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Getting to Know: Head coach Guard Young and Jessie Westergard

Feb 22, 2017 - Posted by Kristen Kerr at 2:05 pm | Updated: February 22, 2017 2:14 pm | Permalink

Guard Young, head coach

What is your favorite movie?
Star Wars.

Who is your celebrity look alike?
Daniel Craig (This is my wife’s celebrity crush).

What are you secretly good at?

What is your favorite place you have visited?
Athens, Greece.

What is the most embarrassing song on your iPod?
“Everything is AWESOME” from the LEGO movie.

What is your favorite thing about working with BYU gymnastics?
I love the students…they are so creative and funny.

Jessie Westergard, sophomore

What is your favorite movie?
Shanghai Noon.

What is your favorite place you have visited?
Ecuador, Ireland, anywhere on a sailboat.

Who is your celebrity lookalike?
Drew Barrymore.

If you could have a walk-up song, what would it be?
“Not Afraid” by Eminem.

What are you secretly good at?

What is your favorite saying?
“A ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what a ship is built for.”

Gaels outdistance Cougars in second half to secure 70-57 victory

Feb 18, 2017 - Posted by Andrew Cook at 9:58 pm | Updated: February 18, 2017 10:09 pm | Permalink

Out of the break Yoeli Childs scored first for the Cougars and two buckets from Eric Mika cut the Gael's deficit to nine. Saint Mary's responded with a 14-2 run to build a 62-40 lead by the 9:31 mark. On the next possesion Haws sank a jumper to lower the deficit to 20 but Saint Mary's held tight to the lead. With 8:40 remaining, Childs hit a jumper to make the score 66-44 but two baskets by the Gaels extended the Gael's lead to 25, the Gael's largest margin of the evening.

After two more scores from Mika, the Cougars came up with several offensive rebounds and a put-back effort by Elijah Bryant cut the lead to 19 with three minutes remaining. On the following Cougar possesion, Nick Emery made a hard drive before dishing it off to Childs for a dunk and scored a basket of his own a few possesions later to help the Cougars cut the lead down to 15 with 1:30 left in the contest. In the final minute of play, Colby Leifson spotted up in the left corner and sank a three for the final Cougar basket of the evening and the Cougars fell by the final score of 70-57.   

Mika finished the evening leading all Cougar scorers with 18 points and adding five rebounds. Childs also had a stellar evening with 14 points and seven boards while Emery led the team with four assists in addition to pulling down six rebounds. 

Gaels hold 41-30 advantage over Cougars at half

Feb 18, 2017 - Posted by Andrew Cook at 8:55 pm | Updated: February 18, 2017 9:01 pm | Permalink

Yoeli Childs opened the scoring for the Cougars with a free throw and a jumper by Erik Mika put the Cougars ahead 3-2. The teams continued to trade baskets, fighting to control the lead until the Gaels established an 11-7 lead near the 15 minute mark. The Cougars stormed back and took a 12-11 advantage after an and-one by Mika but Saint Mary's responded with a 5-0 run. Elijah Bryant sank a three-pointer with 12:34 remaining in the half to keep BYU within striking distance and the score at 16-15 in favor of the Gaels. 

The Gaels extended the lead to eight after a 10-3 run but BYU responded quickly with a pair of free throws by Mika, an electrifying shot-block by Haws and another long ball by Bryant to cut the deficit to three with 6:10 to go until the half. Saint Mary's found the basket on back-to-back possesions to push the lead to nine but a three from Haws made the score 32-26. After two more baskets by the Gaels, Haws kept the Cougars going offense again with a layup drive at the 2:40 mark. Childs found the bucket in the final minute of play but a Cougar foul on the next possesion gave the Gaels three free-throws and at half the score was 41-30 in favor of Saint Mary's.

Cougars defeat Toreros 82-70

Feb 16, 2017 - Posted by Sydney Jorgensen at 11:10 pm | Updated: February 16, 2017 11:17 pm | Permalink

Nick Emery recorded the first five points of the second half for the Cougars before a TJ Haws 3-pointer increased BYU’s lead to 55-41 with 15:37 left. Eric Mika’s perfect trip to the charity stripe capped off an 11-3 run to help the Cougars maintain a comfortable 69-52 margin with eight minutes left in play.

Despite San Diego’s efforts to fight back, the Cougars overpowered the Toreros on offense. San Diego managed to end the game on a dunk as BYU claimed an 82-70 victory.

Emery was the first of five Cougars to score double-digit points with 26. Mika logged a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds as Elijah Bryant contributed 15 points of his own. Yoeli Childs and Haws each recorded 12 points. BYU tallied 15 points off turnovers while holding San Diego to just six. The Cougars also handled the Toreros in the paint 28-18. 

