, 45-34, including a season-high 20 offensive rebounds against the Cowboys (19 vs. TCU). BYU's 45 rebounds tied its largest total in a conference game this year (also TCU) and is just one board shy of the team's top effort this season (46 vs. Weber State).
-- Keena Young pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds and scored 15 points to record his second double-double of the year and third of his career. His prior two double-double games both game against Air Force.
-- Jackson Emery scored a career-high 13 points, including five points in the final minute of the first half to give BYU an eight-point advantage at the break. He made a career-best three treys on four attempts.
-- Lee Cummard received a technical foul after reacting to a charging foul called on him with 2:45 left in the first half. Cummard is the first BYU player to receive a technical this season.
-- BYU and Wyoming both committed 15 turnovers during the game but the Cougars were able to take advantage on two more possessions, scoring 17 points off of turnovers compared to the Cowboys' 13. BYU is now a perfect 12-0 this year when making more points off of turnovers than its opponent.
-- BYU is now 6-1 this year in games decided by six points or fewer.
BYU swept the season series against the Cowboys this year. BYU improves to 94-69 all-time against Wyoming, with the Cowboys advantage in Laramie now being 53-28.
-- Wyoming shot 47.3 against BYU, the lowest percentage shot against the Cougars in a league road game this year. Despite facing strong shooting efforts from its opponents on their home courts, BYU is 3-4 on the road in league games. BYU last won three conference road games in 2004, when the Cougars won their final three away games during a nine-game winning streak (3-4 on the road in MWC in 2004).
BYU's LAST OUTING -- THREE-POINTERS PUSH BYU PAST NO. 25 UNLV
PROVO -- The Cougars broke No. 25 UNLV's five-game winning streak on Saturday in the Marriott Center, deciding to return the favor after having their own seven-game winning streak snapped earlier this season while at the Thomas & Mack Center. A crowd of 15,899 was present to witness the final score of 90-63. Mike Rose led all scorers for BYU with 27 points, breaking his career high, followed by Austin Ainge with 17 points and Trent Plaisted with 12. Rose also tied the BYU individual record that he set for most three-pointers made in a game with eight. Lee Cummard had a perfect game, shooting 3-for-3 from the field. The team set a new school record for three-pointers made in a game with 15. The win marked BYU's second victory against a ranked team this season. The team previously beat No. 13 Air Force on Jan. 27 in the Marriott Center. Also, with the victory BYU extended its home winning streak to 28 games, tied for the second-longest in the nation. The Cougars have now won 12 of the last 14 games and are 17-6 overall and 7-2 in the Mountain West Conference. BYU jumped out to an early 9-3 lead, capped by Jimmy Balderson's first recorded dunk of the season. Both teams continued to trade baskets, quickly driving up the score. With 10:21 to play in the half, Mike Rose hit back-to-back three-pointers to extend BYU's lead to eight at 24-16. With 7:40 left in the half, Rose remained perfect behind the arc by making his fourth three-pointer, bringing the Cougar lead to 35-23. Vuk Ivanovic earned his first points of the game with just under seven minutes to play, followed by a jumper by Keena Young. Rose's fifth three came a few minutes later, bringing the score to 44-28. Sam Burgess scored his first points of the game with 2:50 to go in the half, recording the Cougars' ninth three-pointer of the half. A steal by Jonathan Tavernari resulted in two points for Austin Ainge. At the half, BYU was 9-of-15 from behind the arc and .588 from the field. Austin Ainge scored the first five points to open the second half of play, bringing the score to 54-34. With just under 16 minutes on the clock, he made his third three of the game. A significant blocked shot by Trent Plaisted turned the possession over to BYU with 14:52 remaining. After three made free throws by Rose, the Rebel's Wink Adams hit a jumper, bringing the score to 66-43. BYU answered with a one-handed dunk by Plaisted. Rose's first three-pointer of the half came with just under eight minutes to play. On the next possession Adams of UNLV came back with one of his own. A one-for-three trip to the free throw line by the Rebels' Curtis Terry was followed by Plaisted's third dunk of the night with 4:25 left to play. Tavernari's three with 2:08 on the clock tied BYU's record for the most baskets made from behind the three-point line. With just over 30 seconds to play, Rose made his eighth three-pointer of the night. UNLV was led by Adams with 14 points and Gaston Essengue with 6 rebounds.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "The guys really responded well from an emotional win earlier in the week."
