Thomas & Mack Center
4505 S Maryland Pkwy Las Vegas NV 89119
Cougars advance to take on Utah at MWC Tournament
LAS -- Everyday is an audition for BYU.
If BYU is to get a bid to the NCAA tournament, the Cougars must make a big impression on NCAA tournament selection committee.
Make sure the coaching staff straightens their ties. Have the players tuck in the jerseys...No, no, no, on the court.
How about turn in your best defensive effort of the year and knock off third-seeded New Mexico, in the first round of the Mountain West Conference tournament.
That's a start.
Or play the best defense of the year and hold a team that shot 60 and 51 percent from the field in your two previous meetings to just 28 percent shooting for the game.
Yeah, that's the ticket.
Then put the breaks on Lamont Long, a guy who scored 27 and 28 points against you in two previous meetings. Limit him to 13.
Thursday afternoon, BYU came into the conference tournament needing a win to even keep the remote possibility of earning an NCAA tournament berth alive.
When the Cougars were done they had made a case for themselves with a convincing 55-43 win over New Mexico, a team that swept BYU in two previous meetings.
BYU's win left the Cougars at 19-9 overall. A win over Utah on Friday would give BYU 20 wins and give the Cougars post-season plans some momentum.
"I told our young people if we win one, two or three games it gives us the opportunity to play somewhere," said BYU coach Steve Cleveland. "I know we'll have our hands full (tomorrow), but this win keeps the door open."
BYU put itself in post-season position thanks to an offensive outburst from Terrell Lyday and a defensive gem from Michael Vranes proved to be too much for New Mexico.
The story of the day was BYU's defense that set the tone early
"BYU played tough defense. We really did try to attack inside. We thought we could get to the free-throw line more, but we didn't," said New Mexico coach Fran Fraschilla. "From the first minute of the game, Michael Vranes was very physical on Lamont Long. He was just physical enough to make it tough for Long to get good looks at the basket."
It took New Mexico five minutes to score its first points of the game, a pair of free throws from Marion Parmer. The Lobos didn't score their first basket of the game until the 13:30 mark of the first half when Damion Walker worked inside the paint for a dunk, but by then BYU had 8-4 lead.
New Mexico took a 12-10 lead on a jumper from Tim Lightfoot, but Lyday answered with a 3-pointer to give BYU a 13-12 lead. It was a lead the Cougars would never relinquish.
"I like this arena. I just felt like I would have a big game here," Lyday said. "What is does is boost our confidence."
The Cougars pushed the lead to 21-14 on a David Nielsen basket and took a 26-18 lead into the locker room when Eric Nielsen scored to end the first half.
Lyday opened the second half scoring with a 3-pointer that gave BYU a 29-18 lead. But the Cougars then went cold and allowed the Lobos a chance to close the lead.
Long drove to basket and banked in a 10-footer with two Cougars in his face. Damion Walker then powered inside, scored and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but Kevin Henry scored to pull New Mexico to within five points at 29-24 with 16:11 left.
After a four minute drought, BYU finally scored on an Eric Nielsen 10 foot jumper that put BYU up 31-24.
A Vranes' 3-pointer would later push the BYU lead to 36-28 at the 12 minute mark, but New Mexico then stormed back to cut the lead to 36-34 after baskets from Walker, Long and R.T. Guinn.
BYU then pulled away for good when Lyday then took over. He dropped in a pair of free throws. It then went bad for Parmer, when Lyday went one-on one with Parmer and took him to the rack for two.
Mekeli Wesley added two free throws to help BYU push the lead to 42-34 with 7:16 left in the game.
Wesley later drilled a 3-pointer with 3:28 left in the game, giving BYU a 47-39 lead. It proved to be the basket that pushed BYU over the top even though the Cougars survived 6-of-12 shooting from the free-throw line in game's final 2:20.
Lyday finished with 23 points and Eric Nielsen pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds to go along with eight points. Wesley added 10 points for the Cougars.
Walker led New Mexico, who dropped to 17-13, with 16 points.
Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS
BYU vs New Mexico
03/09/00 12:00 Noon at Las Vegas, Nevada
VISITORS: BYU 19-9
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
15 WESLEY, Mekeli...... f 2-12 1-4 5-6 3 3 6 2 10 2 0 1 1 31
25 NIELSEN, Eric....... f 4-5 0-0 0-0 3 8 11 5 8 1 3 0 0 32
42 COOPER, Nathan...... f 1-4 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 1 0 0 1 28
13 VRANES, Michael..... g 2-8 1-3 1-2 2 5 7 3 6 3 1 0 2 37
24 LYDAY, Terrel....... g 7-15 2-5 7-10 0 4 4 2 23 4 2 1 0 40
04 CHRISTENSEN, Todd... 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 3
31 MONTAGUE, Matt...... 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11
50 NIELSEN, David...... 2-3 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 1 4 0 0 0 0 18
TEAM................ 1 1 2 2
Totals.............. 18-48 4-13 15-21 10 25 35 13 55 11 8 2 4 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-25 .440 2nd Half: 7-23 .304 Game: .375 DEADBALL
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-5 .200 2nd Half: 3-8 .375 Game: .308 REBOUNDS
F Throw % 1st Half: 3-4 .750 2nd Half: 12-17 .706 Game: .714 2
HOME TEAM: New Mexico 17-13
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
04 WHITE, Wayland...... f 1-5 0-0 0-0 2 0 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 21
33 WALKER, Damion...... f 5-9 0-0 6-7 4 5 9 1 16 1 3 0 0 38
34 GUINN, R.T.......... c 2-7 0-0 0-0 6 6 12 3 4 2 0 1 1 25
03 LONG, Lamont........ g 5-18 1-9 2-3 3 4 7 4 13 0 1 0 1 34
11 HENRY, Kevin........ g 2-7 0-3 0-0 0 1 1 2 4 1 0 0 0 28
10 LIGHTFOOT, Tim...... 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 11
13 PARMER, Marlon...... 0-8 0-3 2-2 2 5 7 3 2 5 2 0 0 28
21 SMITH, Brian........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 5
42 HANNAH, Roland...... 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 10
TEAM................ 3 3
Totals.............. 16-58 1-15 10-12 18 24 42 17 43 11 9 2 4 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 6-27 .222 2nd Half: 10-31 .323 Game: .276 DEADBALL
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 0-3 .000 2nd Half: 1-12 .083 Game: .067 REBOUNDS
F Throw % 1st Half: 6-6 1.000 2nd Half: 4-6 .667 Game: .833 1
Officials: Moose Stubing, Verne Harris, Greg Burks
Technical fouls: BYU-None. New Mexico-BENCH.
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total
BYU........................... 26 29 - 55
New Mexico.................... 18 25 - 43
BYU (19-9, 7-7)
New Mexico (17-13, 9-5)
PROVO -- No. 6-seed BYU, 18-9 overall and 7-7 in the Mountain West Conference, faces No. 3-seed New Mexico, 17-12, 9-5, in the first game of the men's Mountain West Conference Tournament Thursday at noon pacific. The game will be televised by ESPN+Plus (KJZZ, channel 14 in Salt Lake City) and can be heard on KSL Newsradio 1160 AM with Greg Wrubell and Mark Durrant calling the action.
