PROVO Ben Murdock may have missed the second half of the New Mexico game last Tuesday with a sprained ankle but against Air Force on Saturday he appeared in top form despite failing to cut and go full speed the rest of the week while undergoing treatment.
That should be a positive sign as the Cougars host Wyoming on Wednesday and the Cowboys have two of the toughest guards to defend in the league in Brandon Ewing and Brad Jones.
"I felt fine before the game and it appeared I could make some plays when I came out the first half," said Murdock. "At halftime, it got a little sore. I just took the tape off a few minutes ago and I can feel it."
Murdock knocked down a 3-pointer, scored 3 points, registered 4 assists, 2 rebounds and had a steal and a block in BYU's 76-57 win over the Falcons.
Falcon senior guard Tim Anderson left the court in the second half with a cut near his eye. "He took an elbow in the head, right here," said AFA coach Jeff Reynolds. "He required some stitches."
Reynolds had high praise for Dave Rose and the Cougars. "I think everyone in this league plays better at home. BYU really got things going tonight and they play confident at home. Dave Rose has done a good job with the team here. He has put together a nice team."
Reynolds said his team faded just before intermission when they missed two open shots and failed on a lay-in. The Cougars then went on a charge to end the first half and raced to a 32-point lead in the second half with 10 minutes remaining in the contest.
BYU held the Falcons without a field goal to open the game until the 15:34 mark.
"We could hit a shot and we couldn't defend them," said Reynolds. "Simple as that," said Reynolds.
A two-handed no-look behind the back pass from Jonathan Tavernari to Trent Plaisted in the second half, may have been the play of the game. Since the game was not televised, Taverari reminded the media it would be a highlight on the Dave Rose Show in KSL-TV Sunday night.COUGAR NOTES: Tavernari failed to battle for rebounds the early in the game and Dave Rose elected to sit him down and give him a short lecture. "I was lackadaisical and lost my focus and like a parent with a little kid, he let me know," said Tavernari. Scoreless in the first half, Tavernari didn't score a field goal until 14:13 remained in the game. With some free throws leading the way, he scored 12 points in 11 minutes ... Last Tuesday's winning free throws by Trent Plaisted against New Mexico are part of a trend by the junior. After going 4 of 6 against AFA, he is shooting .625 from the line (30-48) in the past seven games ... The win extended BYU's national home win streak to 46 games ... The Cougars have won 23 straight non-conference and 23 straight MWC games at home ... At 23-6, the Cougars are off to their best record since 1992-93 ... Only two Cougar teams have achieved a better mark than the current 23-6 while four others have equaled the mark.