-- "I like it when guys come off the bench and make shots. It's really good for our energy and chemistry. There was good play off the bench tonight and great play from Mike Rose."
-- "We really wanted to work on the inside tonight but had a lot of opportunities from outside the perimeter."
-- "Tonight, you get someone who goes 8-for-10 from the perimeter, and that's a special night. Mike Rose had a great night."
UNLV Head Coach Lon Kruger
-- "It was a total domination by BYU. They got us on our heels early, and they just kept getting better."
-- "They got on top of us early, and we didn't respond in a way that we could change the momentum back."
-- "We have to learn from this, make progress and get better. We didn't win many battles today."
-- "Basically, they got to all the loose balls, got the long rebounds and made all the energy plays."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Individual Career Highs: Mike Rose -- 27 points, 8 three-pointers made (tied); Ben Murdock - 4 assists; Lee Cummard - 5 steals.
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Most points scored in a half against Div. I -- 49 (first); .682 three-point shooing percentage.
-- Records -- BYU set a new school record for three-pointers made in a game with 15 against UNLV. Mike Rose tied the BYU individual record for three-pointers made in a game with eight against UNLV (set by Rose in 2003).
-- BYU's win over No. 25 UNLV extended its home winning streak to 28 games, which is tied for the second-longest active home victory streak in the nation. The Cougars are 14-0 at home this season and 400-116 (.775) all-time in the Marriott Center.
-- The Cougars' victory over No. 25 UNLV marked the second consecutive BYU win over a ranked team in the Marriott Center, including last Saturday's win over No. 13 Air Force. Prior to that, BYU had not defeated a ranked opponent since beating then-No. 25 Oklahoma State 76-71 on Dec. 6, 2003 in Salt Lake City. BYU hadn't beaten a ranked team in the Marriott Center since Feb. 1, 1992 with an 80-63 win over No. 19 UTEP.
-- With a matchup against the No. 25 Rebels, BYU has now faced four ranked teams this season, the only Mountain West Conference team to do so. The Cougars are 2-2 in those games with a 90-63 win over UNLV, a 61-52 win over then-No. 13 Air Force, an 82-69 loss at then-No. 5 UCLA and a 76-61 neutral court loss against then-No. 25 Michigan State.
-- With a +27 (90-63) margin of victory against UNLV, BYU has won four of its nine MWC games this season by more than 20 points, including a 21-point (70-49) win at New Mexico on Jan. 24, a 24-point (89-65) win over TCU on Jan. 10 and a 22-point victory (80-58) over San Diego State to open MWC play. The UNLV win marked BYU's largest margin of victory in MWC play since a 29-point win (82-53) on Jan. 17, 2004 against Colorado State. BYU has won just 10 games by 20 points or more in MWC play since the formation of the league prior to the 1999-2000 season.
-- BYU is now 16-3 when scoring at least 70 points and 15-0 when holding opponents below the 70-point threshold.
-- With a 38-30 rebounding advantage against the Rebels, the Cougars are now 16-0 when winning the battle of the boards.
-- Leading 49-34 against UNLV, BYU went into the locker room with a halftime lead for the 18th time this season, including its eighth double-digit lead, The Cougars have scored over 40 points in the first half five times this season. The Cougars are now 16-2 when leading at the break. BYU is also 16-0 when leading at the five-minute mark and 16-0 when leading at the one-minute mark.