The BYU-New Mexico winner will face the winner of the 2:30 p.m. contest between No. 2-seed Utah and No. 7-seed Air Force at 6 p.m. Friday.
Cougars in the Conference Tournament
The Cougars have a 12-13 record in previous WAC Tournament games and qualified for the tournament as a sixth and fifth seed, respectively, the past two seasons. Last year BYU upset TCU in its first-round game, 90-74, before losing to Utah for the third time of the year. Prior to last year's win, BYU's last conference tournament win was a 96-65 win over Utah in 1994 event at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City. BYU went on to defeat Fresno State in the second round, 87-72, before losing to Hawaii, 73-66.
BYU and the Brackets
BYU lost both games to its tournament opponent, New Mexico, this year. BYU is 1-5 this year against team's in its half of the tournament bracket (0-2 vs. UNM, 0-2 vs. Utah, 1-1 vs. Air Force). The Cougars have a 6-2 record against the other half of the bracket (2-0 vs. UNLV, 1-1 vs. Wyoming, 1-1 vs. Colorado State and 2-0 vs. San Diego State).
Game Quick Facts:
BYU (18-9, 7-7) vs. New Mexico (17-12, 9-5)
Thursday, March 9 Ã‚â€¢ Thomas & Mack Center (18,500) Ã‚â€¢ Las Vegas Ã‚â€¢ Noon Pacific (1 p.m. Mtn)
BYU's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 42 Nathan Cooper 6-5 210 Jr. 5.9 3.3
F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-8 210 So. 5.1 3.8
F 15 Mekeli Wesley 6-9 230 Jr. 17.8 5.9
G 24 Terrell Lyday 6-3 190 Jr. 17.3 4.0
G 13 Michael Vranes 6-3 190 So. 8.0 4.0
New Mexico's Probable Starters:
Pos. # Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
F 4 Wayland White 6-6 205 Jr. 10.1 4.5
F 33 Damion Walker 6-7 225 Sr. 12.8 6.0
F 34 RT Guinn 6-9 235 Fr. 4.7 4.4
G 11 Kevin Henry 6-3 200 Jr. 9.2 1.7
G 3 Lamont Long 6-4 190 Sr. 18.8 5.1
BYU Coach: Steve Cleveland
Record at BYU: 39-46 (3rd year)
Overall Div. I record: Same
UNM Coach: Fran Fraschilla
Record at UNM: 17-12 (1st year)
Overall record: 137-71 (7th year)
Series Record: 57-46 BYU
Game Time: Noon Pacific (1 p.m. Mtn)
Network: Cougar Sports Network
Station: KSL Newsradio 1160 AM
Air Time: 12:30 p.m. Pacific (11:30 Mtn) Play-by-play: Greg Wrubell
Commentary: Mark Durrant
Local Station: KJZZ, channel 14
Air Time: 1 p.m. Pacific (Noon Mtn)
Play-by-play: Rich Waltz
Commentary: Irv Brown
Coach Cleveland Show
Radio: Coach Steve Cleveland can be heard Tuesday from 7-8 p.m. with host Greg Wrubell on KSL Newsradio 1160 AM.
Coach Cleveland on New Mexico
"New Mexico is an outstanding team and can be very explosive. Not having Silester Rivers will hurt us. We'll have to be creative to guard Damion Walker. Lamont Long had two big games against us this season. We need to find an answer for Long. We've got to be able to guard the dribble better if we are going to have a chance. We don't match up very well and they are a great team. We have competed with them in our first two games so we have to feel confident but this will be a tough game. We'll have to play our best to beat them."
Scouting New Mexico
New Mexico,17-12 overall, is the Mountain West Conference No. 3 seed with a 9-5 record. Since defeating BYU in Provo (78-74) to sweep the season series, the Lobos went on to defeat Utah, San Diego State and Colorado State before Saturday's loss at UNLV. The Lobos have won seven of 10 since the first BYU game in Albuquerque. Like BYU, this will be the first neutral court game of the year for the Lobos. Among UNM's big non-conference wins was a 70-62 victory at Arizona (BYU lost at Arizona).The Lobos have a new coach for the first time in 11 years with new head coach Fran Fraschilla (Brooklyn 80) taking over for Dave Bliss, who left for Baylor. In his seventh year as a head coach, Fraschilla has guided five of his seven teams to postseason play, including three NCAA appearances and two NIT showings. Lamont Long (6-4, Sr., G), a John R. Wooden Award finalist, leads the team with an 18.8 scoring average. Damion Walker (6-7, Sr., F) adds 12.8, Wayland White (6-6, Jr., F) 10.1 and Kevin Henry (6-3, Jr., G) 9.2. Walker also pulls down a team-best 6.0 rebounds per game. The Lobos are shooting nearly 47 percent from the floor, 35 percent on threes, and 71 percent from the line.
This will be the 104th meeting in the series with BYU holding a 57-46 advantage in the series dating back to 1951. New Mexico swept the season series and has won nine of the last 10, including the last four straight. BYU's last win was in Albuquerque -- an 83-62 upset of No. 15-ranked New Mexico on Feb. 26, 1998, which ended the Lobos school-record 41-game home winning streak. BYU coach Steve Cleveland is 1-5 against the Lobos.
PROVO -- A second-half comeback effort fell just short as BYU dropped only its second home game of the season in a 78-74 loss to New Mexico. The Cougars struggled defensively in the first half as the Lobos shot 60 percent from the floor and scored 51 points -- the most points allowed by the Cougars in any half this year. Trailing by 14 points at the half and by as many as 15 points in the second stanza, the Cougars got within two points at 76-74 with 53 seconds remaining when Terrell Lyday converted the three-point play. New Mexico's freshman point guard Marlon Palmer hit a floater over Lyday with 21 ticks left to give the Lobos a four-point margin. Lyday led all scorers with a game-high 29 points while Long scored 28, including 19 first-half points. Wesley scored 16 points. The Lobos hit 51 percent from the floor while BYU shot 41 percent and made only made 2-13 three-point attempts (15 percent). Lyday went 0-4 from behind the arc, ending his BYU record for consecutive games with a trey at 21. Cooper had six boards and Vranes six assists.
ALBUQUERQUE -- Losing back-to-back games for the first time during the season, BYU came up short in its second-half come-back effort at The Pit, 78-69. After leading 34-32 at the break thanks to a 17-point first-half effort by Terrell Lyday, BYU could not contain New Mexico's Lamont Long who scored 17 points of his own in the second half after totaling 10 first-half points. Despite Long's 27-point night and the Lobos' 14-point second half lead, BYU was able to fight back and got within two points with 2:45 left and within three points with less than a minute remaining but fouls pushed the final margin to a nine points. Nathan Cooper scored 11 straight points for BYU, including nine in 1:40, in only 12 minutes and Lyday led BYU with 21 points. Silester Rivers added 12 points and nine rebounds and Mekeli Wesley 10 points and seven boards. New Mexico was led by Long's 27 points, followed by Roland Hannah with 14 points and 11 rebounds and Wayland White with 10 points. New Mexico out rebounded BYU 40-38 and shot 45 percent to BYU's 40 percent. The Cougars shot 30 percent in the second half after making 54 percent in the first half. BYU made a season-low one three-point shot in 13 attempts.
