Game 18 - BYU Plays at New Mexico Monday on ESPN
BYU (12-5, 2-2) faces the New Mexico Lobos (10-6, 1-2) Monday at 10 p.m. (MST) at The Pit in this week's nationally featured Mountain West Conference matchup on ESPN. The radio broadcast can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160, beginning with a one-hour pregame show. KSL's Greg Wrubell will call the play-by-play action with Brian Santiago providing analysis. Live audio is available by selecting the basketball schedule page of the official BYU athletics website, byucougars.com. Live audio is also available on KSL.com, via BYU Radio on the Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
BYU plays at Utah Saturday at 1 p.m. (MST) in the featured MWC game on ESPN+Plus (KJZZ-TV in Utah).
GAME #18 FAST FACTS
BYU COUGARS (12-5, 2-2 MWC) @ NEW MEXICO LOBOS (10-6, 1-2 MWC)
MONDAY, JAN. 26, 2004
THE PIT/BOB KING COURT (18,018)
10 p.m. (MST)
BYU, Steve Cleveland (120-83 in seventh year; same overall)
UNM, Ritchie McKay (20-24 in second year; 103-113 in eighth year overall)
BYU leads, 65-47; Last year: BYU swept the series and defeated the Lobos at the MWC Tourney
Air Time: 10 p.m. (MST)
Play-by-Play: Bob Carpenter
Game Analyst: Jimmy Dykes
KSL Newsradio 1160 AM (Cougar Sports Network)
Pregame Air Time: 9 p.m. (MST)
Play-by-Play: Greg Wrubell
Game Analyst: Brian Santiago
Live audio links are available at byucougars.com/basketball_m/ (select 2003-04 schedule), on KSL.com and via BYU Radio on Dish Network and at byuradio.org.
The Cougars (12-5) finished nonconference play with a 10-3 record including the Cable Car Classic title and wins over No. 25 Oklahoma State and the Pac-10's USC. The preseason favorite to win the Mountain West Conference, BYU is 2-2 in MWC play. BYU returns four starters from last year's 23-9 co-championship team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Four-year starter Mark Bigelow and fellow senior Rafael Araujo were both named to the Preseason All-MWC Team. Senior guard Kevin Woodberry and junior forward Jared Jensen were also starters last season but are primarily come off the bench this year, with Jensen currently out with an injury. Key newcomers include junior transfer Mike Hall and freshmen Mike Rose and Garner Meads. Araujo is averaging 19.7 points and 10.4 rebounds to lead BYU this year. Bigelow adds 13.1 points and 3.9 rebounds while Hall contributes 11.6 points and 3.7 rebounds. First-year starter Luiz Lemes leads the team in assists (4.5). As a team, the Cougars shoot .493 from the floor, including .365 on threes, and .720 from the line while scoring 74.6 points per game. BYU allows 64.5 points while the opposition has shot .451 from the field and .342 from behind the arc. BYU has an average rebounding advantage of 6.5.
NEW MEXICO LOBOS
New Mexico returns six lettermen from last year's team that finished 10-18 and has added some talented newcomers. The Lobos are 10-6 this year, including a 1-2 MWC mark. They are coming off a 70-54 win over Utah, ending the Utes nine-game winning streak. New Mexico has had a full roster now for 10 games since transfers Troy DeVries from Portland State and Danny Granger from Bradley became eligible to play. The Lobos are led by Granger who is scoring 21.4 points and pulling down 10.2 rebounds. Five Lobos score in double figures as Granger is supported in the scoring column by Javin Tindall (13.0), David Chiotti (12.8), DeVries (12.6) and Alfred Neale (10.1). As a team, the Lobos shoot .472 from the floor, .385 on threes, and .710 from the line to score 72.2 points per game. The Lobos are giving up 63.0 points while their opponents have combined to shoot .418 from the field and .344 from behind the arc. UNM has a 3.6 advantage per game on the boards. In league play, the Lobos lost at Wyoming (82-77) and at home to Air Force (68-42) before defeating Utah Saturday.
