For more than two years, Brigham Young has won every home game it has played. It now has its sights set on the nation’s longest active home winning streak.
The 25th-ranked Cougars look to win their 37th straight game at the Marriott Center when they meet Pepperdine on Saturday.
BYU (8-2) opened the 2005-06 season with a 83-71 home loss to Loyola Marymount. Since that defeat on Nov. 18, 2005, the Cougars have won 36 straight games at the Marriott Center.
BYU defeated Lamar 88-66 at home on Wednesday to tie No. 2 Memphis for the nation’s longest active home winning streak. The Cougars have another home game on Dec. 21 against Southern Utah before the Tigers’ next home game, a Dec. 22 matchup against No. 5 Georgetown.
Rarely have games been close at the Marriott Center this season, as BYU is outscoring its opponents by an average of 24.2 points in its five home wins. The Cougars are shooting 50.7 percent from the floor, while holding their opponents to just 38.3 percent shooting in those contests. Pepperdine, meanwhile, has split its six road games this season.
Lee Cummard had career highs of 27 points and eight assists, while also grabbing 10 rebounds and committing no turnovers in Wednesday’s win over the Cardinals. Cummard is second in the team in scoring (14.9 points per game), and is shooting 45.9 percent (17-of-37) from 3-point range.
“Lee was terrific tonight,” BYU coach Dave Rose said. “He started well and had a solid game on both ends. He shared the ball well and stayed aggressive offensively. He had one of the better games we’ve seen in a while.”
Junior forward Trent Plaisted had 22 points and seven rebounds on Wednesday, and is averaging 19.3 points and 11.2 boards in his last six games.
“Trent has been really consistent since he started here as a freshman,” Rose said. “He just continues to get better game after game, and with his work ethic and strong habits he’ll continue to get even better.”
The Cougars’ only two losses this season have come against top 10 teams on neutral courts. They lost to No. 1 North Carolina 73-63 on Nov. 24 in the Las Vegas Invitational and fell to then-No. 9 Michigan State 68-61 last Saturday in Salt Lake City.
BYU has not played Pepperdine since a 84-68 victory on Jan. 2, 2003. The Waves are 4-2 all-time against the Cougars.
Pepperdine (5-6) defeated Pacific 83-65 last Saturday, avenging a 84-76 loss to the Tigers on Nov. 12 at the World Vision Invitational in Oregon.
Malcolm Thomas had a game-high 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds in the rematch. Fellow freshman Tyrone Shelley had 20 points, and is averaging a team-high 16.7 points.
“I’m very, very proud of the players,” Pepperdine coach Vance Walberg told the school’s official Web site. “I’m really excited to get a big-time win like this on the road. We executed well on offense and defense. We rebounded well and that was important. We really needed a performance like this.”
The Waves are in the midst of playing 10 straight games away from Malibu. Pepperdine’s road swing began against Cal State Bakersfield on Nov. 25, and the Waves don’t return home until Jan. 8 against Hope International.
In their only game against a ranked opponent this season, the Waves loss to then-No. 12 Oregon 100-70 on Nov. 10. Pepperdine is just 4-23 against Top 25 opponents since 1996.