Mountain West Conference Standings
Team Conf. Overall
1. UNLV 10-4 20-7
Utah 10-4 21-7
3. UNM 9-5 17-12
4. CSU 8-6 18-11
WYO 8-6 18-11
6. BYU 7-7 18-9
7. AFA 4-10 8-19
8. SDSU 0-14 5-22
MWC Tournament in Las Vegas
Quarterfinals Ã‚â€¢ March 9 (Thursday)
#3 New Mexico vs. #6 BYU 12 p.m. (ESPN+Plus)
#2 Utah vs. #7 Air Force 2:30 p.m. (ESPN+Plus)
#4 Colorado State vs. #5 Wyoming 6 p.m. (ESPN+Plus)
#1 UNLV vs. #8 San Diego State 9 p.m. (ESPN)
March 10 (Friday)
#3/#4 Winner vs. #2/#7 Winner 6 p.m. (ESPN Regional)
#4/#5 Winner vs. #1/#8 Winner 9 p.m. (ESPN)
March 11 (Saturday)
Championship Game 7 p.m. (ESPN)
ESPN - Bob Carpenter (Play-by-Play) and Jimmy Dykes (Analyst)
ESPN+Plus - Rich Waltz (Play-by-Play) and Irv Brown (Analyst)
* Times are all Pacific
BYU will practice Wednesday from 2:30 - 3:55 at McDermott Gym (South Gym). Practice is open. Coach Cleveland and players are available after practice for interviews. Per MWC policy, any practices thereafter will be closed.
Ã‚â€¢ All player and coaches interviews, including during travel and when on the road, need to be scheduled through Brett Pyne in the Athletic Media Relations office. He can be reached at the AmeriSuites Hotel starting Wednesday afternoon or on his cell phone 801-367-1631.
Ã‚â€¢ Coach Cleveland and selected players will be made available in the post-game press conference for interviews. Any special interview requests need to be previously arranged through Brett Pyne.
Lyday MWC Newcomer of the Year, Wesley named to All-MWC Second Team
The Mountain West Conference announced its post-season awards Monday, as voted on by the league's head basketball coaches. BYU's Terrell Lyday was named Newcomer of the Year and the Cougars' Mekeli Wesley was selected to the All-Mountain West Conference Second Team. Air Force head coach Reggie Minton and UNLV head coach Bill Bayno share the Men's Coach of the Year honor, while Alex Jensen of Utah was selected as the Player of the Year. Air Force's Tom Bellairs and UNLV's Dalron Johnson were both selected as Co-Freshman of the Year. Lyday transferred to BYU this season from Fresno City College. Lyday led the league in steals throughout the year averaging 2.19 spg and finished the regular season ranked second in scoring in conference games (17.8 ppg) and 5th in all games (17.3 ppg). He claimed player of the week honors once this season (Jan. 10) and is currently on a 16-game double-figure scoring streak. Wesley, a junior, also earned playerof the week honors and led BYU in scoring (17.8) and rebounding (5.9). Wesley was on the All-WAC Newcomer Team his freshman season.
First-Team All-Mountain West
Alex Jensen, Utah, Sr., 6-7, 215, F, Centerville, Utah (Murray HS)
Lamont Long, New Mexico, Sr., 6-4, 190, G, Tempe, Ariz. (Corona del Sol HS)
Kaspars Kambala, UNLV, Jr., 6-9, 250, C, Riga, Latvia (Homestead HS)
Hanno MÃƒÂ¶ttÃƒÂ¶lÃƒÂ¤, Utah, Sr., 6-10, 240, F, Helsinki, Finland (Makelanrinne HS)
Josh Davis, Wyoming, So., 6-8, 230, C/F, salem, Ore. (Salem Academy HS)
Second-Team All-Mountain West
Ceedric Goodwyn, Colorado State, Sr., 6-8, 230, F, Lubbock, Texas (Midland JC)
Mark Dickel, UNLV, Sr., 6-2, 175, G, Dunedin, New Zealand (Logan Park HS)
Anthony Blakes, Wyoming, Sr., 6-2, 188, G, Phoenix, Ariz. (Arizona Western JC)
Jarvis Croff, Air Force, Jr., 6-4, 185, G, Beaumont, Texas (West Brook HS)
Mekeli Wesley, BYU, Jr., 6-9, 240, F, Provo, Utah (Provo HS)
All-Mountain West Newcomer Team
Terrell Lyday, BYU, Jr., 6-3, 185, G, Fresno, Calif. (Fresno CC)
Tom Bellairs, Air Force, Fr., 6-6, 225, F, Denver, Colo. (Mullen HS)
Trevor Diggs, UNLV, Jr., 6-3, 185, G, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Kilgore College)
Dalron Johnson, UNLV, Fr., 6-9, 205, F, Los Angeles, Calif. (Verbum Dei HS)
Wayland White, New Mexico, Jr., 6-6, 205, F/G, Milwaukee, Wisc. (Iowa Western CC)
Ã‚â€¢Player of the Year -- Alex Jensen, Utah
Ã‚â€¢Newcomer of the Year -- Terrell Lyday, BYU
Ã‚â€¢Co-Freshmen of the Year -- Tom Bellairs (Air Force) and Dalron Johnson (UNLV)
Ã‚â€¢Co-Coach of the Year -- Reggie Minton (Air Force) and Bill Bayno (UNLV)
Last Time Out
BYU closed out the regular season with a 67-50 home win over San Diego State Saturday. Terrell Lyday led the Cougars with 19 points and Mekeli Wesley added 15. Lyday tied his career high for second straight game with five assists and Wesley had five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal. The Cougars took a 39-27 half-time lead and kept a double-digit advantage throughout the second half. Nathan Cooper started his second game of the year and had a season-high nine rebounds while Matt Montague equaled his season-best with 6 rebounds and scoring seven points. San Diego State was led by Myron Epps with 16 and Marcelo Correa added 10. After shooting 52 percent in the first half, BYU cooled off in the late going but still out shot the Aztecs 42 percent to 35 percent.
Notables from Last Week
Ã‚â€¢ Cleveland used two lineups for the first time in last week's games. He started Vranes (pg), Christensen, Lyday, Cooper and Wesley Thursday and Vranes, Lyday, Cooper, Nielsen and Wesley Saturday. Cleveland has used seven different lineups this season.
Ã‚â€¢ In BYU's two wins this week, BYU won by an average of 19 points, shot 51.5 percent from the floor while holding the opposition to 34 percent, made 42 percent on treys compared to 28 percent and out rebounded the opposition 37.0-30.5.
