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BYU basketball: Career night for Charles Abouo

Published: Saturday, March 5 2011 9:35 p.m. MST

Brigham Young Cougars guard/forward Charles Abouo (1) shoots by Wyoming Cowboys center Adam Waddell (15)  in Provo, Utah, Saturday, March 5, 2011.   (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Brigham Young Cougars guard/forward Charles Abouo (1) shoots by Wyoming Cowboys center Adam Waddell (15) in Provo, Utah, Saturday, March 5, 2011. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO — Junior Charles Abouo enjoyed a career scoring performance on BYU's senior day.

Abouo knocked down 9-of-12 shots and collected a career-high 25 points to help the No. 3 Cougars blitz Wyoming, 102-78, Saturday at the Marriott Center.

Twenty-one of Abouo's 25 points came in the second half. He also pulled down seven rebounds in the contest.

"Charles did a terrific job. The reason we've been so good as of late is because of Charles and the contributions he makes on the offensive side and the defensive side," said senior guard Jackson Emery. "He's so strong when he drives to the basket. That's why we need him — to get rebounds, to finish and create that energy. He did a terrific job in the second half."

BYU led by only one point, 40-39, before Abouo scored eight consecutive points, including a 3-pointer, to give the Cougars some breathing room early in the second half. His three-point play with 16:22 left in the game propelled BYU to a 56-41 advantage.

"Charles got us off to a great start in the second half," said coach Dave Rose. "Charles made a couple of big plays for us that got us a bit of a lead."

Other Cougars made big contributions as well. Freshman Kyle Collinsworth recorded 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor and had a team-high eight rebounds. Senior Logan Magnusson, who was honored on senior day along with Emery and Jimmer Fredette, tallied six rebounds and four assists. Magnusson also drew two charges in the first half.

BYU's effort in the first half led to a big second-half, according to Rose.

"That first half, we were as committed to winning as a group as I've seen us in a long time," he said. "We weren't having a lot of success offensively, but we were getting loose balls, we were getting rebounds and diving on the floor. I think that energy spread throughout the team.

"I also think it showed everybody else how we were committed to getting this done. The second half was terrific. We played a lot better."

DOUBLE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Not long before Emery and the Cougars won the Mountain West Conference championship on Saturday, Emery's younger brother, Nick, helped guide Lone Peak High to the 5A title with a victory over American Fork in Ogden.

"I just told Nick, 'Go get the win today. I know I can't be there to support you. The best thing is to win,'" Jackson said.

The pair of afternoon games, however, created a serious conflict for Derek and Patti, the parents of Jackson and Nick.

"My parents, they were split on what they should do," Jackson said. "But they knew it was my senior night and my last game here. So they decided to come. My brother and sister decided to go up there. We both won, and now we can both celebrate together."

MORE RECORDS FOR FREDETTE: Fredette established a new school record by hitting a 3-pointer in his 23rd consecutive game, as he drilled 4-of-9 shots from 3-point territory against the Cowboys. Fredette also passed former Utah star Nick Jacobson for No. 3 on the Mountain West Conference's all-time 3-point field goal attempts list.

With 38 points Saturday, Fredette has now scored 2,395 career points, putting him just 72 away from passing Danny Ainge for No. 1 all-time at BYU.

REMEMBERING WATTS: BYU's all-time winningest coach, Stan Watts, who died in 2000 and is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, was honored at halftime Saturday.

His family and former players watched as a banner in his honor was unveiled in the Marriott Center rafters, near banners recognizing Cougar legends Danny Ainge and Kresimir Cosic.

e-mail: jeffc@desnews.com

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