Cougars Set Records In Season Finale
FORT WORTH -- The No. 24 BYU men's basketball team survived a second-half scare at TCU Saturday night to close out the regular season with a 61-54 victory. With the win, the Cougars finish the regular season 25-6 overall and 14-2 in the Mountain West Conference, setting a BYU record for regular-season wins and a league record for MWC victories.
"It's a special team," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "These players will be able to come back to BYU games and see that championship banner hanging there and remember this season forever. It's fun to coach special groups. Tonight, we were able to figure out a way to win. I'm really happy for our players and our coaching staff."
The league-champion Cougars will open the 2008 Phillips 66 MWC Men's Basketball Championship Thursday at 12 p.m. PT at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas against the winner of Wednesday's first-round game between Wyoming and Colorado State. The Cougars enter the tourney as the No. 1 seed for just the second time in league history.
Jonathan Tavernari led the Cougars with 17 points against TCU while MWC Player of the Year candidate Lee Cummard was right behind with 16 points and Sam Burgess added 13 points. Cummard paced BYU on the boards with eight rebounds. Ben Murdock dished out five assists.
TCU scored first on its home floor, marking the first time in three games BYU has trailed. Tavernari quickly got the Cougars on the board with a layin on the other end. The two teams continued to trade buckets, including three's from BYU's Burgess and TCU's Ryan Wall, to a 7-5 Horned Frog advantage.
Poor shooting plagued the Cougars early on as they made just two of their first eight shots, but an impressive showing on the offensive glass kept BYU close as Cummard and Trent Plaisted scored back-to-back buckets to knot the score at 9-9. The Cougars then stretched their run to 10-0 with back-to-back treys from Burgess and Cummard to extend the lead to 15-9 with 11:28 remaining.
Two TCU free throws at the 9:52 mark ended a five-minute Horned Frog scoring drought and cut the lead to four points at 15-11. However, both teams continued to struggle from the field as TCU missed 12 straight shots and BYU failed to convert on five straight attempts. Burgess finally got the Cougars going with his third three of the night to establish a then-game-high lead of eight points at 21-13.
Kevin Langford made TCU's first field goal since the 15-minute mark with a banked jumper with 6:53 left in the first half. Tavernari responded with his 77th three-pointer of the season, adding to his single-season Cougar record, to establish a 24-15 Cougar lead. The two teams hit their stride as the half came to a close, trading buckets until Cummard made it a double-digit lead for BYU with a tip-in to put the Cougars in front 29-19. The 10-point advantage would hold to a 32-22 halftime lead. Burgess led BYU with 12 points in the first period while Tavernari added 10 points to help the Cougars record their 25th halftime lead of the year.
TCU came out with a 7-0 run by senior Brent Hackett to open the second half, quickly whittling a 10-point lead down to three points just 1:30 into the period and forcing a Cougar timeout. BYU could not get a score out of the break, and the Horned Frogs added two more free throws to the total to get to within one point. Turnovers and missed shots kept the Cougars off the scoreboard until Tavernari finally scored at the 15:15 mark for BYU's first points of the second half. TCU responded with a dunk at the other end to maintain the one-point margin at 34-33, but Tavernari and Plaisted scored back-to-back buckets, including a dunk from BYU's big man, to push the lead to 38-33.
After a three-pointer on the other end from Wall, true freshman Michael Loyd, Jr., showed the intensity Rose's Cougar squads are known for with a steal and a fastbreak bucket. But Wall wasn't done from behind the arc, cutting the lead back to one point at 40-39 with another trey and then forcing a turnover. TCU then completed the comeback with a layin to take a 41-40 lead, the Horned Frogs' first since 9-5.
The game remained tight over the next several minutes as neither squad was able to gain more than a two-point edge. TCU pounded the offensive glass and did most of its damage in the second-chance point category, getting a three-pointer to go up 46-44 with 9:22 left. However, the BYU defense then buckled down, holding the Horned Frogs without a point for 4:05 and sparking the Cougar offense on a 13-1 run. Cummard came up with a huge three-pointer during the spurt as BYU closed the game out to take the 61-54 win.
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Official Basketball Box Score
BYU Cougars vs TCU
3/8/08 7:00 p.m. at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum
VISITORS: BYU Cougars 25-6, 14-2 MWC
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
45 TAVERNARI, Jonathan. f 6-15 2-7 3-4 2 2 4 5 17 2 0 1 2 34
44 PLAISTED, Trent..... c 2-6 0-0 5-8 3 3 6 3 9 0 4 2 0 25
20 BURGESS, Sam........ g 4-12 3-9 2-4 0 3 3 2 13 2 1 0 0 36
24 MURDOCK, Ben........ g 0-3 0-1 3-4 0 3 3 0 3 5 1 0 2 21
30 CUMMARD, Lee........ g 6-11 2-6 2-2 3 5 8 1 16 2 2 3 0 35
01 LOYD, JR., Michael.. 1-2 0-0 1-2 1 3 4 1 3 3 2 0 2 17
32 FREDETTE, Jimmer.... 0-3 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 1 1 0 0 10
41 COLLINSWORTH, Chris. 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 4 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 15
54 MILES, Chris........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 4 4 1 0 0 0 1 0 7
TEAM................ 1 1 2
Totals.............. 19-54 7-25 16-24 11 29 40 17 61 15 11 7 6 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-32 34.4% 2nd Half: 8-22 36.4% Game: 35.2% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-17 35.3% 2nd Half: 1-8 12.5% Game: 28.0% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 4-6 66.7% 2nd Half: 12-18 66.7% Game: 66.7% 5
HOME TEAM: TCU 14-15, 6-10 MWC
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
32 LANGFORD, Kevin..... f 2-11 0-1 5-7 5 5 10 4 9 1 3 1 0 31
33 PARKER, Alvardo..... f 1-2 0-0 2-2 0 3 3 1 4 0 1 1 0 18
05 OWENS, Neiman....... g 0-2 0-2 0-0 2 3 5 3 0 0 3 0 1 24
11 WALL, Ryan.......... g 5-8 3-6 2-2 0 1 1 4 15 0 0 0 2 19
12 HACKETT, Brent...... g 4-11 1-3 2-2 0 1 1 5 11 0 2 0 2 20
03 EBIE, Jason......... 2-5 2-3 0-0 0 4 4 0 6 4 2 0 3 31
10 MORONES, Martiese... 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 1 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 5
22 MITCHEM, Keion...... 2-13 1-8 0-0 1 1 2 1 5 1 0 0 0 21
41 TAUSCHER, Luke...... 0-3 0-0 0-0 1 4 5 3 0 0 0 1 0 10
42 ORTIZ, John......... 2-7 0-0 0-0 4 3 7 1 4 1 1 0 1 21
TEAM................ 4 1 5
Totals.............. 18-62 7-23 11-14 18 27 45 22 54 7 14 3 9 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 8-31 25.8% 2nd Half: 10-31 32.3% Game: 29.0% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-10 20.0% 2nd Half: 5-13 38.5% Game: 30.4% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 4-6 66.7% 2nd Half: 7-8 87.5% Game: 78.6% 0
Officials: Bill Gracey, Bill Kennedy, Ronnie Hernandez
Technical fouls: BYU Cougars-None. TCU-None.
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total
BYU Cougars................... 32 29 - 61
TCU........................... 22 32 - 54
Points in the paint-BY 24,TC 16. Points off turnovers-BY 11,TC 12.
2nd chance points-BY 10,TC 21. Fast break points-BY 11,TC 2.
Bench points-BY 3,TC 15. Score tied-5 times. Lead changed-7 times.
Last FG-BY 2nd-01:46, TC 2nd-00:03.
Largest lead-BY by 11 2nd-01:26, TC by 4 1st-15:09.
GAME 31 - BYU Closes Out Regular Season at TCU
BYU GAME #31 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (24-6, 13-2 MWC)
TCU (14-14, 6-9 MWC)
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Daniel-Meyer Coliseum (7,201)
Fort Worth, Texas
7 p.m. CT (6 p.m. MT)
BYU, Dave Rose (69-24 in third season; same overall)
TCU, Neil Dougherty (75-106 in sixth season; same overall)
BYU leads, 10-3, after the Cougars' 83-72 win in Provo on Feb. 6
The Mtn. (Bill Doleman, play-by-play; Blaine Fowler, game analyst)
KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM/1160 AM) and the Cougar Sports Network (6 p.m. CT pregame show -- Greg Wrubell, play-by-play; Mark Durrant, game analyst)
Live audio and live stats links are available on the basketball schedule page at www.byucougars.com
NO. 24 BYU PLAYS AT TCU SATURDAY
Mountain West Conference Champion and 24th-ranked BYU (24-6, 13-2 MWC) will close out the regular season this Saturday playing at TCU (14-14, 6-9) at 7 p.m. CT (6 p.m. MT). The Cougars are coming off a 78-61 victory against Wyoming on Wednesday, their 12th win in 13 games. The victory secured BYU's second-straight outright MWC title. The Horned Frogs have lost back-to-back games including a 57-36 setback at Air Force Wednesday. Saturday's game will be televised on The Mtn. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM /1160 AM out of Salt Lake City and on the Internet at KSL.com beginning with the pregame show at 6 p.m. CT.
BYU will be the No. 1 seed in next week's MWC Tournament, playing either Wyoming or Colorado State on Thursday at 12 p.m. PT in Las Vegas.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
-- No. 24 BYU became the first MWC team to win two outright league titles with a 13-2 record in conference play this season. The Cougars also won the MWC crown outright last season.
-- The Cougars will have a chance to make history on Saturday as a victory would set a BYU record for most regular-season wins at 25 and an MWC record for most league wins at 14.
-- BYU is 5-2 on the road in conference play, winning four straight between losses at UNLV and San Diego State. Overall, BYU is 7-4 in away games this season and 1-2 on a neutral floor.
-- Two-time reigning MWC?Coach of the Year Dave Rose helped make BYU the second-most improved program in the nation in his first season with a 20-9 record and guided the Cougars to the outright MWC?title and a top-25 ranking in his second campaign in Provo as the Cougars went 25-9 last season.
