PROVO — After three days to digest an up-and-down three-game rollercoaster ride over the previous eight days, the BYU women's basketball team returns to the Marriott Center for a pair of home Mountain West Conference contest.

Tonight, the Cougars (9-8 overall, 3-2 MWC) play host to the Air Force Falcons (7-10, 1-4 MWC) at 7 p.m., with conference co-leader Wyoming to arrive for a 4 p.m. Saturday pairing.

BYU's herky-jerky jaunt started Jan. 19, when the Cougars drew a program-record 6,206 to the Marriott Center for a battle of MWC unbeatens against instate rival. BYU bombed out early, falling behind 22-0 after the first eight-plus minutes before faltering 80-49 to the Utes.

Next up was a 62-39 midweek loss at San Diego State, a first-ever Aztec defeat of the Cougars during head coach Jeff Judkins' seven-year tenure in which BYU managed a meager 11 first-half points in the rout.

Then last Saturday, the Cougars posted a 41-38 victory against New Mexico at The Pit in Albuquerque, where BYU had won only once since 2001. The Cougars shot only 20 percent from the floor in the second half, but held the Lobos to 16 percent.

BYU is 19-0 all-time against the Falcons, including three wins last year - two in the regular season and the third in the MWC tourney quarterfinals.

Air Force is led by senior Alecia Steele and her team-high averages of 13.5 points and 7.3 rebounds. The Falcons' sole league victory was against winless Colorado State.

BYU on the air

Air Force (7-10, 1-4 MWC) at BYU (9-8, 3-2)

Today, 7 p.m.

Marriott Center, Provo


Radio 96.7 FM (at 9 p.m.)

E-mail: [email protected]