Ã‚â€¢ Mekeli Wesley averaged 16.5 points and six rebounds last week while shoot 56.5 percent from the floor, including 2-3 on treys. Wesley scored 14 first-half points against Air Force to help the Cougars take a 35-29 advantage into the break. For the game, Wesley made 8-14 shots for a game-high 18 points and pulled seven boards. He went 5-9 from the floor, 2-2 on threes, and 3-3 from the line to score 15 points in BYU's win over San Diego State. He grabbed five rebounds, had two assists, two blocks and one steal.
Ã‚â€¢ Lyday averaged 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals in BYU's two wins this week. He also shot 52.6 percent from the floor, including 57 percent on threes. Terrell Lyday made three treys Saturday vs. San Diego State--the seventh time he has made three or more treys in a game this year, but the first time in the last 10 games. His season high was 6 (6-9) at UNLV. He tied his career high for second straight game with 5 assists against both Air Force and San Diego State.
Ã‚â€¢ Nathan Cooper started his first two games of the season last week (he started 23 games last year). He averaged 9.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 23 minutes. He shot 58 percent from the floor (7-12), including 3-5 on threes. He pulled down a team-best six offensive rebounds during the two games and Saturday against San Diego State had a season-high 9 rebounds, including four off the offensive glass. Cooper, who had not scored in the three previous games, started for the first time against Air Force and scored 14 points, one off his season high and the most he had scored in the last 15 games (14 vs. UC Irvine).
Ã‚â€¢ David Nielsen played a season- and career-best 16 minutes, and equaled his career high with 6 points against Air Force. He has now appeared in 14 games this year, including the last four straight, and 8 of the last 11.
Ã‚â€¢ BYU made a season high .612 percent of its field goals against Air Force.
Ã‚â€¢ BYU finished 12-2 at home this year (last year's record, 9-5). The losses were to Utah (56-49) and UNM (78-74).
Ã‚â€¢ BYU finished the year 7-7 in conference play. In Steve Cleveland's three years as BYU's coach, the Cougars have finished 4-10, 6-8 and now 7-7 in conference games.
RPI Report (as of March 5, 2000)
According to CollegeRPI.com rankings computed by Jerry Palm and the
Collegiate Basketball News, BYU is the third highest rated team in the MWC behind Utah and UNLV. According to CBN, BYU also has the second toughest schedule at 69 behind New Mexico at 53 among MWC teams. The Mountain West Conference is rated 10th among the 31 conferences (and five independents) in the country as of Feb. 28.
MWC Series Notables
With its two wins over UNLV this year, BYU evened its series with the Rebels at 4-4. BYU has a winning record against every other Mountain West team but Utah, who defeated the Cougars twice this year and have 12 straight wins over BYU. The Cougars now trail Utah by one game, 113-114, which is the first time in the 91-year history of the rivalry that Utah has held the advantage.
BYU played in front of the second largest crowd of the season when 17,432 attended the UNLV game. The largest crowd BYU has seen on the road this year was 17,242 at New Mexico. BYU's largest crowd came at home against Utah in the Marriott Center on Jan. 15. The 22,580 made up the eighth largest fan attendance this season in Division I.
BYU's record when . . .
BYU leads at half 16-1
Opponent leads at half 1-7
Score tied at half 1-1
BYU leads with 5 minutes left 17-1
Opponent leads with 5 min. left 0-8
BYU leads with 1 minute left 17-0
Opponent leads with 1 min. left 1-9
Score tied with 1 minute left 0-0
Game goes into overtime 1-0
BYU out rebounds opponent 13-0
Opponent out rebounds BYU 5-9
BYU and opponent tie in rebounds 0-0
BYU shoots 50 % or better 11-0
Opponent shoots 50 % or better 0-5
BYU out shoots opponent 17-1
Opponent out shoots BYU 1-8
More BYU's Record When ...
BYU is 2-1 in games decided by two points or less; 0-2 in 3-5-point games; 4-2 in 6-9-point games; and 12-4 in double-digit margins. Mekeli Wesley has either shared or been BYU's top scorer in 15 games this season and the Cougars are 9-6 in those games. He has also been BYU's top rebounder in 13 games. BYU is 9-4 in those games. BYU is 5-4 in the games when Mekeli Wesley was both the team's leading scorer and rebounder. Terrell Lyday has shared or led BYU in scoring in 11 games and BYU is 7-4 in those contests. When the Cougars get good scoring efforts from its supporting cast, they have been hard to beat. BYU is 8-1 when Michael Vranes has scored in double figures and 7-1 when Christensen scores in double digits. They were 6-1 (all but at UNM) when Rivers reaches double figures, and are 4-1 (all but at AFA) when Eric Nielsen had double digits and 5-2 when Cooper (except UNM and at Utah) has scored 10 or more.
Wesley Moves Up Scoring Ladder
Mekeli Wesley moved into 27th place on BYU's career scoring list this week when he passed Randy Reid (1,073 points, 1993-96) and Mel Hutchins (1,084 points, 1948-51). Wesley now has 1,096 career points and needs just four points to overtake Mark Handy (1,099 points, 1974-77) 11 to surpass John Fairchild (1,106 points, 1964-65), 13 to pass Gary Earnest (1,108 points, 1959-61), 22 to overtake Joe Richey (1,117 points, 1951-53) and 33 to surpass Steve Schreiner (1,128 points, 1989-91) into the 22nd spot. Wesley is only the 32nd player in BYU history to reach 1,000 points and only the eighth to do so as a junior (even though he missed part of sophomore season). Danny Ainge (1978-81) tops the career list at 2,467 points. Other players to reach 1,000 points before the end of their junior years were Ainge, Michael Smith, Devin Durrant, Russell Larson, Fred and Ken Roberts and Jeff Chatman.
Entering this week, Mekeli Wesley and Terrell Lyday have score 48.7 percent of BYU's overall points -- the biggest percentage any two players have scored of a Mountain West Conference team's total points. BYU is not alone, however, when it comes to having two dominant scorers. Including BYU, five of the eight MWC schools' top two scorers account for over 40 percent of their teams' points entering this week's games. Air Force's Jarvis Croff and Tyron Wright are second with 45.1 percent of the Falcons points while UNM is third with 42.5 percent of its points collected by Lamont Long and Damion Walker. Colorado State gets 41.5 percent of its scoring from the tandem of Ceedric Goodwyn and John Sivesind and UNLV gets 40.5 percent from Kaspars Kambala and Trevor Diggs. In conference play, only three teams had duos scoring over 40 percent of their overall points. Again Wesley and Lyday lead the way by scoring 51.3 percent of the Cougars' points. The other two teams were New Mexico (Long/Walker - 43.6 percent), and Air Force (Croff/Wright - 41.7 percent).
Helping Out but No Longer Perfect
Todd Christensen and Michael Vranes each scored 10 points against Wyoming last Saturday, marking the first time all year that BYU has lost a game in which either of the two scored in double digits. BYU is now 8-1 when Vranes had scored in double figures and 7-1 when Christensen had reached double digits. When Cooper scored in double figures Thursday, BYU improved to 5-2 when he tallies double-digit points.