-- This year's BYU squad returns two starters among seven lettermen from last year's outright league leaders (13-3 MWC record) as well as returned missionary Chris Miles, who made six starts as a freshman in 2004-05. Headlining BYU's top returners are 2008 MWC Player of the Year candidates Trent Plaisted, a two-time All-MWC Second Team selection in his first two seasons, and Lee Cummard, a versatile junior guard who earned All-MWC Third Team honors one year ago. Sophomore forward Jonathan Tavernari and senior guards Sam Burgess and Ben Murdock are all full-time starters for the first time this season. Burgess and Murdock have contributed solid play at the guardline while Tavernari has provided a solid scoring punch. Last year Tavernari followed Plaisted's lead the prior season by being named the 2007 MWC Freshman of the Year.
LOOKING AT TCU
TCU returns four starters and eight lettermen from last year's 13-17 team that tied for eighth in the Mountain West Conference with a 4-12 record. Coach Neil Dougherty's squad this year is 14-14 overall and 6-9 in league play, currently in seventh place. The Horned Frogs have been a team of streaks this year. After starting out 4-0, TCU lost its next three games before rebounding with four straight wins, followed by three consecutive losses, three more wins and four more losses. The Horned Frogs have gone 3-4 in their last seven games. TCU defeated common BYU opponent Jackson State (79-68) at home and suffered a respectable eight-point loss on the road at Texas (67-59) during nonconference play. TCU is 5-2 at home and 1-7 on the road in league play with a road victory. TCU is coming off a 57-36 loss at Air Force on Wednesday. An athletic team, the Horned Frogs boast three double-digit scorers in 6-foot-4 junior guard Henry Salter (13.3 ppg), 6-foot-8 junior forward Kevin Langford (13.2 ppg), and 6-foot-2 senior guard Brent Hackett (11.1 ppg). Salter has had a significant impact in his first season. An NJCAA All-American out of Mississippi Gulf Coast College, he is the nation's seventh-best three-point shooter at 47.7 percent but is currently hobbled by an ankle injury and has not played in the last three games. The rest of the scoring load for TCU is shared broadly as the next five point-producers average between 5.3 and 4.1 points per game. John Ortiz, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, leads the Horned Frogs on the glass, pulling down 5.1 rebounds per game, followed by Langford and Salter at 5.0 rpg apiece. Junior Jason Ebie (6-1, G) paces TCU with 2.8 assists while making 13 starts. As a team, TCU scores 67.7 points on .402 shooting from the field, .340 accuracy from long range and a .666 clip at the free-throw line. The Horned Frogs are holding opponents to 67.3 points on .454 shooting overall and a .358 success rate from behind the arc. On the boards, TCU holds a slim 35.6-35.5 edge over its opposition and has a +3.1 turnover margin with 14.4 miscues compared to its opponents' 17.5 turnovers per game. The Frogs create turnovers with a defense that ranks 14th nationally in steals per game at 9.4. Ebie ranks 72nd in the nation at 1.9 steals per game. Overall this year, TCU is 13-3 at home and 1-11 on the road.
TCU'S PROBABLE STARTERS
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG Hometown
F 32 Kevin Langford 6-8 245 Jr. 14.4 4.8 Fort Worth, Texas
F 42 John Ortiz 6-8 225 Jr. 5.4 5.4 Cali, Columbia
G 03 Jason Ebie 6-1 175 So. 4.6 2.3 Houston, Texas
G 11 Ryan Wall 6-0 175 Sr. 4.1 0.9 Coppell, Texas
G 12 Brent Hackett 6-2 205 Sr. 11.8 1.3 Fort Worth, Texas
TCU'S LAST OUTING -- AIR FORCE PULLS AWAY FROM TCU
AIR FORCE ACADEMY -- Andrew Henke scored 21 points in Air Force's 57-36 win over TCU Wednesday. The win gives Air Force (15-13, 7-8 Mountain West) sole possession of sixth place in the conference, while TCU (14-14, 6-9) drops to seventh. Air Force led 24-17 at the break and took charge early in the second half despite the 3-point shooting of Keion Mitchem, who finished with 16 points to lead TCU scoring. The Falcons lead by 17 at 49-32 in the second half and TCU could get no closer than 11 points as Air Force coasted to the win. The win completes a season-series sweep for the Falcons, who won the earlier meeting 56-46 in Fort Worth.
The Cougars and Horned Frogs have met just 13 times in the history of the two programs with BYU owning a 10-3 series lead including an 83-72 victory in Provo earlier this season. The Cougars also posted an 89-65 win in Provo, an 85-72 victory in Fort Worth and a 77-64 triumph in the MWC Tournament quarterfinals last season. The series began with three straight Cougar victories, two in 1953 and one in 1960, before TCU was able to win three straight from 1985 to 1997. The two teams next met in the first round of the 1999 WAC Tournament in Las Vegas when BYU recorded a 90-74 win, the first of seven straight for the Cougars. In 2006, the two schools met as members of the Mountain West Conference for the first time with BYU coming away with an 89-80 overtime win in the Marriott Center and then winning 81-72 at TCU. The Cougars are 6-1 against the Horned Frogs in Provo, 2-1 in Fort Worth and 2-1 on a neutral court.
RECENT SERIES OUTINGS
THIS YEAR AT BYU -- PLAISTED CARRIES COUGARS TO VICTORY
PROVO -- The BYU men's basketball team scored an 83-72 victory over TCU Wednesday night in the Marriott Center, improving to 7-1 in Mountain West Conference play, their best MWC start ever. BYU also extended its home-winning streak to 43 games as the Cougars collected their 18th overall victory of the season. The Cougars were led by junior center Trent Plaisted, who tied his career high in points with 27. Plaisted also went 7-for-9 from the free-throw line. "We came out tonight and shared the ball well," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "Offensively it was a good night. Defensively we had more of a difficult time. It was a highly contested game, but I am really pleased with the outcome." BYU guard Jonathan Tavernari recorded his fifth straight game with over 10 points as he ended with 20. Tavernari hit on four shots from beyond the arc on the night. The only other Cougar to finish with double-digit scoring was freshman Jimmer Fredette as he ended with 10 points. BYU started off the game on a 7-0 run with all of the Cougars' points coming from the hand of senior Sam Burgess. Burgess made two lay-ups and a three-pointer from the wing to help the Cougars get on top early within the first 2:10 of the game. The Cougars continued to extend their lead and saw their largest advantage of the first half at the 11:14 mark up 23-8. This was due in part to a nine-point BYU run. Plaisted got on a hot streak in the first half as he set a new season high in first-half points with 17 before the break. Plaisted reached double-digit scoring in the first eight minutes of the game. TCU saw a big boost come from its bench in the first half that helped the offense. Horned Frog senior Ryan Wall came into the game to hit on four three-point attempts as he finished the half with a team-high 12 points. Wall helped TCU cut into the Cougar lead as the score got as close as 37-30. The Horned Frogs also hit the offensive boards hard early in the game as they came down with eight first-half offensive rebounds. TCU converted those extra offensive touches into four second-chance points. The Cougars were able to maintain the lead, though, as they went into the locker room up 43-35. Tavernari also helped BYU early as he scored 11 points before the break. BYU's consistent guard Lee Cummard did not get into the scoring column until the 18:10 mark of the second half, but he made his presence felt in other areas as he ended the game with a team-high six assists and seven rebounds. Both Plaisted and Tavernari continued their second-half offensive push early in the second period as they combined for 13 of BYU's early second-half points. Tavernari and Plaisted scored seven and six points, respectively, by the 10:40 mark of the second half. The Cougars had their largest lead of the game with 7:38 left in the second half as they found themselves up by 20, 69-49. One highlight of the second half came from the hands of Tavernari as he hit on a take-it-yourself lay up through the lane and then got a quick steal that lead to a Michael Loyd, Jr. fast-break lay in. BYU cruised the rest of the way to finish the game on top of the Horned Frogs by nine.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "We came out tonight and shared the ball well. Offensively it was a good night. We had some good shots, and we passed t he ball well. Defensively we had more of a difficult time. TCU is an athletic team, and at some points we had a hard time stopping them."
-- "It was a highly contested game, but I am really pleased with the outcome."
TCU Head Coach Neil Dougherty
-- "I recognize Lee [Cummard's] effectiveness. He had some great plays during the game and hurt us in a lot of ways tonight."
-- "Sometimes we got going too fast tonight, playing too much as individuals and not as a team."
-- "When we get back home, we're going to practice hard and get back to playing good basketball here soon."
BYU NOTES FROM THIS YEAR AT BYU
-- Individual Career Highs: Jonathan Tavernari - 5 assists; Trent Plaisted - 27 points (tied).
-- Individual Season Highs: Trent Plaisted -- 17 first-half points.
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: 9 team fouls (fewest since 2000); .818 free-throw percentage (9-for-11); 27 assists.
-- With the 83-72 win, BYU improved its Marriott Center win streak to 43 games, the second-longest active home court victory streak in the nation behind No. 1 Memphis.
-- At 7-1 in Mountain West Conference play, the Cougars are off to their best league start since the formation of the conference prior to the 1999-2000 season.
-- BYU's win over TCU combined with UNLV's 81-73 loss at Utah tonight gives the Cougars sole possession of first place in the MWC.
-- The Cougars' six straight wins marks their longest win streak of the season (@ Utah, San Diego State, New Mexico, @ Air Force, @ Wyoming, TCU). BYU has won at least six straight MWC games in each of Dave Rose's three seasons at the helm.
-- BYU has never lost to TCU as a member of the Mountain West Conference, going 6-0 in MWC play and 10-3 overall.
-- With the 83-72 win, BYU is now 15-1 when scoring at least 70 points and 9-0 when scoring at least 80 points.
-- BYU's 60 percent shooting mark from the field marked just the second time this season the Cougars have shot 60 percent (60.4 vs. Hartford).
-- With a game-high lead of 20 points, the Cougars have now held a double-digit lead in 18 of 23 games this year and have led by at least 20 points in 12 contests. BYU has also led wire-to-wire in 10 games this season.
