Revenge on the mind of BYU against Arizona State

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PROVO -- The BYU men's basketball team has the opportunity to exact revenge on a team which defeated them on a controversial finish nearly a year ago.

With the Cougars down by one, 75-76, against Arizona State in the waning seconds of last year's game, then-freshman Charles Abouo rebounded a missed shot and tipped the ball in as time expired.

The basket was called good on the court, and Cougar fans and players alike went ballistic. The officials decided to review the play and eventually decided to overturn the ruling on the court deflating the Cougar crowd and team. It was a hard one to swallow for many Cougars; Jonathan Tavernari was so frustrated with the call he left the court without shaking hands with his opponents.

Arizona State visits the Marriott Center this time around, and although Abouo said the team has moved past the tough call from last year, he was willing to admit it adds some extra motivation for the game this year.

Head Coach Dave Rose also explained that Tuesday's game isn't just any other game.

"It's a big game for our team," Rose said.

This year's Sun Devil team looks quite different from last year. Its two best players, James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph are playing in the NBA this season. The two are credited as the difference-makers in last year's contest, scoring 30 and 22 points, respectively.

Rose said despite the departures, his team will still have its work cut out for them.

"It's a really good team. Even though they're missing Harden and Pendergraph from last year, Herb (Sendek) has them really playing well together," Rose said. "Defensively, they guard you in a unique way with that little zone of theirs, so we'll have to spend some time trying to figure out how to attack it."

When asked if he didn't want the game to come down to a last second shot this time, Rose couldn't help but smile.

"If it does, hopefully it counts this time," Rose said.

Junior marksman Rihards Kuksiks leads the Sun Devils in scoring this season. Two other players, center Eric Boateng and guard Derek Glasser, average double digits in scoring this season as well.

One other Sun Devil is flirting with a double digit scoring average in freshman guard Trent Lockett. He averages 9.5 points per game, while shooting 55 percent from the field.

Also adding five rebounds, he has made a large impact fast on the Sun Devils.

Tipoff is at 8:00 p.m. inside the Marriott Center.

You can listen to the game live on KSL Newsradio 102.7FM/1160AM or beginning with the pregame show at 7 p.m.

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