BYU Athletics Blog

BYU visits children's hospital, conducts team fireside Sunday

Dec 21, 2014 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 10:26 pm | Updated: December 21, 2014 11:32 pm | Permalink

The focus of practice and activities turned to service and worship on Sunday in the final lead-up to the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl pitting BYU vs. Memphis at Marlins Park on Monday (2 p.m. ET/ESPN).

Sunday morning representatives from both BYU and Memphis made a special visit to patients at Baptist Children's Hospital in Miami. The visit was designed to help wish the children and their families a Happy Holiday season.

Players, cheerleaders and team mascots from both teams spent time with the children, taking pictures, signing autographs and providing memorabilia and gifts from the bowl and their respective teams. BYU players Taysom Hill, Jamaal Williams, Craig Bills and Brock Stringham were joined by BYU cheerleaders and Cosmo to represent BYU during the visit. 

"I have been to a couple of bowls before and Miami certainly hasn't disappointed," Hill said. "It has been a great opportunity to come to the hospital and give back and add a little perspective to each of our lives."

According to hospital staff, several other teams had visited the hospital in past years, but this was the first time that two opposing teams came together on the same day with the common goal of bringing cheer to the children's lives during their difficult period.

"We're very fortunate to be in a position to give back to our community and specifically children at Baptist Children's Hospital," said Miami Beach Bowl Executive Director Carlos Padilla II. "The Miami Beach Bowl participants enjoyed spending time with these children and their families in hopes of creating a positive experience that brings smiles to faces."

The BYU football team and travel party also participated in a Sacrament service at the hotel Sunday morning and later Sunday evening more than 900 people attended the team fireside devotional at Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Phillip Amone, Travis Frey, Hayden Griffitts and Tim Duran each spoke at the fireside along with offensive line coach Garett Tujague and head coach Bronco Mendenhall. The team also sang a musical number together.

The nightcap to the day was a team visit to Marlins Park Sunday evening to see the locker room and field before returning Monday morning for the game. 

Check out the photos below.

BYU holds on to 79-77 victory over Stanford

Dec 20, 2014 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 11:15 pm | Permalink

The two teams kept it close early in the second half, trading points back and forth. Anson Winder hit a three with 14:35 left to put BYU up 48-44. Winder went coast-to-coast through the defenders to make a layup, but Stanford answered back by scoring on two straight possessions.

BYU took control of the game after going on a 7-0 run capped off by a scramble for the offensive rebound and a layup from Chase Fischer to push the lead to 72-59. A 3-pointer from Fischer extended the lead to 13 points and forced a Stanford timeout with 3:35 left in the game.

Stanford forced itself back into the game with tough backcourt defense. The Cardinals made two buckets off of two steals in a row. A three from Chasson Randle with 54 seconds left made the Cougars’ lead just two, 79-77. The comeback wasn’t enough, however, as BYU held on to earn the 79-77 victory.

Four Cougars scored in double figures in the win over Stanford, led by Tyler Haws’ game-high 24 points. Kyle Collinsworth had a double-double after scoring 15 points and grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds.

Cougars up 36-35 over Stanford at the half

Dec 20, 2014 - Posted by Kimberlie Haner at 9:58 pm | Permalink

The Cougars started off strong, scoring on their first six possessions to go up 13-4 early in the game, five of those points coming from Chase Fischer. Stanford answered back with a 6-0 run before a jumper from Tyler Haws pushed BYU’s lead to 15-10 with 14:52 left in the first half.

BYU extended its lead behind Haws’ shooting. Two 3-pointers in a row put the Cougars up 26-16 with 7:55 remaining in the half. Haws led BYU with 13 points in the first half, making his first five shots in a row.

Stanford went on a 7-0 run, including its first trey of the game, to get within three points with less than three minutes remaining. BYU missed four field goal attempts in a row, allowing Stanford to take one point lead with less than a minute left. A layup from Kyle Collinsworth at the buzzer gave BYU the 36-35 lead going into the half.

Football conducts final practice Saturday for Miami Beach Bowl

Dec 20, 2014 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 8:30 pm | Updated: December 20, 2014 8:38 pm | Permalink

BYU conducted its final practice Saturday in advance of the team's matchup against American Athletic Conference Champion Memphis on Monday at Marlins Park in Miami. 

The team's third full day in Miami Beach started with team and position meetings before the drive over to Florida International University in Miami for a walk-through and practice session. The modified walk-through format allowed the Cougars to get in more work than the typical session conducted the day before a game.

The team put on game uniforms for a team photo following the practice and then the players took advantage of some free time before many convened in the evening to watch the BYU women's volleyball team take on Penn State for the NCAA title. 

On Sunday fans can join the team at the football fireside at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel at 5 p.m. Click this fireside link for more info and best parking options.

 

Cougars enjoy the Heat Friday in Miami

Dec 19, 2014 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 9:12 pm | Updated: December 19, 2014 9:58 pm | Permalink

BYU's preparations for Monday's Miami Beach Bowl matchup with Memphis continued Friday amid a high of 79 in Miami, and the Cougars still enjoyed the "Heat" late into the evening.

Friday's practice at Florida International University saw the team focused and improved from its first practice in the Sunshine State. After a stop at the set of BYU Sports Nation by several members of the team upon returning to Loews Miami Beach Hotel, the players were able to enjoy some free time in the afternoon prior to a trip to Marlins Park for dinner and then a nightcap at American Airlines Arena to watch the Miami Heat take on the Washington Wizards.