UNM's LAST OUTING -- Led by Danny Granger, Lobos Down Utes, 70-54
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Led by Danny Granger's 28 points, New Mexico (10-6, 1-2 MWC) defeated Utah, 70-54, Saturday to end the Utes nine-game victory streak. Granger was impressive against Utah (15-4, 3-1 MWC), hitting 10-of-16 shots while adding a team-high four assists. New Mexico coach Ritchie McKay used Granger at the point to start the Lobos' half-court offense. Granger responded by hitting a pair of 15-foot jumpshots and a 3-pointer in the game's first five minutes. Granger, who had six rebounds and no turnovers in 35 minutes on the court, was equally tough inside, scoring consistently over the taller Utes. And when the Utes tried to double-team Granger, he passed off to open teammates. The Lobos played a nearly flawless first half. They hit seven threes, shot 54 percent and had just one turnover en route to a 38-18 lead. Granger sparked a 9-0 run early in the second half with a left-handed bankshot and an off-balance layup that put the Lobos ahead 49-20 with 14:51 left in the game. At that point, Granger had outscored the Utes 23-22. Nick Jacobson led Utah with 20 points and Andrew Bogut added 13 points and 17 rebounds led Utah. Jacobson, who scored 15 of his points in the second half, led the Utes' only rally of the game, a 13-2 run that cut the Lobos' lead to 53-41 with 6:31 left. A three-pointer by Troy DeVries and three free throws by Granger sandwiched around a 3-pointer by Jacobson pushed the lead to 59-45. New Mexico finished with eight 3s against the second best defensive team in the country. The Utes came into the game giving up an average of 54 points a game. DeVries added 14 points and David Chiotti scored 13 for the Lobos.
NEW MEXICO'S PROJECTED STARTERS (BASED ON LAST GAME)
POS. # NAME HT. WT. YR. PPG RPG
F 21 Alfred Neale 6-5 200 Jr. 10.1 5.6
F 33 Danny Granger 6-8 220 Jr. 21.4 10.2
C 13 David Chiotti 6-9 240 So. 12.8 5.6
G 2 Troy DeVries 6-2 190 Jr. 12.6 3.3
G 11 Javin Tindall 5-11 165 Sr. 13.0 2.3
This will be the 113th game in the series that started in the 1949-50 season. The Cougars lead the series 65-47. BYU has won the last four games in the series since its loss in The Pit in 2002. BYU swept the season series last year and defeated the Lobos in the opening round of the 2003 MWC Tournament. BYU has won in Albuquerque during both of MWC championship seasons. In addition to last year's victory, BYU won in Albuquerque in 2001 when the Cougars swept the UNM-AFA swing to finish the regular season in a three-way tie for first place along with Utah and Wyoming. BYU has won eight of the last nine games in the series after New Mexico had won eight of the prior nine contests. BYU's current string started when the Cougars upset the Lobos in the 2000 MWC Tournament as the No. 6 seed. New Mexico's last win in Provo was a 78-74 win in in 2000, which was BYU's last loss in the Marriott Center prior to starting its 44-game nation-leading homecourt victory string that was ended last year by Utah. It is still the last time any team from outside the state of Utah has beaten the Cougars in the Marriott Center. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 9-6 vs. the Lobos.
