Brett Pyne | Posted: 31 Jan 2000 | Updated: 31 Jan 2000

BYU Stays on the Road, Faces San Diego State Thursday

BYU, 14-5 overall and 3-3 in the Mountain West Conference, continues part of its four straight road games Thursday when it plays San Diego State, 5-13, 0-5, at 8 p.m. Pacific (9 p.m. Mtn) in Cox Arena in San Diego. Greg Wrubell and former Cougar Mark Durrant call the radio broadcast on KSL Newsradio 1160 AM.

Up Next

After SDSU Thursday, BYU won't play again for nine days when they start the second half of the conference season at Utah on Feb. 12 in Salt Lake City.

Last Time Out

Losing back-to-back games for the first time this 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 get within two points with 2:45 left in the game. Nathan Cooper, who had not scored for the first time this year in BYU's loss Thursday at Air Force, scored 11 straight points for BYU, including nine in 1:40, to cut the Lobo lead to seven at 70-63 with four minutes remaining. The Cougars then cut the lead to two at 70-68 after two Wesley free throws, a Matt Montague layin and a Terrell Lyday breakaway layup off a full-court Montague assist. Down three points with less than a minute remaining, the Cougars could not get any closer and fouls and free throws provided the final margin. Cooper finished with 11 points and five rebounds 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 rebounds. New Mexico out rebounded BYU 40-38 and shot 45 percent to BYU's 40 percent. BYU made a season-low one three-point shot in 13 attempts. Lyday (1-7) did manage to extend his record with his 19th straight game with a three-pointer.

Game Quick Facts

BYU (14-5, 3-3) at San Diego State (5-13, 0-5)

Thursday, Feb. 3 • Cox Arena (12,414) • San Diego • 8 p.m. Pacific (9 p.m. Mtn)

Broadcast Plans:


Network: Cougar Sports Network

Station: KSL Newsradio 1160 AM

Air Time: 7:30 p.m.Pacific (8:30 p.m. Mtn)

Play-by-play: Greg Wrubell

Commentary: Mark Durrant

BYU's Probable Starters

F 25 Eric Nielsen 6-8 210 So. 4.7/4.1

F 15 Mekeli Wesley 6-9 230 Jr. 18.2/6.1

G 24 Terrell Lyday 6-3 190 Jr. 17.3/ 3.9

G 13 Michael Vranes 6-3 190 So. 7.7/4.4

G 31 Matt Montague 6-1 190 So. 3.2/3.0

San Diego State's Probable Starters

F 33 Myron Epps 6-6 210 So. 15.4/6.0

C 42 Marcelo Correa 6-10 225 Jr. 10.7/6.2

G 32 Michael Marion 6-6 190 Jr. 6.8/2.4

G 4 Donte Wilson 6-3 175 Sr. 5.1/1.8

G 5 Bradley Jackson 5-10 165 Fr. 7.8/3.0

BYU Coach: Steve Cleveland

Record at BYU: 35-42 (3rd year)

Overall Div. I record: Same

SDSU Coach: Steve Fisher

Record at SDSU: 5-13 (1st year)

Overall record: 189-95 (10th year)

Series Record: 29-13 BYU

Game Time: 8 p.m. Pacific (9 p.m. Mtn)

Scouting San Diego State

San Diego State is 5-13 overall and 0-5 in the Mountain West Conference.SDSU is 5-5 at home and 0-7 on the road. The Aztecs have wins over UC Riverside (73-57), South Carolina State (72-57), UC Santa Barbara (60-57) -- all common opponents with BYU -- Loyola Marymount (70-63) and High Point (74-63). SDSU dropped two road games last week at Colorado State (75-67) and Wyoming (93-87), despite outrebounding and outshooting both opponents. CSU and Wyoming combined for 17 treys in two games vs. SDSU but the Aztecs shot well, .489 at CSU and .500 at Wyoming, easily marking their best consecutive games from the floor this season. At Wyoming, SDSU had its best scoring run of the season. After the Aztecs fell behind 22-5, they outscored the Cowboys over the last 14 minutes of the half, 42-20 to take a 47-42 lead at intermission. SDSU's bench played well last week with 10 Aztecs playing at least eight minutes at Laramie and the reserves scored a season-high 27 points off the bench. They had 26 points vs. the Rams. Walter Small, a little-used sophomore who had played just 12 minutes on the season and scored just six points in 1999-2000, saw action in both road games, playing a total of 26 minutes and scoring 16 points. Myron Epps (6-6, 210, So. F) scored 46 points and grabbed 12 rebounds last week and set a career high with 32 points on 14-of-23 shooting at Wyoming. He is playing well and has had a career-high performance two of the last four games (27 vs. Air Force was the previous best). For the week he was 18-of-31 from the floor and 10-of-12 from the free-throw line. His 32 points are the most scored by an Aztec in a game since Kareem Anderson scored 34 vs. Hawaii in 1996. Epps leads the MWC in scoring average in league games at 22.2 and scores 15.4 on the year. The Aztecs other double figures scorer is center Marcelo Correa (10.7) Steve Fisher, former Michigan head coach, is in his first year as head coach of the Aztecs. Four starters and eight letterwinners return from last year's 4-22 team.

