Tavernari scores 22 to lead BYU to 69-53 win over Air Force
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP)—Jonathan Tavernari scored 22 points, Lee Cummard had 21, and an under-the-weather Trent Plaisted grabbed nine boards in limited minutes, lifting Brigham Young to a 69-53 win over Air Force on Wednesday night.
The Cougars (16-5, 5-1 Mountain West) have now won four straight over the Falcons, including two in a row at Clune Arena, a place where Air Force has been notoriously difficult to beat in recent years. The Falcons have won 65 of 69 games at home since 2003.
BYU moves to 20-7 lifetime at Clune Arena. The team ended the Falcons’ 30-game home winning streak last season with a 62-58 win.
With the win, the Cougars keep pace with UNLV in the conference race. The Rebels beat TCU 70-58 earlier Wednesday.
Plaisted has been battling the flu since Sunday—barely eating anything— and was in street clothes 15 minutes before tipoff. However, he decided to give it a go and dashed into the locker room to change.
The junior center also finished with nine points. Plaisted’s nine boards moved him into 10th place on the conference’s all-time rebounding list.
Air Force (11-8, 3-3) was led in scoring by Tim Anderson with 22 points. Keith Maren finished with a career-high 15 points. He also scored Air Force’s first 11 points.
Andrew Henke, the Falcons’ second-leading scorer, didn’t score until hitting a layup early in the second half, his only points of the game.
Cummard has now scored at least 20 points six times this season. He also grabbed eight rebounds.
Tavernari finished with four 3-pointers, four assists, four rebounds and three steals.
The Falcons cut the lead to 53-48 on a layup by Matt Holland 7:14 remaining, but Cummard ended any thoughts of a comeback with a long 3-pointer on the next possession. BYU went on a 16-5 run over the final 7 minutes to secure its fourth straight win.