Horned Frogs seek to end losing streak against BYU

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    The men’s basketball team’s losing streak reached five with Tuesday’s 71-57 loss on the road against the Universtiy of Nevada, Las Vegas. The team will look to stop the bleeding Saturday night at home against Brigham Young University.

    Three weeks ago, the Horned Frogs, with a share of first place in the Mountain West Conference, fell to the University of New Mexico at home, 69-52. The loss against the Lobos marked the beginning a of a slide that has knocked the team down to sixth place in the conference.

    The latest loss against UNLV dropped the team’s record 13-11 overall and 4-6 in conference play.

    Head coach Jim Christian said it will take more than just talent to get the Horned Frogs back on track.

    “We’ve got to fight our way out of it,” Christian said. “A lot of teams in college basketball go through it. You’ve got to have character, you’ve got to have heart and you’ve got to try and find a way to win the game.”

    The team will face BYU with the hopes of turning its losing streak around. Last month, the Horned Frogs fell to BYU 73-61. The Cougars come into Saturday’s game with a 18-5 overall record and a 6-3 record in the conference.

    Junior center Zvonko Buljan said the Horned Frogs have learned from their last meeting with BYU when they were outhustled.

    “You can always find something to do better than the time before by learning from your mistakes and watching tapes,” Buljan said.

    Junior forward Edvinas Ruzgas said putting everything into the team’s next two home games is crucial.

    “It’s very important to get through the streak,” Ruzgas said. “We’ve struggled a little, but I think the team needs to come on Saturday, execute our plays, play good defense and pull for a victory.”

    Both players and Christian acknowledge BYU’s strong offense, which averages a conference-best 78.3 points per game, as something the team needs to focus on shutting down.

    The Horned Frogs will continue conference play next week with a home game against last-place Air Force Academy on Wednesday.