Maybe best we've played all season, Rose says after BYU wallops Weber State, 94-66
BYU coach Dave Rose said it might be the best game the Cougars have played all season after BYU routed Weber State 94-66 here at the Marriott Center on Wednesday night in front of a slightly disappointing December crowd of 11,676. The Cougars shut down the nation's leading scorer, Damian Lillard, shot 50.6 percent from the field, had six guys score in double figures and had 20 assists with just seven turnovers. "That will work for us," Rose said. Lillard had just 15 points, a season-low, after averaging 28.2 points per game in the Wildcats' first six games. "They did a really good job on Damian," said WSU coach Randy Rahe. "They're big, they're strong and they're old. They lengthy also made it really hard for us." Weber State shot just 33.3 percent from the field, while the Cougars shot 50.6 percent. BYU was 8 of 20 from three-point range. It all added up to a laugher in one of the more built-up BYU-Weber State basketball games in recent memory. WSU is now 0-19 in Provo. Rahe said a couple Weber State players were sick. Also, starter Frank Otis went out with a knee injury in the first half. "We knew it was going to be tough and we needed to rebound with them," Rahe said, although the Cats were only outrebounded 45-42. "I feel that we did a pretty good job with that. But, they are a really good basketball team. It was hard to keep up and we were really low on energy tonight. They are just a tremendous team." - Noah Hartsock delivered the funniest line in the postgame news conference, saying that returned missionary Nate Austin looked "like a great redshirt candidate" this summer when he got back from his mission. Austin had a career night, scoring a career-high 15 points on 7 of 8 shooting from the field. He grabbed nine rebounds and made a three-pointer for the third-straight game. Stephen Rogers scored 13 of his 15 points in a five-minute stretch in the second half and was again all the Cougars want in a sixth man. Hartsock said that the 6-8 Rogers is "probably the tallest best shooter in the country." There are probably better ways to state that, but you know what he means. - Rose said that Jimmer Fredette who watched perhaps his last game of the season from behind the bench before heading off to Sacramento on Thursday played the role of Lillard in practice on Monday to help prepare the Cougars for the high-scoring Wildcat guard. "Our guys know what it is like to play with the leading scorer in the country and tonight they were ready," Rose said. "Lillard is a terrific player. We challenged his shots. The shots he made were difficult shots. We have him a few too many chances where he had guys he could dish the ball to. I was really impressed with how consistently we were engaged on trying to make the game hard for him. The credit goes to the fellas. They were good."