PROVO In Dave Rose's first game as BYU's head coach, his team fell by 12 points at home to Loyola Marymount.
Since that inauspicious debut more than two years ago (Nov. 18, 2005), the Cougars have not lost at the Marriott Center.
With an 86-67 triumph over Pepperdine Saturday night, No. 25 BYU extended its homecourt winning streak to 37 games and seized sole possession of the nation's longest active home winning streak, eclipsing Memphis' current streak of 36 straight home victories.
That loss to Loyola Marymount also marked the debuts of juniors Trent Plaisted and Lee Cummard.
"I really enjoy (the streak) because I've only lost one game at home and that was my first game, against Loyola," said Plaisted, who scored 18 points and grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds Saturday in the win over the Waves. "I like being at home. We're very, very confident here. We know we've got a great history here, and we've had a lot of success here. When we play here, we expect to win."
"It's a great time to play here in the Marriott Center," said Cummard, who poured in a game-high 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the floor. "There is some type of magic that goes on here. We just play better."
Notwithstanding the 19-point margin of victory over Pepperdine, BYU's performance was not exactly a masterpiece. It was a strange game the Cougars gave up 29 turnovers while shooting nearly 57 percent from the field.
"It definitely wasn't pretty," Cummard said.
BYU had 19 turnovers in the first half and, naturally, it was a topic of discussion in the locker room at halftime and adjustments were made. Then the Cougars promptly turned the ball over on their first two possessions of the second half as the Waves cut the seven-point halftime deficit to three, 40-37.
"It was a very interesting game. Twenty-nine turnovers is very uncharacteristic of our team," Plaisted said. "But we shot a high percentage and we were able to get the win. You've got to give credit to Pepperdine. They did a lot to force those turnovers. That's kind of the style they play. We did turn the ball over too many times."
The rest of the way, BYU did a better job taking care of the ball. The Cougars scored nine-straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Jonathan Tavernari, to go up 64-47 and take control of the game.
"J.T. opened it right up in the second half," Cummard said. "It let us relax a little bit and play the way we play. It helped us."
Still, he was surprised his team won by so many points after surrendering so many turnovers.
"It was kind of ridiculous on our part. But the score being what it was, it was kind of shocking," Cummard said. "Their press got us doing things we usually don't do and we struggled with it. It's something we have to work on and get better. Usually we handle presses pretty well. I don't think the press was that big of a deal. It was them going for steals and it sped us up."
"For the type of game it turned out to be, I was really proud of our players because when you turn the ball over that many times, there's a chance to get discouraged and down and become a lot more individual in your play," Rose said. "I thought our team rallied around each other, and we were able to overcome the fact we turned the ball over as many times as we did."
Rose certainly wasn't pleased with the high number of turnovers, but he liked the fact his team made 37 baskets on 24 assists.
"The heart and soul of our team has a lot of experience in finding the best shot possible," Rose said. "When they pass up a good shot for a better shot, it becomes contagious throughout the whole team. That helped us out a lot tonight. We're still sharing the ball and that's a good sign."No, it wasn't always pretty. But it was another win in the Marriott Center.
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