-- With a 43-35 advantage after the first 20 minutes of play, BYU recorded its 19th halftime lead of the season. The Cougars have scored at least 40 points in the first half of nine games this season and have shot above 50 percent in the first 20 minutes of eight contests including a 56.7 percent mark (17-for-30) against TCU. The Cougars are now 17-2 when leading at the break.
-- Plaisted's 27-point outing against TCU tied his career high and marked the sixth time this year and the 15th in his career he has scored at least 20 points. BYU has had at least one player top the 20-point mark in each of the last four games and has had two players score at least 20 points in the same game in two of the last three contests.
-- Plaisted went 7-for-9 from the free-throw line against TCU. Including a 7-for-11 mark at Wyoming, he has shot 70 percent (14-for-20) from the charity stripe in the last two contests.
-- The Cougars came out of the gates firing, making their first five shots from the field to take an early 12-4 lead. Burgess scored the first seven points of the game on 3-for-3 shooting in the first 2:08 while Plaisted was the first Cougar to double digits, scoring his 10th point on a one-handed dunk with 12:29 left in the first half.
LAST YEAR AT TCU -- BYU CONTINUES WIN STREAK WITH VICTORY AT TCU
FORT WORTH -- The Cougars maintained their hold on the top spot in the Mountain West Conference Saturday night with an 85-72 win over the TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth, Texas. The win, BYU's sixth straight overall and fourth consecutive on the road, improves the Cougars to 19-6 on the season and 9-2 in MWC play. BYU was led by Keena Young with 25 points, the third time in the last four games he has topped the 20-point mark. Lee Cummard and Trent Plaisted also scored in double figures with 16 and 11 points, respectively, while Cummard paced the Cougars on the boards with seven rebounds. Cummard's 7-for-9 shooting performance helped BYU shoot a season-high .615 (32-for-52) from the field. TCU scored the first bucket of the game with a three-pointer on the next possession, but Plaisted took control with back-to-back makes to spark a 9-0 Cougar run, including a jumper from Austin Ainge and a long-range bucket from Cummard. After falling behind 11-3, the Horned Frogs put together a 10-0 run to take a 13-11 lead. Cummard stopped the bleeding for the Cougars with a one-handed tip and then tied the game again off an assist from Ben Murdock after a TCU score. BYU got some bad news when Plaisted was forced to check out at the 13:03 mark with two fouls, but Young made up the difference in the post with three straight makes to put the Cougars up 21-15. TCU's Alvardo Parker ended the 6-0 Young run, but Mike Rose drained a three-pointer off a long pass from Jimmy Balderson to extend the BYU advantage to 24-17 with 9:51 left in the half. A three-point play from TCU followed by a layin on the next Horned Frog possession cut the lead to two at 24-22, but BYU's bench came up big with a drive and score from Jonathan Tavernari and a Vuk Ivanovic layin. Back-to-back makes from Cummard pushed the BYU advantage to 32-22. TCU's Brent Hackett ended the 8-0 Cougar run with a jumper at the 4:13 mark but was answered by Young, who reached double digits at 10 points with the layin. The Cougar dominance continued as they built a 41-29 halftime lead while holding the Horned Frogs to just three buckets in the last 8:32 of the period. Plaisted returned to the game in the second half to record a three-point play on the first Cougar possession, but a 5-0 TCU spurt cut the lead back to 10 points at 44-34. Cummard continued his hot shooting with his sixth make in seven tries. However, Plaisted's luck ran out just seconds later as he picked up his fourth foul at the 16:38 mark and was forced to once again ride the pine. The two teams traded scores to a 49-38 Cougar lead until Murdock took a pass from Cummard and drained an open three-pointer and then answered a TCU score with a layin to put BYU up 54-40. Despite shooting percentages hovering around or above 50 percent for both teams, neither could find the basket from the floor over the next two minutes as TCU settled for two points from the free-throw line and BYU recorded three. Tavernari finally ended the drought with a three-point make at the 12:43 mark to give the Cougars a 59-42 lead. BYU continued to maintain a double-digit advantage over the next several minutes thanks in part to its bench play and despite continual pressure from TCU, who refused to go without a fight. The Horned Frogs kept the Cougars shy of a blowout with clutch free-throw shooting, making six of seven over a two-minute period despite being held without a bucket from the field to keep the BYU lead at 12 points, 65-53. After withstanding the TCU spurt, the Cougars put together a 10-4 run of their own to take a 75-57 lead and all but put the game away with just over four minutes remaining. A flurry of three-pointers from the Horned Frogs proved too little too late as BYU recorded the 85-72 win.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "I'm really proud of our guys. This is a tough team to play against, especially here in this building. They get so many runs going. All the games that have been played in here have been close."
-- "We recognized the defense they were in and spread the ball and took good shots. We shot well and played at a good pace. Anytime you shoot 60 percent, especially on the road, is a great night."
-- "Right now, offensively, Keena (Young) is really, really consistent for us. I really think as good as Keena is, the fact that he's got Trent in that other post with guys that have to stay on him is really opening a lot of opportunities for Keena. Other teammates are doing a good job of giving him the ball where he can really operate and do a lot of good things."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST YEAR AT TCU
-- Individual Career Highs: Lee Cummard - 7 field goals made (tied), 3 blocks (tied).
-- Team Season Highs: .615 shooting (32-of-52).
-- With the 85-72 win at TCU, the Cougars improved to 9-2 in the Mountain West Conference, maintaining their first-place standing. BYU is alone atop the conference leader board in the second half of league play for the first time ever in the MWC.
-- BYU has now won its last six straight games, coming just one win off their longest winning streak of the season.
-- After losing five of their first six true road games this season, BYU has now won its last four games away from the Marriott Center, compiling a 5-5 road record. The Cougars are 4-2 on the road in conference play, the only team in the MWC with three road wins. With two games away from the Marriott Center left on the schedule (at SDSU, at Air Force), BYU has a chance to post a winning road record for the first time since 2002-03 when the Cougars went 6-5 overall on the road. Last season, BYU was 6-8 overall and 4-4 away from the Marriott Center.
-- The Cougars have shot above 50 percent in their last five road games and in six of their last seven games overall, including a season-high .615 (32-for-52) mark against the Horned Frogs. BYU has also shot above 40 percent from three-point range in 10 of its last 12 games, with a .455 (5-for-11) mark at TCU
-- BYU is now 18-3 when scoring at least 70 points and 4-6 when allowing opponents to reach the 70-point threshold. The Cougars have scored at least 80 points nine times this season, going 9-0 in those games.
-- With a 30-25 rebounding advantage against the Horned Frogs, the Cougars are now 18-0 when winning the battle of the boards.
-- With a 41-29 advantage at the break, the Cougars enjoyed their 19th halftime lead of the season and their ninth in double figures, including a 48-25 first-half lead in the first meeting between the two teams. BYU has held opponents under 30 first-half points 14 times this year while topping the 40-point mark six times. Overall, the Cougars are 17-2 when leading at the break, 2-3 when trailing and 0-1 when tied this season.
-- BYU's .567 (17-for-30) first-half shooting mark marked the fifth of six MWC road games in which the Cougars have shot at least 50 percent in the first period of play.
-- Three Cougars scored in double figures at TCU, led by Keena Young's 23 points. BYU is 8-2 when led by Young and 9-3 when three players score in double figures. The Cougars are also 16-5 when Young scores in double figures, 12-3 when Trent Plaisted scores in double digits (11 points) and 9-2 when Lee Cummard reaches double digits (16 points).
-- With 23 points at Wyoming, Young has now scored in double figures in 21 of 25 games this season including seven outings -- and three of the last four -- with at least 20 points. Young is averaging 21.0 points per game over the last four games.
-- Cummard has now shot 19-for-22 (.864) in his last five games, including a 7-for-9 (.778) mark at TCU. Cummard made 11 straight shots during his recent hot shooting streak and is shooting .570 on the year.
LAST YEAR AT MWC QUARTERFINALS -- PLAISTED LEADS BYU TO QUARTERFINAL WIN
LAS -- Sophomore Trent Plaisted led the No. 23 BYU Cougars to a 77-64 win over the TCU Horned Frogs in the Mountain West Conference Tournament quarterfinals Thursday. BYU has now won 11 of its last 12 games and improves to 24-7 on the season and 3-0 against the Horned Frogs this year. BYU will advance to the MWC semifinals for the first time since 2004. Plaisted led all scorers with 22 points and nine rebounds. Also scoring in double figures for BYU was Mike Rose with 16 points and Jimmy Balderson with 10 points. Sophomore Lee Cummard's defensive play limited Brent Hackett, coming off a 24-point game against New Mexico, to two points. Austin Ainge finished the game with seven assists. Balderson opened the game by scoring on the team's first three-point attempt, which was soon followed by a Keena Young jumper, giving BYU a 5-0 lead. Turnovers plagued the Cougars early, allowing TCU the opportunity to tie the score at 8-8 with 14 minutes left in the first half. Rose made his first three-pointer of the night at the 11:30 mark, before TCU's Neiman Owens was sent to the free-throw line to complete a three-point play. BYU continued to struggle before Balderson drove to the basket and laid it in with just under nine minutes to play in the half. Young scored two points off a Horned Frog turnover to give the Cougars a 21-16 lead. The BYU bench continued to contribute as it has all season with Vuk Ivanovic's layup and ensuing rebound. TCU's Neil Dougherty capitalized on the Cougars' eighth turnover, narrowing BYU's lead to three points. With 4:32 left in the first half, Jonathan Tavernari's running layup was good off of a pass by Ainge. Ainge's second assist of the game resulted in a Plaisted one-handed dunk. BYU's successful defensive play with 1:21 left in the first half resulted in a Horned Frog shot clock violation. Plaisted recorded another dunk, putting the Cougars up 34-24. Young's second foul of the game sent Hackett to the charity stripe where he went 2-for-2, giving the Cougars a 10-point lead at 36-26 going into the half. Plaisted's jumper to open the second half gave BYU a 12-point lead followed by a similar play on the opposite end of the court by Femi Ibikunle. Young's assist to Balderson with 17:27 left in the second half resulted in two points for the Cougars, bringing the score to 42-32. Rose hit his second three-pointer of the game followed by a jump hook from Plaisted at the 12:58 mark. Ryan Wall drilled a three for the Horned Frogs, followed by another from Rose, bringing the score to 52-41. Following an 0-for-2 trip to the free-throw line for Balderson, Plaisted secured the rebound, scoring two points. With 11:33 left in the second half, Rose found his fourth basket from behind the arc, building on an 8-0 BYU run. Ben Murdock kicked it out to Ivanovic for a reverse layin, giving the Cougars a 61-42 lead with 7:38 to play in the game. TCU's Ibikunle went 1-for-2 from the line before a long three was made by Wall. Two made free throws by Murdock put BYU up by 20 points. With 3:35 left to play in the second half, a tip-in by Cummard gave the Cougars a 68-52 lead. TCU continued to fight with Kevin Langford scoring on a layup and later drawing a third foul on Young. Balderson scored on a running layin before Ibikunle followed suit with under two minutes to play in the game. Fernando Malaman scored two points to end the game. TCU was led by Langford with 23 points and Ibikunle with 13 points.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "I thought TCU played really, really well. They played hard. They battled. Our guys needed to respond to that. I thought we had a difficult time guarding them off the dribble. We probably fouled more than we should have."
