It may have been Valentine’s Day, but the men’s basketball team didn’t get cards or chocolates from the Brigham Young Cougars. All the Horned Frogs received was an extension of their losing streak, which is now six games long.
The Horned Frogs led for less than two minutes early in the first half, but BYU quickly turned the tables and never looked back, going on to win 79-63.
Head basketball coach Jim Christian said the Cougars are a very good offensively and overall a well-disciplined team.
“(BYU) scored a lot of different ways,” head basketball coach Jim Christian said. “They take advantage of guys on your team who take a possession off. They seemed to find that guy every time.”
The Cougar shooters were on fire, draining 60 percent of their shots. Including 69.6 percent of shots in the first half.
“We can’t allow that to happen,” Christian said. “On the other end of the floor you have to score to keep them out of transition.”
The Horned Frogs shot just 37.7 percent from the field, just 32.1 percent in the first half.
The Cougars were lead by junior forward Jonathan Tavernari. The Brazilian hit eight of his 15 field goals attempts, finishing the game with 19 points and six rebounds in 29 minutes before fouling out with 2:26 left. Cougar senior guard Lee Cummard led all scorers with 24 points and made all 10 of his free throw attempts.
“Tavernari is hard to guard,” Christian said. “Cummard is the guy who makes plays for everybody. He runs the floor so hard that he forces guys to get open.”
Tavernari said he is feeling confident in all of his shots right now.
“Every time I shoot I think the ball is going in,” Tavernari said. “I think my shot selection is improving and that is all because of my teammates.”
In a losing effort, junior forward Zvonko Buljan scored 13 points and snagged 10 rebounds. Senior forward Kevin Langford lead the Horned Frogs with 19 points and two blocks.
Christian said he is trying everything he can think of to get more out of his players, but right now he isn’t seeing the results.
“This was one of those days that we needed someone on our team to rise up and try to lead with effort and we really aren’t getting that right now,” Christian said.
This six-game losing streak is the longest string of losses for the team since an 11-game skid in the 2006-07 season.
The next game for the Horned Frogs will be at home against the Air Force Academy Falcons on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.