PROVO, Utah (AP)—With a big game against Michigan State looming, it was perfect timing for a BYU letdown. Trent Plaisted wouldn’t let that happen.
Plaisted scored 14 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked five shots to overcome a slow start on offense and lead No. 20 BYU past Weber State on Wednesday night.
Sam Burgess and Jonathan Tavernari scored five points each during a balanced 22-6 first-half run that opened a commanding 19-point lead.
Burgess finished with a game-high 16 points for BYU (7-1), which won its 35th straight home game, the second-longest home winning streak in the country.
Tavernari and Lee Cummard added 14 points apiece for BYU.
“Trent was phenomenal, Lee was steady and Sam gave us a big boost of energy in the second half,” BYU coach Dave Rose said.
Weber State (2-5) dropped to 0-17 at the Marriott Center in Provo. The series began in 1973.
Freshman center Trevor Morris scored all of his season-high 12 points in the second half to lead Weber State.
Plaisted struggled to get shots in the first half and scored five points, but BYU went to him immediately to open the second half. He made a layup on the team’s first possession and scored its first six points, including a thundering dunk that opened a 48-27 lead.
Plaisted added two blocked shots during the run.
Chris Collinsworth put back a miss for a 60-38 lead and BYU cruised.
BYU now can get back to playing highly ranked teams. BYU beat then-No. 6 Louisville on Nov. 23 and lost to No. 1 North Carolina the next day after leading much of the game.
The Cougars play No. 9 Michigan State on Saturday for its third game against a team ranked in the top 10 in 13 days.
The game is scheduled to be played on a neutral court, EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, home of the Utah Jazz.
Michigan State beat BYU last year on a neutral court, the Palace at Auburn Hills, home of the Detroit Pistons.
“We are really excited for Saturday’s game,” Rose said. “Last year we got spanked when we played at their place. The most important thing of the game is that they are a very good team and that will help us prepare for our upcoming conference schedule.”
BYU held Weber State to 20-of-60 shooting.
Plaisted’s big dunk came near the end of a five-minute stretch in which the Wildcats failed to score a field goal.
The double-double for Plaisted was his third of the season and the 12th of the junior’s career.
Kellen McCoy and Juan Pablo Silveira added nine points each for Weber State. The 5-foot-6 McCoy converted a three-point play in the second half when he made a layup and was fouled by center Chris Miles.
Plaisted came into the game averaging 18 points but didn’t get off a shot in the game’s first 10:44. He didn’t make one until he hit his second shot of the game with two minutes left in the first half.
Despite his scoring drought, BYU put together the 22-6 run in the middle of the first half, much of it with him on the bench.
Seven players scored during the spurt, which included a single free throw from Plaisted. He contributed in other ways to a 42-21 halftime lead with 10 first-half rebounds, two assists and three blocked shots.
Seven different Cougars scored during the decisive run, with Burgess, Tavernari and Michael Loyd Jr. making 3-pointers.
After Kellen McCoy hit a 3-pointer to pull Weber State within 13-10, Collinsworth made a layup to spark BYU’s burst.
The Cougars held Weber State to 9-of-28 shooting in the first half and forced 10 turnovers. Cummard had 11 points and Tavernari 10.
Silveira and Steve Panos scored four points apiece to lead Weber State in the first half.