Series Notes

This will be the 43rd meeting between the two teams dating back to 1940. BYU holds a 29-13 advantage in the series and has won seven of the last 10. BYU has a three-game win streak against the Aztecs, winning twice last year (93-76 in Provo and 83-76 in San Diego) and once in 1997-98 in Steve Cleveland's first game as BYU's coach (73-59 in San Diego). San Diego State's last win was in Provo (89-86) during BYU's 1-25 season in 1996-97. The Aztec's last win in San Diego was the first meeting of the 1995-96 season (83-76). BYU is 3-2 in San Diego in the last five road games against the Aztecs.

Recent Meetings

Last year, BYU won its first road game of the season (one of two) at San Diego State, 83-76. The Cougar shot 52.5 percent from the floor, including 46.2 percent from three-point range (6-13). BYU had 18 assists to only 14 turnovers and equaled the Aztecs in rebounds at 34 apiece. Freshman Mark Bigelow led BYU with 20 points and nine rebounds and Brian Dignan had a team-high four assists. In the second meeting of last year, BYU defeated the Aztecs 93-76 in Provo. It was BYU's highest point production of the season and remains the most points scored by a Cougar team under Steve Cleveland (92 vs. UCR, 91 vs. SUU this year and 90 vs. TCU last year). BYU again shot 52.5 percent from the floor, this time 47 percent from threes (8-17), while the Aztecs shot 39.7 percent (.333, 7-21 on threes). The Cougars were dominating on the boards with 47 rebounds to SDSU's 30. BYU did commit 19 turnovers to 17 assists. BYU hit 23-28 free throws while SDSU made 15-25. Todd Christensen led the BYU scoring effort with 17 points and also had a team-high four assists. Mekeli Wesley pulled down a team-best 11 rebounds to set a career high that still remains his best rebounding effort to date.

Coach Cleveland Shows

Radio: Coach Steve Cleveland can be heard Tuesday from 7-8 p.m. this week with host Greg Wrubell on KSL Newsradio 1160 AM.

Television: The Coach Cleveland Show can be viewed each Sunday at 5 p.m. on KSL-TV, channel 5 with host Alema Harrington.

Second Half Production Lacking Last Week

In both games last week, the Cougars could not find their shooting touch in the second half. Against Air Force, the Cougars shot 50 percent in the first half and trailed by one point but made only 29 percent of their second-half attempts and lost by five. Against New Mexico, BYU shot 54 percent in the first half for a 34-32 lead, but managed just 30 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes and lost by nine points. Terrell Lyday scored 17 first-half points at UNM but managed only one field goal and four points in the second half has he was having trouble getting lift off his injured ankle.

Hit and Miss

In their three conference losses, the Cougars shot 40 percent from the floor in each game. In their three MWC wins, they shot 48, 49 and 50 percent from the floor.


BYU had its two-game win streak halted at Air Force last week and has now lost two straight for the first time all year with its loss at UNM. The last time BYU lost three straight games was last February with losses at Fresno State, San Jose State (OT) and at home to UNM. Last year BYU had two three-game losing streaks and one four-game skid. The Cougars have had two five-game win streaks this year and a seven-game home win streak. On the road, BYU had a four-game win streak snapped at AFA (the longest road win streak since 1992-93, when the Cougars won six straight road games). BYU's three straight non-conference road wins was a first since the 1991-92 season.

Though Improved, Recent Assist vs. Turnovers Trend Hurting Cougars

BYU has had nine games this year where it has had more assists than turnovers, one game when assists equaled turnovers and nine games when it has had more turnovers than assists, including the last three games and five of the last six (except Wyoming). BYU had 14 turnovers and 12 assists at UNM. On the year, BYU averages 15.1 assists per game to 14.7 turnovers. Last year BYU averaged 17.3 turnovers per game to only 12.8 assists.

