Cougars happy to face ACC foe

Ideally, Brigham Young wouldn’t have had to travel across the country to play a team from the powerful Atlantic Coast Conference a few days before its Mountain West Conference opener.

But Cougars coach Dave Rose said he’ll take games such as Tuesday’s 79-62 loss at Wake Forest whenever he can get them.

“We had an opportunity to play this game, and we’re always looking for teams from the power conferences to get back into our arena,” he said in Monday’s MWC teleconference. “It may not be the most ideal date, but it’s good for this year’s team, and next year, when we have the opportunity to play them (at home), it will be good for our fans.”

BYU (11-4), which lost to No. 1 North Carolina 73-63 in the Las Vegas Invitational at the Orleans Arena earlier this season, also played two ACC teams in the 2004-05 season for the first time in nearly 50 years.

Freshman guard Jeff Teague made 8 of 10 shots and scored a game-high 26 points Tuesday to lead the Demon Deacons (11-3), who took a 49-32 halftime lead and cruised the rest of the way to improve to 10-0 at home.

Lee Cummard and Jimmer Fredette both scored 15 points for BYU.

• LEAGUE OPENER — The Cougars will open conference play at home Saturday against Colorado State (6-8, 0-1), which lost to UNLV 65-62 in its MWC opener.

Rose said he was able to watch only some of that game but came away impressed with the Rams.

“They’re a very, very competitive team,” he said. “It looks like coach (Tim) Miles has his team playing very, very hard. They’ve got a couple kids who can really score. It will be a battle.”

• COOKING AT HOME — BYU extended its home winning streak to 39 games — the second longest in the nation behind Memphis (40) — in a rout of Loyola Marymount on Thursday at the Marriott Center.

The Cougars, 8-0 at home this season, went 17-0 at home last year and 14-1 in Provo, Utah, two years ago, winning their final 14 games at the Marriott Center, where they’re 410-116 (.779 winning percentage).

• CUMMARD COMING UP — Cummard, the Cougars’ 6-foot-7-inch junior swingman, entered Tuesday’s game on a roll, averaging 20.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.6 steals per game in his previous five outings while shooting 63.9 percent (39-for-61) from the field, 47.8 percent (11 of 23) from 3-point range and 93.9 percent (15-for-16) from the free-throw line.

Cummard scored a team-high 15 points against Wake Forest and is second on the squad in scoring (16.0 points per game) behind Trent Plaisted (16.6). Former Bishop Gorman High School star Jonathan Tavernari entered Tuesday averaging 13.9 points.

“Lee’s made a tremendous jump for us, especially in the last month. He has expanded his role on this team, especially scoring-wise,” Rose said. “He’s been a little more aggressive offensively, and he’s shooting the ball really well.

“When you shoot 61 percent from the field over the course of the year, it really increases your confidence level. His confidence right now is in a good spot, and his consistency has been terrific.”

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