-- The Cougars' .682 (15-for-22) three-point shooting marked the 12th time this season BYU has shot above .400 from three-point range and the ninth time this year the Cougars have topped .500. BYU ranked 15th in the country in three-point shooting percentage entering the UNLV game.
-- Austin Ainge scored in double figures for the seventh time this season with 17 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 shooting from three-point range.
IN THE RANKINGS
BYU is listed 37th in this week's ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll and 38th in the AP Top 25 Poll. Three BYU opponents also appear in the Coaches poll as UCLA is ranked No. 2, Air Force is ranked No. 13 and UNLV is listed 36th. UCLA and Air Force are also ranked in the AP Poll, coming in at Nos. 2 and 15, respectively, while UNLV is listed 43rd and MIchigan State is listed 48th.
With a +27 (90-63) margin of victory against UNLV on Saturday, BYU has now won four of its nine MWC games this season by more than 20 points, including a 21-point (70-49) win at New Mexico on Jan. 24, a 24-point (89-65) win over TCU on Jan. 10 and a 22-point victory (80-58) over San Diego State to open MWC play. The UNLV win marked BYU's largest margin of victory in MWC play since a 29-point win (82-53) on Jan. 17, 2004 against Colorado State. BYU has won just 10 games by 20 points or more in MWC play since the formation of the league prior to the 1999-2000 season.
BYU set a school record with 15 three-pointers against UNLV on .682 (15-for-22) shooting from long range, the third time this season the Cougars have shot above .600 from downtown and the sixth time BYU has made a least 10 treys in a game. Prior to shooting .350 from three-point range in its last two games, BYU had shot .557 (49-for-88) from beyond the arc in its previous five games, including a .500 mark (9-for-18) at New Mexico and a .538 (7-of-13) mark at Colorado State. Before shooting .412 against Wyoming, BYU shot .565 (26-for-46) from three-point range in its two games against TCU and UNLV. The Cougars tied the school record with 14 triples (14-of-25, .560) in their win over the Horned Frogs Jan. 6 and followed with 12 treys (12-for-21, .571) at UNLV on Jan. 13. BYU has shot above 40 percent from behind the arc 12 times on the season, including a streak of seven straight games. The Cougars lead the league in three-point percentage (.497) in MWC play. Cougar players rank first (Austin Ainge - .571), third (Jonathan Tavernari - .516) and sixth (Mike Rose - .476) in the league in three-point shooting percentage in MWC action. Rose tied the BYU individual record he set in 2003 with eight triples against UNLV.
With seven straight wins against Utah State, Western Oregon, Liberty, Oral Roberts, Seton Hall, San Diego State and TCU, the Cougars put together their longest winning streak of the Dave Rose era and their longest since winning nine straight games during the 2003-04 season. Before coming to an end with a loss at UNLV on Jan. 13, the streak was tied for the 12th-longest active victory streak in the nation. Earlier this year with wins against Idaho State, Portland and Southern Utah, the Cougars put together a three-game win streak, which ended with a loss at Boise State. BYU had several winning streaks last season, including six straight victories. That streak was tied for the seventh-longest active winning streak in the nation. BYU won 10 of its last 13 games last year.
ON THE ROAD
BYU has now won two straight games on the road including wins at New Mexico (70-49) and at Utah (76-66), the Cougars' first win in the Huntsman Center since 1994. BYU is 3-5 on the road this year with a season-opening loss at then-No. 5 UCLA, a Nov. 29 setback at Boise State, an overtime win at Weber State, an overtime defeat at Lamar and league losses at UNLV and at CSU. In BYU's eight away games, the Cougars have been outscored by an average of just over one point (74.6-73.2). The Cougars lost their only neutral court game so far this season with a loss against then-No. 25 Michigan State at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. The victory over Weber State earlier in the year snapped a three-game road losing streak dating back to last year's season-ending defeat at Houston in the NIT and a five-game nonconference road losing streak since defeating Washington State last year in Spokane Arena on Nov. 22, 2005. BYU finished last year 6-8 away from home, including a 4-4 mark during MWC play.