Trouble Behind the Line of Late

After being tied for second in the nation in three point percentage entering the CSU game, BYU has made just 8-46 (17.4 percent) in its last three games. The Cougars shot a season-low 7.7 percent (1-13) at UNM after only making 17 percent (3-17) at Air Force. Lyday went 1-7 at UNM and 1-6 at Air Force, while Vranes was 0-2 and 0-3, Wesley 0-2 and 0-0, Christensen 0-0 and 2-5 and Cooper 0-2 and 0-2.

Cooper Fights Off January Cold

After scoring a combined 13 points (2.2 ppg) in six games (scoreless at AFA) since scoring 14 points against UC Irvine on Jan 5, Nathan Cooper finally broke out of his nearly month-long slump at UNM despite only playing 12 minutes. He helped BYU turn a 14-point deficit into only a two-point UNM margin by scoring 11 straight Cougar points, including nine points in 1:40. He added five boards, one off his season high.

Lyday Extends BYU Consecutive Game Three-Point Record

Lyday has made a three-pointer in all 19 games this year to extend his record. He set the record against CSU when he (3-5 three-pointers) made a three-pointer in his 17th straight game, surpassed the previous BYU record he shared with Andy Toolson, who made a three in 16 straight games in 1990. Lyday has made 42 percent of his three-point attempts and a team-best 43 treys. Lyday made 102 treys last year at Fresno City College. He has come close to ending his streak in the last two games, going 1-6 at AFA and 1-7 at UNM from behind the arc while playing on a sprained ankle.

Cougars Equal Home Win Total of Last Year, Four Home Games Remain

BYU is 9-1 at home this year, equaling its home win total of last year (9-5). The only loss was (56-49) against Utah. The Cougars are averaging 76.0 points per game at home (16.3-point margin of victory). The Cougars are making 50.2 percent of its shots, including 38.3 percent of its three-point attempts, in the Marriott Center. They are pulling down 36.5 rebounds per game to their opponents 33.5. Wesley is scoring a team-best 19.3 points, followed by Terrell Lyday at 15.2, Michael Vranes 9.3, Silester Rivers at 8.8 and Nathan Cooper at 7.9.

Numbers on the Road

BYU is 5-4 on the road this year, having more than doubled its road wins last year (2-10). BYU had won its last four road games before losing twice last week. BYU is scoring 69.9 points in away games for a 1.3 scoring margin. BYU is shooting .428, including .380 on threes, and .708 from the line. BYU is being out rebounded 34.9-37.9. Terrell Lyday leads the Cougar scoring effort on the road with a 19.6 average, including a career-high 35 at Utah State and 30 at UNLV. Mekeli Wesley averaged 16.9 points and a team-best 5.7 boards.


The Cougars rank first in the MWC in both field goal percentage defense and three-point field goal percentage defense. They have held their opponents to a collective 38.3 shooting percentage (27.4 on threes). The Cougars have held the opposition to below 40 percent in 12 games this year. In BYU's five losses, Arizona shot .544, South Alabama .490, UNM .452, Utah .429 and AFA .392. BYU is 13-1 when it out shoots its opponent (except AFA) and is holding opponents to 63.9 points. Individually BYU has had outstanding defensive efforts, including Terrell Lyday helping hold Eddie House of Arizona State (No. 3 scorer in the nation) to a 0-16 night -- the only time House has gone without a field goal in his career. Eric Nielsen helped hold CSU's Ceedric Goodwyn to 14 points and 3 rebounds, well below his averages.

On the Boards

BYU is pulling down 35.7 rebounds per game while its opponents are grabbing 35.6. The Cougars are 10-0 when they have out rebounded their opponents and 4-5 in games were the opposition totalled more boards. Mekeli Wesley leads BYU with 6.1 rebounds per game, including a team-best 88 defensive boards. Silester Rivers has a team-high 31 offensive rebounds. BYU has been out boarded in four of six MWC games (UNM, AFA, Wyo, Utah).


BYU has scored more than 80 points in a five games and averages 73.1 points. BYU has shot better than 50 percent in eight games (recently 50 percent vs. CSU). The Cougars have shot below 40 percent three times -- 36.5 percent in a loss at No.4 Arizona and a season-low 29.6 in a win at UCSB and 29.6 percent at AFA. The Cougars are shooting 46.5 percent (38.1 on threes and 71.0 percent from the line. Three regular players are shooting better than 50 percent. Silester Rivers is making a team-best 56.7 percent, Eric Nielsen 53.7 percent and Mekeli Wesley 50.2. Todd Christensen (46.8) and Terrell Lyday (46.5) have the best percentages from the back court. Cooper shoots a team-best 83 percent from the line.

