PROVO — BYU junior forward Brandon Davies earned West Coast Conference Player of the Week honors after guiding the Cougars to a pair of wins.
Behind Davies' play, BYU defeated No. 24 Gonzaga and Portland. In those contests, Davies averaged 16.5 points, nine rebounds and 4.5 steals. He also shot 56 percent from the floor.
In the win over the Bulldogs, Davies scored 15 points of 7-of-12 shooting and pulled down five rebounds. Against the Pilots, Davies poured in 18 points, collected 13 rebounds and had a career-high eight steals, which was one away from a school record.
This marks the second time this season that Davies has received player of the week honors. He also earned that recognition on Jan. 2.
BIG SKY HONORS LILLARD AGAIN: For the fifth time this season, Weber State junior guard Damian Lillard has been selected as the Big Sky Conference men's basketball Player of the Week.
The 6-foot-3 junior guard from Oakland, Calif., averaged 37.5 points, five assists, two rebounds and one steal per game as the Wildcats earned home wins over Portland State and Northern Colorado. Lillard shot 69.7 percent from the field, 64.7 percent from 3-point range, and 70 percent from the free-throw line. He also scored his 1,700th career point and moved into 12th place on the Big Sky's all-time scoring list.
The nation's top scorer opened the week by scoring 40 points with five assists in a 92-79 win over Portland State. Lillard became the only player in the nation to score at least 40 points in two games this season. Lillard made 13-of-18 shots from the floor, was 6-of-8 from 3-point range, and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line. He hit his first six 3-pointers. The 40 points was one shy of his career-high.
Lillard followed with a 35-point game in a 93-81 victory over Northern Colorado. He scored 22 in the second half as the Wildcats moved to 10-1 in conference play. Lillard made 12-of-18 shots from the floor, was 5-of-9 from 3-point range, and 6-of-10 from the free-throw line. He dished out five assists with three rebounds and two steals. He now has 1,712 points for his career.
Lillard leads the nation with an average of 25.5 points per game. He ranks fourth in 3-pointers per game (3.5) and is sixth in 3-point field-goal percentage (46.3). He is a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, the John Wooden Award and the Oscar Robertson Award. Lillard has been selected as the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week seven times in his career.
UTAH GYMNASTS HOLD DOWN NO. 1 SPOT: The University of Utah women's gymnastics team held onto its No. 1 ranking for a second straight week. The Red Rocks also remained the top-ranked team on beam and floor, which they've held for three weeks in a row.
Utah's last reign at No. 1 came in 2009, when it was ranked No. 1 for three weeks in a row. The Utes' average score is 197.031. Returning champion Alabama moved into No. 2 (196.675), while Arkansas is No. 3, Florida No. 4 and Oklahoma No. 5. The next highest ranked Pac-12 team is UCLA at No. 7.
Utah travels to No. 25 Arizona State for a meet this Sunday.
UTES ADD RECRUITING COMMIT FOR 2014: The University of Utah football program has picked up a recruiting commitment for 2014.
Brighton High sophomore Jackson Barton, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound offensive lineman, has committed to the Utes.
PAC-12 EXTENDS COMMISSIONER'S CONTRACT: The Pac-12 Board of Directors, consisting of all 12 university presidents, unanimously extended the contract of Commissioner Larry Scott through 2016 with options to add additional years in the future, it was announced today.
During his first two years, Scott orchestrated a rebranding of the conference and led it through expansion for the first time since 1978.
"My fellow board members and I are delighted to have reached a long-term agreement with the commissioner to continue his excellent work on behalf of the Pac-12," said Oregon State President Ed Ray, who also serves as the chairman of the Pac-12 Board. "We are on the brink of a period of extraordinary accomplishment and excellence throughout the Pac-12, and Larry's continued leadership and vision for the Conference are critical elements in realizing that potential."
Scott, 47, became the sixth commissioner of the Conference in 2009. He came to collegiate athletics after serving six years as chairman and CEO of the WTA Tour, where he helped generate unprecedented growth and popularity for women's professional tennis on a global scale.
T-BIRDS FALL TO NORTH DAKOTA STATE: Southern Utah wasn't able to keep up with North Dakota State on its home court Monday as the Bison had four players score in double figures, led by Abby Plucker who finished with 20 points, to take a 74-56 win over the Thunderbirds (5-19, 1-12 Summit).
Sophomore guard Andrea Jones posted a career-high 29-points for SUU in the loss, recording the highest offensive output by any T-Bird player this season.
Jones was 11-of-22 from the field with one 3-pointer, and 23 of her 29 points came in the second period as SUU tried to rally from a 17-point halftime deficit. The sophomore guard was the only Thunderbird to finish in double figures.