BYU is 18-9 entering the Mountain West Conference Tournament in Las Vegas. BYU's 18 wins is its most since the 1994-95 season when BYU finished 22-10 (22-8 in the regular season). BYU's last winning season was in 1995-96 season when the Cougars finished 15-13.
In BYU's seven conference losses this year, the Cougars have shot 40 percent from the floor in three games, 41 percent in three and 38 percent in one. In BYU's seven conference wins, the Cougars shot 42, 48, 49, 50, 52, 54 and 61percent from the floor. Cougars are 11-0 when they shoot 50 percent or better. BYU shot a season-best 61.2 percent vs. AFA and shot 52 percent in the first half vs. SDSU before cooling off in the second half with a big lead. The Cougars are 11-0 when they shoot 50 percent or better. They are 17-1 when they out shoot the opposition and 1-8 when they don't.
BYU has a two-game winning streak and a three game home winning streak. This year the Cougars have had a seven-game home winning streak and two five-game winning streaks. BYU has had three two-game losing streaks this year, all in conference play, but has not lost three straight games this year. Last year BYU had two three-game losing streaks and one four-game skid. This is BYU's first neutral court game but the Cougars have lost their last three away games. BYU had a four-game road winning streak earlier this year, which was the longest road win streak since 1992-93, when the Cougars won six straight road games.
Assist vs. Turnover Trends
BYU had 14 assists and 17 turnovers vs. SDSU and 16 assists and 12 turnovers vs. AFA. In the previous two games BYU had a season-low six assists at CSU and only nine assists at Wyoming, its third lowest total of the year. BYU surpassed 20 assists in a game for the fourth time this year (all wins) with 21 assists in its previous home game vs. UNLV. It is the only time the Cougars have done so in conference play. The other 20-plus assist games came at Denver (21), vs. Texas Southern (20) and vs. South Carolina State (23). In conference play, BYU has had more assists than turnovers in five of 14 games. On the year, BYU averages 14.4 assists and 14.3 turnovers. (Last year BYU averaged 17.3 turnovers per game to only 12.8 assists). In conference play, BYU averages 12.9 assists and 14.6 turnovers in 14 games. BYU has had 13 games this year where it has had more assists than turnovers, one game when assists equaled turnovers and 13 games when it has had more turnovers than assists.
BYU shot 50 percent (4-8) on threes vs. AFA (7-18 vs. SDSU). BYU has shot 50 percent or better nine times this year. The Cougars are 8-1 when they shoot 50 percent or better on three-point attempts (lost at S.Alabama despite hitting season high 61.5 percent on threes). BYU made nine threes, two off its high for the season, while attempting a season-high 23 treys at Wyoming. BYU has made nine or more threes three previous times this season -- all in road wins (11 at FIU, 9 at Utah State and 10 at UNLV). BYU's high for threes made in a game at home this year is 8 vs. South Carolina State. Since entering its first game with CSU when BYU was third in the nation in three-point shooting at 42 percent, BYU has gone 55-168 (.327) on threes in the last 11 games to fall to 38.3 percent on the year. BYU has a 5-6 record in those games. In those 11 games, Terrell Lyday has gone 17-52 (.327) on threes, Michael Vranes 9-29 (.310), Mekeli Wesley 7-24 (.292),Nathan Cooper 6-16 (.375) and Todd Christensen 13-34 (.382). Christensen (.434) and Lyday (.404) are now the only Cougars (used to be four) that still shoot above 40 percent on the year.
Lyday From Behind the Arc
Lyday had his BYU record streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer halted at 21 vs. New Mexico when he went 0-4 from behind the arc. The prior consecutive games record was 16 set by Andy Toolson in 1990. Lyday made three treys Saturday vs. San Diego State-- the seventh time he has made three or more treys in a game this year, but the first time in the last 10 games. He has 16 games this year with two or more threes in a game. On the year, he has made a three in 26 of BYU's 27 games.
Numbers on the Road
BYU is 6-7 on the road this year, having tripled its road wins last year (2-10). BYU has lost its last three and five of its last six road games. Two road losses at AFA and UNM ended a four-game road winning streak. BYU is scoring 68.2 points in away games and allowing 69.0. BYU is shooting .431, including .385 on threes, and .699 from the line. BYU is being out rebounded 32.8-36.2. Terrell Lyday leads the Cougar scoring effort on the road with a 18.4 average, including a career-high 35 at Utah State and 30 at UNLV. Mekeli Wesley averaged 16.7 points and a team-best 5.5 boards. Christensen and Vranes average 7.1 points each.
Numbers at Home
BYU is 12-2 at home this year (last year's record, 9-5). The losses were to Utah (56-49) and vs. UNM (78-74). The Cougars are averaging 75.5 points per game at home (14.1-point margin of victory). The Cougars are making 50 percent of their shots, including 38 percent of its three-point attempts, in the Marriott Center. They are out rebounding their opponents 35.9 - 33.3. Wesley is scoring a team-best 18.9 points, followed by Terrell Lyday at 16.2, Michael Vranes 8.9 and Nathan Cooper at 7.4.
BYU's defense has been a large part of the Cougars success this year as is evident by BYU's recent losses. Only five teams have shot 50 percent or better against BYU but four have been in the last seven outings. Wyoming shot 51 percent; CSU 58.5; UNM 51; and Utah 56 percent (UNLV nearly hit the mark at 48 percent). Arizona is the other team at 54 percent. In BYU's four other losses, S. Alabama shot .490, UNM .452, Utah .429 and AFA .392. The Cougars rank first in the MWC in both field goal percentage defense and three-point field goal percentage defense. The Cougars held SDSU to 34.5 percent and AFA to 33 percent. They have held opponents below a 40 percent shooting in 15 games. BYU is 14-1 in those games (exception - at Air Force). BYU holds opponents to 65 points. Individually BYU has had outstanding defensive efforts, including Terrell Lyday helping hold Eddie House of Arizona State to a 0-16 night -- the only time House has gone without a field goal in his career.
On the Boards
BYU is pulling down 34.4 rebounds per game and its opponents 34.7. The Cougars are 13-0 when they have out rebounded their opponents and 5-9 when the opposition totalled more boards. BYU had 42 rbs vs. SDSU, the seventh time over 40 this year and first time in last 10 games. Mekeli Wesley leads BYU with 5.9 rebounds per game, including a team-best 123 defensive boards. Silester Rivers, now out for the year, has a team-high 40 offensive rebounds (Wesley and Nielsen have 35 and Cooper 32). BYU was out boarded in nine of its 14 MWC games (Utah, UNM, AFA, Wyo, Utah, UNM, UNLV, CSU, Wyoming).
BYU has scored more than 80 points in a six games and averages 72.0 points. BYU has shot better than 50 percent in 11 games (all wins). BYU made a season-best 61.2 percent of its attempts vs. AFA last week. With their loss at CSU, the Cougars have shot below 40 percent four times -- 38.1 at CSU, 36.5 percent in a loss at No.4 Arizona, a season-low 29.6 in a win at UCSB and 29.6 percent at AFA. The Cougars are shooting 46.5 percent (38.3 on threes and 70.1 percent from the line. BYU is 11-0 when it shots 50 percent or better and 17-1 when it out shoots its opponent (except at AFA). Two regular players are shooting better than 50 percent. Eric Nielsen makes 54.9 percent and the injured Silester Rivers 53.8. Mekeli Wesley makes 49.2 percent while Todd Christensen (47.1) and Terrell Lyday (46.0) have the best percentages from the back court. Cooper makes a team-best 77.6 percent from the line.