-- "In the second half, I thought TCU did a good job of playing together. We hit some shots and were able to get a little bit of a lead and then ride that lead in."
-- "TCU did a really good job of controlling the pace of the game. We really like to initiate offense and push the ball. Defensively, Keena Young had guys all around him when he would make a catch."
-- "It took a little bit of time, but we finally figured out that some of those perimeter guys were going to be open when they were sagging a little bit, and we were able to hit a few jump shots, especially there in the second half."
-- "We've had balanced scoring all year long. Keena (Young) has been really consistent for us. Trent (Plaisted) has been really consistent for us. Those two are our leading scorerds. Our perimeter guys are all capable of having big nights. When we shoot the ball well from the perimeter, it really, really helps the inside game."
-- "Lee Cummard does a great job on perimeter scoring guards. He's done it from the very first game of the season. He works hard at it. We wear him out. It might affect his offensive game, but defensively he's long. He's just figured out a way to get through screens."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST YEAR AT MWC QUARTERFINALS
-- Individual Career Highs: Jonathan Tavernari -- 7 rebounds (tied).
-- Individual Season Highs: Mike Rose -- 3 rebounds (tied).
-- Team Season Highs/Lows: Highest rebounding margin - +22 (tied).
-- MWC Tournament Records -- With seven assists, Austin Ainge tied the BYU MWC Tournament record that he set in 2005 against New Mexico. Trent Plaisted's nine field goals is second behind Mekeli Wesley's mark of 11 in 2001 while Mike Rose's four three-pointers is tied for second with Wesley in 2001, just one behind Terrell Lyday's mark of five in 2001.
-- MWC Tournament History -- With the win, the Cougars have advanced to the MWC Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2004. BYU is now 8-6 all-time in the MWC Tournament, including a 5-3 first-round record. The Cougars are also 7-3 at the event in Las Vegas including two finals appearances and one title (2001). This year marks BYU's first as the No. 1 seed, giving the Cougars a 1-0 record so far as the top team.
-- BYU is now 22-4 when scoring over 70 points and 20-0 when holding opponents under the 70-point threshold.
-- With a 46-24 rebounding advantage against the Horned Frogs, the Cougars are now 23-1 when winning the battle of the boards. BYU has posted a double-digit advantage on the glass 14 times this season and tied its season high in rebounding margin with +22 against TCU.
-- With a 42-30 scoring advantage inside, the Cougars remain undefeated this season when winning the points in the paint category at 18-0.
-- With a 36-26 advantage at the break, the Cougars enjoyed their 23rd halftime lead of the season and their 12th in double figures. Overall, BYU is 21-2 when leading at the break, 3-4 when trailing and 0-1 when tied. The Cougars have held their opponents under 30 points in the first half 17 times this season while topping the 30-point mark in all but three games.
-- Trent Plaisted topped the 20-point scoring mark for the fifth time this year and eighth time in his BYU career with 22 points against TCU on 9-for-12 shooting from the field. He also added nine rebounds.
-- Mike Rose came up big for BYU off the bench against the Horned Frogs, draining four three-pointers while scoring 16 points and tying his season high with three rebounds. Rose has come off the bench and drained at least three three-pointers seven times this season.
-- Five different Cougars scored BYU's first 10 points of the game as Jimmy Balderson struck first with a three-pointer followed by a layin from Young and a free-throw make by Trent Plaisted. Lee Cummard then recorded a putback at the 15:03 mark and Mike Rose rounded out the balanced scoring effort with a jumper to give BYU a 10-8 lead.
BYU'S LAST OUTING -- COUGARS REPEAT AS MWC CHAMPIONS
PROVO -- The BYU men's basketball team clinched the outright regular-season Mountain West Conference championship on senior night with a 78-61 win over Wyoming Wednesday night at the Marriott Center. The Cougars (24-6, 13-2 MWC) sealed their first back-to-back outright conference crowns since the 1979 and 1980 seasons and became the first MWC team to win two outright titles in the nine-year history of the league. BYU guard Jonathan Tavernari also broke Andy Toolson's 18-year single-season record of 74 made three-point shots in a season. Tavernari hit four treys on the night to improve his season total to 76. Center Trent Plaisted notched his eighth double-double of the season with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Guard Lee Cummard had a solid all-around game, tallying 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Tavernari was BYU's second leading scorer with 18 points. Plaisted started the game off with BYU's first five points. Wyoming would respond with a long three-point shot from Brandon Ewing to bring the score to 5-3. The Cougars would then go on a 7-2 run over a three-minute span that ended midway through the half. After the run, BYU was up 17-7. With 12:07 left in the half, Tavernari made a three-pointer to not only give BYU a 22-10 lead, but also etch his name in BYU's record books. Tavernari hit his 75th three-point shot of the season to give him the BYU record. BYU would close the half on an 11-4 run starting at the 5:34 mark. The Cougars led 38-27 at the break. Tavernari scored 18 first-half points. Plaisted had 11 points and five rebounds at the break. Wyoming's Tyson Johnson led the Cowboys at the half with 11 points. Brandon Ewing had the more balanced stats with eight points and six boards. Only four Cowboys scored in the period. The Cougars jumped out to a quick 15-point lead to open the second half, and they would only extend that lead as the half progressed. Cummard and Plaisted tallied six early points that were part of BYU's 19-6 run over the first seven minutes of the second half. Midway through the period, Plaisted came alive, scoring 12 points and nabbing five rebounds in the first 13 minutes. With a 50 percent second-half field-goal percentage and a 57.1 percent three-point percentage, BYU closed the deal for good.
WHAT WAS SAID AFTER THE GAME ...
BYU Head Coach Dave Rose
-- "I thought we did a good job establishing ourselves down low early on in the game. Trent was very aggressive which helped open up other shots for us, and Jonathan came out shooting well for us too."
-- "Although we had a few slower spots on the offensive end of the court, I thought we were defensively pretty solid the whole night."
-- "This was a good win for our team, and we are ready to move on to the next game."
-- "It was a special thing to win the Mountain West Conference title on your home court. This title has come through great leadership and hard work. These players deserve this title after how hard they have worked all season long."
Wyoming Coach Heath Schroyer
-- "They're really good. You don't become a top-25 team without good players, a good coach and a great home court. I'm happy for Dave [Rose] and congratulate him on winning the conference championship. They're the best team in this league."
-- "Plaisted kind of had his way with us during the first half. Our emphasis was on taking away the three, but we didn't do that."
-- "When you play a team this good you have to execute on both sides of the ball. We did some decent things but not enough to win in this building."
BYU NOTES FROM LAST OUTING
-- Individual Career Highs: Jonathan Tavernari - 5 steals.
-- Individual Season Highs: Jonathan Tavernari - 18 first-half points.
-- Individual Records: Jonathan Tavernari -- 76 three-pointers (single season BYU record).
-- BYU's victory over Wyoming secured the outright Mountain West Conference title for the Cougars, their second straight. BYU is the only team in league history to win two outright league crowns. Prior to their current run, the last time the Cougars won back-to-back outright league titles was in the 1978-79 and 1979-80 seasons. With four total MWC titles (two outright and two shared), BYU has tied Utah (one outright, three shared) for the most MWC crowns.
-- With a 24-6 overall record, this year's Cougars have tied the BYU record for regular-season victories (24 in 1987-88, 1979-80, 1950-51). This year's squad will have a chance to set the record with a win on Saturday at TCU. The BYU record for overall wins in a season is 28 set by the 1950-51 team that finished the year 28-9.
-- BYU said good-bye to three seniors prior to Wednesday's final home game of the season as Sam Burgess, Vuk Ivanovic and Ben Murdock were honored for their contributions to the program. Burgess has played three seasons for BYU and redshirted one while Ivanovic played two years and redshirted one and Murdock played two seasons.
-- With the 78-61 win, BYU improved its Marriott Center win streak to 47 games, improving on its program record. The Cougars have won 23 straight nonconference games and 24 games against MWC opponents dating back to an 83-71 setback against Loyola Marymount on Nov. 18, 2005. That game was also Dave Rose's head-coaching debut, meaning Rose has gone 47-1 in the Marriott Center as a head coach. BYU's current streak of 47 straight home wins is the longest active home court victory streak in the nation. The BYU football team has won 12 straight home games with its last home loss coming on Nov. 19, 2005, the day after BYU's last home basketball defeat. Both the football and basketball teams have now recorded back-to-back undefeated home seasons over the last two years with football going 6-0 in each season and basketball going 17-0 last year and 16-0 this season.
-- With the 78-61 win, BYU is now 20-1 when scoring at least 70 points and 20-1 when holding opponents under 70 points.
