On offense, no player was bigger than Trent Plaisted, who was determined to show that last month's 5 point, zero rebound performance against AFA would not be repeated. Plaisted exploded for 21 points and 9 rebounds. None of his points were bigger than the two free throws he calmly sank with 17 seconds left in the game that extended BYU's lead to 4 points and put the game out of reach.
In a game in which Plaisted excelled in both scoring and rebounding, perhaps his most impressive statistic was his lone personal foul. In a season in which he has struggled to stay in games due to foul trouble, Plaisted was called for just one personal foul, allowing him to play an impressive 36 minutes.
Other players of note were Jimmy Balderson and Rashaun Broadus. For the fourth straight game Balderson has come off the bench to spark the team, tonight scoring 17 points in 30 minuts of play. Broadus also continued his steady play, scoring 13 points with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Both steals resulted in layups for Broadus and both came at critical times in the game. In addition to the steals, Broadus hit two crucial three pointers when BYU was struggling to comeback at the end of the game. Broadus doesn't make all of his three point shots, but it seems like the ones he makes are always the most important ones of the game.
Point Guard: A-. Though Broadus had only 2 assists with 2 turnovers, his clutch scoring and defense contributed heavily to BYU's win. Broadus played 32 minutes and got into foul trouble late in the game. Austin Ainge spelled him and did a solid job, hitting a key 3 pointer down the stretch.
Wings: B. Jimmy Balderson had a terrific game and definitely gets an A. The rest of the wings, unfortunately, bring down the curve and give the entire group a B. Cummard was active, grabbing 4 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists, but struggled from the field, going 0-4. Besides Jimmy Balderson, the other wings accounted for only 11 points in the game.
Post: A. This was a bit game for Trent Plaisted. After struggling against AFA in their last meeting, Plaisted carried the team on his back in perhaps the biggest win of the year for BYU. Not only did he step up his game, he did it down the stretch when the game was on the line. His two free throws at the end were huge. With 17 seconds to go, all he had to do was make both free throws to put the game out of reach. As Plaisted stepped up to the line, AFA called a time out, wanting him to think about the free throws. After the time out, he calmly walked up and sank both shots. And this was from a guy that a month ago was arguably the worst foul shooter on the team.
Coach: A. I can't recall a game this year when BYU didn't play better in the second half. Whatever Coach Rose tells his team at halftime, it always seems to work. After the first half of play BYU had shot just 3 free throws to AFA's 12. During halftime Coach Rose stressed that statistic and instructed the team to attack the basket more. The strategy paid off, as BYU in the second half shot 15 free throws to AFA's 4.
- BYU continues its excellent play from the stretch, this afternoon making 9 of its last 10 free throws.
- This was BYU's 10th straight win at the Marriot Center.
- BYU had only 2 turnovers in the second half.
- Pending the outcomes of other MWC games today, BYU is currently in third place in the MWC.
- BYU played small ball most of the game today, often playing with four guards at a time.