BOUNCE BACK COUGARS
After suffering its first back-to-back regular-season losses of the Dave Rose era with defeats vs. then-No. 25 Michigan State and at Lamar, BYU responded with seven straight wins. BYU has bounced back with wins after five of its six losses this season. Last year with its 20-9 overall record, BYU suffered consecutive defeats only once -- against Utah in the Mountain West Conference Tournament and at Houston in the NIT in the last two games of the year, having bounced back from each prior loss with a victory.
MAGIC NUMBER: 70
This year the Cougars are scoring an MWC-leading 77.3 points and allowing 67.0 points. BYU is 15-0 when opponents score less than 70 points and 2-6 when they score 70 or more. BYU is 16-3 when it scores 70 or more points (exception at Lamar, at UNLV and at CSU) and 1-3 when scoring less than 70. The Cougars had scored at least 70 points in 12 straight games prior to a 61-52 win against then-No. 13 Air Force.
CLEANING OFF THE GLASS
BYU is 16-0 this season when outrebounding its opponents and 1-6 when losing the battle of the boards. The Cougars lead the MWC in rebounding average (38.3) and rebounding margin (+5.8). BYU posted its largest margin of the season with a +22 (42-20) mark against then-No. 13 Air Force. Sophomore Trent Plaisted is tied for fourth on the glass at 6.6 rpg while senior Keena Young is seventh at 6.2 rpg. The Cougars recorded back-to-back season-high efforts of 52 rebounds vs. Oral Roberts and 55 against Seton Hall in the BYU Holiday Classic. BYU outrebounded the Pirates 55-34 as four Cougars had nine or more rebounds (Cummard 12, Young, Plaisted and Ainge 9). Cummard and Ainge set new career highs.
BYU is the only MWC team that has not had a game decided by three points or less this season. The Cougars have had some close games, however, as three games have required overtime this year. BYU is 2-1 in overtime with an 86-77 loss at Lamar on Dec. 13 and an 84-78 win against Idaho State on Nov. 18 and a 73-69 victory at Weber State on Dec. 2. This is the first season since 2001-02 that BYU has played multiple extra period games in one year (BYU was 0-3 in overtime that season). The Cougars' loss at Lamar ended a five-game overtime winning streak dating back to March 14, 2003, an 86-80 setback against Colorado State at the MWC Tournament. BYU is 50-45 (.526) all-time when playing past regulation.
One of BYU's most consistent players this year has been senior forward Keena Young, who has scored in double figures in 19 out of 23 games. He leads BYU in scoring (16.0), which is seventh in the league, and is second in rebounding (6.2), seventh in the conference. The senior co-captain has led BYU in scoring eight times and rebounding eight times, including his career-high 16-rebound performance against Oral Roberts for his fourth double-double of the season (21 points). His 27 points at Weber State is the most by a Cougar since Dec. 13, 2003 (Rafael Araujo - 28). He posted a career-high 29 points against Wyoming (the most since Dec. 6, 2003; Araujo - 32) to go along with 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double fo the year.
Senior Austin Ainge is averaging a team-best 4.2 assists, fifth in the MWC. He also ranks third in the league in assist/turnover ratio (2.04). He is averaging 5.1 apg in league play. Ainge scored 17 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the field, including 3-for-4 from three-point range, against then No. 25 UNLV while adding four assists and four rebounds. He posted a season-high 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the field, including a 5-for-7 mark from three-point range, to go along with six assists against TCU. He totaled 16 points with a career-best nine rebounds off the bench against Seton Hall. His 14 points -- all in the second half -- against Boise State fueled BYU's furious comeback attempt. He has tied his career high with eight assists twice in the last four games (at UNM, at Utah).