Cougars lead Toreros 45-38 at halftime

Feb 16, 2017 - Posted by Sydney Jorgensen at 9:56 pm | Updated: February 16, 2017 10:05 pm | Permalink

TJ Haws nailed a 3-pointer to get the game rolling for the Cougars before the Toreros answered with baskets on the next three possessions. A Nick Emery trey helped BYU regain control of the game, sparking a 16-2 run to build a 24-13 advantage with nine minutes on the clock. The Cougars continued to dominate, leading by as many as 18, as Emery made his fifth 3-point shot of the game.

The Toreros turned up the offensive power as they began to chip away at the Cougar lead. BYU went cold on the floor for over five minutes as San Diego cut the deficit to five. Haws launched a shot from beyond the arc at the buzzer to send the Cougars into the locker room leading 45-38.

Emery led the Cougar offense with 17 points, including a perfect 5 of 5 from the arc. Yoeli Childs contributed 10 points and four rebounds while Mika tallied eight points and three rebounds. 

February Baseball Blog

Feb 16, 2017 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 9:17 am | Permalink

ATLANTA CHALLENGE LIVE LINKS: Georgia Tech will have  a one-camera setup for a broadcast on the ACC Network Extra (ESPN3).  Kennesaw State will have online streaming , but won't have a play-by-play announcer for the game due to a basketball doubleheader, but will have audio and a crowd mic. See our schedule page for those links:

RARELY FRIDAY:  Baseball America wrote how BYU will miss “electric Friday starter Michael Rucker.” Yes, Rucker will be missed, but his electricity rarely conducted on a Friday.  BYU plays Thursday, Friday and Saturday series, never on a Sunday.  Rucker pitched twice last year on a Friday: in the season opener vs. Saint Louis and in the opening upset over No. 25 Creighton.  The All-American Rucker, who signed with the Chicago Cubs with a year of eligibility remaining, had 13 Thursday appearances and one Monday appearance en route to his 11-1 record.

GAME NOTES:  More detailed information on the team is posted through a multi-page PDF attached to our weekly game advances.  Those notes include preseason honors, a listing of former Cougar players from Georgia , etc.  Here’s the link for the season-opening game notes:

FIELD OF 64:  Baseball America also listed BYU among its projected field of 64 as a No. 3 seed at the Charlottesville, Virginia regional as the league champion.  It also listed WCC foe Gonzaga as a No. 3 seed at the Corvallis, Oregon regional and Cougar opponents UC Santa Barbara as a No. 2 seed at Corvallis; and Georgia Tech as a No. 2 seed at the Lafayette, Louisiana Regional.

SHAVER PRESEASON HONORS: Colton Shaver is one of 55 on the Golden Spikes Preseason watch list, see link at Shaver was also listed as a Preseason All-American by The Sporting News.

ATTENDING FIRST PITCH DINNER:  Among the former BYU baseball players who attended last month’s fourth-annual First Pitch Dinner were:  Tim Anderson, Cortland Andrews, Bryce Ayoso, Mike Bergeron, Jeff Bills, Casey Cloward, Paul Cluff, Taylor Cole, Gary Cooper, Cameron Coughlan, Tyler Dabo, David Decker, Ryan Freeman, Rusty Gray, Jacob Hannemann, Matt Hutchings, Paul Jacinto, Wally Joyner, Adam Law, Mike Littlewood, Blair Lucas, Hayden Nielsen, Tyler Perry, Bryce Searle, Mark Smith, Jeremy Thomas, Eric Urry, Brock Whitney, Brad Winget, Alex Wolfe and former coaches Glen Tuckett and Vernon Law.

MORE ON FIRST PITCH DINNER:  A Georgia anecdote was revealed at the end of the First Pitch Dinner by Wally Joyner about keynote speaker Dale Murphy.  Cougar alum and All-American Joyner told of growing up in Georgia and getting prime seats at the struggling Atlanta Braves’ games. Murphy was a hero of his whom he met once before the next encounter on I-285.  The then-teenage Joyner was delivering ice, trying to keep a truck with bad alignment in the lines and noticed a car behind him.  Soon the car pulled up beside Joyner and he noticed it was Murphy, waving out the window at the teenager he remembered.

NATIONAL HONOR FOR ZOBELL:  Yours truly was selected as the 42nd winner of the annual Wilbur Snypp Award for contributions to college baseball.  @RalphZobell tweeted:  “Scores of colleagues, interns, #BYUbaseball players, coaches & family helped with nat'l honor. Thank you. #GoCougs …” Official presentation of the award is scheduled for opening day of the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska on June 17, so let’s root for the Cougars to be there as one of the team qualifiers.  Former BYU coaches Gary Pullins and Glen Tuckett are scheduled to be in Omaha again for their yearly American Baseball Coaches Association meetings.

Getting to Know: Angel Zhong

Feb 15, 2017 - Posted by Kristen Kerr at 10:56 am | Updated: February 15, 2017 11:08 am | Permalink

Angel Zhong, freshman

What is an interesting fact about you?
I was born in Shanghai, China, before moving to Canada at age 6.