At halftime of the Heat game, BYU and Memphis players were invited to the court for a friendly shooting competition. Receivers Mitch Mathews and Jordan Leslie joined safety Kai Nacua representing the Cougars on the floor for the shooting challenge. They had to make a layup, free throw, 3-point shot and half-court shot to complete the challenge.

Mathews scored the layup and Nacua followed with a made free throw before Leslie converted from behind the arc. Nacua was then able to connect from mid-court to complete the challenge for the Cougars. Memphis players also made all four shots, but with a slightly faster time to get the upperhand. 

The Cougars go to work again Saturday morning in their effort to get the upperhand on Monday when the two teams meet in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl at Marlins Park. 

Women's volleyball prepares for Penn State in championship match

Dec 19, 2014 - Posted by Royce Hinton at 6:08 pm | Permalink

Yesterday, BYU women's volleyball practiced for its match against No. 2 Texas before winning a four-set thriller to advance to the championship match. The team signed autographs for fans after the match to end the day. Today, Jennifer Hamson and Alexa Gray started the day by attending the AVCA All-American brunch. The other Cougars worked on finishing finals before everyone headed out to the arena for another 90 minute practice. Ciara Parker, Hamson, Gray and coach Shawn Olmstead then headed to a press conference to address the media. The Cougars concluded the day with a team activity, heading to the movie theater to watch a film. 

BYU faces off Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CST in Chesapeake Energy Arena against No. 5 Penn State in the national finals for women's volleyball. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and BYU radio.

Eventful Thursday for the Cougars in Miami Beach

Dec 18, 2014 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 9:26 pm | Updated: December 18, 2014 10:30 pm | Permalink

Thursday proved an eventful day in Miami Beach for the Cougars. From meetings to practice, to a little free time to the official Miami Beach Bowl welcome bash, to cheering on the BYU women's volleyball team to victory—it was a great day to be a Cougar!

After team and positions meetings first thing in the morning, the team bused into Miami for practice at Florida International University. Following practice the team did a lift and media interviews prior to returning to Miami Beach and the wonderful hospitality at Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Players enjoyed a few hours to hit the beach adjacent to the hotel while coaches continued to meet and prepare for Monday's bowl matchup against American Athletic Conference Champion Memphis. 

The evening got started with the Beach Bowl Welcome Bash & BBQ hosted poolside at Loews. After a fine meal, BYU and Memphis players convened at the pool to enjoy some music and a little fun-natured competition. Among those participating, BYU's Travis Tuiloma and Moose Bingham represented the Cougars in a dance challenge and Manu Mulitalo and Graham Rowley carried the flag for BYU in the splash competition. All represented well and the Cannonball efforts of Mulitalo and Rowley brought the winning approval of the crowd.

One highlight of the day came when many members of the team settled into the BYU hospitality suite to cheer on the women's volleyball team in the NCAA national semifinal match against No. 2-seed Texas. The football team and members of the travel party enjoyed seeing the Cougars win a four-set thriller (25-23, 25-16, 17-25, 26-24) to advance to the NCAA Championship match on Thursday night.

Go Cougars!

Football arrives in Miami

Dec 17, 2014 - Posted by at 10:50 pm | Updated: December 18, 2014 10:24 pm | Permalink

The BYU football team traveled to Miami Wednesday in advance of Monday's inaugural Miami Beach Bowl against the American Athletic Conference Champion Memphis Tigers. 

The Cougars practiced in Provo Wednesday morning before making the trek across the country to South Florida. They will conduct their first practice in Miami on Thursday morning before the Beach Bowl Welcome Bash late Thursday afternoon officially welcomes both the BYU and Memphis teams to Miami. 

Check out the photos below to get a feel for the teams arrival Wednesday night at Loews Miami Beach Hotel in Miami Beach. 

Miami Beach Bowl Fireside Sunday at 5 p.m.

Dec 17, 2014 - Posted by at 10:32 pm | Updated: December 18, 2014 12:52 am | Permalink

The BYU football team will conduct a fireside Sunday from 5-6 p.m. ET at Loews Miami Beach Hotel located at 1601 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139. The fireside will take place in Salon 3 in the hotel. Cougar fans and all interested in attending are encouraged to come to the fireside.

A great parking option is at a city-owned self-parking lot directly across the street from the Lowes Miami Beach Hotel. The parking lot cost is $2 for 2 hours. However, the parking fee will be covered for those attending. Each person that parks in the self-parking lot simply needs to bring the automated ticket with them to the fireside and present it at a table to have the self-parking fee covered.

Women's volleyball prepares for national semifinal match against No. 2 Texas

Dec 17, 2014 - Posted by Royce Hinton at 12:08 pm | Updated: December 17, 2014 7:38 pm | Permalink

BYU women's volleyball traveled to Oklahoma City yesterday in preparation for its national semifinal match against No. 2 Texas. The Cougars began the day meeting with the ESPN talent and having a photo shoot. The team then practiced in the unfamiliar Chesapeake Energy Arena for 90 minutes before heading off to a press conference. Amy Boswell, Alexa Gray, Jennifer Hamson and coach Shawn Olmstead took turns addressing the media. The Cougars returned to the hotel following the press conference to study for and take finals. The team concluded the day by heading to the Championship Banquet, where Ciara Parker represented the squad on the stage. At the conclusion of the banquet, Boswell was awarded the Elite 89 award for women's volleyball.

BYU faces off against No. 2 Texas Thursday at 6 p.m. CST. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and BYU radio.




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