DOING IT ALL
Lee Cummard contributes across the box score and on the defensive end of the floor for BYU. In the Cougars' conference opener against San Diego State, he recorded his second straight double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds while contributing 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. In the BYU Holiday Classic, he averaged 11.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting .542 from the floor, .444 on threes and was perfect from the line. He was named to the all-tournament team. After coming one rebound away from the first double-double of his career against Oral Roberts with 13 points and a then career-high 9 rebounds to go along with 5 assists, he finished the Classic with career highs of 16 points and 12 rebounds vs. Seton Hall. He has had at least one steal in 19 of 23 games, including a career-high 5 steals against UNLV. On the year, Cummard averages 9.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.7 blocks while shooting .551 from the floor, .525 on threes and .806 from the line. He ranks among the top 15 in the MWC in eight statistical categories. He guards the opponent's top perimeter player. Among his defensive highlights was excelling in the tough assignment to guard the MWC's all-time scoring leader and reigning MVP Brandon Heath of San Diego State. He held Heath to season-low-tying 13 points -- well below his MWC No. 2-ranked 20.3 scoring average entering the game. Cummard helped end Heath's string of four straight games with 20 or more points. He also helped hold Utah State's leading shooter Jaycee Carroll, who ranked 22nd in the nation shooting .629, to just .308 shooting (4-for-13) and seven points below his average.
Coach Rose has used four different starting lineups so far this year. Sophomore Lee Cummard and senior Keena Young have started every game this season, while sophomore Trent Plaisted has missed just one start because of injury. Jimmy Balderson has made 20 starts. Rashaun Broadus started 11 of 15 games before being suspended for the season. Austin Ainge has started 15 games.
ROSE BECOMES EIGHTH COUGAR TO LEAD TEAM IN SCORING
Mike Rose became the eighth Cougar this year to lead the team in scoring during a game when he topped all scorers in Saturday's win over then-No. 25 UNLV. A 6-foot-3 senior guard from Houston, Texas, Rose scored a career-high 27 points in 21 minutes off the bench Saturday to help BYU defeat the nationally ranked Rebels in the Marriott Center. He tied his own school record and equaled the season high by an MWC player this year (UNLV's Kevin Kruger) by making eight treys on 8-of-10 accuracy from behind the arc. His eighth triple also set a new BYU team record of 15 threes in a game.
VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
The Cougars' victory over No. 25 UNLV marked the second consecutive BYU win over a ranked team in the Marriott Center, including last Saturday's win over No. 13 Air Force. Prior to that, BYU had not defeated a ranked opponent since beating then-No. 25 Oklahoma State 76-71 on Dec. 6, 2003 in Salt Lake City. BYU hadn't beaten a ranked team in the Marriott Center since Feb. 1, 1992 with an 80-63 win over No. 19 UTEP. With the matchup against the No. 25 Rebels, BYU has now faced four ranked teams this season, the only Mountain West Conference team to do so. The Cougars are 2-2 in those games with a 90-63 win over UNLV, a 61-52 win over then-No. 13 Air Force, an 82-69 loss at then-No. 5 UCLA and a 76-61 neutral court loss against then-No. 25 Michigan State.
DEFENDING THE HOME COURT
With 28 straight wins in the Marriott Center, the Cougars are currently tied for the nation's second-longest active home victory streak. BYU has won its first 14 home games this season after going 14-1 at home last year including wins in its last 14 straight home contests. The Cougars are 400-116 (.775) all-time in the Marriott Center
Active Homecourt Winning Streaks (through games played Feb. 3, 2007)
Wins Team This year Next home game
49 Gonzaga 9-0 Feb. 10 vs. St. Mary's
28 BYU 14-0 Feb. 14 vs. New Mexico
28 Air Force 11-0 Feb. 14 vs. Utah
26 Memphis 14-0 Feb. 10 vs. Tulane
24 George Washington 9-0 Feb. 10 vs. Xavier
BYU has led at the half in 18 of the team's first 23 games, including a double-digit lead eight times. The Cougars outscore their opponents by an average of 5.9 points in the first period of play. BYU's win over Seton Hall marked the first time the Cougars have won this year after trailing at the break. BYU's 82-69 loss at UCLA after leading 39-36 at the half marked the first time since the 2004-05 season that BYU has lost when leading at the half. BYU also lost at CSU after leading 39-37 at the break. The Cougars are now 16-2 when leading at the half, 1-3 when trailing and 0-1 when tied this season. .
