PROVO, Utah (Nov. 11, 2008) - The BYU men's basketball team eyes the season opener after completing exhibition play with an 80-53 win over Georgetown College at the Marriott Center Tuesday night.
"I'm pleased with how we played tonight," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "We had good energy defensively. The first eight to nine minutes were well executed and set the tone for the rest of the game."
As head coach Dave Rose split time between every player, Cougar fans got a taste of what to expect on both sides of the ball as BYU dominated Georgetown College.
BYU shot 54.4 percent from the field while limiting the Tigers to a 30.8 percentage. The Cougars forced 21 turnovers with 11 blocks, while Georgetown achieved 16 turnovers and no blocks.
Every BYU player who dressed not only saw time but also scored at least two points and pulled down one rebound. Junior Lamont Morgan and sophomore Jackson Emery distributed the ball well, dishing out six assists apiece.
Emery led the Cougars with 16 points, while junior Jonathan Tavernari put up 15 points of his own, falling shy of a double-double with a team-leading eight rebounds.
The Cougars jumped ahead quickly, taking an 8-0 lead before Georgetown College hit a three after 2.5 minutes of play. BYU's man-to-man defense handcuffed the Tigers, forcing a shot clock violation before Georgetown College was able to make offensive adjustments.
After taking a 15-10 lead, both teams struggled as turnovers and fouls resulted in a three-minute scoring drought. Lee Cummard broke the stand still after a timeout.
Georgetown College pulled within two points of the Cougars when they narrowed the score to 19-17 before freshman Noah Hartsock hit a bank shot and Cummard nailed a three to secure a 24-17 lead.
After a close battle, BYU stretched its lead to 35-21 with a nine-point run. The defense continued to provide a spark as more than a third of the Cougars' points came off turnovers.
Freshman Charles Abouo added two points off a steal, which he returned down court blasting the first dunk of the night. The Cougars continued to make their run before the end of the period. Tavernari put up free throw after free throw, and Cummard hit his second three-pointer of the night to head into the half with a 43-27 lead.
As the core of the BYU roster started the second period, the Cougar dominance grew. Miles blocked three shots in an 18-second stretch and Morgan and Emery hit back-to-back threes to put BYU up 54-32.
Emery kept the BYU momentum flowing when he stole a Georgetown College pass for a fast break followed by a three to put BYU up 59-35.
Relief came in from the BYU bench without losing intensity for the remainder of the game. The bench totaled 27 points on the night, led by Abouo's 11 points.
Abouo proved his worth on both sides of the ball, coming up with a block before the ball was handed off to MacGregor, who pleased the crowd with a one-handed dunk, putting BYU up 72-46 with just over five minutes left in the game.
The Cougars return to the hardwood for the season opener on Friday when they take on Long Beach State at home. Tipoff for the opener is set for 7 p.m. at the Marriott Center.