BYU Starting Lineups
UCR Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
SUU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
Ariz. Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
Den. Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
ASU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
TSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
WSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
SCSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
USA Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
FIU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley
UCSB Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley
UCI Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
USU Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
UNLV Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
Utah Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley
Wyo Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
CSU Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
AFA Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
UNM Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
SDSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
Utah Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
UNM Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley
UNLV Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
CSU Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley
Wyo Vranes, Lyday, Roberts, Nielsen, Wesley
AFA Vranes, Christensen, Lyday, Cooper, Wesley
SDSU Vranes, Lyday, Cooper, Nielsen, Wesley
Starting Lineup Record (total)
Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley 10-5 (15)
Montague, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley 2-1 (3)
Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Nielsen, Wesley 4-1 (5)
Christensen, Lyday, Vranes, Rivers, Wesley 0-1 (1)
Vranes, Lyday, Roberts, Nielsen, Wesley 0-1 (1)
Vranes, Christensen, Lyday, Cooper, Wesley 1-0 (1)
Vranes, Lyday, Cooper, Nielsen, Wesley 1-0 (1)
Mekeli Wesley Ã‚â€¢ 17.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg Ã‚â€¢ (17.4, 5.4 MWC Games)
Wesley is BYU's leading scorer and rebounder. He has been BYU's top scorer in 15 games this season and has scored in double figures in 25 of BYU's 27 games, including the last 17 straight. He has 11 games with 20 or more points and one game with more than 30. He had 15 pts, 5 rbs, 2 assts, 2 blks, 1 steal vs. SDSU Saturday. He had a game-high 18 pts, including 14 in the first half, and a team-high 7 rbs vs. AFA. He scored a game-high 25 pts, and 4 rbs, team-best 3 assts, and 2 steals at Wyoming. He was 2-9 for 11 pts and only 2 rbs at CSU Thursday. Despite playing on a sprained ankle last week, he scored a team-high 22 vs. UNLV along with a career-best 6 assists. He also had 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. He had 16 points in 30 minutes vs. UNM. When he scored his 11th point at UNM he became the 32nd BYU player to reach 1,000 career points and only the eighth to do so as a junior. He tied Terrell Lyday with a game-high 14 points at Utah and had a team-best 6 rebounds. He hit two treys to help BYU take an early 18-9 lead. He recorded game highs with 15 points and nine rebounds to lead BYU to a 72-50 road win at San Diego State Thursday. After two bad shooting nights at AFA and UNM, Wesley responded by hitting 6-11 shots, including 1-2 three-pointers, to help the Cougars break its first two-game losing skid of the season. He added two steals and a block and assist in 25 minutes against the Aztecs. He went 3-12 from the floor at UNM (10 points, 7 rebounds) and scored a team-high 12 points (4-10 shooting) at Air Force and only had two rebounds, matching his season low (2 vs. SUU). He had 13 points in 21 minutes vs. CSU and scored a career- and conference-play high 34 points vs. Wyoming (he scored 31 points twice as a freshman) and had team highs of 8 rebounds and 4 assists. He had game highs of 21 points and 7 rebounds against Utah. He scored 17 points and had 4 rebounds at UNLV Monday. He scored 11 points and had a team highs with 8 rebounds and 3 assists at Utah State. He scored 18 points and pulled down 6 boards against UC Irvine. He had 6 rebounds and scored a game-high 24 points, 16 in the second half, at UCSB. He had 8 points, 7 rebounds at FIU. He had a game-high 20 points at South Alabama. He averaged 21 points and 9 rebounds to earn MWC Player of the Week honors (Dec. 7-11) and was named the Cougar Classic MVP for the second time in his career (also as freshman). He recorded his first double-double of the year (fourth of career) with 24 points, 10 rebounds in win over Texas Southern. He scored a season-high 26 points in back-to-back games this year versus Denver and ASU.
Terrell Lyday Ã‚â€¢ 17.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg Ã‚â€¢ (17.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg MWC Games)
Lyday is second on the team in scoring and plays a team-high 33 minutes. He has scored in double figures in 25 of BYU's 27 games, including the last 16 straight games. He made a three-pointer in a BYU record 21 straight games this season before his streak came to an end at home vs. UNM when he went 0-4 (the previous record was 16 games by Andy Toolson in 1990). Lyday has made a three in 26 of 27 games overall. He has made a team-high 55 threes (40.4 percent). He has excelled as a defender and helped hold Arizona State's high scoring Eddie House to 5 points on 0-16 shooting, the only time House has not scored a field goal in his career. House has the top two scoring games in the nation this year (61 and 46). He had a game-high 19 pts, with 6 rbs, 5 assts and 4 steals vs. SDSU Saturday. Lyday had 10 pts, 3 rbs and tied career-best 5 assists vs. AFA and had 17 pts, 4 rbs, 3 steals at Wyoming. He scored a game-high 20 vs. CSU along with team-high 4 rbs. He scored 17 and had career-best 5 assists vs. UNLV and scored a game-high 29, his third-best effort of the year, vs. UNM in 34 minutes. He had 14 points and 4 assists at Utah. He was only 4-11 from the floor, 1-4 on treys and 5-8 form the line. He had 12 points and 5 rebounds at SDSU. He scored 17 first-half points at UNM and 21 in the game. Playing on a sprained ankle, he was 4-11 (11 pts) vs. AFA. He had game-high 15 vs. CSU and scored 22 points vs. Wyoming. He had 12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists vs. Utah. Lyday made 5-10 threes, scored 30 points and had a career-high 11 rebounds and tied a career-best with 6 steals at UNLV. It was his first double-double of the year. He was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Week (Jan. 3-8) after averaged 28.5 points and shooting better than 60 percent from the floor and on threes in two BYU wins. He carried BYU to a win at Utah State with a career-high 35 points, including six three-pointers, and scored a game-high 22 points to lead a BYU comeback win over UC Irvine. He had career-best 6 steals at UCSB, despite an off night scoring (2-11 for 8 points and held scoreless in the first half for the first time this year). He scored 26 points at FIU and had 15 points against South Alabama, where he was a perfect 4-4 on three-point attempts. He joined Wesley on the Cougar Classic All-Tournament team. He scored 18 pts against Arizona and had 17 vs. ASU.