The Cougars have put together incredible first-half shooting performances in their four MWC road games, including a .520 mark from the field and a .600 mark from three-point range against New Mexico. Including its games at Utah, at UNLV and at Colorado State, BYU is shooting .529 from the floor and .528 from three-point range in the first half of play in league road contests. The Cougars have led at the break in three of those games and been tied in one.
With a win against New Mexico to conclude the regular season last year, the Cougars achieved their 29th 20-win season. BYU has averaged 20 wins every 2.7 years (BYU has played 78 seasons in which it has played at least 20 games in a season). BYU coach Dave Rose is the fifth Cougar head coach to reach 20 wins in his first season at the helm. He joins G. Ott Romney (20-10 in 1928-29), Stan Watts (22-12 in 1949-50), Ladell Anderson (20-11 in 1983-84) and Roger Reid (21-9 in 1989-90). Both Watts and Reid achieved six 20-win seasons in their BYU coaching careers while Romney posted five and Rose's predecessor, Steve Cleveland, achieved four.
20-win Seasons at BYU
Stan Watts had 6 seasons of 20 wins in 23 years of coaching
Roger Reid had 6 seasons of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
G. Ott Romney had 5 seasons of 20 wins in 9 years of coaching
Steve Cleveland had 4 seasons of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
Ladell Anderson had 3 season of 20 wins in 6 years of coaching
Frank Arnold had 3 seasons of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
Floyd Millet had 1 season of 20 wins in 8 years of coaching
Dave Rose has 1 season of 20 wins in 1 year of coaching
TRUE BLUE FANS
The Cougars are averaging 10,897 fans this season, including the 23rd largest crowd in the history of the Marriott Center with 22,700 fans against then-No. 13 Air Force. BYU has consistently ranked among the national attendance leaders. The Cougars averaged 11,069 fans in 2005-06, outdrawing the regular-season conference champions of 27 out of 31 conferences as well as over half of the teams in the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big East and Southeastern Conferences and all but Arizona in the Pacific-10 Conference. BYU also averaged more fans than 12 of the 16 NCAA Sweet Sixteen participants, including all of the Final Four teams.
MOMENTUM OFF THE BENCH
Three-point shooting off the bench has often given BYU momentum toward its victories this season. The shooting spark has come from different Cougars on different nights. Austin Ainge made three treys against Idaho State and against Seton Hall while coming off the bench to help BYU earn wins. Sam Burgess nailed three triples in a win over Portland. Jonathan Tavernari connected six times from long range against TCU and three times at Utah and against Western Oregon to help fuel BYU wins. Mike Rose tied his school record with eight bombs against then-No. 25 UNLV Saturday to allow BYU to pull away in a battle of league leaders. When Rose first entered the game with 12 minutes to go in the half, the Cougars led by just two points. Rose made BYU's next three buckets, knocking down three straight treys within his first two minutes on the floor to give the Cougars a nine-point advantage. He connected on his first five triples overall in the first half to score 15 points and give BYU a 15-point lead at the break. He made three more treys in the second half and was fouled on another attempt and made all three free throws. His career-high 27 points was also the margin of BYU's victory over UNLV. BYU's bench has outscored opposing reserves 560-390 this year, giving BYU 7.4 more points of production per game from its second unit. BYU's bench has outscored the opponent bench in 17 of 23 games.