BYU vs. NEW MEXICO SERIES BREAKDOWN
Overall Series Record: BYU leads 65-47
BYU Record in Provo: 42-16
BYU Record in Albuquerque: 22-31
BYU Record at Neutral Sites: 4-3
BYU Record under Steve Cleveland: 9-6
BYU Record in Overtime Games: 1-3 (1-1 Rd, 0-2 Hm)
Last Overtime Game: 1994, lost in Provo, 82-84
Longest BYU Win Streak: 14 (1950-57)
Longest New Mexico Win Streak: 5 (1996-98)
Largest BYU Margin of Victory: 30, 92-62 two times in
1955 and 1959
Largest New Mexico Margin of Victory: 42, 74-32 in 1997
Most Points Scored by BYU: 100 in 1979
Most Points Scored by New Mexico: 102 in 1987
LAST YEAR'S RECAPS VS. NEW MEXICO
AT MWC TOURNEY -- BYU DEFEATS NEW MEXICO TO OPEN MWC TOURNAMENT
LAS VEGAS -- BYU turned it on in the second half to win its first-round game at the MWC Tournament, beating New Mexico for the third time of the season, 71-56. The Cougars (23-7) trailed much of the first half but took the lead at 21-20 with 1:07 to go before the half on a three-point play by Rafael Araujo. The next trip down, Ricky Bower extended the lead to 25-20 on a three-pointer. BYU enjoyed the five-point lead at the break. The Lobos regained the lead in the second half at 30-25 with 16:56 to play, but BYU went on a 14-0 run by holding the Lobos scoreless for over the next seven minutes. BYU was able to run and get some easy buckets by beating New Mexico up the court. Mark Bigelow finished the game with 14 points but was held without a trey for the first time since the game against UNLV earlier in the season on the same court. BYU looked to its big man throughout the game as Araujo grabbed the first lead of the game for the Cougars and helped the team hold it. He led BYU with 19 points and 13 rebounds including six at the offensive end. Senior Travis Hansen struggled from the floor, shooting just 4-for-13 and totaling 11 points. Hansen fulfilled his leadership role despite the scoring below his average. He kept the team focused in timeouts and made key shots when a bucket was needed. BYU shot 47 percent for the game compared to 40 percent for the Lobos. The Cougars struggled from behind the arc shooting just 25 percent, but did make 83 percent of their free throws on 19-for-23. Guard Kevin Woodberry turned in another great effort with 10 points, four assists, three steals, two blocks, and no turnovers. Several Cougars traded the responsibility of guarding MWC MVP Ruben Douglas. Bigelow, Hansen, Luiz Lemes and Woodberry all pitched in to control Douglas, holding him to just 18 points. For UNM Mark Walters scored 11 points and David Chiotti chipped in 10.
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE MWC TOURNAMENT GAME LAST YEAR ...
"Defensively we played solid the entire game but struggled a little in the first half. In the second half we did a much better job getting the ball inside. We have something to prove every time we play and we need to keep that in mind no matter where we play."
AT UNM -- HANSEN LEADS FIVE COUGARS IN DOUBLE FIGURES
ALBUQUERQUE -- BYU caps off its Mountain West Conference road season with a win over the Lobos of New Mexico 91-81, Monday night. With the win, the Cougars finish 5-2 away from home in the conference and pick up their 20th win of the season overall (20-7, 9-3 MWC). BYU held a three-point lead at the break, but went on a 16-4 run to open the half, extending the lead to 54-39. During the run, junior Mark Bigelow hit back-to-back treys and two free throws and Araujo had a transition jam inside to build the lead. The Cougars looked to lone senior Travis Hansen for big shots down the stretch to fight off attempted runs by the Lobos. Hansen led five Cougars in double figures with 26 points, including a perfect 12-for-12 from the line. Jared Jensen topped a new season-high in points with 19 along with six rebounds. He made many key buckets inside to quiet the raucous crowd of 15,741 at The Pit. Jensen scored 15 on the Lobos earlier this season in Provo. Araujo chipped in 14 points while grabbing 14 boards. The two big men scored 33 points on 13-of-19 shooting. Bigelow paced the run out of the gate in the second half before fouling out with 14 points. Kevin Woodberry added 11 points with five assists and just one turnover. BYU mixed defenses to try and contain UNM's Ruben Douglas. The Lobo guard scored 27 points, including 12-for-12 from the line to match Hansen for BYU in free throw accuracy. Cleveland wanted to limit Douglas' trips to the foul line after he helped the Lobos beat Utah Saturday by making 26 free throws. Mark Walters and Jamaal Williams scored 18 and 17 points respectively for New Mexico. The Cougar's defense came within 52 seconds of snapping Douglas' streak of 35 consecutive games with a three-pointer. He hit 1-of-7; the lone make came in the final minute of the game. BYU shot 63.6 percent in the second half to build the lead that they would never give up. The Cougars shot 54.5 percent from the field on the game and totaled the most points in a road game for BYU since 1994 at Air Force. BYU was 26-of-28 from the line for 93 percent.
