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By DOUG ALDEN AP Sports Writer
PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Keena Young scored 16 of his 24 points in the second half and No. 21 Brigham Young won its eighth straight by beating Colorado State 76-67 on Wednesday night.
The Cougars never trailed in their first game as a ranked team in nearly 14 years and had a double-digit lead for much of the second half while winning their 30th consecutive home game. BYU (21-6, 11-2) remained alone in first place in the Mountain West Conference with three games left.
Jason Smith led Colorado State (15-11, 5-9) with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Stuart Creason added 17 points and Tyler Smith scored 15, but the rest of the Rams combined for a total of 15 points.
Colorado State was the last team to beat BYU, winning 90-78 in Fort Collins on Jan. 20. Despite shooting 51 percent (26-for-51), the Rams were never much of a threat Wednesday as BYU fans reveled in having a Top 25 team for the first time since 1993.
The Cougars led by as much as 15 in the second half and regrouped after Colorado State got within seven with about 3 1/2 minutes left.
Young scored BYU's first seven points of the second half and Lee Cummard added 12 of his 20 points in the second for BYU. Austin Ainge added 13 points and eight assists for the Cougars, who were 12-for-24 from the field in the second half.
After BYU went up 60-46, Colorado State made a final push to make it close again in the final few minutes.
Cory Lewis took a steal in for a layup that got Colorado State within 62-52, then made another quick steal and drew a foul with 4:08 left. Lewis made one free throw, then missed the next but the Rams controlled the rebound. Creason ended up with the ball and banked it in to get the Rams within 62-55.
That was as close as it got. Ainge made two free throws, then Cummard made four straight from the line during a 6-2 run that put BYU back in control.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-02-21-07 2232MST