Michael Vranes Ã‚â€¢ 8.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg Ã‚â€¢ (7.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg MWC Games)
Vranes is third on the team and scoring and second with 2.6 apg. He has made a trey in 17 games. He has scored in double figures in nine games (BYU 8-1 in those games). He has started at the point in the last two games and had 5 pts, 2 rbs vs. SDSU and had 7 pts, 2 rbs, 3 assts vs. AFA. He had 10 pts (4-5 FG, 2-3 treys), 4 rbs at Wyoming. He had 9 pts, 3 rbs, 4 steals at CSU and scored 12 points and had team-high 7 rbs along with 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 block vs. UNLV. He had 7 pts and game-high 6 assts vs. UNM but no rebounds for the first time all year. He had 7 pts, 1 rbd at Utah and had 12 points at SDSU after recording only three total points in the two previous games. At UNM, he went 1-6 shooting (3 pts, 2 rbs, 2 assts). Fighting the flu, he went 0-3 and did not score for the first time in his career at Air Force. He had a team-high 7 rebounds vs. CSU and 11 pts. He had 8 pts, 5 rbs , 3 assts vs. Wyoming. He had 4 pts, 4 rbs, 3 assts vs. Utah. He had 9 pts, 4 rbs at UNLV and 9 pts, 5 rbs, 2 assts at Utah State. He had 11 pts, 5 rbs, 5 assts against UC Irvine. Vranes matched a career high with a team-best 9 rebounds at UCSB and had a team-high 3 assists despite 3 points on 1-9 shooting. He scored 8 of his 12 points in overtime at FIU. He totalled 10 pts, 6 rbs and a season-high 7 assists vs. South Carolina State. He had a season-high 15 pts along with 5 rbs vs. Weber State.
Todd Christensen Ã‚â€¢ 6.0 ppg, 0.8 rpg Ã‚â€¢ (5.4 ppg, 1.0 rpg MWC Games)
Christensen shoots 47.1 percent, including 43.4 percent on threes. He plays both guard spots. Beginning with Utah State, he started six straight games before coming off the bench at UNM. He started his seventh game last week vs. AFA and had 2 pts, 1 asst in 17 minutes. Saturday he came off the bench and had 4 pts, 2 rbs in 22 minutes. He had 10 pts (3-6 treys) at Wyoming and 3 pts at CSU. He was one off his season high vs. UNLV, scoring 15 pts (3-4 on treys). He took a season-high 10 shots and made 5 to equal his season best for field goals made. He 2 pts in 16 minutes vs. UNM. He scored 7 pts at Utah and totaled 11 pts at SDSU, including a 3-4 night from long range. He hit two treys for 6 pts at AFA. He did not score (0-3 -- all treys), 3 assts vs. CSU. He had 7 pts, 3 assts vs. Wyoming. He did not score, taking only one shot, vs. Utah. At UNLV, he had 8 pts, including a clutch three-pointer to put the Cougars up four late in the game. At Utah State he scored 7 early pts to help BYU shot 57 percent in the first half. Christensen scored 13 pts, including a four-point play at UCSB. Against UCSB and FIU he was 9-16 (.562) from the floor, 6-11 (.545) on treys, and 3-3 from the line while averaging 13.5 ppg. He scored all of his 14 pts in the first half at FIU (4-5 treys in 11 minutes). He had 3 assts at S. Alabama in 12 minutes. He had a season-high 16 pts, including 5-8 threes, vs. South Carolina State (10 at Denver).
Matt Montague Ã‚â€¢ 3.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.7 apg Ã‚â€¢ (3.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.3 apg MWC)
The only true point guard on the roster, he has team-leading 101 assists. He has started 18 games, including the first 12. He had 7 pts, matched season-best 6 rbs, and 4 assts in 28 minutes vs. SDSU and had 6 pts, 2 rbs, 2 assts, 2 steals in 20 minutes vs. AFA. He had 4 rbs, 1 asst, 2 steals in 22 minutes at Wyoming after playing only 12 minutes at CSU. He had 2 pts, 3 rbs, 4 assts (no turnovers) vs. UNLV in 15 minutes. He had 2 pts, 1 asst (4 turnovers) vs. UNM in 18 minutes. He made his third trey of the year at Utah (5 pts, 3 assts in 18 minutes. He had 2 rebounds and 2 assists but did not score at SDSU. He had 4 pts, 6 assts at UNM in 36 minutes. He took season-high seven shots and scored season-best 9 points at AFA (6 assts). He had 5 assists, 5 boards and 2 points vs. CSU and had 7 points vs. Wyoming. He played a season-low seven minutes vs. Utah (1 assist, 3 TO, 1 rebound). He scored 6 points, 7 assists at UNLV. At Utah State he played 25 minutes off the bench and had 4 points, 2 assists. He was limited to 10 minutes (achilles) against UC Irvine and did not record an assist for the first time this year. Montague made three clutch free throws down the stretch at UCSB. He had 2 pts, 4 rbs , 8 assts in team- and personal career-high 41 minutes at FIU. He shared team-high 5 rebounds with Wesley at South Alabama (4 assts). He had 5 points vs. South Carolina State and made his second three-pointer of the year. After receiving stitches to repair a cut above his eye against ASU, Montague returned and led BYU on a 14-1 run. He dished out a season-high 9 assists vs. Weber State and helped hold Wildcat guard Eddie Gill to 2-14 shooting.
Eric Nielsen Ã‚â€¢ 5.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg Ã‚â€¢ (5.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg MWC Games)
Nielsen has started 22 games. After scoring 10 and 12 points in first two games, he went 14 straight outings without reaching double digits until scoring 10 points in back-to-back games ( vs. CSU and at AFA). He has five double-digit games. He started Saturday vs. SDSU, 8 pts, 3 rbs. He came off the bench Thursday vs. AFA (2 pts, 2 rbs, 15 min.). He had 1 pt, 6 rbs at Wyoming and 5 pts, 2 rbs at CSU. He had 11 pts in 22 minutes vs. UNLV and had only one foul after having fouled out of the previous three games. He had 7 pts, 4 rbs in 24 minutes vs. UNM. He had 4 pts, 2 rbs at Utah. He had 9 pts, 4 rbs and a team-high 3 assists at SDSU. He was 4-6 for 8 points, 5 boards at UNM and had a career-best 9 boards (4-5, 10 pts) at AFA. He had 6 rebounds, 3 steals vs. CSU. He didn't score for the second time this year vs. Wyoming. He fouled out, playing 14 minutes, scoring 2 points on one attempt and had 1 rebound vs. Utah. In foul trouble, he played only 10 minutes at UNLV (2 pts, 4 rebounds). At Utah State he was held scoreless and had 4 rebounds. He had 4 points, 3 rebounds and a season-high 3 assists vs. UC Irvine. At UCSB, he equaled a then career-best 7 rebounds. He was married to BYU All-American volleyball player Anna-Lena Smith Dec. 30 in Mesa, Ariz. He had 8 points at South Alabama and at Denver. He scored a season-high 12 points versus SUU and had 10 against UC Riverside.