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE GAME AT UNM LAST YEAR ...
"Travis has been our leader all season on and off the court and he made some big shots. It is a great time for our big men to play well. We just needed to get them some post touches, and we did that tonight."
AT BYU -- DOUGLAS SCORES 39 BUT BALANCED COUGARS GET WIN
PROVO -- Four Cougars scored in double figures as BYU beat the University of New Mexico Lobos 80-64 Saturday at the Marriott Center, despite 39 points form Lobo guard Ruben Douglas. BYU improves to 14-5 on the season and 3-1 in MWC play. The Lobos drop to 1-4 in conference games and 7-11 overall. Travis Hansen led BYU with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Mark Bigelow and Ricky Bower each connected on four three-pointers. Bigelow finished the game with 15 points and Bower added 14. Jared Jensen chipped in 15 and carried most of the load in the paint for BYU. Jensen was also perfect 5-for-5 from the line. The two teams combined to set a new Marriott Center record of 23 three-pointers made. For the Lobos, most of those came from senior Ruben Douglas who hit seven treys and was 14-of-17 from the line to go along with seven rebounds. Guards Mark Walters and Javin Tindall chipped in nine and eight points for the Lobos. Bigelow scored BYU's final eight points of the half to give the Cougars a 39-31 lead at the break. UNM's zone defense shut down the middle, holding BYU center Rafael Araujo scoreless in the first half. Araujo finished the game with just three points. Douglas and Walters scored 29 of the Lobos 31 first-half points. Douglas had 22 at the intermission including 5 threes. New Mexico cut the deficit to six early in the second half, but, following a timeout, BYU went on a 9-0 run to gain a 15-point lead. The run was sparked by two treys from Bower. The Lobos fought back, cutting the lead to nine, 71-62, with 3:47 to play on two free throws by Douglas. Following another timeout, the Cougars went on another 9-0 run highlighted by a breakaway jam by Hansen. The dunk extended the BYU lead to 18 at 80-62, with just over one minute left. BYU out-shot New Mexico 49.1 percent to 39.6 percent and out-rebounded the Lobos 38 to 26.
WHAT BYU COACH STEVE CLEVELAND HAD TO SAY AFTER THE GAME IN PROVO LAST YEAR ...
"We tried a lot of things on Ruben but they didn't work. In the second half, when we made our run, we doubled him and he missed a few. He may be the best player in our league."
WHAT UNM COACH RITCHIE MCKAY HAD TO SAY AFTER THE GAME IN PROVO LAST YEAR ...
"This was the best team we've played all year. There is not an offensive weakness out there--at least not that I could see."