Three-Point Range

After being ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation, BYU has slumped lately in three-point percentage (8-46, .174 in its last three games) and now makes 38.8 percent. Three players are shooting 40 percent or better -- Todd Christensen (43.9), Terrell Lyday (42.2) and Mekeli Wesley (40.5). Michael Vranes shots 35.2. Seven players have made a three-pointer (Cooper 6, Montague 2 and Eric Nielsen made his first vs. CSU). BYU's opponents are shooting 27.4 percent from three-point range. BYU is making 5.8 threes per game and its opponents 4.7.

BYU's record when . . .

BYU leads at half 12-1

Opponent leads at half 1-4

Score tied at half 1-0

BYU leads with 5 minutes left 13-1

Opponent leads with 5 min. left 0-4

BYU leads with 1 minute left 13-0

Opponent leads with 1 min. left 1-5

Score tied with 1 minute left 0-0

Game goes into overtime 1-0

BYU out rebounds opponent 10-0

Opponent out rebounds BYU 4-5

BYU and opponent tie in rebounds 0-0

BYU shoots 50 % or better 8-0

Opponent shoots 50 % or better 0-1

BYU out shoots opponent 13-1

Opponent out shoots BYU 1-4

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, Rivers, Wesley

Dan Howard Redshirts

Center Dan Howard, a 7-0 freshman, will take a medical redshirt year this season. He had surgery on his right knee after the Denver game. He played in BYU's first four games and was 3-3 (1.5 ppg) and averaged 2 rebounds in 4.8 minutes.


Losing back-to-back games last week, BYU did not receive any votes in either poll this week after receiving six votes in last week's USA Today ESPN poll and five votes in the AP poll. Last week's votes were the first BYU has received since 1994-95 (when The Cougars were rated as high as 26th in AP).

RPI Report (as of Jan. 31, 2000)

According to rankings computed by Jerry Palm and the Collegiate Basketball News, BYU is the second highest rated team in the MWC. According to CBN, BYU has the third toughest schedule among MWC teams at No. 81.

School CBN/

Utah 29/30

BYU 50/52

UNLV 62/63

UNM 89/88

CSU 91/90

WYO 120/122

AFA 202/ 200

SDSU 228/226

BYU in Mountain West Conference Stats

Team (as of 1-30-00)

Scoring Offense, 3rd (73.1)

Scoring Defense, 2nd (63.9)

Scoring Margin, 2nd (+ 9.2)

Free Throw Percentage, 1st (71.0)

Field Goal Percentage, 3rd (.465)

Field Goal % Defense, 1st (.382)

3 pt. Percentage, 3rd (.381)

3 pt. % Defense, 1st (.274)

Rebounding Offense, 5th (35.7)

Rebounding Defense, 4th (35.6)

Rebounding Margin, 5th (+ 0.1)

Offensive Rebounds, 7th (9.1)

Defensive Rebounds, 2nd (26.6)

Blocks, 7th (2.2)

Assists, 4th (15.1)

Steals, 4th (7.8)

TO Margin, 4th (0.9)

Asst./TO Ratio, 4th (1.0)

Individual (as of 1-30-00)


Wesley, 4th, (18.2)

Lyday, 6th (17.3)


Wesley, 7th (6.1)

Rivers, 17th (4.7)

Field Goal Percentage (min 3 per game):

Wesley, 13th (.502)

Free Throw Percentage:

Cooper, 1st (.830)

Lyday, 7th (.765)

Wesley, 10th (.758)

3 pt. Percentage:

Christensen, 6th (.439)

Lyday, 10th (.422)

Vranes, 15th (.352)

3 pt. FG Made:

Lyday, 4th (2.26)


Montague, 2nd (4.37)

Vranes, 13th (279)


Lyday, 3rd (2.11)

Wesley, 12th (1.37)

Asst./TO Ratio:

Montague, 3rd (1.84)

BYU in National Stats (as of 1-24-00)


Field Goal % Defense, 13th (37.8)

3-Pt Field Goal %, 9th, (41.0)


Wesley, 42nd, (19.0)

Mekeli Wesley

Wesley is BYU's leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 18.2 ppg and 6.1 rpg. He has been BYU's top scorer in 10 games this season and has scored in double figures in 17 of BYU's 19 games. He has reached double-digits in the last nine straight games and has nine games with 20 or more points. 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.

Michael Vranes

Vranes is pulling down 4.4 rebounds (3rd on team), is fourth in scoring at 7.7 ppg, and second with 2.8 assists per game. He has made a trey in 10 games and has scored in double figures in six games. He was 1-6 shooting (3 pts, 2 rbs, 2 assts) at UNM. 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 seven rebounds vs. CSU and added 11 points. He had eight points, five rebounds and three assists vs. Wyoming. He had four points, four rebounds and three assists vs. Utah. He had nine points and four boards at UNLV and had nine points, five rebound and two assists at Utah State. He had 11 points, five rebounds and five assists against UC Irvine. Vranes matched a career high with a team-best nine rebounds at UCSB. He also had team-high three assists despite three points on 1-9 shooting. He scored eight of his 12 points in overtime at FIU. He totalled 10 points, six rebounds and a season-high seven assists vs. South Carolina State. He had a season-high 15 points along with five rebounds vs. Weber State.