-- With a 38-27 advantage after the first 20 minutes of play, BYU recorded its 24th halftime lead of the season, including 14 by double-digits. The Cougars are now 22-2 when leading at the break. BYU has scored at least 30 points in the first half of 24 games while holding opponents under 30 points in the first half of 20 contests, including five of the last six contests.
-- With 23 points against the Cowboys, Plaisted has scored at least 20 points in six of the last eight games. BYU has had at least one player top the 20-point mark in each of the last 11 games.
- Plaisted added 11 rebounds in the game to record his eighth double-double of the year and 17th of his career.
- With a trey at the 12:07 mark in the first half, Tavernari set the single season BYU record for three-pointers made with 75. The previous record of 74 was set by Andy Toolson in 1990. Tavernari made his first four shots from the field and first three treys while finishing the first half with 18 points. He drained four treys in the game to improve his season total to 76.
-- The Cougars held the Falcons without a bucket for the first 4:26 of the game while building a 9-1 lead.
-- Plaisted made his first four shots from the field and his first three free throws to score 11 of the Cougars' first 14 points.
COUGAR SEASON AMONG THE TOP IN SCHOOL HISTORY
BYU has a 24-6 record through 30 games this year. In the 105-year history of BYU men's basketball, only one team of the 41 that played at least 30 games during a season earned a better record than this year's Cougar squad (noting that 64 teams did not total 30 games during the season, including the 20-5 NIT Championship team in 1965-66). Three other BYU teams have equaled the current Cougars' 24-6 start.
At 24-6 so far this season, BYU has achieved the program's 31st 20-win season, including three straight for Cougar head coach Dave Rose in his first three seasons at the helm. Last year, the Cougars finished 25-9 following a 20-9 campaign in 2005-06. BYU?has averaged 20 wins every 2.6 years (BYU has played 80 seasons in which it has played at least 20 games in a season). Rose is the third Cougar head coach to win 20 games in each of his first three years, joining G. Ott Romney and Roger Reid. However, Rose is the first Cougar head coach to win 20 games in each of his first three years after taking over a program with less than 13 wins the prior year. BYU was 9-21 in 2004-05 before Rose turned the program into the second-most improved team in the nation in his first season.
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
Dave Rose has 3 seasons of 20 wins in 3 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
REGULAR-SEASON BENCHMARKS FOR NCAA INVITES
Winning 20 or more games in the regular season has proven to be a significant indicator for receiving an invitation into the NCAA Tournament. Since the first NCAA Tournament in 1939, BYU has had 20 seasons with 20 regular-season wins, including last year's team. In those 20 years, BYU has earned a postseason invite each season, including 17 NCAA bids, three NIT berths (BYU played both NIT and NCAA in 1950-51) and one NAIB (1948-49) invite. In the modern era since the NCAA Tournament became the predominant championship over the NIT, BYU has had 15 seasons when it earned 20 or more wins during regular-season games (prior to starting the conference tournament). The Cougars have received an invite to play in the NCAA Tournament in 14 of those seasons, with the lone exception being the 2005-06 team that finished the regular season 20-7 and fell to 20-8 with a loss at the MWC Tournament before receiving an NIT invitation. Including last year, BYU has reached 21 regular-season wins during 11 of those 15 seasons and has been invited to play in the NCAA Tournament in each of those 11 years.
COUGARS IN CONFERENCE
With their win against Wyoming on Wednesday, the Cougars secured their 27th regular-season league title. The outright Mountain West Conference crown is the second straight for BYU, making the Cougars the only team in league history to win two outright conference crowns, let alone back-to-back titles. Prior to their current run, the last time the Cougars won back-to-back outright league titles was in the 1978-79 and 1979-80 seasons. With four total MWC titles (two outright and two shared), BYU has tied Utah (one outright, three shared) for the most MWC crowns. BYU basketball boasts a remarkable record of conference success during its history. After earning its 26th regular-season conference championship in 2007, the Cougars moved into a tie for ninth among all NCAA Division I programs for most regular-season league titles won (see list at left). Including conference tournaments, BYU has claimed a conference championship trophy during 28 seasons. The Cougars won the 1991 WAC Tournament after a second-place regular-season finish. Other conference tournament titles in 1992 (WAC) and 2001 (MWC) have followed up regular-season rings, as was the case with conference playoff wins in 1924 and 1933 in the Rocky Mountain Conference. BYU won six Rocky Mountain Conference titles in 20 years, earned five Skyline championships in 24 years, recorded 12 WAC crowns in 37 years and has garned MWC honors in four of the league's first nine seasons. BYU won the in-state title against rivals Utah and Utah State during 10 of the 12 years before the Cougars first joined a conference in 1918.
COACH ROSE OWNS TOP MWC MARK
With a 38-9 record in Mountain West Conference games since taking the helm of the BYU program for the 2005-06 season, Dave Rose is currently the winningest MWC coach in league play in the past three years. UNLV's Lon Kruger is 35-14 and SDSU's Steve Fisher is 32-15. In addition to this year's 13-2 MWC record, Rose coached the Cougars to a 13-3 league and 25-9 overall record last year, earning Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year honors for the second consecutive season. He was named the MWC and USBWA District VIII Coach of the Year in his first season after coaching BYU to a second-place MWC finish at 12-4 while turning a 9-21 team into a 20-9 success--which proved to be the second-best improvement among all Division I programs.
CURRENT COUGARS RANK AMONG BEST EVER IN REGULAR SEASON WINS
This year's BYU team is the fourth Cougar squad to record its 24th win prior to the end of the regular season. With one game left in the regular season, this year's team could go down as one of the best Cougar teams ever, breaking the program record for regular-season victories. No BYU team has ever posted 25 regular-season wins.
BYU AND THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
The BYU men's basketball team has re-entered the top-25 rankings in the last two weeks, earning a No. 24 ranking in this week's ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll after entering the poll at No. 25 last week. BYU is listed 26th in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The Cougars fell out of the top-25 polls released on Dec. 31 after a 73-70 road loss at Boise State. BYU appeared in the top-25 rankings the previous five weeks. In the Dec. 24 polls, BYU was ranked 20th in the AP Poll and 21st in the Coaches Poll. This season BYU first entered the national rankings on Nov. 26, earning the program's earliest appearance in the national polls since the 1980-81 season when the Cougars entered the rankings at No. 21 in the AP Poll and No. 23 in the Coaches Poll. In his third year guiding the program, Rose has seen his team earn the respect of the national voters for the second consecutive season. Last year, BYU entered the polls on Feb. 19 to receive the program's first national ranking since 1993. BYU finished last year ranked No. 24 in the final AP Poll, something a Cougar team had not accomplished since 1988. BYU has now been ranked in back-to-back season for the first time since 1980-81 and 1981-82. The Nov. 26 entry into the national rankings marks the earliest the Cougars have been included in the polls since receiving a No. 18 ranking in the 1980-81 AP preseason poll. It also marked the first time BYU's football and men's basketball teams have been nationally ranked the same week in the AP poll since Dec. 28, 1992. The Cougar basketball program has now been ranked in the AP Poll during 16 seasons since its first national ranking in 1950-51 (see list below).
SEASONS BYU HAS BEEN RANKED IN THE AP POLL
SEASON HIGHEST RANKING
BYU AS A RANKED TEAM
BYU owns a 139-57 record as a ranked team. The Cougars are 81-12 at home, 37-28 on the road and 21-17 at neutral sites when nationally ranked. BYU's victory at Portland on Dec. 1 marked the Cougars' first road win as a ranked team since an 84-63 victory at UTEP on March 4, 1993 when BYU was ranked No. 21. The Cougars also recorded a road victory as a ranked team with a 70-69 win at New Mexico last Tuesday. BYU is 12-5 as a ranked team under Dave Rose.
VS. RANKED TEAMS
BYU's victory over No. 6 Louisville on Nov. 23 marked the highest-ranked team the Cougars have defeated since beating No. 2 St. Joseph's, 103-83, on Dec. 21, 1965. BYU is now 50-111 all-time against teams ranked in the Associated Press Poll and 1-2 this season including a 73-63 loss to No. 1 North Carolina in the championship game of the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Invitational on Nov. 24 and a 68-61 loss to No. 9 Michigan State at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on Dec. 8. Prior to the UNC game, the Cougars had not faced the nation's top-ranked team since Dec. 23, 1992, an 89-66 loss to No. 1 Duke at the Maui Invitational. The Cougars were 3-3 in their games vs. ranked teams last year with a 78-70 loss at then-No. 25 and evential Sweet-16 participant UNLV in the MWC Tournament Championship game, a 62-58 victory at then-No. 20 Air Force, a 90-63 win over then-No. 25 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 St.
PLAYING THE BEST
BYU's game against No. 9 Michigan State on Dec. 8 was its third game in three weeks against a top-10 opponent, including a victory over No. 6 Louisville on Nov. 23 and a loss to No. 1 North Carolina on Nov. 24. BYU has played at least three regular-season games against top-10 opponents in a season just six times previously in program history with the last coming in 1983-84. Only twice previously have the Cougars played three top-10 teams during a three-week stretch, once in 1990-91 with a loss to No. 9 Utah on March 2, a win over No. 8 Utah on March 9 in the WAC Tournament and a loss to No. 8 Arizona on March 16 in the NCAA Tournament and once in 1980-81 with a victory over No. 9 Utah on March 7 in the WAC Tournament, a win over No. 10 UCLA on March 14 in the NCAA Tournament, a victory over No. 7 Notre Dame on March 19 in the NCAA Tourney and a loss to No. 5 Virginia on March 21 in the NCAAs.
COUGARS BY THE NUMBERS
1 Rank of BYU coach Dave Rose's 69 wins and .742 winning percentage among the 18 head coaches who began their first season as a head coach at the Division I level along with Rose in 2005-06. Rose ranks second to only Tennessee's Bruce Pearl (73-22 record) among all coaches who started at a new school in 2005-06.
