Another Close Encounter

By Rhiannon Potkey - March 14, 2008

LAS VEGAS -- Did you expect any different?

BYU and San Diego State played close games in their first two meetings, and the tournament version is following the same script after one half.

The top-seeded Cougars lead No. 4 San Diego State 26-25 on the strength of two Trent Plaisted free throws. It marks BYU's first lead at halftime against San Diego State this season (the teams were tied in Provo and SDSU led by one in San Diego).

The Aztecs have managed to stay in the game despite leading scorer Lorrenzo Wade being on the bench with two fouls and playing only three minutes in the half.

The junior forward torched BYU for a career-high 28 points in the last meeting in San Diego.

BYU's defense was strong early to stake the Cougars to a 7-2 lead. But San Diego State's guards got the SDSU offense going with outside shots before the post players joined the fray.

After Richie Williams and D.J. Gay hit back-to-back three-pointers to give SDSU the lead, Billy White and Ryan Amoroso took over. White has eight points on 4 of 5 shooting while Amoroso has seven points, although he eventually left the game with two fouls.

Plaisted performed a bit of an acting job to draw the second foul on Amoroso when he flopped on defense. It probably was a foul, but not as extreme as Plaisted's ground hitting made it seem.

BYU turned to all-everything Lee Cummard to trim a 17-11 deficit, and finally went just before halftime. BYU's shooters have not produced much so far. Sam Burgess is 0 for 3, Jonathan Tavernari is 1 for 5 and Jimmer Fredette is 0 for 2.

Cummard is 3 for 6 for seven points while Plaisted has come up big inside with 12 points on 5 of 8 shooting. The Cougars are shooting only 38.5 percent while San Diego State is at 45.8.

Short shots:

- During the under four media timeout, a group of soldiers who just returned home from duty were introduced. The crowd gave them a huge round of applause and standing ovation as they were introduced individually. Classy move on all fronts.

- BYU head coach Dave Rose was fuming on the sideline when Chris Collinsworth was called for a foul. Rose was clenching his fists and stomping.

Posted by Rhiannon Potkey at 10:03 PM on March 14, 2008

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