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Washington State slips past Brigham Young
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2004, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The strong senior play that Brigham Young banked on this season simply has been absent in the early part of the basketball schedule.

All three seniors - Jared Jensen, Terry Nashif and Mike Hall - were supposed to guide the sophomore-laden team through a rough nonconference patch. It's time to make different plans.

With the three leaders virtually non-existent, BYU lost 49-46 to Washington State before 10,283 Saturday at the Delta Center. The Cougars are a horrendous 2-6, the program's worst start since coach Steve Cleveland inherited a 1-25 team eight years ago.

"Obviously we've got seniors that are not playing real well," Cleveland said. "It's very obvious right now we're not a very good basketball team."

Cleveland all but gave up on Nashif and Jensen against WSU. They played each played six minutes, replaced by sophomores Austin Ainge and Derrick Dawes.

Hall played a game-high 36 minutes, going 1 of 10 from the field. After playing well the last two weeks, he turned in his worst game this season.

Late in the game, with BYU trailing by three points, Hall hoisted two wild three-point shots that were way off. On the season he is shooting less than 40 percent from the field.

"At the end he was just dribbling into shots, which is exactly what we don't want," Cleveland said.

The bright side to this difficult start is the play of several sophomores. Ainge and Dawes, in particular, are proving worthy of big minutes.

Sparking a lackluster offense, Ainge scored BYU's final nine points. He missed a hurried three-pointer in the final seconds that could have tied the game.

"He's kind of established himself as the point guard of this basketball team," Cleveland said.

In 25 minutes, Dawes had six points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots - numbers that were far superior to Jensen's. The senior has not played well this season.

"It just seems like a bunch of little things we can't get together for 40 minutes on," said Dawes. "The important thing is to stay together as a team."

Ainge and another sophomore, Mike Rose, combined to score 31 points. Sophomore forward Garner Meads pulled down 10 rebounds.

Two years from now, BYU has a chance to be great. The problem is now.

"Right now we've got to regroup," Cleveland said. "It's kind of what life's all about. We've got to deal with some adversity, and we're looking at it dead in the face."

It didn't look that way in the first half, when BYU built a 23-11 lead. But as they have done several times this season, the Cougars fell into a funk offensively.

They went scoreless for five minutes, missing three shots and committing five turnovers. Rose finally broke the slump on a three-pointer with 1:29 in the first half.

BYU came back to blow a 10-point lead in the second half. WSU finally took a 34-33 lead on Josh Akognon's three-pointer with just over eight minutes left in the game.

WSU took command of the game by hitting three-pointers on three consecutive possessions to open a 43-37 lead.

"When we needed to make baskets and stops we just didn't do it," Cleveland said.

With final exams this week, the Cougars don't play until Saturday against Utah State at home. In between studying, they need to find a familiarity with each other.

Too often, on both ends of the floor, the players seem out of position.

"We're just kind of confused out there," Ainge said. "You look around and sometimes guys are stagnant. We're not sure where to go."

Washington St. 49, BYU 46

FG FT Reb WASH. ST. Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts Cowgill 12 1-2 0-0 0-2 0 4 3 Varem 32 2-8 4-6 3-11 3 1 8 Henry 15 1-4 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 Low 15 0-2 0-0 0-1 2 0 0 Kelati 34 5-9 2-3 2-7 3 1 15 Akognon 14 3-8 0-0 0-1 0 0 9 Schlatter 26 1-3 0-0 0-4 3 2 2 Green 14 2-4 0-0 0-0 0 0 6 Gill 22 0-5 1-2 3-5 0 2 1 Weaver 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 Simmons 7 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 3 Harmeling 7 0-2 0-0 0-1 1 1 0 Totals 200 16-49 7-11 10-36 13 11 49 Percentages: FG .327, FT .636. Three-Point Goals: 10-19, .526 (Akognon 3-4, Kelati 3-6, Green 2-4, Cowgill 1-1, Simmons 1-1, Varem 0-1, Schlatter 0-1, Harmeling 0-1). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 15. Blocked Shots: 2 (Cowgill 2). Turnovers: 15 (Varem 5, Kelati 3, Low 2, Gill 2, Akognon, Schlatter, Green). Steals: 6 (Green 2, Varem, Kelati, Akognon, Gill). Technical Fouls: None.

FG FT Reb BYU Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts Meads 28 0-2 2-2 1-10 2 2 2 Dawes 25 1-1 4-7 3-7 1 1 6 Hall 36 1-10 0-0 0-1 2 4 3 Rose 25 6-13 0-0 0-2 1 3 15 Ainge 31 7-12 0-0 0-2 4 1 16 Young 15 1-3 0-0 0-3 0 0 2 Nashif 6 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Reichner 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 S. Burgess 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Balderson 13 0-4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Jensen 6 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Miles 9 1-1 0-0 1-2 1 1 2 Totals 200 17-48 6-9 6-31 11 14 46 Percentages: FG .354, FT .667. Three-Point Goals: 6-25, .240 (Rose 3-9, Ainge 2-6, Hall 1-6, Nashif 0-1, Balderson 0-3). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 14. Blocked Shots: 3 (Dawes 2, Young). Turnovers: 14 (Hall 3, Meads 2, Rose 2, Balderson 2, Dawes, Ainge, S. Burgess, Jensen, Miles). Steals: 6 (Rose 3, Hall 2, Jensen). Technical Fouls: None.

Washington State 18 31-49

BYU 25 21-46

A - 10,283. Officials: Jim Danner, Tim Gabutero, Bill Gracey.

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