BYU'S LAST OUTING -- FALCONS NEARLY FLAWLESS IN WIN OVER BYU
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY -- Air Force opened with a 12-2 run and didn't look back as the Falcons defeated BYU 74-52 Saturday to extend their victory streak to 11 games. A Clune Arena record crowd of 6,359 watched the Falcons play nearly flawless basketball. Air Force (13-2, 3-0) executed its "Princeton"-style offense to perfection in the first half, creating open three-point shots and layups. The Falcons hit 6-of-11 three-point attempts in the first half, while the Cougars struggled, hitting only 1-of-6 attempts. "They took us out of the game in the first 20 minutes," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "They gave us a good whooping. They shot 72 percent tonight. You can beat anyone shooting 72 percent." Air Force got on a roll early, gaining confidence that didn't leave them the whole game. The Falcons field goal percentage was their second-highest percentage ever and their best against a Division I opponent. The Falcons also played an aggressive match-up zone, which helped create six Cougar turnovers in the game's first eight minutes. During that stretch, Air Force extended its lead to 20-7. The Cougars would counter with a run of their own, cutting the lead to seven at 23-16, but Air Force put the game away with a 19-3 run to close the half with a 42-19 lead. BYU failed to score 20 points in the first half for the first time since scoring 15 points at Auburn on Nov. 23, 1998. Air Force held BYU's leading scorer, Rafael Araujo, to just four points in the first half, while Falcon center Nick Welch lit up the Cougars for 11 points in the first 20 minutes and totaled 20 points for the game, including two three-pointers. "Welch was the difference in the game tonight. He really stretched the defense," Cleveland said. "But all five of the guys on the floor can score and shoot so it makes it really hard to defend." Mark Bigelow opened the second half scoring five straight points to cut the Falcon lead to 18, but BYU would get no closer and Air Force would extend its final margin of victory to 22 -- the Cougars' largest-ever dificit to the Falcons and their largest losing margin in a MWC regulars season game. Bigelow finished the game with a season-high 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting to lead BYU, followed by Araujo who finished the game with 12 points and six rebounds.
Junior forward/center Jared Jensen was injured (back) last Monday against Wyoming. He did not practiced this past week and did not make the trip to Air Force and New Mexico. His status will be further evaluated next week. Saturday's game against Air Force was the first Jensen has missed during his career. He had played in 78 straight games.
Saturday against Air Force Mark Bigelow scored a season-high 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Against Wyoming last Monday, freshman Garner Meads recorded his first double-double with career highs of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Mark Bigelow dished out a career-best 9 assists. The prior game against CSU, Jared Jensen tied his career-high 10 rebounds, Terry Nashif set a new personal best of 6 rebounds, and Austin Ainge got his first extended playing time, logging 10 minutes and scoring a career-best 6 points while dishing out a high of 2 assists.
DETERMINED TO IMPROVE
Rafael Araujo was determined over the summer to improve his shooting, spending an hour each morning from 6-7 a.m. casting off shots at the Smith Fieldhouse. His improvement is evident in his shooting percentages this season. Last year he shot a solid .558 from the floor but this year he is making 60.5 percent of his attempts. He made three treys on .273 shooting last year from behind the arc while this year has already connected seven times on .389 shooting from long range. At the line, Araujo has already surpassed the number of free throws he made all of last season, when he went 70-for-109 (.642). He has upped his success rate at the charity stripe this year, having made 86-of-118 attempts (.729).
The Cougars have won their eight games at home this season by an average of 24 points. The closest final margin was last Monday's 14-point victory over Wyoming. BYU achieved its largest halftime lead of the season vs. CSU last Saturday, taking a 26-point advantage to the break. The Cougars also equaled their largest first-half scoring output of the season with 49 points. The most points BYU has scored in a half this year is 51 points in the second half against Idaho State at the Cable Car Classic. The Cougars' 29-point victory over CSU, however, is not the largest margin of victory for the Cougars in Mountain West play. Last year BYU defeated Air Force in Provo by 32 points, 65-33. BYU's largest margin of victory this season overall was a 36-point win over Western Oregon. On the losing side of the big numbers, BYU was down 23 points at the half on the way to suffering its largest margin of defeat in a Mountain West Conference regular season game with its 22-point setback at Air Force Saturday. The Falcons had their best shooting night ever against a Division I team (and second best against any team) at 72.5 percent.
CLEVELAND NOW FIFTH ON BYU VICTORY LIST; THIRD IN MARRIOTT CENTER WINS
With BYU's seventh win this season, Cougar head coach Steve Cleveland moved into fifth on BYU's career coaching victories list. He moved past Ladell Andersen (114-71 record from 1983-89). Cleveland now has a 120-83 record in his seventh season in Provo. Legendary Cougar coach Stan Watts has the most wins in school history with 372 triumphs from 1949-72. Ott Romney (1927-35) and Roger Reid (1989-96) both achieved 152 victories and Frank Arnold (1975-83) is fourth with 137 wins. Cleveland currently has the third-most wins in the Marriott Center with a 79-18 record in the Cougars' home arena. Reid has the most Marriott Center wins with 92, followed by Arnold with 81. Andersen is fourth with 71.
