Brigham Young 73, San Diego St 59
SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Jarkko Ahlbom scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Brigham Young to a 73-59 victory over San Diego State Friday night as the Cougars snapped their 21-game losing streak in the teams’ season opener.
BYU, which was 1-25 last season, had not won since Dec. 10, 1996 in a 64-61 victory over Utah State. The Cougars had also lost ten straight on the road.
Ahlbom, a 6-foot-10 junior, came off the bench to hit nine of 11 shots as the Cougars made 52.9 percent of their field goal attempts.
Justin Weidauer had 13 points for BYU and Danny Bower added 12. The Cougars held a commanding 47-22 edge on the boards.
The win came in the first game for first-year head coach Steve Cleveland.
San Diego State, which played its first regular season game in its newly-opened arena, was paced by Jason Richey’s 16 points. Richey, however, made only four of 19 field goal attempts, including four of 14 from 3-point range.
Matt Watts added 12 points for the Aztecs and Roy Kruiswyk had ten. San Diego State, which led 34-33 at halftime, shot just 31.7 percent from the field.
BYU, which held a 54-51 lead with eight minutes to go, went on an 8-0 run to take control of the game with just more than five minutes to go.
Although both teams are members of the Western Athletic Conference, the game does not count in the league standings because the schools play in different divisions.