Cougar Bounces

Coming off a horrendous conference opener, BYU returned home to face their bitter rival in desperate need of a win, and that is exactly what they earned. For the first time in what seems like an eternity, a BYU men's team got the better of the Utes.

They were led in the first half by Rashaun Broadus and got great efforts in the second half from Trent Plaisted and Mike Rose. Down 24-18 late in the first half, BYU went on a 14-4 run to finish the half and lead 32-28. Early in the second half the Cougs pushed the lead to ten and maintained that lead for the most part for the rest of the contest.

Utah was on fire from behind the arc in the second half and every time BYU would push the lead to nine or ten, the Utes would hit a three and kept it competitive. After nearly two years without a victory over the University of Utah in either football or men's basketball, the Cougars finally ended that drought.

GRADES Point: A. Broadus made five of his first six shots and got BYU going offensively. He led the Cougars with 17. Ainge played sparingly, but did have an assist. Broadus has had a bit of a turnover bug the last two games (nine against AF and Utah), but he was scoring today and was excellent in transition.

Wing: B. Not the best shooting night from the wings (8-18), but Brock Reichner was lock down on defense. Bryant Markson, the Utes' leading scorer, was held to four points on 1-7 shooting. The Cougar wings rushed many of their shots (Reichner and Lee Cummard both air-balled threes), but Rose came on in the second half to hit two big three pointers. Jimmy Balderson had a key tip-in on an offensive rebound. The bottom line was 24 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 0 turnovers.

Post: B+. This grade could have been higher with a few more made shots and a few less turnovers. Derek Dawes traveled twice, but redeemed himself by making five of six free throws. Fernando Malaman returned to his good shooting ways (4-6). Keena Young also continued his hot shooting (five misses total the last three games). Plaisted was fed in the post much of the game. He took 12 shots, and while he made just four, he was getting to the free throw line and making them (4-5) and got both Utes' in foul trouble. Plaisted also rebounded very well, grabbing a team-high seven.

Coach: A+. The coaching staff did a marvelous job of not only putting together a great game plan, but of getting the team's mindset right after a horrible showing against Air Force. They made all the right moves and had Utah reacting to what they were doing. When Utah's post players started controlling some the action down low Cougar coaches switched defenses and started fronting the post. It was much more difficult for the Utes get the ball to the block after that.


- It took Steve Cleveland seven tries to get his first victory over Utah. Dave Rose got his in his first. Of course, Rose has a little more talent to work with.

- Broadus made 8 of 13 shots on his best shooting night as a Cougar. It was a career high in makes. Broadus does need to get better with turnovers. Many of his giveaways in the last two games have been lack of focus.

- BYU turned the ball over only seven times against Utah, a season low.

- It appeared that the Cougars really wanted this game and were focused. It was nice to see the fire and desire to beat Utah in their eyes.

- Plaisted will still be one of the best post players every at BYU. If he can develop a 10-foot jumper and jump-hook, he will be unstoppable. It was good to see him rebounding. A rebound every three and a half minutes is a good average.

- Mike Rose came off the bench and his three makes were very important in keeping the lead in tact. If he can continue doing that, BYU will be much harder to beat.

- The defensive intensity that was missing against Air Force was present from the tip-off against Utah. BYU can be a solid and even a very good defensive team, when they want to.

- Plaisted has only lost three of 12 opening tips this year.

- Malaman had a dunk today. I think that was his first as a Cougar.

- BYU took at least two charges today. They are becoming very adept at drawing those.

- The Cougars made 13 of 15 free throws. Their best effort from the charity stripe when they hit 20 of 22 versus Lamar.

- BYU's next game is Wednesday night on the road at UNLV. The game will be on KSL-TV. Tip-off is 8 p.m. MDT.

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