CLEVELAND GETTING IT DONE (2003 MWC COACH OF THE YEAR)
BYU coach Steve Cleveland was named MWC Coach of the Year in 2003. At 23-9 last year, BYU achieved its fourth straight postseason tournament invitation and third 20-win season in the last four years. Only eight BYU teams have ever achieved more wins in a season than last year's team. The BYU record for wins is 28 (9 losses) in 1951 when the Cougars won the national title as NIT champs. The 2002-03 season was Cleveland's third 20-win season in the last four years, including a 24-9 record in 2001. The only BYU coaches to have more 20-win seasons are Stan Watts (7) and Roger Reid (6). Cleveland joins Frank Arnold and Ladell Andersen with three 20-win seasons.
ARAUJO RATES HIGH IN NATIONAL AND MWC STATISTICS
Senior center Rafael Araujo is sixth in the nation in rebounds, 20th in field goal percentage and 27th in scoring in the latest release of NCAA statistics (Jan. 19). Among MWC players after Saturday's games, he is the top scorer and rates second in rebounds, offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds. He is fourth in field goal percentage, sixth in blocked shots, 12th in free throw percentage and 14th in steals.
BIGELOW PASSES COSIC AS THE NO. 9 ALL-TIME SCORER AT BYU
Senior Mark Bigelow (1,534 points) moved past former Cougar great Kresimir Cosic into ninth place on BYU's all-time scoring list last Monday against Wyoming. Cosic scored 1,512 points in only three seasons from 1971-73. Bigelow moved out of a tie with Jay Cheesman (1,408 points from 1974-77) in 10th place against Utah State on Dec. 23. He surpassed current BYU assistant coach Andy Toolson (1,388 points from 1985, 88-90) against USC on Dec. 13 after overtaking Roland Minson (1,375 from 1949-51) against Western Oregon on Dec. 10.
FRESHMAN ROSE SETS THREE-POINT RECORD IN HIS COLLEGE DEBUT
It didn't take long for freshman Mike Rose to put his name in the BYU record book. In his college debut, the true freshman guard out of Houston set a new BYU single-game record with eight 3-pointers while scoring a game-high 26 points to lead the Cougars to an 88-54 win over Southern Utah University. His 26 points is the most scored by a BYU freshman since Mark Bigelow totaled 33 points at Washington State in 1998. Rose's eight 3-pointers broke the BYU record of seven threes in a game, previously set by Nick Sanderson (1992) and Danny Bower (1998). Rose's performance behind the arc was just shy of tying the Marriott Center's record of nine 3-pointers in a game held by Utah State's Jay Goodman (1990). Rose also dished out six assists with only one turnover and added two rebounds and one steal in his 22 minutes off the bench. He made 61.5 percent of his 3-point attempts, going 8-of-13 from behind the arc, and finished 9-for-16 (.563) overall from the floor against Southern Utah's match-up zone. He scored 17 points in 11 first-half minutes on 6-of-8 shooting, including 5-of-7 on threes. He broke the school record with 7:01 left in the second half on a three taken several feet behind the arc. He made 5-of-10 threes and scored 14 points in 18 minutes against Western Oregon and went 4-for-4, including 3-of-3 on threes, for 11 points in nine minutes vs. USC.
