Cowboys Fall to Cougars, 78-61

Wyoming couldn't find an answer for Jonathan Tavernari in the first half of the Cowboys' Wednesday night road battle with BYU. And when the sharp-shooting sophomore finally cooled off in the second, Trent Plaisted made sure the Cougars didn't let the Cowboys back in the game…

Jonathan Tavernari led the Cougars early.

And Trent Plaisted carried them to a Mountain West Conference title.

Plaisted scored 23 points, and Tavernari added 18—all in the first half—as BYU clinched the 2007-08 regular season league title with a 78-61 victory over Wyoming Wednesday night.

The Cowboys fell behind 16-5 after Tavernari hit his second 3-pointer of the game, a shot that tied the BYU single-season record of 74 3-pointers in one year. He hit a third three with just more than 12 minutes left in the first half to put the Cougars up 20-10 and followed that up with a steal and a breakaway layup that extended the advantage to 12 points.

Tavernari's fourth 3-pointer of the half gave the Cougars a 30-21 lead with 5:34 on the clock, and the sophomore scored four more points before intermission, helping BYU to a 38-27 advantage at the break.

Plaisted took over from there, scoring the Cougars' first three points of the second half to highlight a 9-0 run that extended the lead to 47-29. He put up nine more points in the period, eventually helping BYU mount a 26-point lead.

Wyoming's Brandon Ewing scored 12 points in the game's final 17 minutes, but the Cowboys trailed by double digits for nearly the entire second half.

Ewing finished with 20 points, and Tyson Johnson added another 20 (a career high) and nine rebounds.

Plaisted pulled down 11 rebounds to go with his 23 points, Sam Burgess scored 13 points and Lee Cummard added 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks for the Cougars.

Wyoming will have a week off before facing Colorado State in the MWC tournament's play-in game. BYU will play the winner of the Wyoming-Colorado State matchup in the semifinal game next Thursday.

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