Brett Pyne | Posted: 23 Dec 1999 | Updated: 23 Dec 1999

BYU Wins in Overtime at Florida International

MIAMI -- Scoring eight of his 12 points in the five-minute overtime period, BYU's Michael Vranes helped the Cougars pull away from Florida International Thursday for an 83-75 overtime win.

Improving to 8-2 on the year with the win, BYU almost suffered the same fate it faced Tuesday in a loss at South Alabama when the Cougars lost a double-digit second half lead and trailed the home team entering the final minute of the game. But this time the Cougars were able to even the score with less than a minute remaining when senior forward Silester Rivers completed a three-point play to tie the game at 69. Terrell Lyday's tough perimeter defense on Marsho Fairweather, Florida International's leading scorer, kept Fairweather from getting a good look and his shot fell short of the mark.

"We had some great individual efforts in the game tonight," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "It was a great first half by Todd Christensen and Terrell (Lyday) and Matt (Montague) were just nails all game long. Terrell not only scored points but played tremendous defense."

Lyday scored a career-high 26 points to lead all scorers while Christensen chipped in 14, Michael Vranes contributed 12 and Rivers added 10 points and a game- and season-high 11 rebounds in his first start of the year in place of Eric Nielsen. Mekeli Wesley had eight points and seven rebounds while Montague dished out a game-high eight assists.

The Cougars took a 38-36 lead into intermission thanks to Todd Christensen's 14 first half points. Christensen's four three-pointers helped the Cougars match their season high with eight threes in the first half alone. Wesley, BYU's leading scorer on the season, was scoreless in the first 20 minutes but tallied five points right out of the break, including BYU's ninth three-pointer, to start a 10-0 Cougar run that grew to 14-2 when BYU took its biggest lead of the game at 52-38.

But with the Cougars seemingly in charge with a 13-point lead at 56-43, the Golden Panthers turned the tables and scored the next 13 points as part of a larger 18-4 Florida International run to even the score at 56. Even though the Cougars had lost a 10-point lead at South Alabama Tuesday, and eventually the game, the Cougars were able to force overtime against a very athletic Florida International team and allow Vranes the opportunity to provide his heroics.

"I had a gut feeling with about three minutes to go that Michael (Vranes) might be the one who could get his shots off," Cleveland said. "He definitely responded."

Vranes sealed the win in overtime when his steal forced a Florida International foul and his subsequent free throw gave BYU an 81-75 advantage. Two Lyday free throws finished the scoring and gave BYU the final 83-75 margin. The Cougars shot 44 percent for the game while holding the Golden Panthers to 34 percent. BYU set season highs in three-pointers made and attempted, converting on 11 of 22 treys.

Florida International was led by Fairweather with 22 points, while teammates Darius Cook added 20 and Karel Rosario 18. The Golden Panthers fell to 4-5 with the loss.

BYU will take the Christmas break before a game at UC Santa Barbara Dec. 29. The Cougars' next home game is Jan. 5 against UC Irvine.

Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS

Brigham Young vs Florida International

12/23/99 7:30 pm at Golden Panther Arena, Miami, FL

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VISITORS: Brigham Young 8-2

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

02 RIVERS, Silester.... f 3-6 0-0 4-7 3 8 11 3 10 0 1 0 3 31

13 VRANES, Michael..... f 4-6 2-3 2-4 1 2 3 2 12 3 4 0 1 23

24 LYDAY, Terrell...... f 8-18 3-9 7-10 1 3 4 0 26 2 2 0 2 39

15 WESLEY, Mekeli...... c 3-9 1-2 1-2 2 5 7 4 8 1 4 0 3 36

31 MONTAGUE, Matt...... g 0-3 0-0 2-2 0 4 4 1 2 8 4 0 2 41

04 CHRISTENSEN, Todd... 5-7 4-5 0-0 0 1 1 1 14 1 2 0 0 11

05 ROBERTS, Marc....... 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 3

10 ALLEN, John......... 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 1 1 0 2 0 1 0 1 5

25 NIELSEN, Eric....... 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 5 2 0 1 0 0 16

42 COOPER, Nathan...... 2-7 1-3 0-0 3 3 6 3 5 1 2 0 1 20

TEAM................ 1 5 6

Totals.............. 26-59 11-22 20-29 11 35 46 19 83 16 21 0 13 225

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-30 .367 2nd Half: 11-23 .478 Game: .441 DEADBALL

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 8-16 .500 2nd Half: 2-4 .500 Game: .500 REBOUNDS

F Throw % 1st Half: 8-10 .800 2nd Half: 7-11 .636 Game: .690 6

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HOME TEAM: Florida International 4-5

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

50 ROSARIO, Karel...... f 7-11 0-0 4-4 2 2 4 5 18 0 2 0 0 25

55 TUCKER, Michael..... f 3-7 0-2 0-0 2 5 7 3 6 2 3 2 4 29

42 COOK, Darius........ c 6-12 0-0 8-15 5 2 7 3 20 4 3 1 2 34

12 FAIRWEATHER, Marshod g 7-26 4-16 4-4 2 2 4 2 22 1 4 0 2 43

34 SCHIFFRER, Ben...... g 1-5 1-3 0-0 1 4 5 1 3 4 0 0 2 26

01 FISHER, Fab......... 0-3 0-2 4-4 0 4 4 4 4 0 0 0 1 31

04 AARON, Nate......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 7

33 ROBINSON, Sylbrin... 0-6 0-0 2-2 1 4 5 2 2 1 3 1 1 30

TEAM................ 2 2 4

Totals.............. 24-70 5-23 22-29 15 25 40 21 75 12 16 4 12 225

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-29 .345 2nd Half: 12-33 .364 Game: .343 DEADBALL

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-9 .333 2nd Half: 2-10 .200 Game: .217 REBOUNDS

F Throw % 1st Half: 13-20 .650 2nd Half: 7-7 1.000 Game: .759 3

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Officials: Sam Croft, Larry Ware, Brian Allred

Technical fouls: Brigham Young-BENCH. Florida International-None.

Attendance: 953

Score by Periods 1st 2nd OT Total

Brigham Young................. 38 31 14 - 83

Florida International......... 36 33 6 - 75

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