ROSE CAN PROVIDE INSTANT OFFENSE
Mike Rose can provide instant offense. After mostly late action in seven straight games prior to not playing at all at San Diego State, the true freshman got off the bench early against CSU and sparked BYU's decisive first-half run. He logged 11 minutes in the first half, scoring 10 points, and got the crowd in a frenzy hitting 3-of-4 long-range bombs. He played a season-high 23 minutes for the night. It was his second game of more than 20 minutes (other was 22 minutes in season opener when he scored 26 points and hit a BYU record 8 threes). He has only played double-digit minutes in six games but shares the team lead of 23 threes with senior Mark Bigelow. He has made his 23 threes while taking only 44 trey attempts and logging 10 minutes per game compared to Bigelow's 79 attempts in 30.4 minutes per game. Rose scored nine points in 19 minutes at Air Force Saturday.
ROBERTS DISCONTINUED PLAYING, DRESSER ADDED TO ROSTER
Junior Marc Roberts decided to discontinue playing basketball prior to BYU's game vs. USC due to continued struggles with tendonitis in his knees. The walk-on guard appeared in 37 games with one start over his two-plus years with BYU, averaging 1.5 points and 0.8 rebounds in 5.3 minutes per game. This year Roberts was averaging 1.6 points and 1.4 rebounds in 8.6 minutes while playing in five of six games. With Ricky Bower out with an injury, the Cougars decided to add another walk-on player, Mike Dresser, to the roster for the USC game. Dresser is a 6-5, 195-pound freshman guard/forward from Sacramento, Caliif., who had been practicing with the team. He wears jersey No. 15 at home and No. 33 on the road.
BYU IN THE POLLS
BYU did not receive any votes in this week's national polls. BYU was last ranked in the Top 25 during the 1992-93 season when the Cougars earned a No. 21 ranking. The last time BYU finished the year ranked was the 1987-88 season.
BYU has played six games this year where the outcome was in question entering the final two minutes. The Cougars have gone 3-3 in those games. BYU lost those three games by a combined seven points. BYU's nine other wins have been by a margin of 14 or more points, with six being by more than 20 points, including two 30-plus point blowouts. BYU has suffered two blowout losses, a 27-point setback at North Carolina State and a 22-point defeat Saturday at Air Force. BYU is 11-0 when leading with five minutes remaining and 10-1 when holding the advantage with one minute on the second-half clock.
ON THE ROAD
BYU is 4-5 away from the Marriott Center this year with a 2-5 away record and a 2-0 neutral court mark. For the second straight season, the Cougars played more nonconference games away from Provo than they did in the friendly confines of the Marriott Center. This year, BYU played six games at home and seven out-of-town contests while going 10-3 in nonconference. BYU went 6-0 at home and 4-3 away from Provo, with a 2-0 neutral court mark and a 2-3 record in an opponent's arena. Among those games included a neutral court win over then No. 25 Oklahoma State; a win at now 9-2 Boise State; and a victory over host Santa Clara to win the Cable Car Classic. Last season BYU played seven home games and eight away from the Marriott Center while earning an 11-4 record before starting Mountain West Conference play. BYU finished 4-4 away from home last year during nonconference play. The Cougars went 3-1 on a neutral floor, including a 3-0 mark to win the Paradise Jam, and were 1-3 in true away games, with a win over Arizona State.
IN THE MARRIOTT CENTER
BYU is 8-0 at home this year and has won 13 straight overall in the Marriott Center. BYU has won 57 of its last 58 games at home and is 52-1 over in the past four seasons. BYU finished last season 13-1 at home in 2002-03. Lone senior Travis Hansen concluded his three seasons as a Cougar having lost only once at home. BYU earned a 44-1 record in Hansen's three years at BYU -- the best three-year home record in school history. The second-best home record over three years was a 39-2 mark from 1979-81 in Danny Ainge's final three seasons. The 44-1 record over the prior three seasons is the school's best-ever three-year home record. BYU won a school-record 44 straight home games in the Marriott Center before losing to Utah, 79-75, on Jan. 25. The streak was the longest active streak in the country over parts the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons. BYU continues its string of nonconference home wins.
NONCONFERENCE VICTORY STREAK IN THE MARRIOTT CENTER
The Cougars have defeated 40 straight non-conference opponents in the Marriott Center since starting the streak with a 61-59 win over Utah State on Jan. 2, 1999. The last non-league foe to win in Provo was the California Bears, who edged BYU 71-70 on Dec. 19, 1998.
