Cougars to flex muscles vs. Wolves

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    By Jeff Jordan

    BYUs men”s basketball team will host Western Oregon tonight, Dec. 10 at the Marriot Center and the stomping will go down at 7 p.m.

    WOU is off to its best start since its first season in 1993. The Wolves are 5-1 and their two wins in conference play give them a share of the lead in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

    Second-year coach Tim Hills returns four starters from last year”s 15-12 team, including last year”s leading scorer Sean Kelly.

    Kelly will be playing in a sort of homecoming against the Cougars. Kelly, who”s father played basketball for BYU, signed with the Cougars out of high school and transferred to Rick”s College for one year before finally finding a home at Western Oregon.

    Kelly said he sees the BYU game as a chance to learn.

    “The chances a of us winning probably aren”t very good, being a Division I team,” Kelly said. “It”s a good chance for us to play a division one program and that will help us when we”re playing Division II teams later in the season.”

    The Colorado Springs native lead the GNAC in scoring with 22.8 points per game and led WOU in rebounding, averaging 7 boards per game.

    “He”s a kid who, when he gets his rivalry, he usually knocks them down,” Hills said.

    Kelly is second on his team in scoring this season behind fellow senior Robert Day, who is averaging 22.8 points per contest.

    BYU”s Rafael Araujo has averaged 31.5 points and 15.5 rebounds per game over his last two games with a good chance of continuing his dominance against WOU according to coach Hills.

    “I”ve thought about [how to stop Araujo] close to 24-hours a day and decided there”s probably not a lot we can do to stop Araujo,” he said. “Nobody else has.”

    Six-foot-seven, 215 lb. forward Dave Brautigam will have the undesirable task of containing the 6-foot-11, 280 lb. Brazillian behemoth.

    Hills said he doesn”t expect Braughtigam to guard Araujo alone.

    “Our post is obviously way undersized, so Brautigam will need a little help,” Hills said.

    BYU is still waiting for a breakout game from its captain Mark Bigelow.

    Bigelow is averaging a respectable 11 points per game, but his 32 percent shooting average has Cougar fans wondering where last year”s third team All-MWC selection has gone.

    To make matters worse, Bigelow, BYU”s all-time three-point leader, is shooting 17 percent from three-point country.

    Bigelow will have a chance to turn his season around tonight at 7 in the Marriott Center. Students with All-Sports passes will be admitted for free.

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