3 Number of top 10 teams BYU has played this season - then-No. 1 North Carolina, then-No. 6 Louisville and then-No. 9 Michigan State. The Cougars beat the Cardinals, 78-76, before falling, 73-63, to the Tarheels despite battling UNC through six second-half lead changes. BYU held a double-digit halftime lead against the Spartans before losing, 68-61.
5 Number of games in which BYU has scored at least 90 points, the most since 1995-96 when the Cougars also reached 90 points in five games. BYU has not scored at least 90 in six games on the year since 1993-94.
6 Number of statistical categories in which a BYU player ranks among the top three in the MWC out of the 12 categories tracked by the league.
7 Number of points Trent Plaisted needs to surpass Joe Nelson to move to 15th on BYU's all-time career scoring list. Plaisted currently has 1,311 career points.
7 Number of statistical categories in which Lee Cummard ranks among the top 10 in the MWC including field-goal percentage (1st), scoring (5th), free-throw percentage (2nd), offensive rebounds (6th), total rebounds (5th), assists (6th) and defensive rebounds (T5th).
11 Number of games in which Lee Cummard has been perfect from the free-throw line out of 23 games in which he taken free throws. Cummard made a career-best 21 straight free throws before missing on his first attempt against San Diego State. He also had a streak of 19 straight earlier this year prior to a miss against Southern Utah.
17.3 The Cougars' average margin of victory in their 24 wins this season. BYU has won eight games by more than 20 points, including two by more than 30. The Cougars' 40-point win at Long Beach State to begin the year was BYU's largest margin of victory over a Division I opponent since defeating Morgan State by 41 points (110-69) on Dec. 28, 1995.
20 Number of times this season BYU has held its opponents under 30 points in the first half. The Cougars have scored at least 30 first-half points in 24 of 30 games this season while racking up halftime leads in 24 of 30 games, including 14 by double digits.
22 Number of games in which BYU has led by double digits. The Cougars have also led by at least 20 points in 15 contests and 30 points in five. BYU has led wire-to-wire in 14 games this year.
27 Number of games this season Lee Cummard and Jonathan Tavernari have each made a three-pointer. Sam Burgess has made a trey in 24 of 30 outings this year while Jimmer Fredette has done so in 21 games.
30 Number of starts made this season by Sam Burgess after the senior made just one start in his two prior seasons as a Cougar. Fellow senior Ben Murdock has also started all 30 games after not starting last year in his first season in Provo.
65.0 Percent of BYU field goals created by an assist. The program record is 64.7 percent achieved in 1992-93.
76 Number of treys Jonathan Tavernari has hit this season, a new BYU single-season record. Tavernari's 76 treys have also set the sophomore MWC record.
86 Number of MWC games BYU has won since the formation of the league prior to the 1999-2000 season, leading all MWC teams. The Cougars also lead the league in most overall wins (186).
95.8 Percent of games BYU has won this year when leading with five minutes remaining. The Cougars are 23-1 when ahead on the scoreboard at the 5-minute mark. BYU held a one-point lead at SDSU when the clock ticked 5:00 to go before Lorrenzo Wade hit a jumper 3 seconds later to give the Aztecs the advangage. SDSU held on for the win.
COUGARS IN CONFERENCE PLAY
-- He is the only player in the league to rank in the top 10 in nine of the 12 MWC statistical categories, appearing in two more categories than the next closest player.
-- Team captain has started every game while leading BYU to the outright MWC title and a 13-2 record with one game remaining.
-- He is BYU's top rebounder (7.0), percentage shooter (.548 FG, .500 3FG), assist-maker (3.5) and shot-blocker (0.93), and ranks second on the team in scoring (15.5) and steals (0.8).
-- Among all MWC players, he ranks No. 2 in field-goal percentage (.548), No. 3 in total rebounds (7.0), No. 3 in defensive rebounds (5.07), No. 4 in free-throw percentage (.807), tied No. 6 in assists (3.47), tied No. 7 in blocked shots (.93), No. 8 in scoring (15.5), tied No. 9 in offensive rebounds (1.93) and tied No. 10 in three-pointers made (1.73). He is shooting .500 on threes (26-of-52) but does not qualify in the MWC top-10 based on the minimum of 2.5 makes per game.
-- Through 15 games, he is on pace to set the MWC junior record for three-point percentage having made 50 percent of his three-pointers (26-for-52), which also ranks No. 4 on the all-time MWC list.
-- He has received one MWC Player of the Week award in league play and twice overall this season.
-- He has scored in double figures in 14 of 15 conference games to date.
-- He has scored 20 or more points in five games.
-- He has eight or more rebounds in six league games.
-- He has made a trey in 13 of 15 games, including nine games with two or more triples.
-- He has led BYU in scoring six times, rebounding five times, assists six times, steals six times and blocked shots seven times.
-- He has achieved conference-season highs of 25 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals.
-- He is shooting 63.6 percent and leads BYU in scoring and rebounding (tied) during the final five minutes of games.
-- With one game remaining, he ranks in the top 10 in six categories in the MWC statistics.
-- Team captain has started every game while leading BYU to the outright MWC title with a 13-2 record with one game remaining
-- He is BYU's leading scorer (16.2) and shot blocker (0.93) while ranking second in rebounds (6.7) and field-goal percentage (.532) and fourth in steals (0.7).
-- Among all MWC players, he ranks No. 3 in field-goal percentage (.532), tied No. 5 in scoring (16.2), tied No. 5 in rebounding (6.7), No. 6 in defensive rebounds (4.7), tied No. 7 blocked shots (0.93) and tied No. 7 in offensive rebounds (2.0).
-- He achieved the best shooting night by any MWC player this season with a perfect 9-for-9 performance at Colorado State.
-- His 13 rebounds vs. New Mexico is the third-most totaled in an MWC game this season.
-- His five blocked shots at New Mexico ties the most totaled by any MWC player during league play.
-- He has received one MWC Player of the Week award in league play and three overall this season.
-- He has scored in double figures in 10 conference games and has scored 20 or more points in seven games, including six of the last eight outings.
-- He has grabbed double-digit rebounds in five games while recording a team-leading four double-double games.
-- He has led BYU in scoring seven times, rebounding five times, steals four times and blocked shots five times.
-- He has achieved conference-season highs of 27 points, 13 rebounds, 5 blocks, 3 assists and 2 steals. His 27 points against TCU tied a career high.
-- He is shooting 75 percent from the floor during the final five minutes of games, having missed only two attempts down the stretch in 15 games. He is second to Lee Cummard in scoring during the final five minutes of games.
-- He hit the game-winning free throws in a road win at New Mexico when he converted both attempts with 5 seconds remaining in overtime for the 70-69 victory.
-- With one game remaining, he ranks in the top 10 in three categories in the MWC statistics--No. 3 in three-pointers made (2.47), tied No. 5 in steals (1.53) and tied No. 9 in defensive rebounds (4.27)--and is No. 12 in scoring (12.8) and No. 15 in rebounding (5.0).
-- He has started in 14 of 15 games while helping BYU win the outright MWC title with a 13-2 record with one game remaining.
-- He is BYU's third-leading scorer (12.8) and ranks fourth in rebounds (5.0) and in assists (2.1).
-- He leads BYU in three-pointers made (2.47), steals (1.53) and free-throw percentage (.950) while ranking third in scoring (12.8) and blocks (0.4).
-- He shares the best three-point shooting night among MWC players with 5-for-6 (.833) accuracy from long range vs. New Mexico.
-- Providing instant offense, he has made multiple treys in 11 games with four or more treys in five games and five triples in two outings. He has made a three in 13 of 15 games to date.
-- He has scored in double figures in 11 conference games.
-- He has scored 20 or more points in four games.
-- He has grabbed double-digit rebounds in two games while recording two double-double performances. He has five games with 6 or more rebounds.
-- He has led BYU in scoring three times, rebounding three times, steals seven times, assists once and blocked shots three times.
-- He has achieved conference-season highs of 25 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocked shots.
-- He set career highs with 10 rebounds at Wyoming and at Colorado State, 5 assists vs. TCU and 5 steals vs. Wyoming.
-- He leads BYU in assists and steals and is tied for top honors in rebounding during the final five minutes of league games. He has missed just one free throw during the critical final five minutes of a game.
-- After only starting one prior game in his career, he has started in every game while helping BYU win the outright MWC title with a 13-2 record with one game remaining.
-- He is a tough defender who draws the assignment to guard the opposing team's top perimeter player.
-- Guarding UNLV's Wink Adams, he helped hold the Rebel star to 5 points on 0-for-5 shooting. Adams entered the game averaging 14.6 points on 38.7 percent shooting.
-- He held the nation's No. 2 three-point shooter Henry Salter of TCU to 2-for-8 (.250) shooting on threes and 4-of-14 (.286) overall and 10 total points. Salter entered the game shooting 52.4 percent on threes and 47.1 percent overall with a 14.1 scoring average.
-- He held Air Force star Tim Anderson to 4-of-13 (.308) shooting and 9 points. Anderson entered the game scoring 14.3 points on 43.6 shooting.
-- He is the team's fourth-leading scorer (8.3) and ranks fifth in rebounds (3.9) and assists (1.7). He is tied for second in steals (0.8) and tied for third in blocks (0.4).
-- He has made 22 treys, third on the team, and has made a trey in 12 of 15 games, including seven games with two or more triples.
-- He is shooting 90.3 percent from the free-throw line and has been perfect at the line in five of the eight games in which he has attempted a free throw.
-- He is a perfect 10-for-10 from the line in the final five minutes of games.
-- He went 7-for-8 at the line, including 4-for-4 clutch shooting in overtime to help BYU earn a one-point win at New Mexico.
-- He has recorded seven double-digit scoring games.
-- He has led BYU in steals six times, assists three times, blocks three times and rebounding once.
-- He has achieved conference-season highs of 15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. He set a career high with eight rebounds vs. Utah and at New Mexico.
-- After one year coming off the bench at BYU, he has started every game this year while guiding BYU to the outright MWC title with a 13-2 record with one game remaining
-- His leadership at the point has helped BYU rank No. 1 in assists and No. 2 in scoring and scoring margin. He ranks 19th nationally in assist/turnover ratio.