Post players Rafael Araujo and Jared Jensen are in their second season as teammates. BYU is 4-1, 4-0 last season, when Araujo and Jensen both contribute 10 or more points in a game. The Cougars are 16-5, 10-2 this year, when Araujo leads the team in scoring and 12-6, 7-3 this season, when Araujo posts a double-double. BYU is 10-2 (0-1 this season) when Jared Jensen scores double-digit points from his forward slot.
COUGAR FANS SHOWING SUPPORT
BYU is ahead of last year's attendance pace with an average crowd of 13,991 after eight home games. Last year BYU averaged the 17th largest crowd in the nation overall at 14,468. The NCAA announced that BYU achieved the nation's largest average increase over the prior season in 2001-2002 (during the middle of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City). BYU's 22,702 attendance vs. CSU in its last home game last year was the largest crowd since 1992 and the 21st largest crowd in school history.
COUGARS CLAIM CABLE CAR CLASSIC TITLE, ARAUJO MVP
SANTA CLARA -- With its top three post players fouled out of the game, BYU looked to Mark Bigelow and he delivered a slashing bucket-and-one with 14.9 seconds remaining to lead the Cougars to a 68-66 win over host Santa Clara to claim the Cable Car Classic title at the Leavey Center. Senior center Rafael Araujo again loomed large, posting his eighth double-double in nine games with 18 points and 12 rebounds -- with all 18 points scored in the second half. Araujo was named the Cable Car Classic Most Valuable Player after combining for 41 points and 23 boards in the two Cougar wins. With its title this year, BYU won for the third time in four Cable Car appearances to tie the University of San Francisco for the second-most Cable Car Classic titles and the most of any non-Bay Area team. SCU leads with 13 titles and the Cougars have beaten the Broncos for each of their three titles. BYU also breaks SCU's six-game winning streak in the tournament, as the Broncos won the previous two titles.
Facing then No. 25 Oklahoma State, BYU played its first top-25 ranked team this season. The victory over the Cowboys was BYU's first over a top-25 team since an 81-76 victory over No. 13 Stanford on Dec. 22, 2001 at the Las Vegas Showdown.
RECORD AGAINST TOP TEAMS
BYU is 4-4 this year against teams that qualified for postseason last year (21-point win over Weber State at home; five-point win over No. 25 Oklahoma State on a neutral floor; 29-point win over CSU; 14-point win over Wyoming; two-point loss at Utah State; one-point loss at Cal, 27-point loss at North Carolina State, and four-point loss at SDSU). BYU finished last season with a 7-2 record against teams that were conference champions the prior season. BYU went 12-6 last year against teams that qualified for postseason play in 2002.
CURRENT BYU WIN/LOSS STREAKS ...
At home 13-0
On the road 0-3
On a neutral floor 2-0
At home vs. Nonconference 40-0
At home vs. MWC 7-0
On the road vs. Nonconference 0-1
On the road vs. MWC 0-2
On a neutral floor vs. Nonconference 2-0
On a neutral floor vs. MWC 0-1
BYU STARTING LINEUPS RECORD
Lemes, Hall, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo 4-2
Lemes, Hall, Bigelow, Meads, Araujo 4-1
Lemes, Woodberry, Hall, Bigelow, Araujo 3-0
Lemes, Woodberry, Bigelow, Jensen, Araujo 1-1
Nashif, Lemes, Hall, Bigelow, Araujo 0-1
BYU LANDS TOP-20 RECRUITING CLASS
Four highly regarded high school recruits signed a letter-of-intent to play basketball at BYU during the November signing period. Rated one of the top-20 recruiting classes nationally and the third-best class in the West, BYU received official commitments from top prospects David Burgess (Irvine, Calif.), Lee Cummard (Mesa, Ariz.), Chris Miles (Provo, Utah) and Trent Plaisted (San Antonio, Texas).