BYU cruises past Wyoming, captures Mountain West crownMar 6, 2008 - 6:19 AM PROVO, Utah (Ticker) -- Brigham Young had little problem in its final home game of the season.
Trent Plaisted had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Jonathan Tavernari scored all 18 of his points in the first half as the 24th-ranked Cougars clinched the Mountain West Conference title with a 78-61 triumph over Wyoming on Wednesday.
Sam Burgess chipped in 13 points for BYU (24-6, 13-2 MWC), which extended its home winning streak to 47 games - the longest in the nation.
"It was a special thing to win the Mountain West Conference title on your home court," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "This title has come through great leadership and hard work. These players deserve this title after how hard they have worked all season long."
The regular-season title was the second consecutive outright crown for BYU, which had not captured back-to-back conference championships since the 1978-80 campaigns.
The Cougars had control of the game from the start, opening up a 16-5 bulge after a 3-pointer by Tavernari with 13:31 left in the first half.
Wyoming closed within six late in the half, but BYU finished strong and held a 39-27 lead at the break.
After the Cowboys scored the first basket of the second half, the Cougars went on a 9-0 spurt - capped by a three-point play by Burgess - to take a 48-29 advantage with 17:30 left to play.
BYU continued to pull away, taking a 64-37 bulge after Burgess' 3-pointer with 12:44 remaining, and the Cougars led by at least 17 for the rest of the contest.
Wyoming, which never led during the game, committed 17 turnovers that led to 15 BYU points.
"Although we had a few slower spots on the offensive end of the court, I thought we were defensively pretty solid the whole night," Rose said. "This was a good win for the team, and we are ready to move on to the next game."
A sophomore, Tavernari made 4-of-6 shots from the arc and broke the school's single-season record for 3-pointers with 74.
Brandon Ewing and Tyson Johnson each scored 20 points to lead the Cowboys (12-17, 5-11), who have lost seven straight meetings with the Cougars.
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
WYOMING 27 34 61
BYU (24) 38 40 78 FINAL
Mar 5 11:50 PM
- NCAA BB
(24) BYU 38 HALFTIME
Mar 5 10:48 PM
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