-- He ranks fourth among MWC players in assist/turnover ratio (2.60) and tied for sixth in assists (3.47)
-- He leads BYU in assists (3.47 along with Lee Cummard).
-- He has dished out five or more assists in five games.
-- He has committed 1 turnover or less in 10 of 15 games.
-- He has led BYU in assists in six games and in steals in two contests.
-- He is shooting 88.9 percent at the free-throw line in the final five minutes of games.
-- He has made a trey in seven games.
-- He has achieved conference-season highs of 13 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals.
-- In his first season, he has helped BYU win the outright MWC title with a 13-2 record with one game remaining.
-- He is a key contributor for the Cougars playing both guard positions while logging 19.4 minutes per game.
-- He has achieved conference-season highs of 14 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 1 block.
-- He is fifth on the team in scoring (6.8) and third in assists (2.2) while adding 1.3 rebounds.
-- He is shooting 41.2 percent from the floor and 38.0 percent on three-point attempts.
-- His 19 treys ranks fourth on the team.
-- He has made a trey in 12 of 15 games and made multiple treys in six games to date.
-- His 3-for-6 effort on threes and 11 points helped BYU earn a close 59-56 win over San Diego State in the Marriott Center.
-- He scored a conference-season high of 14 points in a win over Utah in Provo and recorded a career-high 4 rebounds against the Utes in Salt Lake City.
-- He is shooting 86.7 percent at the line, missing only twice during league play.
-- He has led BYU in assists, steals and blocks in two games each.
-- He has recorded five double-digit scoring nights. BYU is 5-0 in games he scored in double figures.
-- In the final five minutes of games, he is shooting 50 percent from the floor and 100 percent at the line while dishing out the second-most assists and ranking third in scoring.
-- In his first season, he has helped BYU win the outright MWC title with a 13-2 record with one game remaining.
-- He ranks 12th among all MWC players and third on the team in rebounding (5.3).
-- A key contributor, he leads BYU in rebounds per minute, making 0.4 rebounds every minute he is on the floor.
-- During the critical final five minutes of games, he is tied for the most rebounds.
-- He has had 7 or more rebounds in six games and 9 or more rebounds in three outings.
-- He has led BYU in rebounds five times, blocks twice and steals once.
-- He is adding 3.3 points for the Cougars primarily off the bench. He has started one game in league play.
-- He has achieved conference-season highs of 11 rebounds, 9 points, 2 blocks, 2 assists, and 1 steal.
CUMMARD, PLAISTED NAMED NABC ALL-DISTRICT
KANSAS CITY -- BYU juniors Lee Cummard and Trent Plaisted were honored Tuesday by the National Association of Basketball Coaches as both were named to the NABC All-District 13 First Team. The dual honors marks the first time since 1988 that two Cougars were selected to the First Team in the same season.
In all, 150 student-athletes representing 15 districts were recognized as the nation's best men's collegiate basketball players as voted on by members of the NABC.
"Both Lee and Trent are very deserving of this honor," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. "They've worked really hard and greatly improved their respective games. They are a big part of the success of our team."
Cummard and Plaisted currently share team-high scoring honors as each posts 15.9 points per game. Cummard is second for the Cougars in rebounds (6.5) and assists (3.4) while leading the Mountain West Conference shooting 57.2 percent from the field. He has scored in double figures in 26 of 29 games while topping 20 or more points on nine occasions and posting three double-doubles on the year. The MWC Player of the Year candidate has tallied season highs of 27 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
Plaisted paces the Cougars with 8.0 rebounds per contest while racking up nine double-figure rebounding games. He is third in the MWC shooting 53.9 percent from the field and has scored in double figures in 23 games, including 10 outings with 20 or more points. The Cougars' go-to player in the post has tallied season highs of 27 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks.
Cummard and Plaisted are two of seven student-athletes to represent the MWC and two of four players from a Utah university to earn all-district accolades this season.
Joining the pair on the District 13 First Team are New Mexico's J.R. Giddens, Nevada's Marcelus Kemp and Boise State's Reggie Larry. District 13 Second Team members include Lorrenzo Wade of San Diego State, Stefon Jackson of UTEP, Kevin Bell of Fresno State, Brandon Ewing of Wyoming and Luke Nevill of Utah, both of whom also earned second-team honors last season. UNLV's Wink Adams was named to the District 15 Second Team, while Utah State's Jaycee Carroll was honored as a second-team member of District 14.
Student-athletes selected to the all-district teams are now eligible for the NABC Division I All-America teams to be announced at the conclusion of the 2007-08 NCAA regular season.
Located in Kansas City, Mo., the NABC was founded in 1927 by Phog Allen, the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Allen, a student of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, organized coaches into this collective group to serve as Guardians of the Game. The NABC currently claims nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men's basketball coaches.
BYU players have received all-district recognition 84 times by the NABC since 1950. Keena Young was the most recent addition to the list as he earned first-team honors last season. Prior to this year, BYU had not had two first-team selections since Michael Smith and Jeff Chatman were so honored in 1988.
DEFENDING THE HOME COURT
BYU has won a school-record 47 straight games in the Marriott Center. The Cougars set the record with their 67-59 win over Utah in the Marriott Center on Feb. 20, their 45th straight home win. The streak also ranks first nationally. The Cougars are 16-0 at home this year and won 17 home games last season after going 14-1 at home in 2005-06. BYU's last home loss was in the 2005-06 season opener against Loyola Marymount. BYU?has since won 23 straight over nonconference opponents and 24 consecutive over MWC foes. BYU's last league loss at home was its season finale in 2005 to UNLV. BYU?is 419-116 (.783) all-time in the Marriott Center, and Cougar head coach Dave Rose is 47-1. Prior to the current streak, BYU's longest homecourt victory streak was 44 games from Feb 19, 2000 to Jan 16, 2003.
ON THE ROAD
The Cougars are 7-4 in true road games this year. With a 1-2 record on neutral courts, BYU is 8-6 this season away from home with a 5-2 record in Mountain West Conference play. BYU won five of its last seven games on the road last season including a win at then-No. 20 Air Force (62-58), snapping the Falcons' 30-game home winning streak. BYU was 6-7 on the road last year and 5-3 in conference play, becoming the only MWC team with a winning record on the road in league play last year.
With the Cougars' 70-69 win at New Mexico coming on the heels of a loss at San Diego State, BYU has bounced back from all six of its losses this season with wins. BYU recovered from a setback against No. 1 North Carolina with a victory at Portland, a loss vs. then-No. 9 Michigan State with a win over Lamar, a loss at Boise State with a triumph against Loyola Marymount, a defeat at Wake Forest with a victory over Colorado State and a loss at UNLV with a win at Utah. The Cougars have won their bounceback games by an average margin of 16.3 points. BYU head coach Dave Rose has only lost back-to-back regular-season games once in his Cougar career (vs. then-No. 25 Michigan State and at Lamar in 2006-07).
MAGIC NUMBER: 70
BYU is 20-1 when scoring at least 70 points this year and 20-1 when holding opponents under the 70-point mark. The Cougars' 55-52 win at Utah marked the first time this season BYU has won a game when scoring less than 70 points. The Cougars have scored 90 or more points in five games this season, reaching 100 against Jackson State, and are 9-0 when scoring over 80 points on the year.
CLEANING THE GLASS
BYU has won the battle of the boards in 21 games this year, going 19-2 in those contests. The Cougars have tied an opponent on the boards twice this year, both times against SDSU. BYU is besting opponents by an average of 5.4 boards per contest, leading the league in rebounding margin and rebound average (39.8). The Cougars posted a season-high +19 rebounding margin (38-19) against Hartford as four Cougars pulled down at least five rebounds. BYU began the season with a 55-40 rebounding advantage at Long Beach State, matching last year's season high of 55 boards against Seton Hall. Five Cougars posted at least six rebounds in BYU's win over Lamar, marking the first time since Jan. 8, 2005 that feat has been done.
BYU has had five players score in double figures in a game four times this season, surpassing last year's total of three games in which at least five players reached double digits. Five different Cougars have led the team in scoring with Lee Cummard pacing BYU a team-best 14 times.
Four Cougar freshman are making an impact this year as Chris Collinsworth, Jimmer Fredette, Michael Loyd, Jr. and Nick Martineau have all made a difference for BYU. Collinsworth is fourth for BYU with 4.9 rebounds per game while ranking 12th among MWC players in conference play at 5.3 rpg. He has started six games. Fredette is fifth on the team in scoring with 6.9 ppg and third in steals with 26. Loyd is averaging 8.7 minutes per game and has posted 34 assists on the year. Martineau has 14 assists to 8 turnovers in his 19 games played.
TOP OF THE HEAP
Lee Cummard has done as much for his team in the most variety of ways this season than any other player in the MWC. In conference play, Cummard ranks in the top 10 in nine of the 12 MWC statistical categories. New Mexico's J.R. Giddens ranks in the top 10 in seven categories and BYU's Trent Plaisted is joined by four other players--Wink Adams (UNLV), Lorrenzo Wade (SDSU), Brandon Ewing (Wyo) and Luke Nevill (Utah)--with six top-10 rankings. Cummard not only produces more numbers across the stat sheet than anyone in the conference but also does so more efficiently, averaging less playing time per game than Giddens, Adams, Wade and Ewing.
Player School Top-10 MWC Rankings
Lee Cummard BYU 9
J.R. Giddens New Mexico 7
Trent Plaisted BYU 6
Wink Adams UNLV 6
Lorrenzo Wade San Diego State 6
Brandon Ewing Wyoming 6
Luke Nevill Utah 6
After setting a program record with 256 three-pointers last season, the Cougars could break that record this year having already made 247 treys so far. BYU has posted double-digit triples in a game 10 times this year and has made at least five three-pointers in 28 of 30 games this season. The Cougars recorded the sixth-best three-point shooting percentage in program history with 81.3 percent accuracy (13-of-16) against New Mexico, which is also an MWC record in league games. Individually, Lee Cummard and Jonathan Tavernari have each made a three-pointer in 27 of 30 games this season while Sam Burgess has done so in 24 contests and Jimmer Fredette in 21. Tavernari broke the Cougars' single-season three-point record of 74 with 76 treys so far this season. The mark is also a Mountain West Conference sophomore record.
