Mar 012006
 
Authors: Paul Baker

The Rams got off to a slow start Wednesday night, as they struggled on defense and gave up runs of seven and 11 at the beginning of each half. The Rams were playing from behind the entire game as they fell to the Cougars in Provo, Utah, 77-69.

BYU had a great shooting night as they shot 11-for-19 from 3-point range, and 16-for-21 from the free throw line. The Cougars shot 70 percent from behind the 3-point arc in the first half.

"They made some shots and we didn't tonight," head coach Dale Layer said on the radio post game show. "It's disappointing because I thought that we played hard tonight."

The Cougars are now at 19-7 overall and 11-4 in the Mountain West Conference, which ties them for second place with Air Force. With the win, BYU has now won 13 games in a row at home in the Marriott Center.

After getting off to a rough start in the first half, coach Layer mixed up his lineup to find a spark. Sophomore Stuart Creason went into the game and provided that spark. For the first time this season Creason played alongside forwards Jason Smith and Michael Harrison. Creason came off the bench to contribute 11 points, three blocks and three rebounds in 24 minutes.

"A lot of the guys were frustrated," Creason said following the game. "All I could do is play hard when I was in the game."

Creason was the one of the bright spots for the Rams on the defensive side of the ball when they were down 13 points in the first half.

"We wanted to mix it up a bit," Layer said. "I think it put them on their heels and gave us some momentum."

The Cougars pulled ahead by as many as 18 points in the second half before the Rams put a run of their own together to get back into the game. They would only pull within eight, though.

CSU (15-13, 4-11) had four people score in double figures, lead by Harrison's 17 points. Guard Cory Lewis had 13 points, while Smith tied with Creason with 11 points.

"We shot 48 percent from the field which I will take on the road," Layer said. "It wasn't an effort problem tonight, it was execution."

The Rams now look to get a win in their final conference game of the year this Saturday against Air Force. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at Moby Arena.

CSU-

Player MIN FG-FGA REB A TP

F. Robinson 23 1-6 2 2 2

J. Smith 31 5-15 5 2 11

M. Harrison 38 7-15 7 4 17

C. Lewis 33 4-6 5 4 13

S. Gilling 18 3-5 2 1 8

S. Morris 5 1-1 0 0 3

A. Patterson 19 1-1 3 0 3

S. Creason 24 5-6 3 0 11

M. Morris 9 0-1 3 3 1

BYU-

K. Young 18 4-11 6 3 8

J. Emery 17 1-4 5 3 2

T. Plaisted 29 2-5 5 1 10

R. Broadus 31 3-8 2 4 13

B. Reichner 32 4-7 4 0 12

A. Ainge 9 2-2 3 1 6

F. Malaman 31 4-9 4 2 11

J. Balderdson 23 4-9 3 1 12

L. Cummard 8 1-3 0 1 3

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