Nathan Cooper Ã‚â€¢ 5.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg Ã‚â€¢ (4.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg MWC Games)
He has started his first the last two games after starting 23 of BYU's 28 games last year. In his first start vs. AFA, he responded with 14 pts, 4 rbs in 29 minutes. He has made a team-best 77.6 percent from the line (45-58). He has seven double-figures scoring games and has made a trey in eight games, including the last two. He had 4 pts, season-high 9 rbs Saturday vs. SDSU. Prior to getting his first start last week, he had not scored in the three previous games, playing 8 minutes at Wyoming, 16 minutes at CSU and 7 minutes vs. UNLV. He had team-best 6 rbs along with 7 pts, 2 assts vs. UNM in 27 minutes. He hit 3-4 treys and scored 11 pts along with 5 rbs at Utah. He had 6 pts, 3 rbs at SDSU. He broke out of a slump with 11 straight BYU pts, 9 in 1:40, and 5 rbs in 12 minutes at UNM. He did not score for first time this year and had 1 rebound at AFA. He had 4 pts, 5 rbs and 2 assts vs. CSU after scoring 1 point vs. Wyoming. He had 5 pts, 3 rbs vs. Utah. He was forced to play the 4 position at UNLV with foul trouble to Eric Nielsen and Silester Rivers. He played 22 minutes (2 pts, 1 rbd). He played 15 minutes at Utah State, scoring 1 point and adding 2 rbs, 2 assts. He and Michael Vranes received the coaches game ball for their effort against UC Irvine (Cooper had 14 pts, 4 rbs in a season-high 31 minutes). He scored BYU's first basket at UCSB five minutes into the contest and sparked an 8-0 run with a steal, forcing a turnover and handing out an assist. He finished with 3 pts, 3 rbs. He had 5 pts, 6 rbs effort at FIU. He set a career high with 7 assts at USA. He scored a season- and team-high 15 pts vs. Weber State.
Marc Roberts Ã‚â€¢ 1.2 ppg, 0.5 rpg Ã‚â€¢ (1.1 ppg, 0.5 rpg MWC Games)
Marc Roberts had 2 pts in each of the last two games in late action. He has seen action in 11 of the last 12 games (except at Utah). He started for the first time at Wyoming and was 0-1 (a trey),1 rbd, 2 assts in nine minutes. He was 2-2 from the floor and 2-2 from the line for a career-best 6 pts in seven minutes at CSU. He is 5-9 from the floor and 11-14 from the line. He averages 3.9 minutes.
David Nielsen Ã‚â€¢ 1.6 ppg, 0.6 rpg Ã‚â€¢ (1.6 ppg, 0.6 rpg MWC Games)
A redshirt freshman, Nielsen has played in eight of the last 11 games (except both UNM and UNLV), including the last four straight. He played a season-high 16 minutes vs. AFA and tied career-best 6 pts, 2 rbs, along with 1 assist. He had 2 rbs in seven minutes at CSU. He scoring 4 points at SDSU and scored 6 points vs. Texas Southern. He has played in 14 games this year and averages 4.9 minutes. He is 5-9 from the floor and 12-15 from the line.
John Allen Ã‚â€¢ 1.3 ppg, 1.2 rpg Ã‚â€¢ (1.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg MWC Games)
A walkon freshman, Allen has played in 13 games this year, and averages 4.7 minutes. He had 4 pts in 5 minutes vs. AFA and 2 pts in 6 minutes at Wyoming. He played a season-high 11 minutes vs. UNM with 4 pts, 3 rbs. He was 1-2 from the floor, including 1-1 on threes (his first).
Silester Rivers Ã‚â€¢ Out after knee surgery
Rivers is out for the year after having surgery on his left knee last week. He averaged 6.6 points (4th on team) and 4.5 rebounds (2nd on team) and had a team-best 40 offensive rebounds while shooting 53.8 percent. He scored in double figures seven times and led the team in rebounding five times (6 vs. UC Riverside, 9 at Denver, 11 at FIU, 9 at UNM, 9 at Wyoming). He had 9 rbs, 5 pts in 19 minutes at Wyoming and did not take a shot and had 3 rbs in seven minutes at CSU. Despite fouling out, he gave BYU 21 solid minutes while banging Kaspars Kambala of UNLV (he was 2-3 for 4 pts, 3 rbs). He started vs. UNM but got in quick foul trouble and only played 5 minutes without scoring (0-1) while grabbing four rbs. He played 20 minutes at Utah and did not take a shot while grabbing two rbs and committing three fouls. He fouled out with 15 minutes remaining at SDSU (3 pts, 2 rbs). He played well with 12 pts, team-high 9 rbs at UNM in 29 minutes off the bench (only 6-12 from the line). He played only eight minutes at AFA but had 7 pts, 2 rbs, 2 assts. He scored 9 points vs. CSU and 8 points vs. Wyoming. He started his third game of the year vs. Utah and had 5 points, 4 rebounds while guarding the much larger Ute post players. Rivers had 3 points (3-4 FTs) and 5 rebounds at UNLV. He had a strong outing at Utah State, scoring 15 points (some nice post moves), 7 rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench. Rivers came off the bench against UC Irvine after starting the two previous games. Despite being weakened by the flu, he contributed 5 points and 6 rebounds in 11 minutes. He started his second straight game against UCSB but was 0-2 with 4 rebounds in 17 minutes. He played a season-high 31 minutes in his first start at Florida International and had double-double 10 points and season-high 11 rebounds. He scored 8 points in 12 minutes at South Alabama. He scored game- and season-high 17 points against South Carolina State. He had 10 points versus Arizona State and 14 points in back-to-back games to open the year against UC Riverside and Southern Utah.
BYU in Mountain West Conference Stats
Team (as of 3-4-00)
Scoring Offense, 4th (72.0)
Scoring Defense, 3rd (65.0)
Scoring Margin, 3rd (+ 7.0)
Free Throw Percentage, 4th (.701)
Field Goal Percentage, 4th (.465)
Field Goal % Defense, T1st (.403)
3 pt. Percentage, 3rd (.383)
3 pt. % Def., 1st (.296)
(1st conf.only - .313)
Rebounding Offense, 5th (34.3)
Rebounding Defense, 3rd (34.7)
Rebounding Margin, 5th (- 0.4)
Offensive Rebounds, 7th (9.07)
Defensive Rebounds, 3rd (25.26)
Blocks, 7th (2.15)
Assists, 4th (14.44)
Steals, 4th (7.70) (T1st conf.only - 7.79
TO Margin, 4th (1.15)
Asst./TO Ratio, 5th (1.01)
Individual (as of 3-4-00)
Wesley, 3rd, (17.8) (4th conf.only - 17.4)
Lyday, 5th (17.3) (2nd conf.only - 17.8)
Wesley, T9th (5.9)
Rivers, 17th (4.5)
Wesley, 5th (4.56)
Lyday, 14th (3.59)
Field Goal Percentage (min 3 per game):
Wesley, 11th (.492)
Lyday, 15th (.460)
Free Throw Percentage (min 2 per game):
Lyday, 6th (.757)
Wesley, T8th (.747)
3 pt. Percentage (min. 1 made per game):
Christensen, 6th (.434)
Lyday, 8th (.404)
Vranes, 13th (.373)
3 pt. FG Made:
Lyday, 5th (2.04)
Wesley, 12th (0.74)
Montague, 2nd (3.74)
Lyday, 1st (2.19) (1st conf. only - 2.50)
Montague, 3rd (1.80)