Seniors Ben Murdock and Sam Burgess along with juniors Lee Cummard and Trent Plaisted have started all 30 games this year while sophomore Jonathan Tavernari has made 24 starts and freshman Chris Collinsworth has started six contests.
WINNING WITH ROSE
With a 69-24 record in his third season, BYU coach Dave Rose ranks first in wins and winning percentage among the 18 head coaches who began their first season as a head coach at the Division I level along with Rose in 2005-06. Rose ranks second to only Tennessee's Bruce Pearl (73-22 record) among all coaches who started at a new school in 2005-06. (including games as of March 5)
First-Year Coaches in 2005-06 By Wins
Coach, School Record Percentage
Dave Rose, BYU 69-24 .742
Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss* 62-33 .653
*includes one season as the interim head coach at Cincinnati
Head Coaches in Their First Year With a Program in 2005-06 By Wins
Coach, School Record Percentage
Bruce Pearl, Tennessee 73-22 .768
Dave Rose, BYU 69-24 .742
Tim Floyd, USC 63-35 .643
BYU PLAYER OF THE WEEK
TRENT PLAISTED (MARCH 3) -- Junior forward/center Trent Plaisted averaged 21.5 points on 61.5 percent shooting and tied the MWC single-game season high of five blocks to lead BYU to a road win at New Mexico and a home victory over Air Force. The 6-foot-11 native of San Antonio, Texas, recorded back-to-back 20-point outings during the week while adding 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 0.5 assists per game. A 53.6 percent free throw shooter entering the week, Plaisted converted 61.1 percent of his free-throw attempts over the two games, including the clutch game winners in BYU's victory in The Pit. With BYU trailing by one at New Mexico, Plaisted stepped to the line with five seconds left in overtime and drained two free throws in front of a sellout crowd of 18,018 at The Pit to give the Cougars a 70-69 road victory. On the night, he scored a team-best 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor and 5-of-9 makes at the line. He pulled down six rebounds and tied his season high by blocking five Lobo shot attempts. The five blocks equals the most be any MWC player this season. Plaisted made his first four shots from the field and his first three free throws to score 11 of BYU's first 14 points against Air Force. He finished with 20 points on 7-for-11 accuracy to lead all scorers and total 20 or more points for the fifth time in the last seven games. He added three rebounds and one assist in the 76-57 Cougar win. His dunk at the 13-minute mark in the second half moved Plaisted into 17th place on BYU's all-time scoring list. He has scored 1,288 points in his three-year career.
PLAISTED IN 1,000 POINT CLUB
With 22 points against Lamar, junior Trent Plaisted became the 37th member of BYU's elite 1,000 Point Club, joining such Cougar greats as Danny Ainge, Michael Smith, Devin Durrant, Fred Roberts, Kresimir Cosic and Andy Toolson to score at least 1,000 points in their Cougar careers. Plaisted now has 1,311 career points, 16th on BYU's all-time scoring list. Before Plaisted, Keena Young was the most recent addition to the club as he posted 1,068 points during his three-year BYU stint from 2005-07. Of four-year players, Plaisted is just the 10th Cougar to reach the 1,000-point milestone as a junior. The last four-year player to reach 1,000 points as a junior was Mark Bigelow with 1,312 following the 2002-03 season. Plaisted also has 660 career rebounds, making him just the 11th player overall to record at least 1,000 career points and 600 career rebounds.
BURGESS COMIN' UP BIG
Senior co-captain Sam Burgess is making the most of his final BYU campaign as he is fourth on the team in scoring (8.7), fourth in field-goal shooting among players with at least 60 attempts (.443) and third in assists (2.0) while ranking second on the team in three-point shooting (.426). He has increased his scoring total from last season by 5.1 ppg while averaging 16.8 more minutes per game. His 13 double-figure scoring games this year has more than doubled last year's mark of four double-digit scoring outings. Burgess has started all 30 games this season after starting just one game in his two prior seasons as a Cougar. He went 7-for-8 from the free-throw line at New Mexico, including 4-for-4 in overtime. He scored 13 points in his Marriott Center finale on Wednesday.
BYU boasts four players who are making 80 percent or more of their free-throw attempts this year (Jimmer Fredette, .875; Jonathan Tavernari, .878; Lee Cummard, .844; Sam Burgess, .855). Lee Cummard made a career- and team-season-high 21 straight free throws before missing his first attempt vs. SDSU. He earlier had made 19 straight before a miss against Southern Utah, meaning he had made 40 of 41 attempts (97.6 percent) over that stretch. He has been perfect at the line in 12 of 23 games he has gone to the line this year.
The Cougars' 24 victories this year have come by an average margin of 17.3 points, including a season-opening 40-point road win at Long Beach State (74-34), one of 19 double-digit wins for BYU this season and one of eight victories by over 20 points. The win over the 49ers marked BYU's largest margin of victory over a Division I opponent since defeating Morgan State by 41 points (110-69) on Dec. 28, 1995. Including BYU's five losses, the Cougars still boast a scoring margin of 11.5 points this year. With that mark, the Cougars are on pace to record their highest margin of victory since 1966 (+12.6) and the third-highest in program history. BYU won 17 games by double-digits last year, including seven by 20 or more points, and was the only team in the Mountain West Conference to not have a regular-season game decided by less than four points.
BYU had a season-best nine-game win streak end with a loss at SDSU. The victories were at Utah, vs. San Diego State, vs. New Mexico, at Air Force, at Wyoming, vs. TCU, at Colorado State, against UNLV and vs. Utah. That mark was tied for seventh nationally and is the Cougars' longest victory string since also winning nine straight in the 2003-04 season.
THIS YEAR'S LOSSES
BYU's six losses this year have come on neutral floors against then-No. 1 North Carolina and then-No. 9 Michigan State and on the road at Boise State, at Wake Forest, at UNLV and at SDSU. BYU held double-digit leads over both Michigan State and Boise State and battled the top-rated Tar Heels through six second-half lead changes. North Carolina (28-2), Michigan State (23-6), Boise State (22-7), Wake Forest (16-12) and UNLV (22-7) have a combined 111-34 record for a .766 winning percentage as of games played March 5. Wake Forest recently recorded a 13-point home win over then-No. 2 Duke while North Carolina is currently ranked No. 1.
FROM THE FIELD
BYU is shooting 45.9 percent from the field this season while allowing opponents to shoot just 38.6 percent from the floor (No. 1 in the MWC). Overall, the Cougars have shot above 50 percent in 10 games this year. BYU has shot above 50 percent in the first half of nine games this season and in the second half of 13 contests, totaling 22 halves of play with a shooting percentage of 50 percent higher, including six above 60 percent. The Cougars posted a season-high 60.4 percent efficiency against Hartford bolstered by a 63.6 percent second-half shooting mark (14-for-22). Individually, Lee Cummard and Trent Plaisted rank No. 1 and No. 2 (tied), respectively, among MWC players in field-goal percentage at 56.8 and 54.4 percent and 28th and 57th, respectively, in the national rankings as of March 2.
The Cougars are 22-2 this season when leading at the half with 14 of the 24 advantages coming by double digits. No. 1 North Carolina, Wake Forest, UNLV, San Diego State and New Mexico are the only teams this season to post a halftime lead against BYU. The Cougars are besting opponents by an average of 7.5 points in the first period of play while scoring at least 40 points in the first half of nine of 30 games this season. BYU has scored at least 30 points in the first half of 24 of 30 games while holding opponents under 30 points 20 times. The Cougars' 36-12 lead at the break at Long Beach State marked their largest halftime advantage since being up by 28 points (51-23) against Western Oregon on Dec. 22, 2006. The 12 points given up by BYU in the first 20 minutes of the game at LBSU marked the fewest points allowed in a half by the Cougars since allowing a record-low 10 points against Air Force in 2003. BYU has topped 40 points in the second half of 13 games this year while surpassing the 50-point mark in the second half four times.
PAINTING THE TOWN
The Cougars have outscored their opponents in the paint in 15 games and equaled them in one other this year, recording a +2.9 margin in that category. BYU has posted a double-digit margin in 10 games, including a season-best +38 margin (54-16) against Jackson State. The Cougars are 15-0 when besting opponents in the paint while all six of BYU's losses on the season have come when the Cougars have been outscored in the paint.
MAKING THE MOST OF THE MISCUE
Despite recording a -0.5 turnover margin with their opponents on the year, the Cougars have outscored foes in points off of turnovers in 20 games this season, posting a +3.7 scoring margin in that category. BYU scored a season-best 26 points off of turnovers against Loyola Marymount.
FAST AND FURIOUS
BYU has outscored opponents in transition in 21 games, equaled them three times and been outpaced only six times. The Cougars average 4.3 more fastbreak points than their opponents. The Cougars scored a season-best 20 fastbreak points against Jackson State while tying their season high with a +16 margin. BYU's five deficits in that category came in losses against No. 1 North Carolina (0-4), against No. 9 Michigan State (0-4) and at Wake Forest (0-8) and wins at Air Force (0-2) and at New Mexico (2-6).
FROM THE BENCH
BYU's reserves have outscored the opposition's bench only 11 times this year, but they have done it in nine of the last 19 games after seven straight contests with a scoring deficit off the bench. On the whole, the BYU bench has outscored opponent reserves by 0.2 points per game this season, tallying 563 points or 18.8 points per game. BYU's leading scorer off the bench is freshman guard Jimmer Fredette, who is averaging 6.9 points per game. He had 14 points against Utah, his highest scoring output in conference play. He stepped up at Wake Forest, tying for team-high honors with 15 points off the bench.
LEADERS OF THE PACK
Including a game-high lead of 26 points against Wyoming, the Cougars have posted a double-digit lead in 22 of 30 games and have led by more than 20 points in 15 games and more than 30 points in five contests. The Cougars have led wire-to-wire in 14 games this season.