Terrell Lyday

Lyday averages 17.3 points, second on the team, and team-high 32.7 minutes. He has scored in double figures in 17 of BYU's 19 games and set a school record having made a three-pointer in all 19 games this season ( previous record was 16 games by Andy Toolson 1990). He has made a team-high 43 threes (42 percent). Last year he made 102 treys at Fresno City College. He has excelled defensively also, guarding the other team's best perimeter player. He helped hold Arizona State's high scoring Eddie House to a 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). Lyday is averaging 18.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in MWC games. 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 Dec. 10-11. He scored 18 points against Arizona and had 17 vs. ASU.

Eric Nielsen

A returned LDS missionary to Russia, Nielsen is averaging 4.7 points and 4.1 rebounds. He has started in 16 games, including the first nine and the last three. After scoring 10 and 12 points in first two games, he went 14 straight outings without reaching double digits until scoring 10 points in two of the last two games (AFA and CSU). 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 Southern Utah and had 10 against UC Riverside.

Todd Christensen

Regarded as the best shooter on the team, Christensen shoots 47 percent from the floor and 44 percent from behind the arc. He averages 5.7 ppg in 17.7 minutes. He is sharing point guard duties after playing shooting guard most of last year. He started six straight games before coming off the bench (0-1. 0 pts and 8 minutes) at UNM. He hit two treys for 6 points at AFA. He did not score (0-3 -- all treys), 3 assists vs. CSU. He had 7 points, 3 assists vs. Wyoming. He did not score, taking only one shot, vs. Utah. At UNLV, he had 8 points, including a clutch three-pointer to put the Cougars up four late in the game. At Utah State he scored 7 early points to help BYU shot 57 percent in the first half. Christensen scored 13 points, 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 points in the first half at FIU (4-5 treys in 11 minutes). He had 3 assists at S. Alabama in 12 minutes. He had a season-high 16 points, including 5-8 threes, vs. South Carolina State (10 at Denver).

Silester Rivers

Rivers averages 8.1points (3rd on team) and 4.7 rebounds (2nd on team). He has a team-high 31 offensive boards and is shooting a team-best 56.7 percent (FG). He has scored in double figures seven times this year and has led the team in rebounds four times (6 vs. UC Riverside, 9 at Denver, 11 at FIU, 9 at UNM). He played well with 12 pts, team-high 9 boards at UNM in 29 minutes off the bench (only 6-12 from the line). He played only eight minutes at AFA with 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.

Nathan Cooper

He is coming off the bench this year after starting 23 of BYU's 28 games last year. He is averaging 6.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in 19.8 minutes. He has made a team-best 39-47 free throws (.830). He has five double-figures scoring games and has made a trey in five games. He broke out of a slump with 11 straight BYU points, 9 in 1:40, and 5 rebounds in 12 minutes at UNM. He did not score for first time this year and had 1 rebound at AFA. He had 4 points, 5 boards and 2 assists vs. CSU after scoring 1 point vs. Wyoming. He had 5 points and 3 rebounds 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 and had 2 points and 1 rebound. He played 15 minutes at Utah State, scoring 1 point and adding 2 boards and 2 assists. He and Michael Vranes received the coaches game ball for their effort against UC Irvine. Cooper had 14 points and 4 rebounds 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 points and 3 boards. He had 5 points, 6 rebound effort at FIU. He set a career high with 7 assists at South Alabama. He scored a season- and team-high 15 points against Weber State.

Matt Montague

The only true point guard on the BYU roster, he has team-leading 83 assists (4.4 apg, 3.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg). He is second in the MWC in assists. Plagued by a achilles injury all year, he has felt better the last four games. After starting the first 12 games, he came off the bench for the next six before returning to the starting lineup at UNM. 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.

Comparing Statistics



Points per game .73.1 65.6

Scoring margin + 9.2 - 9.4


Field goals .465 .421

3-pointers .381 .288

Free throws .710 .698


Rebounds per game 35.7 32.6

Rebounding margin + 0.2 - 5.9


Assists per game 15.1 14.0


Turnovers per game 14.7 18.0

Turnover margin + 0.9 - 1.2


Blocks per game 2.2 2.4


Steals per game 7.8 7.7

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