What is your favorite movie?
“Captain America: Civil War.”

If you could have a walk-up song, what would it be?
“Halo” by Beyonce. 

What are you deathly afraid of?
Snails, worms and slugs.

What are two things you must have on road trips?
Ice cream and Harry Potter books.

What are you secretly good at?
Convincing people of fake random facts.

Sugg named College Sports Madness Conference Player of the Week

Feb 14, 2017 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 3:47 pm | Updated: February 14, 2017 3:57 pm | Permalink

After leading the team to a 2-2 record after the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, sophomore catcher Libby Sugg was named the College Sports Madness Conference Player of the Week for the West Coast Conference.

In the first game of the year against Nebraska, Sugg went 2 for 4 with five RBI and a three-run homer in the third inning. In the Cougars´ big upset over No. 13 Washington, she went a perfect 3 for 3. Her single in the bottom of the sixth sparked the momentum that would score three runs to take the 4-2 lead, which would be the final score. She also tallied a hit against No. 2 Auburn. Her performance led her to be named to the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge All-Tournament Team.

Sugg came out of the first four games leading the pack in home runs (1) and RBI (5), both categories she led at the end of 2016. She is also tied for second on the team in hits with six and in batting average with .462.

Each week, College Sports Madness names a player of the week for each conference in the NCAA. The website also names a national field player and pitcher of the week. This week UCLA’s Delaney Spaulding and Cal Poly’s Sierra Hyland took home the national field player and pitcher of the week honors, respectively. 

For the complete list of conference players of the week, click here.

Four Cougars named to all-tournament team

Feb 11, 2017 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 9:25 pm | Updated: May 30, 2017 2:17 pm | Permalink

After a 2-2 record in Puerto Vallarta, BYU softball had four players named to the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge All-Tournament Team, as announced during the closing dinner on Saturday night.

Lauren Bell, McKenna Bull, Rylee Jensen and Libby Sugg were all named to the all-tournament team after their performances over the weekend. Auburn also had four players recognized. Washington had three, including the MVP Taran Alvelo. For the remaining two teams, Oklahoma had two and Nebraska had one on the list.

Bell led the team in batting over the four games with a .500 average on 6 of 12 hitting. She also tallied three runs and two RBI. Freshman Jensen jumped out to a huge start to her collegiate career, going 5 for 5 in her first five at bats. Against Nebraska, she went 4 for 4, the best season-opening performance by a BYU freshman. In that same game, Sugg tied her career high of five RBI. Over the weekend, she had a .462 batting average.

Pitching two games, Bull took victories over Nebraska and No. 13 Washington, the Huskies' only loss of the weekend. She had a 2.25 ERA, 10 strikeouts and just three walks and three earned runs.

Puerto Vallarta College Challenge All-Tournament Team

Tara Alvelo - Washington

Kaylee Carlson
Makayla Martin
Kendall Veach
Carlee Wallace

Lauren Bell
McKenna Bull
Rylee Jensen
Libby Sugg

Austen Urness

Paige Lowary
Nicole Pendley

Ali Aguilar
Trysten Melhart
Taylor Van Zee

Highlights from day one at Iowa Classic

Feb 10, 2017 - Posted by Caitlan Wrubell at 9:00 pm | Permalink

AMES, Iowa – The opening day of the Iowa Classic featured several athletes breaking into the BYU record books.

Erica Birk took first place in the women’s mile and set a new BYU record with a time of 4:38.95. Ashleigh Warner, Kristi Rush and Whittni Orton took fourth through sixth places, also claiming spots in the top 10 all-time at BYU. Warner now sits in second place (4:39.48) with Rush in fourth place (4:39.79) and Orton in ninth place (4:41.66).  

Clayton Young, Rory Linkletter and Jonathan Harper also took their places in BYU's top-10 all-time lists with their personal-record performances in the men's 5000 meters. Young finished in 13:45.25 for fourth place overall and third place all-time at BYU. Linkletter's time of 13:49.00 was good enough to give him seventh place overall and sixth place at BYU all-time. And Harper ran a time of 13:54.81 for 12th place at the meet and ninth place all-time at BYU. 

Tatenda Tsumba also had a good day, winning the men’s 200 meters and claiming third place all-time at BYU with a time of 21.02. He also took fourth place in the men’s 60 meters in 6.76.

Men’s runner Chase Horrocks placed third in the mile with a time of 4:03.19, and in the men’s 3000 meters, Alex Hedquist took eighth place in 8:25.52.

Tomi Adegoke finished second in the long jump with a mark of 7.06, and Chloe Hadley took seventh in the women’s long jump with a mark of 5.64.

Keesha Miller competed in the final of the women’s 60 meters and ran a 7.65, taking sixth place overall. Christina Hedgepath, Samantha Reevers and Lauren Rawlinson also finished in the top 15.